Interview with Vulcanodon Phazer

Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:

I’ve been playing black metal for the last 20 years and I just wanted to finally release a stoner/doom album. I have always been a huge fan of doom metal, and stoner rock like Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet and Hawkwind, so it was about time!  I figured I would start a band to promote things I enjoy like classic sci-fi and fantasy novels and paleontology. After releasing so much of my negative side and writing about things I hate with my black metal bands it was nice to explore the other side, plus it was a change to have zero occult influence on this album.  The album was inspired greatly by my trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, which is like Mecca for me, so there are a lot of prehistoric influences displayed. Dinosaurs and space are always a good mix, and I am aware that the fossil on the album cover is from the Permian period, not the Cretaceous period, for all those paleontologists out there.

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?

Definitely, I had the sound in my head from the beginning so it was just a matter of learning the theremin and synth to be able to recreate the atmosphere I was looking for.  I asked Lex to help out with vocals and lead guitars as we both have very similar tastes in stoner metal, and it worked out awesome in my opinion. I only play lead very scarcely, like on “Archdukes” with the space noodling, Lex takes care of the rest.  We went back and forth throughout the recording on lead guitar ideas and the overall tone and eventually we agreed on the final mix.

How does your writing process normally work out?

I start with a riff and song title always, and just build and build until the complete song is there.  Surprises are always welcome, and editing always happens. I usually have all the music complete before writing the lyrics, they are always last in the process.

What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?

Vulcanodon Phazer was started with no real expectations, but as the recording continued we were really happy with the results.  If it develops into a full-time band with perhaps touring that would be great.

What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?

I wore the influences on the sleeve on this release: Monster Magnet, Kyuss, QOTSA, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Fu Manchu, Sleep….I could go on.  I tried to keep the unique Vulcanodon Phazer sound, but these bands were the reason I made the album.

What’s next for you?

It’s hard to say, I guess it depends on how this album goes.  I might head back to the black metal realm sooner than later, but I would be happy to keep going on another VP album if that is the case.

Answers by: Patrick Mytron