Interview with OLD IRON KING
by Hombre Rancio
Old Iron King project «The Curse of the Crown», one of the best albums of this summer
What defines your project is a combination of thrash and sludge, but is much more varied than that alone. What can we find in this work?
I think you are right in saying it is a combination of thrash and sludge, and I think a lot of my influences probably come through in the album; I see it as an amalgamation of my favourite aspects of all the bands I grew up listening to.
The first thing that hooked me on my favorite albums from Morbid Tales (Celtic Frost) to Rust in Peace (Megadeth) to Overkill (Motorhead) to Scream Bloody Gore (Death) is that they all ooze with this great attitude that just makes you want to slam back some beers and bang your head… this is the feeling that I want people to have when they hear Old Iron King.
It struck me the sound of your voice in the album. What were you looking for?
I am a big fan of Tom G Warrior so his vocals are a definite influence in that way. I really like the vocal style you find on very early thrash stuff (Celtic Frost, Kreator, Sodom etc… something that Motorhead pioneered before Thrash was even around) – that raw, balls-out style of shouting; so that is the Dominic Goulding is a brilliant artist who released his second album Solo, with its sound I wanted to create.
The sound is very rancid, I love it. It reminds me of bands as Venom, Motörhead, NME, Obituary… etc. What are your favorite bands?
My favorite band of all time is actually Acid Bath; I am a big fan of Dax Riggs’ vocals and Sammy Duet’s guitar riffs.
Other than that I would say Megadeth, Celtic Frost, Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel, Autopsy, Darkthrone, Emperor, Mayhem, Testament, Vio-Lence and all those kind of bands – really anything that has an authentic attitude to it, where you can hear that the people playing the music really believe in it.
What themes do you touch in your lyrics?
For Old Iron King I write mainly about medieval themes. It is something I have always been interested in; I studied Old English and Middle English in University and we transcribed some manuscripts that the archeology team had unearthed; they had not been seen or touched in several hundred years!
Anything from that era I find really interesting, but mainly the darker aspects; battles, witch hunts, torture etc. Anything that I find in that sort of vein, whether it is history, fiction or something that I have conceived myself, I will consider drawing on it for lyrics. I like to try to give each song an immersive feel which hopefully adds to the overall dark, heavy atmosphere; I use the lyrics to achieve this in addition to the music.
What differences we can find in this album regarding your previous works?
I think “The Curse of the Crown” is probably a bit more focused and cohesive; it was a more thought-out process. “Lepers” was the first album for Old Iron King so I guess I was trying to see what felt right. Now I think I am getting close to the sound I want and I will continue to refine it on future albums.
Both albums have a really raw, primitive feel to them but that is an intentional homage to the old-school bands with that sound that have inspired me; this is something I intend to keep on future releases.
There are fourteen songs, in theory is long album, but your music is primitive, basic, and addictive, the more you listen to it the more you wish it. Are you happy with the reviews that your work is collecting ?
The feedback I have had from the album has been really positive, and it is always nice to know people like my music; I am very grateful to the people supporting the band. So far, so good I guess.
What can you tell us about your other projects?
I have played quite a number of gigs with bands that are now defunct, but at the moment my only other recording project is Skeletons – that is also a one man band. In the very near future I intend to have a full line-up for Old Iron King and get back to touring, but I may keep Skeletons as a studio project.
Skeletons is pretty different in regards to my approach; it is much more influenced by Sludge and even grunge (complete with grunge-style clean vocals) and all the lyrics are sort of dark poetry; like psychological horror stuff. I am quite proud of my work with Skeletons – if you are interested, you can hear and download songs and albums here: https://skeletons-sludge.bandcamp.com/ and here: https://soundcloud.com/dominic-goulding
My favourite song is the serpent and the abyss and black ralms, its primitive, revival and awesome. What its your favourite song of this album?
It is tough to choose; because it is my own music I struggle to listen to it impartially. I was really pleased with how the end section of Hunting Grounds turned out with the heavy riff and the guitar fills, and I also like Black Rams, which is probably the closest I have gotten so far to the sound I am aiming for.
How do you see the English underground scene?
It’s fantastic – there are a ton of great bands of all genres over here, but the Doom/Sludge/Stoner scene is really thriving. Bands I would really recommend checking out are Boss Keloid, Ten Foot Wizard, Iron Witch, Bastard of the Skies, Witchsorrow, Moss and Black Magician. Also Mower, my friends’ band, is a great sludge/doom band and they have recently recorded an EP which will be released later this year.
How can the fan get your album?
So far it is digital-only release, but you can get it on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music etc, or direct from the Old Iron King bandcamp, which you can find here: https://oldironking.bandcamp.com/
I will probably release physical copies of both albums in addition to merch later this year, if there is enough demand.
What future plans do you have?
I practice, write and record whenever I have time off work really – my life is very music-orientated. With regards to Old Iron King I intend to keep writing and recording, and also to put together a touring line-up in the near future – I have a couple of talented folks in mind for the band, so hopefully we will see something with that sooner rather than later
Thanks for your amability, and congratulations once again for your fantastic work I recommended a lot Old Iron King “The Curse of the Crown” very good album: passion, rawness, old school, thrash, sludge, punk, occult metal…. One of the surprises of this summer.. If you want to add something, forward.
Thank you for the interview – I have enjoyed answering your questions, and again I am very glad you liked the album. In closing, I would encourage readers to do their bit in supporting their local metal scene, whether that is going to the shows, getting the albums or even just spreading the good word – every little helps and it is the best way for smaller bands to reach more people!