Metal Army caught up with T-ROY of sludge kings SOURVEIN. T-Roy is a one of a kind artist, performer and personality. In one of the coolest interviews we have ever done we talked about topics like the record business, the sound of the band, lyrical inspiration, touring and much more.
Black Fangs came out in June on Candlelight Records.
MAA: Black Fangs is a great record. Has the writing process evolved much over the years?
T-ROY: No, not really man. It’s still kind of the same formula. It just starts with different riffs and ideas. We just piece it together, put it together. Pretty much the same as always. Always been done in this band anyway. Just put it together as far as ideas that comes to like, jamming as well.
SOURVEIN are tireless road warriors.
MAA: From all of the split releases and comps it seems like you guys are pretty prolific. This is the first full length in almost ten years. Any reason why?
T-ROY: Well it’s actually seven years and yeah man I just put a record out, just to fucking put it out, if it didn’t have distribution then it wouldn’t work. Without someone pushing it then I didn’t want to do it that way. I was waiting around for a real label, because I have already been on a bunch of bullshit. I was on a label that went bankrupt, like after a month. And then I was on fucking Southern Lord and whatever. And then so I wasn’t like getting fucked over again. I just want it to count so I did did EPs and split 7” and stuff like that because that’s what I was cleared to do. Took me a couple of years to get off a contract kind of situation to where I could even do a full length, but I did 200 dates every fucking year since ’93 pretty much. So I’ve just never been non active or nothing. The space in between, one album to the next is just the way it went and I was just busy touring, busy recording the whole time. I put out EPs as a trilogy so actually that’s more than an album, just put out 3 parts. You know what I mean? It just didn’t get promoted right man because of, like I said man not the right labels until we were able to get with Candlelight. That was the turning point it was promoted and stuff so it was worth while. I mean we would have done one anyway like at some point, but that’s what the only thing that allows us trying to tour and just getting this trilogy of EP’s out we did the split 7” with Church of Misery and some bands from around the world, not like from down the East coast or like out West or something. Jerusalem Israel: RABIES CASTE. Tokyo Japan: CHURCH OF MISERY. THE BLOOD ISLAND RAIDERS from the heart of London, England, I’ve been busy, the bands are busy. So that was a full length. We are already at work on the new one, so it won’t even be a year before the next one is recorded.
M AA: Oh that’s great news! I think Candlelight is doing a great job with you guys!
T-ROY: Yeah I agree man. Things are getting in better shape. It’s just a rebuilding process of certain stuff and I think it’s all gonna work out for that what I mean. They’ve done a great job so far pushing the record.
T-ROY also plays in HAIL!HORNET and sometimes also in BUZZOV*EN
MAA: You have a very distinctive sludgy guitar sound, beyond even most other doom bands. How do you and King James dial in those tones?
T-ROY: Well the thing about when we were talking about the sound and all, that it can’t be done no more organic cause like when James did come in, man we didn’t really have that much time. So we just fed off our riffs. He added his parts and just jumped right in. He did his thing so he brought more to the sound as well. A new element, a new tone. So we knew right off the bat when something like that happens, it’s kinda like magical or whatever cause it ain’t always that easy. And then he brought in his own songs like “Night Eyes”. I do all the lyrics and vocals of course. The music that opens a new door man like, so we’re excited to get to work. We’re already working on the new record.
MAA: If you had to pick a favorite song off of Black Fangs what would it be?
T-ROY: My personal favorite is probably….it’s hard to say man. I guess “Fangs”. I like the groove of that man. It’s either fuck or fight to it, so I like that. (Laughing) I like the groove man, not to be rude.
MAA: Where do you get your lyrical inspiration from?
T-ROY: My lyrical inspiration comes from poverty, homelessness, hopelessness and just the themes of the greyhound buses, just shit like that. It just comes from real life man. Obviously I was like, kick the whole career thing out the door. Just finally played around and play my music and it’s just me. So just reality really man. I mean every once in awhile I’ll write something about a tribute to Sharon Tate or something, cause it sucks what happened to her and she was hot. The Manson chicks killed her. It’s a true/tribute story. Stuff like that or Savannah the porn star, who committed suicide. There’s a little love letter I wrote to her. She died tragically, you know? She was like, at one point cool and cutting edge and turned some motherfuckers on! Stuff like that like “Fall of the Starlets”. I like to throw a tribute to that every now and then, but other than that man it’s really reality and shit I lived through man. Getting beaten up by the cops or going to jail, growing weed, to living in the ghettos of fucking four or five major cities, stuff like that man. I definitely don’t write about no fucking horror movies or no fucking muscle cars. (laughs) I write what’s real. And I think, I think that like you were saying, I think that’s the difference for our sound and stuff too that maybe you can feel the realness in the heart in the vocals and stuff. It’s more believable I think because you can feel it. I’ve been there man. The masses they’ll pick up on that. The real motherfuckers will, that’s who. That’s who you want to listen to your records anyway.
SOURVEIN in 2011: On tour forever........
MAA: What would be your dream lineup for SOURVEIN to open for, one show, any bands living, dead or broken up?
T-ROY: How many bands could it be?
MAA: As many as you want!
T-ROY: Alright! It would be BAUHAUS, BLACK FLAG, SLAYER, JOY DIVISION, DANZIG but doing SAMHAIN, BLACK SABBATH of course and WESLEY WILLIS. The headliner would be RED FOXX doing comedy. (Laughing)
MAA: Awesome! I don’t ask that question to everybody, but that’s the best answer anybodies ever given to that question!
T-ROY: That’s the best answer anyone’s ever gave? That would be epic! I mean, at like some abandoned castle somewhere with bonfires and make it real crazy.
MAA: Thanks for your time!
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes