The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Lord Dying Erik Olson – Interview
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It's always great to discover new bands and one band that you need to keep an eye on is Portland sludge metallers Lord Dying. Their second album "Poison Alters" is a fantastic album full of doomy, heavy tracks and one that starts the new year out on a good note. We talked to frontman Erik Olson to discuss the new songs and a little bit about the band themselves.



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Andrew: Hey how's it going?

Erik: Yeah it's going alright, how are you doing?

Andrew: I'm doing very well thank you very much. So I've been listening to the new album "Poisoned Altars", it's a mighty grooving album, some great songs on there. What can you tell me about this one?

Erik: Thank you! We wrote this one with the hopes of writing an album that had songs that were more cohesive together on an album than the last one. They were all kind of written at the same time intended to be together. We wanted to write an album that was more catchier and more aggressive than the first one and I think we accomplished that and I hope everybody likes it.

Andrew: Yeah I think anyone that checks this album out will love it. I mean it's got a lot of groove and a lot of doomy kind of stuff. I understand Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust recorded the album, how did that come about?

Erik: Yeah he lives in Portland as well as us and he's been a fan of Lord Dying for a while. He's an old friend of mine and when he expressed interest in recording us after "Summon The Faithless" came out, I've always been such a big fan of the production he's got on the Toxic Holocaust records, it felt like the right move. He gets such a big sounding production on the guitars and drums, it sounds so huge and we wanted to do that with this record. I'm really stoked that it all worked out.

Andrew: Awesome! Now correct me if I'm wrong but did he do vocals on "Suckling At The Teat Of A She-Beast"?

Erik: Yeah he did, he had a guest vocal track on there.

Andrew: Yeah I thought I recognised his voice but I wasn't quite sure. So this is your second album, what did you learn from your first album that you wanted to do on this one?

Erik: The first album was written over 4 years I guess, it was all the songs that we had up to that point and those weren't necessarily intended to be together as a collection of songs on an album but it was everything that we had up to that point and Relapse liked it and wanted us to put it all out. So we were happy to do that and we're proud of that album the way it turned out and everything but with "Poisoned Alters" we just wanted to write an album where everything fit together well and just have a really aggressive, pissed off sound. And while also being really heavy, we wanted it to be catchier than the previous one and I'm happy with how it turned out.

Andrew: I understand somewhere in the middle of all this you had a drummer that left the band and a new guy come in?

Erik: Yeah that's right. After the second European tour we did earlier last year our original drummer and long time buddy Jon Reid decided that he had to quit to pursue other things in life. He's had some personal things come up and wasn't able to keep the rigorous touring schedule that we have so he stepped down and our friend Rob (Schaffer) decided to play for us. He used to play drums in Dark Castle, they're a great band that we're all fans of and we knew he wasn't doing anything at the time and asked him if he would be into it and he helped us out and recorded the record with us.

Andrew: OK and is he now a full time member of the band or is he only on the album?

Erik: He is actually just on the album. He did that album with us and then he did a tour we did in August with Corrosion Of Conformity. Now we have a guy, our buddy Nick Parks is playing drums now so it's a different guy now.

Andrew: How's it all working out for you now?

Erik: It's great man! Actually the new drummer we have is probably the tightest, fastest we've played with so we're really excited to hit the road with him and record some stuff with him in the future as well.

Andrew: You mentioned that you just toured with Corrosion Of Conformity and I'm a huge fan of them as well. What was it like touring with those guys?

Erik: Oh it was great man! It was cool to watch them play every night, they are all really nice dudes too. They are seasoned, they've been doing it for so long. It was great! I hope we do more stuff with them in the future. This was west coast of the States so it was only a little under 3 weeks, we would love to do more with them in the future. Hopefully we do something with them later this year, I guess they got Pepper joining the band again too so yeah hopefully we'll end up doing some shows with that lineup.

Andrew: Yeah I heard that Pepper was joining them again so that's good news on their front I suppose! So with Corrosion Of Conformity I can sort of hear the influence in your band, what other bands have influenced you? What made you decide that you want to play music?

Erik: I would say stuff that everyone that agrees on would be The Melvins were a big influence. Also a band from Olympia called Karp, they were a big influence on us. For me, what's influenced me lately has been early death metal music but we all like Black Sabbath too. That will always be a big one haha!

Andrew: Yeah what band doesn't like Black Sabbath really, they are hugely influential on everyone.

Erik: Right man they pretty much created heavy metal!

Andrew: So you guys are from Portland so what's the metal scene like there?

Erik: It's great, there's a lot of really great bands here. There's a great heavy music scene here and there has been for a long time but it's really been blossoming lately. I think it has to do with the weather, we have rain 9 months of the year so people are kinda forced to stay indoors. So doing that it gives you a lot of time to be creative with music and a lot of musicians move here. There's always been a big music scene here the past 20-30 years going back to bands like the Wipers and Poison Idea. It's always been a rich music scene here with bands that tour and put out good records but the heavy music scene has been insane lately with Relapse moving here. There's other record labels local to Portland as well that are just consistently putting out good bands that are touring all over the world and I think it's going to keep getting bigger too unless it implodes which could happen haha!

Andrew: That's good to hear like Relapse records is one of those labels that seem to be getting a lot of good bands. Revocation is one of them that I really love that is getting out there as well so it's good to hear.

Erik: Hell yeah!

Andrew: How did you guys first start out as a band and how long have you been around?

Erik: We've been around since 2010, this was kinda started with me and Chris (Evans, guitar) starting to write some riffs and that ended up being our first song "In a Frightful State of Gnawed Dismemberment" which is on "Summon The Faithless". We still play that song every time we play live. BUt Chris and I have been playing music together for about 20 years on and off in different bands and we grew up together and we have such a long history of playing music that we have a pretty good chemistry going over the years from that. And then when we started this we needed a bass player, we knew Don (Capuano, bass) for 15 years or so from being in other bands and playing with his other bands and he seemed like a great guy and we're really glad we got Don. And the rest has kinda been...we've gone through a few drummers in the last year but other than that we were with Jon from the beginning so that's kinda how we all met.

Andrew: So what are your plans for 2015? I'm guessing a lot of touring?

Erik: Yeah a lot of touring, we want to top what we did already. Right now we're gonna do 7 weeks with Anvil starting in February and then we have a lot of other things that are in the process of being confirmed. We're hoping to get all over the world, we would love to go to Australia and New Zealand this time. Hopefully get to South East Asia and Japan and we got a tour of Mexico in the works as well and we're hoping to get to South America and definitely come back to Europe again. So hopefully we just get to go everywhere, we'll see. It depends on what can be confirmed and if the offers are right, we'll be there.

Andrew: Yeah definitely we would love to see you down in Australia because with your kind of mus8ic, a lot of fans here love that kind of stuff so I think you guys would do really well over here.

Erik: Great hell yeah! We would love to go down there for sure.

Andrew: OK so we have a couple of questions that we try to ask everyone and it's always interesting to see what kind of answers you can come up with. If you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any classic album in history, what album would that be?

Erik: Yeah that's kind of a tough question. So many different great albums out there. I would love to have been there for Slayer in the studio for "Reign In Blood". That would of been awesome!

Andrew: Haha yes huge fan of Slayer! Reign In Blood, classic album.

Erik: Yeah man it's just so fast and brutal the whole time and noone was really doing anything that fast at that point yet and it would of been just cool to watch that come together. Rick Rubin too, yeah it would of been awesome.

Andrew: Yeah definitely. So you play guitar in your band, who is your main influence on guitar? Who got you to pick up the instrument?

Erik: I don't know. Lately I've been a big fan of Morbid Angel. I really like the way Trey Azagthoth plays his riffs, just so backwards sounding but also really crushingly heavy. But I don't know, I like a lot of metal guitar plays but I don't really have any specific one guitar player but his playing has really influenced me a lot lately.

Andrew: OK cool. And for you what is the meaning of life?

Erik: Right now the meaning of life is to try and get back out on the road as much as possible and work hard haha!

Andrew: Haha ok cool. So as I said the new album is sounding great, it's a grooving album. I love it and we're gonna put a great review for it for when it comes out. So thanks for taking the time to do the interview with us, it's been a pleasure!

Erik: Hell yeah man, thank you and have a great day!

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on January 10th 2015