Hi Conjurer, how’s it going?
Well the pollen count is high so I have an overwhelming urge to claw my own face off but, other than that, I can’t complain.
How has your 2018 been so far?
Reasonably busy, which is always good for a band. I love playing gigs and 2017 was relatively quiet for us on that front. We’d played some places to death over the previous two years [and were obviously working on the album] so it made sense to hold back a bit, but it’s good to be out more regularly again. On top of that, the response to Mire has been so far beyond what any of us expected, I can’t really describe it. We obviously love the album [otherwise we wouldn’t have let anyone release it!] but the fact that so many other people seem to ‘get’ it, and have gone out of their way to support it, is amazing to us.
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
More gigs! We’ve got an awesome festival season with Tech Fest, 2000 Trees, Bloodstock and ArcTanGent to come, and then maybe-hopefully-possibly a tour or two towards the end of the year. Who knows?
What can we expect from your set at this year’s 2000 Trees?
Good question. We tend not to plan our sets until a week-or-so before the gig … and sometimes we ‘ll wait until we’re about to go on stage. It’s far from being a deliberate thing, but planning gig-by-gig keeps everything fresh, keeps us thinking about different ways to structure the set and can give us the option of ‘reading the room’, occasionally. That being said, I’m very conscious that there will be a good number of people going to both 2000 Trees and ArcTanGent so I really want to make the two sets as different as possible, which will require some planning. I’ve also had people attending 2000 Trees ask us to play our ‘heaviest set possible’, and I’m all for giving people what they want.
I’m sure a lot of people will discover sludge/doom from hearing you this year; what records would you recommend for continuing this musical education?
Start by easing yourself in with Semente by Sinistro. It’s slow, heavy riffs, as you might expect, but it’s topped with the most elegant clean vocals [in Portuguese, if you’re interested], atmospheric keys and epic orchestration. https://projectosinistro.bandcamp.com/track/partida
If you can handle that, try Cold by our friends Ohhms. While it has a few ‘lighter’ moments, it’s more ballsy and raw in its delivery compared to the above. There’s no string-sections to soften the blow of the stonking great riffs in this one. Also, the track lengths will start to get silly from here on out. Sail On!
Now we get into the weird stuff. Anhedonia by Undersmile is over an hour of thick, hulking Doom, surrounded by eerie clean passages, with dual-vocals that switch seamlessly between discordant moans and groans, and painfully beautiful harmonies. You’re also going to get some pretty unnerving screams in this one. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s fucking brilliant.
If you want bleakness, beauty and brutality in one, admittedly rather hefty, package, look no further than The Maniacal Vale by Esoteric. They’ve been quite considerate in spreading their last few albums over multiple discs to give you an excuse to take a break halfway through, and not have to admit you just can’t handle it.
Hope Is Misery by Walk Through Fire. Gritty, in-your-face, nothing-is-ok music. The official album of Monday mornings.
Do you have any top tips for this year’s line up?
It’ll be my first time seeing 99% of this year’s line-up live [I can vouch for Palm Reader, though!] but here are all the tips that I’ve been given! Arcane Roots, Turnstile, Black Peaks, Turbowolf, Ho99o9, Gender Roles, Gallops and a special mention for Enter Shikari; a band my sister and brother-in-law will not shut-the-fuck-up about, so must be good! I haven’t listened to very much since Take to The Skies [great album] so I’ll be interested to see what they are like, now.
You have a reputation for being an incredible live band; how hard is it to embrace this in recordings?
It’s an impossible task for any band, as far as I’m concerned, because too many of the elements that make up the live-music experience can’t be pressed onto vinyl. And I mean this in the most literal, least pretentious way possible. You can’t record the physical sensation of clattering into other people in a dark, sweaty room with flashing lights. You can’t give everyone a billion-watt PA system so they can actually feel every note thudding into them. You can’t recreate the sense of community you get from being in a crowd singing along to the same lyrics and moving to the same rhythms, sharing the ‘what’s coming next?’ moments and the ‘we all know full-fucking-well what’s coming next’ moments. And most of that is out of the bands control, anyway, but it IS within our power to make the compositions as interesting as possible, to make our instruments sounds as good as possible and to perform as well as we’re able to. Fortunately, those are things that CAN be heard on record, so you just have to focus extra hard on them and constantly try to improve.
Where can we find out more and pick up some records?
You can head to:
https://www.facebook.com/conjureruk for news/updates,
https://twitter.com/conjureruk to be mugged off by Brady,
https://www.instagram.com/conjureruk/ if you’re into that sort of thing,
https://conjureruk.bandcamp.com/merch for CDs/Vinyl/DD and
https://conjureruk.bigcartel.com/ to pick up a nice t-shirt, hoodie, patch or tote bag
You can still pick up tickets here and save 10% with the promo code ThirstyandMiserable