Corrupt Moral Altar: Pete Green Interviews Drummer Tom Dring

Scouse noise-arsonists Corrupt Moral Altar arrived both kicking and screaming with their kicky and screamy sludge-grind back in late 2012. Wielding a brand new 7″ and on the eve of the Corrupt Moral Altar’s first UK tour, The Shaman sent Pete Green in all guns blazing to discuss cheap Polish lager, Buckfast, big fans (…not those kind of fans) and the music (a bit) with drummer Tom Dring…

Corrupt Moral Altar

Hey Tom, greetings from the land of the mighty Sleeping Shaman! How are things in the CxMxA camp at the moment?

Hello! Things are tense. Sexual tense…. Less and less clothes are being worn at each practice, apart from John (Cooke, guitars) who wears more layers to compensate for this. Seriously though, things are good. We’ve just finished mastering our first album and we’re about to embark on our first UK tour this month. And we don’t hate each other, which is nice.

It’s been a busy-as-buggery 2013 for you guys, which kicked off with the release of the bollock-bursting ‘Luciferean Deathcult’ back in February. How does it feel looking back at that record now with all the great press and attention it gathered?

It feels nostalgic even talking about this release – it feels like we recorded it absolutely ages ago even though it was only released this year. I suppose all the nice things people had to say about it inspired us to remain productive and keep churning out songs. Shame it sold out so quickly, I’d like to see it rereleased on vinyl at some point.

You’ve got a new 7” EP out in the shape of ‘Whiskey Sierra’ – were those songs written around the same time as ‘Luciferean Deathcult’, or were they crafted with a different focus?

They were written and recorded before LD came out, but I suppose we were thinking about writing in a different way as we’d got used to each other’s playing styles a bit more.

I detect a slight slow-down in the grinding speed-thrash that haunted ‘LD’ in favour of some far darker, sludgier moments on the new EP. Was this an intentional shift or was it just the outcome of more beers and more time in the jam room?

Probably the latter but it all came together so quickly that we didn’t have time to think about it. We wrote the EP on a Monday and had it all recorded/mixed/mastered by the Friday. We just shat it out, so to speak.

Corrupt Moral Altar 'Whiskey Sierra' Artwork

Apart from the explicit citing of the humongous amounts of Iron Monkey worship within CxMxA, who else would you say you guys take an influence from musically? I can hear everything from extreme metal to doom in pretty much every song!

To name just a few I’d say: AC/DC, Discharge, Black Flag, My Bloody Valentine and Fugazi. We’re basically a rock/punk band but with added heaviness, fastness and slowness.

Despite having only been around since mid-2012, CxMxA has already enjoyed considerable success – you’ve already played shows with the likes of Extreme Noise Terror and Brutal Truth amongst many others. What’s the game plan moving forwards for the band? What’s in the pipeline for 2014?

Release the album and tour as much as possible to quench our endless gig lust! There’s plenty in the works so keep your eyes peeled.

You’ll shortly be hitting the road exploring territories as exotic as Northampton, Gateshead and Stoke – how’s the prep going for those shows? On a scale of 1 to Fucking Loads, how much insanity should we expect to see/hear? Anyone you’re excited to be gigging alongside?

We’re playing with Khunnt in Gateshead, they’re cracking. Expect to feel uneasy as Reese compliments everyone in the audience between songs, and experience then euphoria when he shouts ‘WOO’ in between screams.

Your tour bus/van gets double-booked for the tour and you’re forced to tour our noble isle up and down in a yellow Fiat Punto. There’s only room for the four of you, your instruments and one luxury item each. Who takes what and why?

Ha! We used to gig in a Ford Ka so there was barely enough room for the amps, although I would consistently try and fit this stupidly tall fan in for every trip, otherwise my head would get too sweaty and my glasses would fall onto my snare drum halfway through the set. So I choose my annoying fan. John would take a little black book with the names and numbers of EVERY local drug dealer (to try and convince them to straighten up and fly right, I presume?), Adam (Clarkson, bass) would take a crate of Polish lager and share it with all of us ‘cos he’s just that kind of guy, and finally Reese (Chris, vocals) would take a dog to stroke when he’s too blotto-ed to handle human conversation.

Corrupt Moral Altar

The underground scene is ripe with amazing heavy bands right now. Who else would you advise people to go check out, either online or at a show?

Let It Die (extremely loud), We Came Out Like Tigers (blackened screamo, intense) and Gets Worse (super heavy PV).

I normally ask people: “Sleep or Kyuss?”, but it doesn’t seem fitting here. Eyehategod or Napalm Death? And why?

Tough choice! I’d say Napalm Death for playing a part in getting me into fast horrible noise when I was younger. EHG are a close second for making me realise the power of the riff when I was older and wiser. If things had happened the other way around, I dread to think what disgusting monstrosity of a failure I would have become.

I know that the members of CxMxA are involved in several other bands such as HorseBastard and The Magpyes. Does this ever affect the concentration on any one of those bands? Where do the priorities lie?

We put the most time into CMA and things seem to happen a lot faster, whether it’s writing songs or getting gigs or whatever. I don’t think the concentration is affected because the musical styles are pretty different in all our other bands. Gig availability will soon change but it’s working out ok so far, Horsebastard are going away on tour straight after CMA finish these November dates.

Are you guys gear-heads at all? Is there once piece of equipment that’s essential to the CxMxA sound? (“Beer” is a perfectly valid response here…)

While beer (specifically Wojak/Debowe/Strong from the Polish shop round the corner from my studio) is essential to the writing process, I don’t think there’s one piece of equipment alone that’s essential. Half a year ago I would have said the HM2 pedal, but now John runs that through his Orange head and also runs a tubescreamer through a Matamp so they’re pretty much both essential. But whammy and delay are essential too! I should have just said beer. Or snare…

If you could have written one past stone-cold classic album yourself, what would it have been?

Type O Negative’s ‘October Rust’. I had some good times with that album. Yup.

Thanks a bunch for talking to us Tom, hugely appreciated. Do you have any final words for us?

Yes! Please bring us Buckfast at any of our gigs. Bring us enough and you might get a free shirt!

Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter

Interviewed by: Pete Green