Chad from Hour Of 13 & Agrabatti
Hour Of 13 released one of the best ever Doom Albums not too long ago and now there is another band called Agrabatti pushing things in a more Psychedelic direction. Hour Of 13 fans will be thrilled to know a vinyl release of the album while Agrabatti are in the process of recording their debut.Hour Of 13 are already becoming a influence on a lot of the Doom audience and by the sounds of the tracks on the Agrabatti page, they will be same.In this interview i try and get a heads up on both situations. Enjoy.
First of all thanks for wanting to do this interview.. I guess we should start with Hour Of 13, how did the band and the concept begin?
Hour Of 13 began around Winter ANNO 2006. I have had the name in use since 1996, but it was then an experimental occult label. I ended the label, as I knew the name needed to be used in a different entity. Thus, the music I wrote complimented the name. Hour Of 13 was reborn!!!
There has been some upheavals in the band just recently with Phil Swanson leaving the band.What was the reason behind that decision?
This whole scenario was brought on by the project I was in called Ravensbruck. Ravensbruck was a concentration camp in WWII, but we had our own reasons for using the name, NONE of which were political. There were excuses on Phil's part, and he quit. He never offerd to discuss this situation, just ended his part in an email. I ended Ravensbruck as to not cause any other damage, but he still did not want to discuss the situation. So, Hour Of 13 is now stronger than ever with the addition of new vocalist Robb Pritchard and Corey Leonard on second guitar (also the guitar lead contributor and engineer on the first album) and the new material SLAYS!!! A definite step forward for us, but still retaining our Occult ideas and lifestyles.
The Hour Of 13 got some incredible reviews and landed a place in the "Decibel Top 40" of 2008 ! Was you really positive about the album when first recorded?
I knew the material had a magickal quality when I was writing the initial riffs for the first record. When Phil added the vocals, it was then I knew we had something.
The album has a timeless quality that is rare thing within the "Doom Metal" scene these days.Did you approach the songwriting to make something unique in the world of Doom?
The riffs / music were written in a sort of "ritual" setting. Always late at night, by one single candle. The riffs have to evoke a certain atmosphere. Without this, the music would just be ordinary Heavy Metal. Without this, it would not be Hour Of 13.
Still on songwriting,have you got a kind of formula you stick to when it comes to composing ?
Again, the ritual aspect. Always will be this way...
There is some exciting news for Hour Of 13 fans with a 2 CD version of the album and also vinyl being released. Can you give the readers some details on that?
The First album will be reissued by a rather new but rescouceful label called End Of The World (records) on 2xCD with a bonus disk of the demos of the first album and our 2009 demo, and on red/purple/black swirl vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a CD of the demos and a button / sticker / patch. I think some of the first ones may even include a shirt. EOTW(R) is a new label run by a good friend of mine who owns the studio the fisrt album was recorded at. They do not have a bunch of Metal bands on the label, but will be releasing the sort later.
You and Ben Teeter recently departed from US Christmas which of course helped create the new band "Agrabatti". What was the reasons behind the split?
Well, most of us are still unclear about that ourselves!!! Myself and Ben were "fired" for some really inappropriate reasons. One being a live recording done when we did an acoustic set opening for Scott Kelly (Neurosis) in Atlanta, GA. Nate Hall was contacted by some guy wanting to release in on LP, so he went for it, even though over half of the band did not want it released. I was extremely unhappy with my performance and a few of the others did not see it fit to be released, but this did not matter. The material was sent to the guy and artwork without ANY of us even seeing the art! Of course we got a bit fired up about it and this was seen as insubordination. So, Ben and I were fired followed by 2 other quitting. Totally avoidable, but evidently there was no room for discussion. The personal tension was beginning to be unbearable, perople not being able to cope with others' lifestyles, so things are better this way. More power to them...
"Agrabatti" is already looking like a force to be reckoned with just judging by the tracks on your Myspace page but its very different to the other bands you have been involved with. What was the inspiration behind forming a band with such a classic "Acid Rock" sound?
Ben and I were responsible for the "space" aspect of US Christmas, so when we left we took our shit with us and thus Agrabatti was born. We have not eveolved the sound of USC, rather surpassed it with flying colours!!! The love of psychedelic music is the sole purpose behind Agrabatti. We united with our great friend Scott Isenhour and it has been a great union!
Have you always been influenced by Psychedelic Acid Rock bands, bands like Hawkwind spring to mind while listening to the two tracks on your site!
Hawkwind, Amon Duul I & II, Brainticket, Gong, Ash Ra Tempel just to name a few. But really amn, we to ourselves for our own inspiration.
It seems the band got its sound together very quickly or does it just appear that way to a outsider like me?
The music came really quickly after the USC incident. I guess a "necessary purging" of the toxins from our psyche...
You already have your debut performance lined up which may have already played by the time this Interview is posted. I read its a total improvised set!
Agrabatti live takes parts of songs and restructures them in a live setting. Anyone can listen to a Cd and see a band recreate the same tunes live, and we just want to give viewers something different to keep it fresh. I mean, the Hour Of 13 material would not wrok doing it like this. Agrabatti is mostly improved on stage, but we do have the underlying structure to follow.
What have you got planned for the band in terms of recording or is it a bit early to say?
Agrabatti is about 2/3 through with the recording of the debut album to be released on RAIG Records of Moscow, Russia.
I believe however that "Hour Of 13" will carry on still so whats in the future for that band as far as recordings and live shows is concerned?
We are now in the process of finding local musicians to help out live so we can take Hour Of 13 to the people. The new album is being created at this time and should be out by Winter ANNO 2009-2010.
Another project of yours called "Ravensbruck" split and caused some controversy! Can you give us some insight into what happened there?
Ravensbruck existed for the sole purpose of the Will To Power ideology. Some thought that the use of the name meant we were adopting Nazi belief. That we supported the actions that occured there. This is NOT TRUE!!!!! That is completely fucking absurd as I am 1/2 Cherokee Indian and 1/2 Dutch. For me to say I'm racist, NS or whatever is the most ridiculous thing ever. And I'm not daft... Some people just can't handle certain things. They get scared, afraid to look at things closer than the surface. That is their problem, not mine.
You seem to lead a very busy life with all these bands and drama's going on. Do you have a normal job and if so - how do you find the time?
Yeah man, I have a normal job and a VERY patient wife!
Last one now,can you give the readers a rundown of your plans for the next 6 months to a year and what would you like to see happen with the music you are involved with?
Hour Of 13 is total priority now and you'll see us taking it everywhere we can; the new record, live shows and all. Agrabatti will release the debut CD and promote it, and I'll comtinue to create music that I embrace wholeheartedly with the other projects. But, HOUR OF 13 is forever!!!!
Thanks again for the interview, any final words?
Many thanks for this interview and thanks to all supporters of my craft. It is immensely appreciated!