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Lord Dying Speak To Terrorizer About New Album ‘Poisoned Altars’
After playing Scion Rock Fest in May, sludge quartet Lord Dying are currently gearing up for a US tour with Corrosion Of Conformity and Brant Bjork, so we sent Joy Shannon to catch up with the band and discover that they’re already hard at work on their second album, ‘Posioned Altars’…
Lord Dying, Portland, Oregon’s sludge metal quartet, will be following up their 2013 full-length Relapse debut ‘Summon The Faithless’ with an album called ‘Poisoned Altars’ due out this Autumn. The band was in the studio recording the new album this past May with their new drummer Rob Shaffer, of Monarch, Dark Castle and YOB. Terrorizer sat down to lunch with the band – Eric Olson (guitar, vocals), Don Capuano (bass), Rob Shaffer (drums), and Chris Evans (Guitar) – to ask about touring, the recording process and the inspiration behind the new album. We also were privileged to catch the very first live show featuring the band’s new drummer, which was heavy, solid and passionate. If the show we caught was foreshadowing the future, the band has an exciting, doom riff-filled touring future ahead of them in support of this next album.
Naturally, over lunch, we began our conversation talking about beer and food. The band explained how they were a featured band in a heavy metal beer festival, for which they brewed their own beer…
Don: “(The brewers) came up with the recipe and looked over our shoulders while we went ahead and did it. It was awesome. It was a Cascadian Dark IPA. It tasted really good. I think of all the beers at the festival ours was the best.”
Chris: “Ours sold out really fast.”
Don: “There is a brewery in Denver called Trve Brewery that is all about heavy metal bands. They name all their beers after heavy metal bands and every time we go to Denver, they are always like “come on down and hang out with us.” They always get us pretty buzzed.”
Have you gone to the metal burger place in Chicago?
Don: “Kuma’s! We haven’t. It’s always been so packed. But one of these days.”
Rob: “It’s good! They named some sliders after Dark Castle. Instead of White Castle, they are called Dark Castle sliders. So any time we go there, they are like, here’s a table.”
Don: “Last time we were in Los Angeles we went to a place called Grill ‘Em All which was kind of the same.”
Chris: “They have a truck right outside (points to the food truck).”
Don: “Oh! I did not see that. It’s burgers all named after metal bands and metal singers.”
Chris: “It’s such a good idea…”
Where are you currently at as a band?
Chris: “Today’s [Rob Shaffer's] first show with us.”
How long have you been with the band?
Rob: “Three weeks.”
You recorded the new album that fast?
Don: “He came in and learned everything and we just went and did it. He had to learn all the old stuff too so we could play the show today.”
Rob: “That’s why I am carrying around an iPod so I can listen to it a bunch.”
What’s your schedule been like lately?
Don: “We were out touring for three months with our old drummer. We did a couple of European tours with Red Fang and the Shrine and in between those we did a US tour on our own. After that we came back, Rob joined the band, we recorded an album and we’re doing this show (Scion Rock Fest).”
Rob: “I think the idea is to sort of take a break and do some key shows and wait until the album comes out to do major touring.”
Have you done the European summer festivals?
Don: “We haven’t. The Red Fang tour that we just did was our first time over there. We’re hoping to do it next year.”
How was your European tour?
Don: “It was awesome. First of all, it was awesome touring with Red Fang and The Shrine. Most of the shows were big and sold out. Red Fang does really well over there, so it was a great way to be introduced to Europe. We got to see a lot of countries that none of us had ever been to before. I personally enjoyed Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. The UK was awesome. The crowds in the UK and Germany were really rad. Those were all my favourites. I had never been to Greece before and those shows were a lot of fun. Red Fang has been supportive of us and other Portland bands and spread the wealth, like our big brothers looking out for us.”
How is the progress on the new album going?
Don: “We just spent two weeks recording with Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust. It’s in the mixing process right now. We put in a lot of hours and hopefully that will show. We can’t wait to start playing it live.”
Is there a concept behind the album?
Eric: “It’s going to be called ‘Poisoned Altars’ and it’s basically about dealing with pain and sorrow. It’s really anti-organized religion.
All organized religions or specifically Christianity?
Eric: “Mostly Christianity but all organized religion.”
Do you have direct experience that you are drawing from?
Eric: “Yeah. Chris and I grew up in Salt Lake City, and we’re not Mormon and it was pretty shitty living there. It’s always been something that bothered me, growing up in Utah and it’s always found a way into our music. The album doesn’t necessarily have a set theme – it’s kind of like the last one in that sense. Just there’s always that [theme of anti-organized religion] looming over it. It also deals with a lot of personal stuff.
Are you coming at it from it from an atheist point of view?
Eric: “Oh yeah, definitely.”
Do you have any sort of spiritual beliefs?
Eric: “No. I’m definitely an atheist. I have more of a science background… no religion… no spirituality.”
The name of your band suddenly makes sense! I didn’t even think about it before!
How do you write your music together?
Eric: “Generally the songs get written around the riffs first and then the lyrics come afterwards. All the songs on the new album were written that way. Some of the lyrics were written in the studio as we were recording (laughs).”
When you are writing, how does the collaboration work with the band?
Chris: “Pretty much me and Eric play the guitar to come up with songs and then we show it to Don.”
Eric: “I think Rob also wants to be more involved in the writing process now.”
Rob: “I’m a guitar player first so my brain thinks like that.”
When is the album coming out?
Eric: “It’s looking like an October release. The artwork’s finished and all the pieces are coming together.”
I know for the last album you were excited about the album art. Is it the same artist for this album?
Don: “Yeah, Orion Landau. He’s done a lot of awesome record covers for Relapse bands. We were fortunate enough that he was wanting to do ours. The last one came out really good.”
Are there any similarities in style?
Eric: “It’s a lot darker than the first one.”
Chris: “But it’s definitely in the same vein.”
Words & Pics: Joy Shannon
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