CVLT Nation Interviews DOOM | By SeanFitz | April 7, 2014 | DOOM headlines TEMPLES Fest May 2nd to 4th, 2014.
A bit of a Rolling Stones type of question, but why do you think Doom has had such staying power? Where does inspiration come from these days?
SCOOT – Doom inspired me in 1988 before I ever knew I would be playing with them or touring/traveling meeting people. I think Doom has something sincere and it shows especially with the music/noise that is made and the conviction of the lyrics! Not all of us were lucky enough to know bands like Discard/Asocial/Disarm/Crude SS etc back in the mid to late 80s, so when I heard Doom for the first time, it was something different from all the other “fast” bands, and opened the door to many ethical and musical paths.
BRI – Not sure. Maybe because it’s always been a part of us – even when we were in hiatus or when I wasn’t in the band, it still meant something to me. We’ve always tried to keep Doom DIY and not to let it get watered down. The inspiration now is the same as when I started the band. It is my way of expressing my anger at how the world is. A way to make noise & speak out and to hopefully inspire others to do the same.
Do you think that, lyrically, songs bother people as much as they used to, or make them question things in the same way? Is it a very conscious thing for you when writing a song that they be political or sociological statements? Do you still have the same convictions as you did with the earlier lyrics?
SCOOT – I think there are a core of people who care about the lyrics and music, and then some who only care about the one or the other. It frustrates me if people don’t read/understand what we shout about, as the lyrics are important and we are saying “open your fucking eyes and see what is happening around you, happening TO YOU – start to give a damn”!
BRI – Lyrics are important. It was, and still is, a conscious decision to make our lyrics simple and to the point, whether they are political or sociological. My lyrics are usually a statement/comment on things that piss me off, things that need exposing/challenging. Whether people are bothered or not is something we can’t control, but the feedback I’ve got from all over the world over the years reveals the answer to be ‘yes’. Lyrics/punk changed my life and the way I think, and I hope our lyrics still have that effect. I might think slightly differently now than when I did in my teens, but in general the same things piss me off. The older I get the angrier I get.
On the new album, you have a song ‘Con Dem Nation’ about voting. An age old question, but do you think voting changes anything?
SCOOT – Not from what I can see, and I don’t have a smart answer, but again, is it the lesser of two evils or merely swapping shit for shite? I think this con-dem government just shows you how we are stuck, and no matter who you vote for, they are gonna shaft us! Very depressing really.
BRI – No. The only political parties that get voted in are the ones that tread the middle ground and those who protect the ruling classes and the business elite. This is not democracy, it is merely a charade to make people think they have a say and that they are in control of their lives. In reality, it is a capitalist plutonomy, where the only winners are the rich ruling classes. Of course some parties are worse than others, but there is not really any difference.
Do you think being involved with a band like Doom and the underground diy punk scene has changed your life in many ways?
SCOOT – Yes! It showed me there was a scene out there – actually I prefer the word “community” – and that there still IS, no matter how jaded some people can be about it at times! There are people putting on gigs, releasing their own stuff, making zines, holding groups etc. – it isn’t always easy, but it’s there!
BRI – Yes. It has empowered me. It has taught me that things are possible when you take greed, profit and the “music business” out of the equation. This is our music/scene, not some faceless business opportunity to be exploited.
Is it harder to keep down a job when your off gigging and sleeping on floors around Europe at every turn about? What have been the best experiences as a band?
SCOOT – Yeah, it’s mental trying fit work shifts around my job but we make it work somehow. Sleeping on floors nowadays though? Come on, we are too old, it’s 2014 – surely a mattress or sofa isn’t too much to ask?? :) Best experiences? I’ve spent 6 yrs in Doom so far, and for me recording, hail to Sweden – writing and recording the new LP were some faves. Live, something seems to click these days when we are on form and I find it very satisfying. Denis gives the gigs a lot of energy, Stick and Bri obviously still have that knack of pummeling everything in sight too. Recently, Doom raised money via Bandcamp, reissuing the Police Bastard 7″ for a person wrongly imprisoned in Columbia. He was at death’s door, now he is “released” under house arrest, but at least out of the ghetto prison he was in – check the story out here…
BRI – I work part-time at a college, term time only, so I have to fit tours around school holidays. Quite difficult, but they are quite flexible if I want to take some extra days off/swap them around. I cannot sleep on floors anymore, too old. It’s not like we ask for warm towels and blue m&m’s, but a mattress or something soft to sleep on is a must. Like Scoot said, the help we were able to offer Luis in Columbia was pretty awesome, and receiving messages from all the world from people thanking us for inspiring them to form bands etc. always makes me feel good.
You’ve played some big festivals in this last while, but all very independent ones. Do you think diy punk ethos has spread into the more mainstream/underground music scenes? What do you think this ethic has had the most impact on?
SCOOT – Yeah, I think it has, some others might disagree with me but the internet has opened many pathways – should punk be just for the punks? We have met many people that got into the diy scene through hearing us or like-minded bands and this is what it’s all about. I have no problem doing a big fest anymore, as we know where our heart lies and I’d rather Doom play than some cock rock-minded band or someone singing about wizards and elves! :D Doom still play more diy gigs, we try do what we can, when we can!
BRI – Maybe it has, but I think the internet/technology has actually done a lot to make people/bands realize that you can record yourselves and distribute your music far and wide without someone exploiting you for money. I think it’s good that we get the opportunity to play big festivals, we’re lucky in that respect that we now get asked to. Otherwise it can feel a bit like you’re preaching to the converted a lot of the time. It’s good to be able to turn people onto underground music that they would normally never hear.
I see Denis’ vocals were recorded in Sweden – is it hard to write new songs and record with him living there? Could you tell us about who else appears on the new album?
BRI – Yes, it was quite difficult, but that was mainly down to bad communication. I ended up having to go to Sweden and oversee some of his recording in the end, as his first session wasn’t quite right. The actual technical side of things is pretty straightforward, but it was quite a stressful time for me. I always find it quite hard recording my own bands, it’s sometimes difficult to judge when you’re actually part of the songwriting process. The writer and performer on “Prey For Our Souls” is the anarchy-punk poet Andy T. Scoot has known him for years, but I only recently got to know him when I recorded his last album. Now I consider him a good friend and a very talented one at that, so it was a great when he agreed to write us a poem and to perform it for us. I actually recorded his vocals in his front room, as he only lives a few miles away. “Fag Ash Lil” who does the spoken word on “Corrupt Fucking System,” lives even closer…as that is Lisa, my wife! I wrote the lyrics to CFS with the old Antisect style in mind, Denis said he wouldn’t be able to pull it off so I asked Lisa. It’s not really her style, as she has a very gruff vocal (Corpus Vile). But we did a few takes in different styles and this one seemed to work best as I’d imagined it. On “Yes, They Still Test on Dogs,” Charlie (Anti Cimex) added some backing vocals (in Denis’s front room, after I’d just beaten everyone at 10 pin bowling!).
Photo by Ricky Adam
What were the main reasons for starting your own label, Black Cloud? Do you have to be a bit more businesslike in your dealings, and how are you influenced by past experiences with labels like Peaceville? Will you be releasing any of your other bands on the label?
BRI – It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do. We’re really fortunate that the interest is there for Doom, that we’ve have finally managed to make it happen. It’s taken us 25 years to actually be able to release our own record and it feels good. Stick deals mostly with the “business” side of things, as I am crap at that sort of thing. He works hard at it, but it is a lot to take on. We don’t have any plans to release other bands, but I can’t say it will never happen. One thing at a time. As for past experiences, they have definitely influenced us. We have been ripped off by labels and friends, so it’s good to have complete control.
Doom’s plans for 2014?
SCOOT – We just got back from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Australia – very intense traveling. We hope to maybe write/record a new 7″ later in the year, we want to shift all the cds and remaining vinyl we have left of CORRUPT FUCKING SYSTEM, so get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or doomcrustpunk.com/shop
BRI – We play two gigs in Russia this weekend, then Temples and Punk Illegal. Later on, we might be going back to the U.S. for a one-off fest and hopefully some gigs in Scotland. As far as CFS goes, we plan to get it released under license (with friends) this year in the U.S., South America and Europe. We’ve also talked about writing some new songs for an EP.
Originally appeared on: CVLT Nation