2011-04-05 Slough Feg

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If it is talked about "True Metal" there are mentioned several bands from the US-American scene that bears strong formations since the beginning of the 80´s. (THE LORD WEIRD) SLOUGH FEG who belong to these bands that don´t give a damn about commercial aspects, have added a further masterpiece to their discography in form of the new album "The Animal Spirits". So drummer Harry Cantwell feels up to provide some information about the strange songtitles of the album and some mead-bars in Berlin...InterviewHi guys, how are you?

Not too shabby. Listening to T. REX, so it's impossible to be in a bad mood.

At first: what had once been the reason to change your name from THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG to just SLOUGH FEG?

I think the name of the band has always been SLOUGH FEG, really. The "Lord Weird" thing is just the unofficial extended version! We still make shirts sometimes that have the longer version name, so either one works. Half of the people who listen to us still call us THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG anyway.

You are often compared to bands like MANILLA ROAD, OMEN or BROCAS HELM just because you also play some kind of obscure und grumpy Metal instead of straight stuff like perhaps IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST. What is your opinion relative to all these comparisons?

Grumpy metal. What a great term. I don't know. I personally think we sound more like MAIDEN or PRIEST than MANILLA ROAD or OMEN, at least these days, but I totally see the BROCAS HELM comparison. I guess it's the melodic folk influence mixed with a kind of frantic mood and those deep Bobby Wright vocals, who doesn't sound all that much unlike Mike. BROCAS HELM are the best Metal band in the U.S. as far as I'm concerned, so the comparisons are totally fine by me. I was quite giddy about having Bob Wright on the record.

In 2007 you had an album out called “Hardworlder”. And on your new record “The Animal Spirits” there is a song called “Heavyworlder”. Is this one some kind of sequel to “Hardworlder”? And what are other songs like “Trick The Vicar”, “Free Market Barbarian”, “Ask The Casket” or “Kon-Tiki” dealing with? They all have very strange titles…

I don't think "Heavyworlder" has anything to do thematically with "Hardworlder", it was just a cool way to tie the albums together. If I'm remembering right "Heavyworlder" is based on John Carter - that guy who was always ripping around Mars, starting wars and what not. "Trick The Vicar" is just based on a bunch of stupid/awesome jokes we came up with at the airport one day. It probably sounds like it should have deeper meaning than that - sorry. "Free Market Barbarian" is about the state of metal scene today. "Ask The Casket" was inspired by Mike's obsession with the old TV show "Dark Shadows". And "Kon-Tiki" is about Thor Heyerdahl and his zany adventures on the open seas in the 1940's.

Your singer and guitarist Mike Scalzi also played in a band called HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE where your former guitarist John Cobbett is still active. Rumours say that you are even connected to an American Black Metal-band called WEAKLING. Are these rumours true, and what is so fascinating about playing strange styles of music to you?

There's not any real connection musician-wise to WEAKLING that I can think of. The San Francisco metal scene is pretty incestuous, so I guess there could have been in the past, but nothing major. As for strange music... I don't know. You want to play something that challenges you, right? I'm not sure how strange I would even describe SLOUGH FEG as being. As far as metal goes, we're relatively traditional, at least from a songwriting perspective. It's just that not many people play like that anymore.

Until now you have rarely played shows in Germany. Is there perhaps a certain festival that you would like to play one time?

Well, we're playing "Headbangers Open Air" this Summer which is exciting. I've played exactly one show in Europe, and that was "Metal Merchants" in Norway next to last January, so I'm happy to do anything that gets me over there. Any festival will do.

What are your favourite records by now? Do you only listen to traditionally based Hard Rock- and Metal-stuff or also to other kinds of music?

Everyone in the band has pretty varied tastes in music I think. Obviously we all like a lot of the late 70's/early 80's heavy metal stuff, but you can't listen to that ALL the time. I'm really into T. REX at the moment as I mentioned and I'll listen to anything even vaguely Morrissey related. As for some newer stuff that I've liked... the new DAWNBRINGER album is pretty good. I like ATLANTEAN KODEX a lot. THE LAMP OF THOTH, ASOMVEL, HARBINGER. And there's those classics that are always in rotation like MERCYFUL FATE, TANK, GIRLSCHOOL, ANGEL WITCH, etc etc..

Do you have some special final words for your fans in Germany?

Yeah, everyone go spend money at that Viking bar in Berlin if it's still there. The one where they have a bunch of different kinds of mead. I'd be very unhappy if I got back there in July and it had closed down. Thank you.