With all the chaos and civil unrest kicking off in the world of late, now seems as good a time as any for renown crusty “trouble makers” Doom to be recording a new album. ZT thought it was high time that we broke out our more holes than Swiss cheese wardrobe, let our matted tresses hang loose and spat some much needed venom at the establishment. We dropped in on esteemed sticksman, Tony ‘Stick’ Dickens for a bit of a chinwag over their new record ‘Corrupt Fucking System’, and how the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
ZT: Firstly, how is recording going?
TD: Well, things have ground to a bit of a halt from the initial burst of activity. We have all the lyrics ready to go onto the tracks but getting that sorted to everyone’s approval is taking a bit of organisation, nothing major, just the devil is in the detail on this one. Luckily we are our own masters here so we work to our own pace, no label or managers hassling us for “the product” which is a curse and blessing. I’ll go out on a limb and say it will be out by autumn.
The next major hurdle will be sorting out the “packaging” as we have a lot of grandiose ideas how it should look, but we obviously need to keep it real with how much we spend on that as we don’t want it to be too expensive to buy.
ZT: ‘Corrupt Fucking System’ is due to be self-released via your own record label ‘Black Cloud Records’. With so many bands releasing on things like Bandcamp these days and taking the DIY approach, do you think that it spells the death knell for labels in general? (I think I may know the answer to this) How do you feel about that?
TD: It was always the ideal to release stuff ourselves but it was always down to money, well, still is, but we’ve been lucky enough to be in a position now that we are able to squirrel away some money from gigs and merch sales to sponsor the pressing ourselves. Also with Bri [guitar] working the 1 in 12 studio and having his own mixing programmes we can save money on studio time, so we find ourselves in the right position to be self sufficient on this.
We are looking to “license” the release after the initial pressing, as we have no distribution deal and are looking to get labels we trust in different countries to press it up, as posting stuff to the four corners of the globe from the UK costs an arm and a leg. We only really ever dealt with small labels ( Peaceville was small when we joined them) so have never wanted to be on a major label, we were never interested to sell our souls to “the man” as , well, we’ve always done this as a thing of love rather than a way to make money. If we wanted to make money, I could have chosen an easier way than this. We’ve never wanted to compromise what we do as a band.
So I gather with the rise of the internet, it has made the dinosaur approach of the major labels redundant. Yeah, the big labels had the backing of cash and could sponsor a band, but it also smacked of the label pushing certain bands and controlling trends, in this present climate you sink or swim on your own merits, your destiny is in your own hands (for better or worse). The focus of power has shifted but “big business” is still there, they’ll survive but they don’t hold all the aces anymore
ZT: A little over a month ago, you released a retrospective with Moshpit Tragedy called ‘25 Years of Crust’. With the way not-for-profit labels like that have worked, would there be any temptation to run Black Cloud in a similar way with other bands releasing pay-what-you-want titles, or would you be just reserving it for Doom Releases only?
TD: Black Cloud is just a name we put on our records that we release ourselves. We don’t run a label per say we just release our records (the new releases at least). None of us have a lust to be the new EMI CEO, and too be honest, I’m dreading the new release and all the packaging up stuff and post office runs! It will be hard work, but hopefully be accompanied by a sense of pride afterwards, but I have other things I’d rather focus on than promoting other peoples work.
ZT: ‘Stripped, Whipped & Crucified Pt.1’ from ‘Corrupt Fucking System’, appeared on said retrospective. Would you say that is representative of the rest of the new record?
TD: Well, there are 12 tracks and part 2 of that song has Andy T. reading a poem over the last riff [whilst] we keep going, so it is representative in the sense of the whole album is powerful but the tempos and styles change throughout. We always have a couple of different things every album and this is no different in that respect, but enough “typical” doom style songs to keep the die-hards happy. One song, ‘The Cult of Human Sacrifice’ is an instrumental with a long sample over it, very powerful and atmospheric
ZT: In contrast, will there be anything that you think people won’t be expecting from the new record? Any 20 minute, sweeping epics? Keyboards?
TD: The closest we can do to that is all playing in time and all finishing at the end!
ZT: The title of the new record like so many of your releases holds no secrets as to the source of inspiration (or frustration as the case may be.) In light of recent events are there any particular issues that were close to your heart when coming up with lyrical content for the new album?
TD: Basically, you look out the window or turn on the TV and there’s enough “inspiration” to write 10 albums every day. While the world is run the way it is there’s always going to be reason to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).
ZT: In your own estimation, do you think there has been a shift of attitude or an awakening if you will, of people wanting out of our current system?
TD: I think there is, but people are used to the status quo and even think it is right or “What can I do about it? Nothing.” Governments keep fucking up, fucking us over, lying, manipulating and still people don’t think “Hmm! Maybe we could try something else…” Most just seem to have given up and accept their lot.
ZT: You’re due to do a mini tour in September across Belgium and the Netherlands; what does the rest of 2013 hold for Doom?
TD: Hardly a tour, but we are working at getting a tour of Spain and Portugal together, which is looking like it might end up covering a bit of France too.
ZT: Is there any chance of squeezing UK dates in later this year? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
TD: We played a fair few last year and were trying to play elsewhere, but we consider all offers. Depends on everyone’s availability.
ZT: Lastly, any definite on a date for the new record?
TD: I think the word “Eventually” sums that up.
ZT: Anything to declare?
TD: Na, you want to know stuff, that’s what Google is for.
Doom play a free show at The Puzzle Hall Innon Saturday August 17th, with the possibility of more UK dates to be announced for that weekend.