Gloom: Band Of The Day

By on 30 June 2014


Blending death metal’s blistering assault with post-metal’s subtle atmospherics and then smothering the whole thing with a dollop of blackened fury, Washington’s Gloom aren’t the easiest band to categorise. Rana Rassouli decided to make them our Band Of The Day and find out more…

A pure and rare breed of blackened stoner death metal straight out of Washington DC, Gloom grace us with their blissfully rich atmospheric elements. Boasting guitar tones that sound like they’ve come out straight from hell, Glooms’ genre blurring resonance makes them quite difficult to classify; with their blackened death grooves, progressive harmonies, doom metal undertones and vocals ranging in octaves only Andrea Bocelli would dream of in his worst nightmare. Honestly, this band will make you want absolutely nothing but to hear more.

This crisp sounding 4-man-camaraderie is evident throughout the band’s sound, ultimately creating an entirely new beast of its own. Touching upon all the extreme genres that metal has to offer, they act as the quintessential link between subgenres,  and this promising band could well be the next big thing. We spoke to the vocalist, Bill, to gather a little more information on their future projects, the release of their EP’s and more…

WORDS: Rana Rassouli

FOR FANS OF: Gorgoroth, Suffocation, BTBAM, Dillinger Escape Plan
LATEST RELEASE:Gloom’ [self-titled EP]; Release date: June 24th 2014
WEBSITE: YouTube, Facebook

You guys sound ridiculously tight! Where did you form, how did you meet and when did the band initiate?
Thanks! We originally formed as a 3-piece with Danny on guitar, myself doing vocals and our original drummer, Chris. We first started jamming in Danny’s basement in the winter of 2012. Danny and I met in 2007 and we’ve been friends ever since. We played shows together in different bands and I first knew him as a drummer. It was a few years before I learned he was primarily a guitarist striving to be a multi-instrumentalist. He and I had jammed in a few different projects in the past, but never put anything concrete together until Gloom. When we were getting ready to record, we recruited Jason to fill out the sound- I’ve known him for years and never thought of anyone else to play bass. He learned all the songs, wrote the last part of Entity and was ready to record in 5 weeks. Jason is, without a doubt, the best bassist I’ve ever known and a real asset in terms of writing. After we lost Chris post recording, I immediately picked up the phone and gave Patrick a call. Patrick and I used to play shows together in different bands back in the day and he’s renowned in the area as a skilled drummer. He came to the first practice already having learned 90% of the material in less than 2 weeks.”

You have quite a broad range of influences – did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed, or did that naturally evolve as you jammed together?
We definitely wanted to try and avoid picking a specific genre when we formed. Danny and I had both been in bands that basically sat down and said ‘We want to do death metal’ or ‘Let’s be black metal’ etc… For me, it was and is important to just let the music speak for itself- you can pretty much hear where each of us come from musically just by listening. We just wanted to play music- we weren’t and aren’t concerned with genres: each have their place in our lives. In the end, I think that approach gives us a bit more freedom when writing. I guess it also keeps listeners on their toes a bit more. For example: you know what to expect from a Cannibal Corpse album both thematically and musically. We really enjoy the freedom we have to do what we want. If we keep doing that, I hope we can carve out a nice little niche for ourselves in the Metal scene as a whole. Eventually, after a few more releases, people might know what to expect from us- but we’re not there yet and we’re all really excited for the journey that’ll take us there.”

You guys are extremely diverse in terms of musical tastes; what kind of stuff are you and the rest of the band into? Who would you collectively cite as influences?
We all have a broad range of stuff we listen to- I don’t think any one of us exclusively listens to metal. It’s definitely a staple, but by no means our only interests. Personally, I love Jazz, Grindcore, Technical Death metal, Black metal and some Classic Rock. I can’t speak too much for the other guys, but we all definitely have roots in Prog Metal, Black metal, Death metal, Math metal and 90’s rock. My vocal influences are Gaahl of Gorgoroth, Frank Mullen form Suffocation and Greg Puciato from Dillinger. All of them have different approaches vocally and lyrically, but they all share one thing in common: they use their individual voices to translate the message of the song. As far as the band as a whole, I’d hope that you can hear a little bit of everything: Death, Black, Prog and some good ‘ol 90’s rock.”

How does your writing process normally work out? Will you meet up with song ideas pretty much fully formed beforehand, or do you tend to jam stuff out a bit more?
“In terms of writing, Danny, Jay or I come to the table with a riff or chord progression and try to work from there- see where it takes us by jamming. Patrick feels out his parts in the practice space and we discuss the songs as a whole while we’re writing them. I usually try to put my two cents in without interrupting their flow. It’s really just my job to get a vibe for the songs, relate it to something I’ve experienced and translate that sentiment into lyrics that are hopefully relevant to other people’s lives. We actively try to write songs that are accessible to various genres and people and I do my best to write the lyrics with that thought process in mind.”

How would you describe Gloom as a live entity? What can we expect from one of your live shows?
“For live shows, we really strive for atmosphere and energy. As a band, our job is to translate the music we write into energy on stage. The name ‘Gloom’ was chosen because, to us, it describes the music and lyrical themes. We do our best to interpret those themes on stage and hope that we make the mark. Visually, we’ve always been struck with bands that have an atmosphere- they seem to be more memorable. If you’ve ever been to a metal fest, you know what I’m talking about: sometimes a few bands blend together in your mind and you have a hard time remembering who’s who. We really try our best to create that kind of distinct atmosphere at the venues that allow it.”

I know you’re going to be sharing the stage with Septic Flesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse, how do you think this experience will differ from your normal shows? Have you played any festivals? Are you planning to?
“Well, for one, it’s a much bigger venue- all of the places we’ve played before have been smaller local spots (which we love). Secondly, we’re going to be playing with well-established bands- it’s an opportunity for us and we’re not going to take it for granted. Empire is known to bring huge and intense bills through on a regular basis. I’ve personally been to at least 50 shows there. I’ve had the opportunity to play there a few times and have always loved the crowd response. It’s also the first show of the Septicflesh/Fleshgod Apocalypse tour, and I hope we can help start them off on the right foot. Empire is, without a doubt, the best venue in northern Virginia. It was recently bought by Sumerian Records and Outerloop has done a fantastic job managing it, renovating it and creating a more welcoming atmosphere for metalheads of all genres. Thus far, we haven’t played any festivals- that and getting signed to a label that can give us a broader platform from which to launch are our end goals. We’d love to get to Europe some day and we’d love to tour here at home. The only restrictions we really have are our careers. I’m an unlicensed architect, construction manager and real estate salesman; Patrick works in IT; Danny manages real estate and Jason is getting his degree in music. Luckily, our jobs are flexible enough to allow us to tour! So, to answer your question, we’re frothing out the mouth for opportunities!”

Can you share a little bit about your upcoming debut album and the EP shortly following it in the fall?
“We’re in the process of writing our second release (another EP). We feel like these days people need little tid-bits of media to consume- full albums take too long and usually have ‘filler songs’. The LAST thing we want is to write anything that could be considered ‘filler’. We want to deliver a solid release through and through. As far as the songs themselves, I don’t want to say too much other than this: they’re heavier in every possible way. We’ll be recording again with Marshall Wieczorek (drummer for Victory Records’ Wretched, who are currently on tour with Havok). We won’t record with anyone else- he knows his stuff and knows what we’re going for.”

What’s been your best moment as a band? And on the flipside, what’s been the worst thing to happen to you in music?
“HA! Our best moment as a band was definitely getting the final mix back from Marshall! He really blew us away. We were excited throughout the entire recording process; even the first mixes we got were fantastic! Thankfully, we haven’t had too many bad things happen to us in music other than the typical problems with venues or scheduling or ‘lost’ equipment that every musician experiences. No van crashes or soul-crushing moments. Only a few bumps in the road, but that’s to be expected I think.”

Are there any bands, of a similar nature, in your state that you would recommend to our readers to check out?
“The great and terrible thing about the internet is the plethora of music that’s available. A solid local band to check out would be Thrain: black, ambient and aggressive metal. As far as larger acts; Down is a big one (but if your readers don’t know who Down is, they’re probably living under a rock at the bottom of the Marianas Trench), Wretched, Intronaut, and my personal favourite Mouse on the Keys (a jazz trio from Tokyo) who DESTROY!!!!”

What does the rest of 2014 hold for Gloom? Do you guys have any European dates lined up?
“We have a few shows lined up for the summer and looking for good shows or fests to jump on. Other than that, the rest of 2014 is going to be dedicated to writing and recording. Of course if we get the chance to tour, we’d love to jump on it. Luckily, we have a place to crash in London and use as a base if we get any UK/European offers, so we have options if the opportunity presents itself.”

Thanks for that! Any last words?
“No problem! Thanks for listening and hope everyone gets a chance to hear the EP on June 24th! We have new merch coming in soon, so check back with us and give us a like and comment on Facebook!”


About Kez Whelan

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