In a world first, we gathered three of 2018's most exciting bands together in the name of journalism. Boss Keloid, Conjurer and Møl (all, coincidentally, on Holy Roar Records) posed questions at each other in a three-way dance of underground metal investigation – like David Dimbleby hosting Question Time in the back room of a pub.
Here we have Brady Deeprose from Conjurer, Nicolai Busse Hansen from Møl and all of Boss Keloid firing questions at each other about music, artwork, piglets, shoegaze and being wrongly compared to Amon Amarth.
Let's get stuck in!
Questions For Boss Keloid
Møl ask: Your sound seems like a mixture of many different bands – different genres intertwining, pulling and taking from each other, and then becoming Boss Keloid. Which three bands would you describe as being the most influential to your music and why?
“We all have a wide range of musical influences from around the world. We are evolving as people and musicians, and our musical influences evolve with each album. What’s important to us is having the creative freedom to channel as many of our influences into the crafting process, while maintaining a strong sense of cohesion, groove and melody.”
Conjurer ask: Your stylistic shift on Melted On The Inch seems massive – certainly from what I was expecting. How early on did you plan to bring keys onboard and explore this more traditional 'prog' direction?
"We agreed on the idea of bringing in keys soon after we recorded Herb Your Enthusiasm. We wanted to introduce new layers and a greater scope for dynamics. There was no premeditation about wanting to explore a specific musical direction, it always happens organically. Matt joined us on keys halfway through the writing process for Melted On The Inch and fitted in perfectly as a person and a musician. The keys and synth have certainly enriched our sound and opened us up to a new realm of discovery."
Møl ask: The artwork for your new album Melted On The Inch is absolutely stunning! Who did the artwork this album? And is there any connection between the artwork and the music/lyrics of the album?
“Thank you very much. Paul, our guitar player, produced the artwork. It represents creation, progress and freedom. It is enigmatic and psychedelic. For us it certainly has a strong connection to the lyrical themes and vibe of the album. The album is an enigmatic journey.”
Conjurer ask: How has Alex taken to playing guitar while singing/yelling?
“Alex has played guitar while singing all his life, especially in his other band The Hicks. It was a no brainer for us and in addition to the keys – it has enriched our sound. Alex is a natural and his soulful and bluesy guitar playing is amazing. It compliments Paul’s guitar melodies and style really well.”
Møl ask: As musicians we play a lot of shows. What are your most memorable – for good or worse?
“Bloodstock 2016 was a particularly special show for us; playing in front a huge crowd who didn’t necessarily know who we were but really appreciated our performance. The tour of France was great too with Bongzilla, John Garcia and Chubby Thunderous. Great people, hospitality and great vibes.”
Conjurer ask: I heard your drummer recently broke his hand. Firstly, what an idiot. Secondly, how?
“He broke it rescuing a piglet down a grid on his farm. I think calling him an idiot for attempting to save a creature’s life is a little harsh.”
Questions For Møl
Boss Keloid ask: Where did the name come from?
“When coming up with a name, Ken and Nicolai wanted something simple, something Danish, and something that would in one way or another encapsulate the sound we had in mind. We wanted something that could be both interpreted as dreamy or beautiful as well as ugly. We thought that Møl – or moth – was a good candidate.”
Conjurer ask: As 'the new Deafheaven', do you consider yourselves hipsters?
“If only we could consider ourselves that. None of us are particularly handsome except for Nicolai – he’s most handsome. Also, none of us are remotely able to grow a proper hipster beard. So we’re kinda fucked. Guess we’ll have to settle for ‘posers’.”
Boss Keloid ask: What’s in your car CD player at the minute?
“None of us can afford a car, which sucks. Recently Nicolai has been listening to a lot of And So I Watch You From A Far as well as Swirlies’ Blonder Tongue Audio Baton. Kim has been power-spinning the album Sex & Food from Unknown Mortal Orchestra and a new album called Vaitojimas from a lithuanian blackened hardcore act by the name of Erdve. Frederik has been listening to Saor’s Guardians album and the Jesu/Sun Kil Moon collab-album from 2016.”
Conjurer ask: Alex from Holy Roar recently told me that Jord is the best thing he's heard in the last decade. Did you anticipate reactions like that?
“Definitely not! The reception to Jord has really been incredible and much better than we could’ve dared to hope for. Going into the studio you don’t really have a concept of the quality of what you’re bringing with you. So it’s been pretty overwhelming for us.”
Boss Keloid ask: Do you ever get compared to other bands that you feel you sound nothing like? If so, who are they?
“Someone compared us to Amon Amarth in an online forum. That made Nicolai very angry and very confused.”
Conjurer ask: What got you into this so-called blackgaze style? Is it something you've experimented with in previous bands and did you all come together with a singular vision? Basically: how did Møl end up sounding like Møl?
“Ken and Nicolai played in a shoegaze band previously that never really gained momentum. After the band disbanded, they wanted to continue creating shoegaze music together, although with emphasis on the more hard hitting aspects of the genre. This was back in 2011 and around that time Alcest had just released a couple of records that were getting attention in the shoegaze community. They really bridged the gap between metal and shoegaze for us and kind of inspired us to go forward in that direction. In that sense we personally owe much more to Alcest for inspiring us than we do Deafheaven.”
Questions For Conjurer
Møl ask: Many bands, ourselves included, struggle with the implications and connotations of putting 'post' in front our genre description. You describe yourselves as 'post-sludge' but what does the 'post' part of your genre description mean to you?
“This is one of those weird genre tags that can be used in a lot of ways. When we were trying to find an appropriate tag for what we do, we wanted to find something that made it clear we were slaves to the riff, but that we also were trying to push what could be done with that kind of music. Personally, I think of 'post-' in two minds; the first being the traditional genre, i.e., long songs with minimalist influence – think Cult Of Luna or Amenra. The second is the way I think we interpret it – ‘post' implies something after, a natural progression in a sound. We are trying to take all the elements of the music we love and meld them into something new and exciting.”
Boss Keloid ask: Where did you record Mire and how long did it take to track it all?
“We recorded with Lewis Johns at his studio in Southampton, The Ranch Production House. We were in for two weeks but Dan lost his voice and so had to go back for another day to finish his vocals. It was a really cool experience and the longest we'd actually spent in one place together as a band before. Lewis definitely got the best out of us and we had a jolly good time.”
Møl ask: Your sludge elements are as clear as day. Some would also argue, and probably have argued, that you have some black metal influence in your sound as well. Do you feel any connection to the traditionalist 'true cult' scene or is the black metal influence just a part of your artistic expression?
“Haha, no. I find the majority of that stuff really silly. I understand the importance of true black metal on extreme music and it's really interesting to see how people like Ihsahn have progressed into something else after being entrenched in that scene – it's just of no interest to us artistically. We shy away from theatrics and anything outside of the actual music is, for us, irrelevant.”
Boss Keloid ask: When you play live, you guys really look like you let loose and let a lot of anger out. Off stage you seem very placid. Are you angry young men deep down?
"We are so meek it's actually a little embarrassing. I think what we show live is that raw power and energy you feel when you listen to something heavy. For me, when I hear a disgusting riff or particularly rude beatdown, there’s just something in me that wants to punch things. That internal aggression is 100% what I put into our performances, and it's a great chance to get out all the shit that you keep bundled up 24/7. There have been countless times that we've all been in a pretty shit mood before a show and come off stage laughing – music is genuinely incredible."
Boss Keloid ask: If you could tour with any band under the sun who would be your first choice?
“Gojira. What that band has done for death metal, and my own personal musical progression, is more than I can put into words. And I think that their crowd, certainly pre-Magma, would be the perfect crowd for us to play to.”