Here’s my newest interview with Nath from OPIUM LORD / HISTORY OF THE HAWK, discussing his new band called EMPIRES OF LIGHT! Premiered over at Terrorizer, their debut EP “Apricity” (available via Thirty Days Of Night Records) delivers well measured and atmospheric blend of post metal, black metal, drone and sludge. It takes us for an interesting trip with its meditative, moody and dreamy passages, peppered with some dark and heavy diabolical parts. Check it out below and scroll down to see me embarrassing the crap out of myself after confusing the American Birmingham with the English one, the UK Birmigham with The Black Country area, and metal band interview with a political discussion :)
Ho ho ho, we meet again, Nath! What good wind brings you here?! Would it be… a new band of yours? :)
Ay up mate, yep new band, I think the people in my friend circle are in so many bands we don’t know our heads from our arse’s!
Alright bro, so now you’re literally obliged to shoot us a brief introduction to those bands. Let’s wrap it up and enlist your and your buds’ ex and current musical projects, shall we?
A lot of my friends play in bands so we’ll be here all day if I list them, let’s just say Stourbridge has a healthy scene right now.
So we’re not talkin’ Birmingham here? I though you’re based in the Pittsburgh of the South!
Nope, UK mate, well a place called The Black Country, it’s next to Brum.
I assume the US Birmingham would have been named after it anyway right?
Oh shit, you’re right. What a shame. I must have missed that geography lesson in school. Anyway, you’re bloody right and I have no idea what got into me. The Black Country name fits pretty damn well to your new project, doesn’t it? What pushed you towards such atmospheric and sludgy atmosphere this time?
Haha Dudley, born n’ bred me!
I think sludge gets stamped to us by default with the screaming kind of vocals really, we all aimed to do something a little different, maybe a more of a post rock direction but I guess influences are going to shine through no matter what we do.
I was saying to our drummer Gaz today that I think this will may divide people’s opinion who listen to post rock/metal.
Does EMPIRES OF LIGHT affect your other bands somehow?
Well I’m only in OPIUM LORD so not really, same with the other’s I guess, we do it as and when, we will be doing a tour to support the EP though and we are already writing an album, we’ve only been a band since January so it’s all happened pretty fast.
Yeah man. Fast and devilish. I though you guys paint your faces! Aren’t you tempted to go more into black metal aesthetics?
In OPIUM LORD or EMPIRES OF LIGHT? I guess I do vocally in both bands, it’s just way more subtle in EOL. But no, not into wearing corpse paint, I need no further help to look like a dick haha!
I meant the new band, Nath, definitely. The warmth of the sun in winter… An interesting take, I’d say. Can you tell me more about this concept for your debut EP?
Yeah the EP title came after we wrote and recorded it, the EP is about how humans, through the ages, have shed their believes or way of life when a more advanced or aggressive way of life has influenced their community, bar Dalmatia which concentrates on manmade beauty, I really love architecture!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing high brow about it, it’s just what inspired me at the time. Apricity is a dead English word which is apt for the lyrical content, but there’s there is also a sincerity too it, I really like that word.
Is this content centered around the concept of light? Why do you think light is such an important symbol in music and post rock / post metal particularly?
We got the name from a book about the electronical current war between Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse. I guess it’s more centered around people’s will to change everything around them, nothing will ever be good enough for society as a whole, just my personal view anyway.
What would YOU like to change around you? What are your greatest interests outside of music and art and what makes life most meaningful to you?
Haha bloody hell mate, that’s a big one!
Exactly, doing my best to make you produce longer answers, haha!
Well I work in the political field sort of and I always find it can start a lot of arguments when discussing it, I have my own believes but I try to keep them to myself!
I’m pretty passionate about social change/mobility, community and such, maybe one day I can annex The Black Country and declare it a socialist state! Ha!
Why would you want to be a socialist these days when it seems that capitalism has triumphed around the world?
You’re being very naughty here Karol! Socialism to me, means being mindful of the wider community, I’m happy to support people who aren’t doing as well as myself and I’ll happily pay for people who need support. It may mean different things to different people and I appreciate and accept other people’s views, it’s a democracy after all!
You need capitalism to be a progressive nation, it’s stopping people abusing it is the problem!
Yup. Capitalism has been in crisis for several years now. And you know what? It’s a very interesting subject, especially here in Poland, considering our history. Nevermind the old times, what do you think the appropriate socialist response to the recent economic and financial crisis should have been?
There has been a democratic response, especially here in the UK, Bank leaders have been made a accountable and tighter sanctions have been set on them, well if you call a pay off being made accountable, but there isn’t much the little people like us can do apart from talk with your vote. Fact of the matter is governments depend on banks, they build nations around them and one of their main objectives is to protect them, just make sure you put the right people in power, whoever you believe that may be, don’t just vote on ethos, read the facts.
What are some of the best sources for the facts in modern media? I mean, it’s really hard to find an objective news source, isn’t it? News media rule our judgement, no doubt about it.
Haha just don’t ever read the Daily Mail! This getting very high brow mate, you should turn your hand to political journalism!
Wooow, I got really distracted by this super cool website, haha! But you’re right, let’s drop it. We shall continue the political dispute in the pages of a political magazine ;) However, punk IS political, you simply can’t argue with that.
Back to you latest work, I have this theory that you started E.O.F. to get closer to the answer for the question where is the divide between the elegant beauty and the fiercely violent. Were you really tempted to bring in more post rockish riffs to contrast with the heavier parts?
Well their the talent, it’s up to them really, I just stick vocals over it. There’s a nice contrast there though, Si is also in a band called SEALCLUBBER so he’s quite used to delivering crushing riffs, I think all the post rock parts are new to him though!
You’ve already played your debut gig, right? How was it?
Great yeah, we wasn’t supposed to play at first. Me and Bruce (OPIUM LORD drummer) run a little label and put gigs on under the name Carnage Club, it was the SHTFSTR release show we was putting on (and out), the band that we initially asked couldn’t do it so we stepped in.
It was worth it just to hear Mitch of SHTFSTR sing “nudism leads to swinging, swinging leads to divorce, laying outside in the dead of the night, sucking on the dick of a horse” inspirational lyrics I’m sure you’ll agree!
Wow dude! You got me crying inside ;) So when do you plan on hitting the road the road and preaching these sweet messages to the nation?
Yeah totally, the EP is coming out June 9th so we’ll head out for a short UK tour after that, looking at July. But yeah, we’ll be playing as much taking in our work and other band calendar allows us.
Any plans to hit the mainland?
Absolutely, probably not this year though, but you never know! Are you offering to sort a tour of Poland for us?
Definitely! We’ll exchange contacts, for sure! How about a full length? Do you have plans to release one sometime soon?
We are still writing, we haven’t stopped, we will get an album out at some point, maybe even a split before that too!
Okay mate. I guess that’s about it. Before you go back to writing and plotting the takeover of the world, tell me what’s up in your local scene. Are there any new artists, venues, labels or other undertakings you think deserve more credit?
Nice one, cheers for the interview my man! There’s some good stuff happening in Stourbridge, Carnage Club regularly put shows on in Katie Fitzgerald’s which has a cool cellar venue, warehouse type parties at The Temple of Boom and there’s a new venue opening from the guys who run Scary Canary, I’ve had a quick look around and it’s going to be awesome! There’s a load of people with their head up their arse in Stourbridge, moan about not having a scene but never bother to head out to a show!
There’s loads of bands around at the moment, we would be all day if I list them all!
Thanks a lot! Take care! Till next time!
Band photo by Richard PJ Lambert.