A Horse Called War Interview

UK’s A Horse Called War have been plaguing us with their Sludge induced antics since November 2005, taking inspirations from the likes of Iron Monkey, Charger and Mistress, you immediately get a sense of the dirge this 5 piece deliver. After a successful demo from 2005 that got rave reviews from the likes of Stonerrock.com, Ninehertz and Load Of Noise zine, led them to release a CDEP in late 2007 via the excellent Calculon Records so read on to see what their guitarist Dave had to say about my mind numbing questions.

Firstly thanks Dave for doing this interview so let’s start at the beginning by giving us a brief history of the band, how you formed and your current members?

Thanks for offering me an interview. It’s the first I’ve ever done. I feel like a real rock star now, haha.

The current line up consists of Shane (vocals), Carter (guitar), Haydn (bass), Cooper (drums) and me on guitar.

Back in 2005 I was playing in a trash band with Cooper and Carter (Carter was on bass). I bumped into an old mate of mine on the way to the fish and chip shop. He was bass player and pretty big on his sludge. I’d worked with him in a previous band and it was really good fun, we always had a fucking good laugh together. I don’t know why, but I just came out and asked if he wanted to start a sludge band, he said yes. I knew some other kid (Shane) that was also playing in a thrash band and he was getting into his sludge so asked him if he’s be up for giving vocals ago, he was. Cooper was the only decent drummer I we knew at the time, so we asked him to help out and he said yes. Then our trash band folded so Carter being one of my best mates and the only other sludge fan I knew, we offered him a position on second guitar. Mikey (bass) left after a year. One of Cooper’s works mates was like ‘my brother plays bass’, we tried him out and he stuck.

For those that have yet to hear A Horse Called War, how would you describe your music and are there any genre’s you’d be happy to class yourself under?

Ah man, question two and I’m stuck all ready. That’s pretty tough. We like to mix it up abit. Fast punk/crust style passages to mid tempo, head nodding grooves to slow, nasty as fuck doom/sludge stuff. If it sounds filthy and disgusting we’re happy. I don’t really mind what people class us as but if anyone asks I just say we’re a sludge band to keep it simple.

Who would you site as major influences on your sound?

Charger and Mistress are the two big ones for me. Then there’s, Palehorse, Iron Monkey, Lazarus Blackstar, Raging Speedhorn, Murder One, My War, Matter, all the stuff from the UK that we we’re listening to at the time of forming the band.

A Horse Called War

Who writes the lyrics and are there any particular subjects or themes they cover?

Haha, I suppose you could say that Shane ‘writes’ the lyrics. To be honest I think he packed lyrics in after about song number 4. He just screams a load of shit. He says ‘nobody knows what the fuck I’m going on about anyway so I don’t need lyrics’ I think there are some real words here and there that you can pick out but most of its bollocks. But don’t get me wrong, nothings random, there’s method behind the madness. He screams the same thing each time for each song, but like I say, its nonsense.

How did you settle on the name A Horse Called War?

Every name we came up with, and that wasn’t many, was shit. I think we even had a couple of gigs lined up and no name. We did the old thing of turning to song names. It was blagged from Zakk Wyldes Pride and Glory album. I suggest it, the others like it and the rest as they say is history.

You recently released a CD EP entitled ‘A Stumble At Every Hurdle’ via the awesome Calculon Records in late 2007 so can you tell us how you hooked up with them and are you happy with the final outcome?

I remember seeing a page on the Calculon site where you could order demos or have ’em chucked in with your order. Calculon had just released the Charger/BER split and I thought that would be a good opportunity to get some new fans. I send ’em a demo, they liked, stocked it on there site and asked us to send ’em our next recording and if they liked as much as the demo they would put it out.

A Horse Called War

And what have the reviews/feedback for it been like?

I think we’ve only seen three reviews so far and they have all been ace, a lot better than I expected.

It also features a nifty promo video for the track ‘Ruined Everything’, why did you choose to include this on the release, where was it filmed and who put it together for you?

We had a mate doing media production at college and he wanted to get into filming bands and we’ve always said that we’d do a video with him. We finally got round to it.

It was filmed at the Rehearsal Rooms in Bury St Edmunds. It’s were we practice. Check out www.myspace.com/musicvidsaaron for the guy that made the video.

After it was done I just thought it would be a good idea to chuck it on the CD, it didn’t cost any more to do, so why not eh. No point in making a video if no body’s ever gonna see it, but then again we’ve just heard that it’s gonna be played on Rockworld TV (Sky channel 368) soon, which is nice.

How important is it for you to play live and what is a typical A Horse Called War gig like?

We love playing live but unfortunately we don’t do it nearly enough. Most promoters (understandable) don’t put on smaller bands form out of town and that’s our problem. We live so far form any where with a decent scene. When we do play live, we proper ‘av it. I like to think we have a lot of energy on stage. We all rock out pretty hard and have a laugh. Shane is normally running around like a smack head screaming in peoples faces.

A Horse Called War

What are your views on the whole ‘Doom’ scene both locally and throughout the rest of the UK?

Locally, there in no ‘doom’ scene and I mean it. Most people moan about they’re local scene, but seriously, they don’t know what a shit scene is. I honestly don’t know another doom/sludge band in a 60-70 mile radius. If I’m wrong please correct me because I just sound like a moaning old cunt now. As for the rest of the UK I think its ace. We have some awesome bands right now. Personally I think Lazarus Blackstar are the kings at the moment. When you think about we have some fucking wicked bands. Chager have been going forever now and they’re just the fucking tits. It’s good to see Palehorse doing another record, fuck I loved their first album. Then there’s Agent of the Mori, Slomatics, Atavist, Volition, Limbic Riot, Moss, the list is endless. The UK has produced some bigger bands too, Electric Wizard, Cathedral. And now there’s a whole load of bands doing the Cult of NeurISIS this, which I don’t mind because I love all that shit.

What does the future hold for A Horse Called War over the next 12 months, any goals or aims you want to achieve?

Sell some CDs, play a few more shows across England with some decent bands, record an album maybe.

If you could have been asked any question, what would it have been?

The above question. Oooh it’s a vicious cycle.

What’s your current playlist and what are you listening to at this exact moment?

I got Bossk’s first album the other day, I’ve been rocking that pretty hard. The new AOTM/Slomatics split has had huge amounts of play in my car stereo and more recently Earth’s Hibernaculum. I need to get the new Buried At Sea CD!!!

I’m listening to the news at the moment, waiting for my Chinese to turn up!

Thanks again for the interview Dave and please use this space for any final words, plugs…

No, no, Thank you. Thanks to Podge for having a little faith in us and spending his hard earned cash on putting us out. Cheers to the zines/etc… that have done us decent reviews. Thanks to all the people that have brought our CD (if your not one of em, go and order a copy now)!

Support the UK underground scene, fuck a trip to HMV, go surf the net for something new, spend some cash on the bands that need it!

Check out all the latest goings on with A Horse Called War at: www.myspace.com/ahorsecalledwar

Interviewed by: Lee Edwards