INTERVIEW: God Damn [April 2014]

By Lais

Wolverhampton’s God Damn have been doing the UK circuit for a few years now, but they are another UK two-piece who look like they’ll make a dent in 2014. After an impressive EP last summer which led to a recent signing to One Little Indian records, we had a chat about their new album and the highs and lows of the band so far.

For people that don’t know, you’re from the Wolverhampton area and this has been your first tour. It’s going well for you guys. How do you feel?

Thom: Yeah, it’s brilliant. It’s our first tour so it’s nice to see some venues which have got bodies in and some venues which are pretty packed and some venues which have been sold out. We haven’t got bored on it, that’s for sure.

Biggest bit of news for you guys recently is signing to One Little Indian?

Thom: I’m pretty chuffed with it. We were signing that today and drinking champagne. Only one glass though – Ash drove.
Ash: No champagne for me. One sip.

You’ve got a bit of touring news with The Wytches from Brighton/Peterborough. How do you feel about them?

Thom: Brilliant. They’re an awesome band and we bugged and bugged to get on tour with them and they were really nice to let us on tour with them.
Ash: We were actually with them last night, they DJed our London show.

Tracking back, you actually started as a three-piece?

Thom: Yeah, well we kind of still are a three piece. Our guitarist isn’t well at the minute and he gave us his blessing to carry on as a two-piece. He’ll be recording the album with us but touring and stuff, he’ll need some time for that. I want this band to work as a two, three or ten-piece band really.

Ambitious. How was that change going down to a two-piece live setup? Was it difficult?

Thom: It’s more visceral than it was before. I had to make sure it had the impact guitar-wise and use a lot of pedals. We had to rethink some of the songs but we’ve just seen at as a challenge and fun and turned a negative into a positive.
Ash: I think it’s improved us as musicians as well because we’ve played together for so long that we’ve really had to get our heads together as far as our sound is concerned. It has really developed us as musicians.

First time I heard about you guys was Great Escape 2012.

Thom: Yeah that was a while ago yeah, that’s when we first started to properly go for it a bit.

You think things have changed that much since then?

Thom: I think we’ve been lucky and unlucky in a lot of ways. Things have changed, yeah definitely, we’ve tried to up our game a bit and be a bit more professional.

Are you guys fans of the film Eraserhead by any chance?

Thom: I’ve watched it on bits on Youtube. Basically, our other guitarist said that he wants to go for this creepy sound. He showed me the clip of ‘Lady In The Radiator’. I said we just need to cover this one, so we covered it. And I’m a massive Pixies and Devo fan, but obviously not that massive a fan because I later found out that they covered it. I only found out afterwards that two of my favourite bands already covered it which is kind of weird.

Along the lines of creepy, the ‘Heavy Money’ video is pretty crazy?

Thom: Yeah, that was pretty fun. The guy who did the video for that is doing our next video for our latest single ‘Shoeprints In The Dust’. He’s doing another video for us and we know it works with him.

That track was taken from an EP of the same that you brought out last summer. Looking back on that release, are you happy with it?

Thom: Yeah, we wanted it to be a well-rounded piece of material as an EP. We’re pretty happy with the way it turned out and we worked pretty hard with it. The album should be, not a new direction, but an extended version of that. All new tracks on it but with the same kind of balance – that’s something we always try and do when we record. We don’t want to be pigeonholed and we don’t want to have a certain sound because that limits you really. We want to do what the hell we want to do.
Ash: We don’t want to be a loud band. We want to have an actual balance between the heavier stuff and the more quiet.

Another video you did for ‘Red Checker’ had a pretty funny incident with drum sticks at the end?

Ash: Do you know what, that will never happen again for as long as I live. That was a complete freak incident.

How far away is the album now?

Thom: We’re recording it in March. We’re going to Toe Rag studios where The White Stripes recorded, as well as The Wytches recently. Hopefully it should be out towards the end of this year if all goes to plan. If not, early next year.

You’ve got good stuff coming up, but to finish how would you describe your live show in as little words as possible?

Thom: Girth Pop.
Ash: Hair.


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Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

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