Astralnaut Talk To Terrorizer About Their Irish Tour

By on 7 October 2013

astralnaut

Ireland’s stoner metal champions Astralnaut are taking their groovy, riff laden anthems on the road and heading out on an Irish tour this Saturday.

The gloriously heavy quintet put out their second EP ‘In The Gaze Of Gods’ back in April of this year, honing their rich, bluesy sound to perfection and delivering another solid set of top notch jams. Having toured fairly relentlessly since the release of their debut EP ‘Back To Bog’ (including shows with the likes of Red Fang, Black Magician and Slomatics), these hardworking riffmongers show no sign of slowing down, and the chance to catch them decimating venues up and down their homeland is not to be missed!

Terrorizer caught up with the band to find out more about the band’s live show, and discovered that the Irish doom scene is in rude health right now…

Could you briefly tell us how Astralnaut formed?
Thomas Mallon (Vocals): “Some of us had actually jammed together before Astralnaut formed! Gary and I were in a band called Stoned Messiah and Pearse stepped in on drums one night back on New Years Eve 2010! That band eventually fizzled out and in late 2011 Gary asked Stephen Todd would he be interested in jamming drums with us. Then, as the saying goes, you’re waiting for a bus and two come along at once. Pearse’s band Third Harvest had ended around the same time and Pearse approached us volunteering his services. It grew from there, Pearse moved to guitar and more recently Jon Joe has joined our ranks replacing our original bass player.”

‘In The Gaze Of Gods’ is sounding great! How was the writing and recording process this time around compared to your last EP?
Thomas: “The majority of the songs from ‘In The Gaze Of The Gods’ were actually written at the same time as the ones from our last EP ‘Back To The Bog’. They’ve been in our set since we started gigging so we’ve had a lot of time to become comfortable with them. When it came to recording it was easier because we knew what the songs where all about and could play them inside out. We had gained a lot of experience recording the last EP so when it came to ‘In The Gaze Of The Gods’ we built upon the formula we had laid out the first time round. We had also built a great working relationship with Clark Phillips of Great Northern Productions. It was our second time round the block with Clark, he knew what we wanted so mixing and mastering was intuitive. We’re really proud of how it turned out.

How would you describe the Astralnaut live experience for those who have yet to witness it?
Thomas: “It’s fundamental to what we do. Our live show is a combination of a rocking energetic groove and bluesy stoner doom! Pummeling heavy riffs amid melody with thundering bass and drums underpinning everything! We have versatility with hooks that even the uninitiated can grab a hold and it wouldn’t matter if there were 5 or 500 people there. You’ll get heavy groovy rocking with gusto! That’s how we like it, that’s the key; it’s of paramount importance that we enjoy it! We play music that we love and enjoy, that transfers to our audience.”

What’s been the best show you guys have played? And similarly, what’s been the worst?
Thomas: “It’s hard to pick one show, we’ve had some awesome ones. When you get a great crowd response, an overwhelming reception and you get some free beers then you’re winning! Then if you really like the bands you’re playing with it’s a bonus! Belfast and Derry are always great for us and our recent trip to Cork was immense. Back in June we played with Red Fang which was a complete honour and definitely a major highlight so far! The worst are those gigs where technical difficulties haunt you! A recent gig in Belfast we lost 20 minutes of our set due to technical difficulties, it was hugely frustrating but once we got going it was brilliant and the crowd had nothing but support for us and really enjoyed the show once it got going. These things happen every now and again but thankfully we have more excellent shows than not so.

How’s the stoner/doom scene in Ireland at the moment? Are there any other bands we should be checking out?
Thomas: “I would describe the stoner/doom scene in Ireland as healthy and on the rise! With the internet you get a broader global view of how stoner/doom stands and it’s assumed underground but nowhere is this truer than in Ireland. Nonetheless even underground it’s swamped with music lovers who appreciate it and per capita some of the most talented bands you’ll hear! Take for example Armagh, our home county, a long way from the Palm Desert, more barren in the sense that there’s nothing to do but rich in local talent, like Nocturnal Trip are a great up and coming stoner rock band who popped up right on our door step! Belfast has a fantastic scene with stalwarts like Slomatics and War Iron. Plenty stoner licks too with the likes of Tusks. Nomadic Rituals from Belfast just released an album worth checking out, it’s punishing gritty doom! From Cork there’s our buddies FiveWillDie they trade in hammering sludgy riffs, suspenseful atmospheric lulls with awesomely demonic vocals. Then towards the west there’s Weed Priest, pure hypnotic doom and also from Galway straight up riffing stoner rockers Harvester. They are but to name a few, some of the best band’s I’ve heard recently are unsigned bands that we shared the stage with in Ireland!

What does the future have in store for Astralnaut? Thomas: We have a weeklong Irish Tour quickly approaching it starts the 12th of October and we’ll be playing shows in Portrush, Sligo, Athlone, Cork, Galway, Belfast, Dublin and Magherafelt! There’s more details on the venues etc. on our website (www.astralnaut.co.uk) or our facebook. We’ve also just released some new t-shirt designs which are available online or at one of the shows. All the fund from those will be going towards the tour and the recording of some new sounds. Sounds that you can currently only hear live so if you fancy a heavy treat try make it to one of the shows. After all that the plan is to get on with recording the new tracks and all being well we’re hoping to have a new release out early next year!

The full list of tour dates is as follows:

Oct 12 – PORTRUSH – ATLANTIC BAR (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 13 – SLIGO – TBC (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 14 – ATHLONE – SIEGE STUDIOS (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 15 – CORK – FRED ZEPPELIN’S (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 16 – GALWAY – ROISIN DUBH (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 17 – BELFAST – RADAR (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 18 – DUBLIN – VOODOO LOUNGE (Facebook Event Page)

Oct 19 – MAGHERAFELT – DRY DOCK (Facebook Event Page)

You can find Astralnaut on Facebook and Bandcamp.

About Kez Whelan

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