Opium Lord Begin UK Tour Tonight In Stourbridge

By on 1 May 2015

Opium Lord

Birmingham sludge gang Opium Lord are setting off on tour tonight, beginning at 4Billion Souls in Stourbridge before heading off to Red Sun in Cardiff this weekend and Nottingham and Manchester early next week.

Formed by various members of Birmingham’s vibrant underground (who’d previously done time in bands like Mothertrucker, History Of The Hawk and Stinky Wizzleteat), the band caused quite a commotion in sludge/doom circles back in 2013 with their debut 7″ ‘The Calendrical Cycle – Prologue: The Healer’ – and their recently released debut full-length ‘Eye Of Earth’ is even better. We caught up with the band to find out what they’ve got in store for us on this tour…

What was your highlight / proudest moment of 2014?
Nathan (James Coyle, vocals): “Playing Supersonic Festival or getting played on BBC Radio 6 in a “sludge” special, both thanks to Lisa Meyer of Capsule, she’s backed us to the hilt and we have a lot to thank her and her team for. Spending a week sleeping on floors with our favourite yanks Primitive Man was amazing, so I guess to answer the question I can’t give you a single highlight.”

Luke (Fewtrell-Bowers, guitar): “The Primitive Man tour for me, getting to hear them destroy every night among other incredible bands, and as a bonus getting to hang out and booze with some wicked people.”

Simon (Blewitt, guitar): “Playing Supersonic was a pretty proud moment for me. But a big highlight was the whole Primitive Man tour.”

Neil (Bailey, guitar): “Yeah for me the Primitive Man tour, loved that record before all that got sorted so mega stoked, solid dossing.”

The reaction to your 7“ EP was great from both press and fans, but what’s your opinion on the release now that it’s been out for over a year?
Nathan: “I haven’t thought about it really, I am definitely proud of the reaction we had to a 2 track EP though and thankful to everybody who talked about it.”

Luke: “My mind’s still trying to get around how well it was received! I still love those songs and their immediacy. I think the standard we set for ourselves in them is still what I measure my writing against now, in that those songs were written from absolute gut feeling.”

Simon: “Being relatively new to the band the 7″ EP is still pretty new and fresh to me, in terms of playing it live. I think even from a listeners perspective both tracks still seem pretty fresh to ones ears.”

Neil: “I really like it and it’s a good account of what we were doing then and there but it’s only a little bit of what we do.”

What can you tell us about your recently released debut album for Candlelight, ‘Eye Of Earth’?
Nathan: “I personally think it’s a little different to what’s around at the moment, we all think out of the box in regards to our music and we take a lot of influence from non metal bands so hopefully that comes through a bit. But hey, people can make their own minds.”

Luke: “It’s weird to think of it as a new release since we recorded ages ago, and I’ve been away for 7 months and come back in that time so it’s hard to listen to it with fresh ears. Thinking back though we had definitely solidified more as a group since the EP and our style had been given time to develop. Though it’s definitely heavy I think it never draws straight up one style or another, there’s a real tapestry of influences and each musician’s own personal nuances.”

Si: “I played no part in the recording of the new album as I joined once everything was complete but it’s been real fun learning all the guitar parts to play in a live environment. There’s definitely more to it than your typical sludge / doom around at the moment.”

You’ve played with everyone from Swans to Primitive Man to Moss, but was there any one gig that stood out as being the most enjoyable for you?
Nathan: “Yeah everything from Acid Mothers Temple to Sleaford Mods to Matmos to Dragged Into Sunlight, it’s been a good year for gigs! Playing a gig in a massive church in Antwerp was really special, it’s got to be that for me!”

Luke: “We’ve been really privileged to play with so many amazing bands, it’s hard to pick one gig! Top of my mind right now is same as what Nay said, the church in Antwerp. If only for the ridiculously metal grandiose settings.”

Si: “I agree with the Church in Antwerp, Hessian were awesome. I definitely think that the Nottingham gig with Primitive Man is up there with my favourites too.”

What else does 2015 have in store for Opium Lord?
Nathan: “We’ll be playing a lot of UK and European shows on the back of the album release, plus we have been offered a North American tour so we’ll be doing that too finances permitting.”

Luke: “More shows, more party, an upgraded set of horrible riffs.”

Si: “More shows, more writing and hopefully lots of dancing to 80’s pop classics at every after party.”

Opium Lord will be playing the following UK shows:

May 1st: 4Billion Souls Festival, Scary Canary The Venue, Stourbridge, with Three Thrones, Women and Sealclubber (Facebook Event Page)
May 2nd: Red Sun Festival, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (Facebook Event Page)
May 3rd: TBA (Contact the band at opium.lord.doom@gmail.com to book this date)
May 4th: The Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham, with Three Thrones and Shrykull (Facebook Event Page)
May 9th: Roadhouse, Manchester, with Moss and Caïna (Facebook Event Page)
May 21st: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, with Circle and Hey Colossus (Facebook Event Page)

You can find Opium Lord on Facebook

About Kez Whelan

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