Friday 4 May 2012

Interview with Heathen Steven of Amulet

Photo by Sanna Charles

It's been many moons since last I wrote about a band from these shores. But, finally, London has birthed a new band to worship, and their name is Amulet. They released their "Cut The Crap" demo last year, and played their first show in April at the Heavy Easter metal fest in Lancaster. Tonight, they make their hometown debut VICE's own Old Blue Last, with Canadian doom merchants Cauchemar. I caught up with Amulet guitarist Heathen Steven late last night. Read on, or your soul shall not be worthy.

AFITFOG: So, Amulet. Can you give the masses a little background info as to what brought you heathen souls together?
‪Heathen Steven:
It was insignificant but unavoidable cosmic destiny. It's a number of passionate but unassuming metal warriors picking up arms together. Basically, we're mates. Mates drawn together through mutual love of the heavy rock and the wish to deliver it. You know, the usual.

And how have Amulet been received?
We have been received splendidly, so far. Particularly from the underground scene, which means a lot. I would say there is definitely room for a London metal band. There is always room for good metal, eh?

Indeed. So you've been together now for, what, a year?
Well, Bill Dozer and I had the idea in 2010, but that is the long and short of it. We are eager beavers. Spring chickens. We are prostrate before the scene, but armed.

So what is the role of Heathen Steven in this unholy unification?
I play some guitars and keep my eye on the clock. I'm pretty wary of time—the time keeper! I like working on song structures and dissing the church, etc.

So you write lyrics and riffs?
I have some riffs. We all bring them, really. Bill Dozer had some of the best phrases on the demo. He also came up with the band and demo name. The singer, Jamie, generally comes up with much of the wordplay. We all chip in, as we all basically have the same taste. Not much thought goes into it or is required, really. Channel the universe!

Nice. Is the demo's title indicative of anything in particular, or is it a message to all the phonies out there making piss-poor music?
Neither really. We just said "What shall we call the demo?" and Bill said "Cut the Crap", so we did. For me, it just felt like the right thing for our vibe. Nothing specific. But it's a pretty good phrase for life generally. You can read into it, I guess. Take what you want, man.

Will you be playing anything other than the demo tracks at tomorrow's maiden London show, then?
We have a couple of tunes which add a bit of colour to the demo tracks. I think you should always write better songs each time, ideally. We're looking forward to it and particularly looking forward to seeing Cauchemar who are incredible... fuck.

It's their first show here too, right?
Yeah, they've been on an insane world trip [check out Annick from Cauchemar's blog], tasting food, playing killer shows and checking out metal scenes everywhere. And this is their first UK show so I hope people come. If you like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Witchfinder General then I would set aside the evening, personally.

For sure. Say, didn't Annick do that Hellbent For Cooking heavy metal cookbook?
Yeah, and the Morbid Tales zine.

Alright. So, can we expect any sort of onstage ritual or anything tonight?
Well, let's just say we have a proper heavy metal show planned and leave it at that – it won't be dull.

Photo by Malek Baali

And when are you guys putting out your next onslaught?
Well, the demo is sold out, but we have a 7" version coming in June from Mordgrimm Records.

Oh, one last thing. Live Evil festival, which you co-run, is off this year I've heard?

It is at the Underworld, yes, the deal was bananas. BUT, there are two other plans that might knock you socks off a bit if they happen... one in October and one next year.

Alright, the metal underground will be sharpening its swords 'til then, thanks!

Amulet and Cauchemar play the Old Blue Last tonight and it is FREE.

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