It's time again to pay close attention to Maryland. As you probably noticed by now, Cosmic Lava has a fondness and huge interest at the heavy rock/doom community which can be found in the eastern federal state of the USA. There is no doubt that Maryland-based bands as, for example, Revelation, The Obsessed or Asylum/Unorthodox, just to name a few, have a great impact on newer doom or heavy rock groups. As a side note, Frank Zappa or Billie Holiday also grew up there. By that I mean that this US-state is a very specific place, not only in terms of heavy music but also with regard to music history in general. But back to topic: WAR INJUN is the next killer band that comes from Maryland.
And, as is so often the case, the band consists of veterans which already made an appearance in the history of doom. This year will see the release of WAR INJUN's debut album 'Tribal Eulogy', and I can assure you now that it will be a head melting experience. It might be the heaviest and most crushing doom metal album that has been recorded in Maryland. However, the time was ripe for me to do this interview and, fortunately, drummer JB Matson and vocalist J.D. Williams (Internal Void) were kind enough to answer my questions. They allow a deep insight in the history of WAR INJUN that is closely linked to the history of the North American Indians.
Hey guys, welcome to Cosmic Lava. Before we talk about your upcoming album 'Tribal Eulogy', let's go back to the beginnings of WAR INJUN. As far as I am aware, the band was formed in 2003 by J.D. Williams and Kenny Staubs. JB, when did you join WAR INJUN and what was the reason to form the band? I ask this question because some of you are involved in other groups such as Internal Void and Earthride. Did you have too much spare time?
JB: Actually, WAR INJUN was formed by Kenny, myself, and Kyle VanSteinburg (Earthride) as a three piece with Kyle on bass. In time, Kyle played guitar, while Adam Heinzmann (Internal Void) filled in on bass. That position would eventually be filled by Dave Sherman. Once we had a few complete songs, J.D. joined the band as the lead vocalist.
The first lineup also includes Dave Sherman (Earthride, ex-Wretched, ex-Spirit Caravan) on bass, who was later replaced by Dave Morgan. Why did he leave the band?
JB: The original line up remained strong until Sherman had some personal/female issues and Dave Morgan stepped in. We had played a couple of shows with Dave M.'s old band, Leviathan A.D., and he was the definite choice as Sherman's replacement.
You and Kenny were both members of Outside Truth. Shame on me, but I never heard anything from your old band before WAR INJUN. I've tried almost everything to get any informationes about Outside Truth, but this has not been possible. Please, help me to close my knowledge gap and tell us more about the band.
JB: Kenny and I jammed together in the early/mid 90's with Outside Truth. While we had Outside Truth together we were fortunate to have had multiple shows with Internal Void, Unorthodox, Wretched, Iron Man, two shows with Pentagram and one with Saint Vitus. We also played with Nine Finger (Mike Dean of C.O.C.'s side project). We broke up in 1995 and Kenny and I went on to form Loaded Goat with J.D. on vocals and Tyler Vansteinburg (MIST) on bass. This lineup didn't go past a 4 song demo and eventually WAR INJUN was born. I will send you both demos Klaus, for you to check out.
Wow, that's fantastic!!! Thanks in advance, JB. What other bands have you played in?
JB: Just Outside Truth and Loaded Goat.
Was WAR INJUN intended as fully functional band or as a side project? Do you have played a lot of shows over the past few years?
JB: Most of WAR INJUN's shows were local in the MD/DC/VA area. In 2006 we played at The Note in Chicago at the Pre-Templars of Doom. J.D. couldn't make the show, so Kenny Bones of Negative Reaction came down from New York to learn/sing the set for Pre-Templars. He saved the show so to speak.
J.D. Williams: WAR INJUN was never a side project. This was JB and Kennys brewing cauldron and Kyle and I caught wind and walked upstream.
Your first public sign of life was the track 'A Dangerous Prayer' for Crucial Blast's excellent 'Doom Capital' compilation. Why did you decide to take this step instead of releasing a 7" or a debut album?
JB: The offer to have a track on the Doom Comp came after we had recorded the demo at the Polar Bear Lair, but prior to any other professional recording. We thought it would be a good chance to give the public a taste of WAR INJUN.