Heavy, Filthy, Nasty are 3 words that immediately spring to mind when hearing the Sludge inflicted Doom of the UK’s very own Moloch. With a 10″ record recently released via Shifty Records/Feast Of Tentacles, this thick piece of wax is must for any fans of Eyehategod, Noothgrush, Dystopia et al and with some interesting releases due out over the coming months, I fired some questions over to vocalist and Feast Of Tentacles founder Chris to find out more about the grimness that is Moloch.
Hey Chris, how’s tricks? Lets start the interview with an introduction to the band by giving us a brief history, your current members and what they do in Moloch?
Rob and I had played in a hardcore band together and we wanted to start a heavy band. Something crushing and nasty. So we got Craig in on bass and Rob’s brother started on drums. It didn’t work out with Rob’s brother so we asked Dan (who had never really played drums before) and that was that.
Rob – guitars
Craig – bas
Dan – drums
Chris – vocals
You use the dictionary definition for the word ‘Moloch’ on your Myspazz page, but why did you chose this name for the band and do you think it fits your music?
It’s a reference to the Man Is The Bastard song (which is a Ginsberg poem), the sacrificial idol in the film Metropolis, one of the key rebel angels in Paradise Lost, from the Roman/Greek/Canaanite myths, or from Watchmen, take your pick… There seems to be a plethora of European black metal bands with this name. Ultimately I think it fits our sound – it’s pretty gnarly.
What releases do you have available to date and where can people get hold of copies?
Currently we have a 10″ only – released by Feast Of tentacles and Shifty – a CD version is be released by Choking Hazard Records (Canada) sometime soon.
People can order directly from me at firstname.lastname@example.org and from Shifty (email@example.com) – Blindate Recs, Streaks Recs, and Vendetta Recs (all in Germany) have a bunch as do Calculon, Superfi, Opiate in the UK.
Your demo is also sold out but are there any plans to make this available as a free download for those that missed out first time around?
Well the demo songs were initially going to be on a split LP with Canadian band Seized (on Choking Hazard Recs) but they split. Choking Hazard was into our demo songs and wanted to put them on another release so they will be appearing on the ‘Sludge Stranglers’ Comp 2CD along with Fistula amongst others. Rob had put it up somewhere to download just after it had sold out as there were quite a few people wanted it. As the tracks are being released – hopefully people will buy the CD when it’s out. Not just for our tracks but for the other bands that are going to be on the comp too.
Obvious influences jump out when you first hear Moloch, but how would you describe your sound and who would you say has inspired you over the years?
Primal hate fuelled sludge – we draw everything from the negative. We don’t want to be one of these heavy bands that have all the elements but lack bile.
Musically we are inspired by the obvious – EHG, Sabbath, Iron Monkey but lesser known bands – Molehill, Noothgrush and hardcore bands Unruh, Gehenna, Wellington, Dystopia.
And what about outside of music, are there any personal, social or political views and/or opinions that helped shape Moloch as a band?
We all have different views but we don’t really discuss them within the context of the band – we just want to channel any negativity whether it be from personal experience, social and political frustrations into the music. We are not an overly political band.
This brings me onto your lyrics, who writes them, what subjects to they tackle and are they important to the overall Moloch sound?
I write the lyrics – again they focus on bad shit. They tackle some personal stuff and tend to solely concentrate on the negative aspects of humans. Some are inspired by movies (Black Water – inspired by Rosemary’s Baby), books (Who Is This Who Is Coming – Whistle and I’ll Come To You – Mr James) – but often the lyrics are pretty ambiguous. Make of them what you will. As long as they convey the intensity and negativity of the music and vibe we are trying to create, that’s the main thing.
Most of the imagery you use seems to depict the dead in some way, shape or form, but can you elaborate as to why Moloch has a morbid fascination with death?
I think the whole visual style suits us well – it fits the music. We listen to a lot of classic Powerviolence and I love all the old sleeves e.g. – Rorschach/Neanderthal, Crossed Out, MITB etc – it adds to the overall feel, vibe and sound of these bands. It coveys the starkness, brutality and violence of the music which is something we wanted to achieve.
And will you continue to use similar imagery for future artwork?
Possibly – we want to keep it bleak. It would be cool to have an underlying theme through all our records. But we don’t want to limit ourselves to it either. Bryan from Thou is going to be doing the art for our split 12″ with Thou. So we are just throwing ideas around for that at the moment.
Let’s delve into your sound, for the techies reading this, can you give us a run down on the equipment you use?
Craig (bass) – All black American Fender Jazz, 450 watt Peavy Bass Head, Sanzamp pre-amp, Boss Bass overdrive, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Ampeg 8×10.
Rob (guitar) – Ibanez, Big Muff, Laney 300w valve head.
Dan (drums) – Cheap kit. Nothing fancy – mostly borrowed.
How did you become involved with Shifty Records who co-released your 10” with your own label Feast Of Tentacles?
I got a message from Gary saying that he liked my label and wanted to trade etc. We got talking and decided to collaborate on a couple of records. I sent Gary a Moloch track and he was down with doing the Moloch record (being my next release) and also another one – but I am keeping that under wraps until it’s out. Simple really. Shifty is an incredible label and the benchmark for sludge as far as I’m concerned… We are totally overwhelmed to be involved with them.
And what has the feedback/response been like to this slab of vinyl? Any idea how many have sold?
Feedback has been really good so far. We’ve done lots of trades and more bands and labels have approached us about doing splits and records. I’ve sent a few off for review – so we’re waiting for them to roll in.
How often to you get to play live and have you found it easy or difficult to get gigs?
With most of us being from a hardcore background and being heavily involved in the DIY scene – its been OK getting gigs. They tend to be limited to gigs within the DIY HC community. Which is cool. We didn’t really get offered any doom/sludge gigs at first. Probably because we were more involved in the HC scene and didn’t have many contacts. But now we’re being offered more heavy sludge/doom gigs – we’re playing a Ninehertz gig in October and we we’re supposed to be playing the Ashes to Ashes festival in Holland with My Dying Bride, Warning, Switchblade, Amen Ra and others but the promoter turned out to be a flake and cancelled 90% of the bands without telling them. We’ve been told bad stories about the guy. Apparently he’s quite notorious for ripping people off. Moss got stung by him in the past amongst others.
You’ve also got a couple interesting releases in pipeline so can you tell us a little bit more about these, who’s releasing them, when they’ll be available and what people can expect from Moloch on these latest recordings?
First up we will be doing a split 12″ / LP record with Thou on Feast of Tentacles. We got talking to Thou just after they released their first record – ‘Tyrant’ which is an awesome record. FOT is releasing their 10″ and Moloch should be touring the UK with them next summer. So we decided to do a split record ready for tour. Bryan’s doing the artwork. He did the designs for all the Thou records and they all look incredible.
Like I’ve already mentioned Choking Hazard Records (Canada) are releasing a CD version of the 10″ (which should be out by September) and are releasing our demo tracks on The Sludge Stranglers Comp, which will be a double CD with some great sludge bands. Fistula, Stasis, Wretch (who are a great heavy band from Ireland), Black Market Ministry, Dead Existence, Ghost Empire, and one more TBC (possible Noosebomb). They are also doing a Doom one (with Atavist, Ghast, Highgate, Welter In Yhy Blood, Austrasian Goat, Whorehouse Massacre) and a grind one. The artworks will be about choking scenes from horror movies of 1930-1940. That should be out early 2009.
We have been approached by Vendetta records in Germany about releasing a record with them. I traded with Steffen and he loved the 10″ so wanted to do something. It should be a 12″/LP but we’ve got to write songs for it and will probably be scheduled for 2009. It’s an awesome label with some great bands on (Black Shape of Nexus, Morser, Corrupted, Salome, Monarch, Mary Bell etc) and we are stoked to be working with them.
We’ve also been approached about doing splits with a few bands but we’ll see what happens with them. Our priority is do get the Thou split done first.
And what about the current ‘scene’, its certainly healthy at the moment with a plethora of bands, gigs/tours and of course labels, promoters & zines willing to support & push bands, but what are you thoughts/experiences on the whole ‘Doom’ scene both in the UK and Internationally over the last few years?
The Doom scene seems to be growing and getting popular. We come from mainly a HC background and have become more involved with the doom scene over the last couple of years. Gig bills are becoming more mixed with both HC, doom, sludge, grind bands playing together, doing split releases etc. MySpace and the net seem to play a huge part. It’s positive and it’s good for me. I don’t think my label would sell half the records I release without it. I’ve been in bands and doing a label for a few years and have been going to shows for 8 years. People shouldn’t rely on MySpace and the net though – get involved, put on gigs, buy peoples music/releases don’t just download crap quality mp3s from MySpace, and build the scene that way. Don’t rely on forums and MySpace to get your band tours and records. We are a DIY band – so do it yourself.
UK bands that I’m digging at the moment are Gruel, Volition, Rot In Hell (Brutal HC), Mob Rules (pounding Powerviolence HC), Limbic Riot amongst others.
A quick question about your label Feast Of Tentacles, can you talk us through your involvement with them, what you’ve released so far, how people can purchase items & lastly get hold of your current distro list?
I had released records by Braindead (Rob’s Powerviolence band) and Army of Flying Robots (Craig’s band) so it was a natural thing for me to release Moloch. All the bands I have released have been friends – it makes it more personal and involves you even more. I want to support people I know and believe in and that’s what spurned FOT. I have run out of friends so I have had to start working with bands from further a field. Haha.
Here the releases:
OCT1 – AOFR/Kamikazee 7″ (art done by John Baizley of Baroness)
OCT2 – Kamikazee/Battletorn – thrash war tour cassette
OCT3 – Braindead – Priest Killer 7″
OCT4 – AOFR – Life is Cheap LP
OCT5 – Braindead/Rot in Hell 7″
OCT6 – Thou – Malfeasance/Retribution 10″ (Not out yet, still waiting for the artwork to arrive from USA)
OCT7 – Moloch – S/T 10″
Thou/Moloch split LP
Rot in Hell/The Process 7″
Braindead/Mob Rules 7″
Braindead LP (TBC)
My distro list is up on my MySpace blog or people can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will mail it to them.
Thanks Chris for the interview and please use this space for any final words…
Cheers for the interview. We’re looking to play more shows (people hook us up) and release more records.
We’ll be touring the UK with Thou summer 2009. Hopefully we’ll go to Ireland sometime soon and then Europe (maybe even USA).
Feel the hate.
More info on Moloch at: www.myspace.com/molochscum
Interviewed by: Lee Edwards
Photo Credit: Harry – www.myspace.com/subliminal_uk