April 2002 - TEETH OF LIONS RULE THE DIVINE
What can you expect when musicians as Greg Anderson, Lee Dorrian, Steve O'Malley and Justin Greaves are forming a musical project? Right, maximum heaviness with a deep droning and a brutal devastating intensity. Named after an EARTH track, TOLRTD are presenting us three sinister and angry tracks on the debut "Rampton", and when I tell you that the album is 55 minutes + long, than you maybe know what I mean. So it was the second time I've done an interview with the "Southern Lord" Greg Anderson.
I was very surprised about the sudden split-up of Goatsnake.Especially here in Europe, where not everybody had seen the band live it was very hard for the fans. What are the reason for this split-up?
Well its not so much a "official split up" yet as a "hiatus". We all have other projects going on, and with me doing Southern Lord, there just isnt alot of time for Goatsnake. Plus Im very satisfied with what we accomplished and recorded.
The last European tour of Goatsnake was together with Ron Holzner (Trouble) on bass and someone named Joey. I've read somewhere, that this tour was very successful. Great shows and great crowds etc. Why didn't you continue with this line-up and who's Joey?
We may do some recording and even shows in the future with this lineup..but Ron lives in Chicago (with Pete, Joey and I in Los Angeles) ..so the distance makes a "functional" band difficult. Joey Castillo is also the drummer in Danzig, so he's got alot on his plate as well.
Are you still in contact with the old members Pete Stahl (v.) and Greg Rogers (dr.)?
Greg is involved in a new project with the first Goatsnake bassist: Guy Pinhas. Pete and I hang out alot .....
You are still involved in Sunn O))) and you have released the new album "Flight Of The Behemoth" on your own label Southern Lord. How would you compare the new one with "00 Void"? Is it true, that you have worked together with a drummer in a few of the songs?
"Flight"...is a bit more diverse than our past recordings. We consciously decided to involve other elements/tones, and people to add to the outcome of that album (Merzbow..etc...), the drummer on FWTBT is Aspirin Feast, a dweller in the House of Wong in the University District of Seattle, WA.
Have you played any gigs to promote the new material?
No, not yet.
For the album, you have worked together with Japanese experimental and harsh noise performer Merzbow. How did you get together with him and are you into experimental electronic music/noise?
That is more of Steves area ....he had been in contact with him, and through a mutual interest in each others projects.. it came together. I like a few experimental noise things...but I dont have alot of knowledge of the artists.
Another new project is Teeth Of The Lion Rule The Divine, together with Justin Greaves, Stephen O'Malley and Lee Dorrian. TOTLRTD was formed very spontanoeus during a journey from you and Stephen to the UK. You've played three tracks, that are released on the outstanding "Rampton" album in April 2002 on Southern Lord. After all the informations I've got, it's only a project and no "real" band? What can you tell us about it?
You summed it up there. It was a jam session among friends....it ended up working well, we recorded it, and then eventually mixed and mastered it into what became the "Rampton" album. I really hope we get together again to make more noise.
Billy Anderson is responsible for the final mixing result.Are there a lot of overdubs on "Rampton"?
Hardly any...we did overdub some "funeral organ", and Billy added some noise of his own. But all the basic tracks (git,vox,drums,bass) were un-altered or added to. However the end result that makes up Rampton is largely due to Billys expertise of sub-sonic assault!
Lee's unique vokills are fitting perfect to the heavy droning riffs and this special atmosphere of the songs. You've done the tracks in January 2001, but his vocals has been recorded in summer 2001, so was TOLRTD meant as an instrumental project in the beginning?
The very first incarnation of Teeth was actually Steve, Justin and Marv (from the Varukers)..I believe it was meant as instrumental. When Lee and I "joined" their project...we definitely decided to make this a "band" with the typical elements of bass, drums, guitar and vocals.
On drums there's Justin Greaves of Iron Monkey/Hard To Swallow. Where did you get together with him?
I actually met him in 99 at Dynamo, Iron Monkey and Goatsnake shared the stage. We immediately hit it off.. Great guy.
Let's talk about the tracks, "He who accepts everything that is offered" is an exciting and aggressive kind of a feedback-filled monster and the longest track (nearly 30 min. long) on "Rampton". The lyrics are about a short trip of Stephen and you to Amsterdam, where you have had some mind-altering experiences. I hope, these experiences were some kind of fun for you?
Actually hell. And Lee experienced a similar hell a couple years earlier..so he expressed these nightmares in that song. Dont get me wrong, I love A-Damn and Holland...it was just a bad trip.
The second track "New Pants and Shirt" is a cover-version of the great band Killdozer. It's much heavier and slower than the original version. Who's got the idea for it?
That was Justins' idea...him and Steve worked that out in the original incarnation of Teeth that I mentioned earlier. I personally thought it a very odd but excellent choice of covers. We turned it into funeral doom ......
The album ends with "The Smiler", that sounds a little bit as if Burning Witch are playing an early Cathedral track. Very morbid and sinister! Is there something like a keyboard or organ in the last part of the song and who is "The Smiler"?
I'm not sure!! I played organ on that track...inspired by a suggestion from Lee. I think it makes it sound like Thergothon or Skpeticism...finnish funeral dirge!
Is it true, that everybody of you was in a very bad state of mind when you've recorded this three black and overwhelming heavy droning monuments?
Recovery really....it was right after New Years Eve..so we were all burned out.
Where do you see the musical difference between TOLRTD and Sunn O))) or Thorr's Hammer?
In the chemistry of the players. Each project/band has its own presence/vibe. The common link is Steve and I's writing/tone.
Aside of TOLRTD, you're still doing your excellent label Southern Lord? What are the next releases? I've seen on your homepage, that you've signed last year a band named Spaceboy. Never heard anything of them before, so what can we expect?
Spaceboy is a incredible band from Santa Cruz, CA. with the singer from Blast!. They are unlike anything weve ever released. Part grind, part death metal, part prog-math. Fucking intense. After that we will release debut albums from: Earthride and Sourvein.
What are your personal plans for this year?
To keep the label rolling and to hopefully get laid a lot more!!!! Wouldn't mind recording some more music as well.
Ok, Greg! Thanks for your time. Any last words?
Thanks for your continued support, your webzine is fucking killing!!!