We’re back to Glasgow for today’s Band of the Day, Ancient of Days. The members of this thrashy “hyper-doom” trio, who have each been plying their trade in other metal bands for nearly 20 years, have now joined forces to create one right noisy bastard of a band. Wanna know more? Read below.
Graeme: The back of beyond!
How did you meet?
Richy: I first met Kev back in 2000 in The 13th Note club when I was playing in Captain Blackbeard, it was brief and we shared the same bill, but didn’t really click until 2007 when we started a sound production course together. I met Graeme shortly afterwards when me and Kev recorded each other’s bands at the time.
Kev: (Laughs) Yeah I always forget I met Richy earlier, Captain Blackbeard were immense that night! When I met Richy at college I remember the first time seeing him he was wearing either a Slayer or Artillery t-shirt, at that point the oath was forged. I grew up in the same village, Chapelton, as Graeme. When I found out he liked heavier stuff I just bombarded him with mixtapes of thrash, death, doom, stoner and hardcore. Not long after he joined me in Black Sun, the rest is history.
Graeme: Yeah, I think that Blackbeard gig was when Black Sun were just a two-piece, and I think I joined shortly after that gig. First I recall Richy was doing a great job mixing a demo of Code Black, and then we played with his band Throne O’ Diablo when we had our album launch at the Classic Grand. As Kev says above, we grew up in a small village and I think he asked me what bands I liked (probably scoffed when I said RATM), then the next time I saw him he gave me a tape labelled “HEAVY SHIT”. That was me doomed forever!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Kev: Interspersed though with the arrival of kids, around the end of 2015! Which when they were first born was actually a bonus as we had written a lot of tunes in basic form, but when we came back to them after a few months we were a lot more focused and restructured a lot of material into the beasts they are now.
Graeme: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Richy: It’s a biblical reference to Ronnie James Dio.
Kev: For a laugh, my wife and I had gone to see the loon ball that is David Ike. In his opening, he was talking about ancient cultures and how they referred to God as the Ancient Of Days. I simply thought that’s an immense name for a band. However, on further research, it felt right. Dio is eternal and certainly perfection.
Graeme: That is the first time I’ve heard the explanation!
What are your influences?
Kev: I hate this exact question (laughs) as there’s so many. For me, I’ll say mostly 90’s and before, stuff like Kyuss, The Obsessed, Poison Idea, Candlemass, Cathedral and classic thrash, death, HC and grind.
Richy: I had this tape when I was younger called Til Def Us Do Part, it was a compilation featuring Rick Rubin produced bands like Slayer, Danzig, Black Crowes, Wolfsbane, Masters of Reality, Trouble and The Four Horsemen.
Graeme: Too much to mention, but the biggest influence on me was my big brother’s tapes of The Doors. My Dad was always playing us music (mostly Johnny Cash, Beach Boys, etc which I still love), but when I first heard “The End” by The Doors that blew my mind and started me down the dark path.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Kev: I think it’s honest, and as such not one dimensional. I think we maybe all agree on bands like Slayer, High On Fire, Poison Idea, Iron Monkey, etc. Which is cool as a whole but each of us brings something even more that’s individual to the table. In my head, almost all my riffs, I’d say, are my take on punk, stoner, doom, and metal at their basis. Once they’ve been worked on as a band it becomes three viewpoints, but cohesive and therefore something wholly different and much better than what was originally in my head.
Graeme: I think everything comes together in particular with our live performances, and for me, that’s where the music truly comes alive. Mad to think about it, but between us, we have almost 50 years of gigging under our belts in various bands, either that gives us an edge in our shows or just confirms we are auld bastards!
Richy: Well…being the youngest in the band, I keep the energy up by injecting 100bpm to any riff that is presented to me, like “the gush” from the tv show Jam, I have “the rush”.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Richy: Being a sarcastic cheeky wee boy against the monolithic powers at be.
Kev: Loss, lack of faith in religion, general annoyance with the world and how we all view it, self-analysis and drinking too much, pretty much the usual.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Richy: It’s mostly just sweat for me and pulling faces. Kev can’t see because of his hair and Graeme plays barefoot after scattering lego and UK plugs on the stage around him to enhance his performance.
Kev: Intense, come see. We’ve done over 10 now, I think, and been lucky enough to play with Hark (RIP), Coltsblood, Monolith Cult, King Witch and Corrupt Moral Altar to name a few.
Graeme: I might not be on GG Allin’s level with broken glass, but it really hurts to stand on lego.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Kev: I was at Killswitch Engage when they played with Shadows Fall and God Forbid, 2001-ish I think. It was at the QMU in Glasgow and this twat stage dives off the balcony and landed on my mate Quzzy, he’s a drummer and it fucked up his shoulder for weeks. As far as something I’ve done, probably getting naked while Charger were playing in The 1 in 12 Club in Bradford. My old band was playing too, and I’d had WAY too much to drink over the whole day and just got carried away and stripped off in celebration as I’d never seen Charger before, you know, as you do.
Graeme: Kevin’s exact quote to me thirty seconds before the above incident was “I love this band so much, I’m going to show my appreciation by getting naked”.
Richy: Paid £20 for four pints, fucking mental!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Richy: A four tom + 24” Yamaha stage custom, black panther snare, Sabian, Stagg, Zildjian and Paiste cymbals.
Kev: I play an Ibanez Iceman, an 80’s one, but not top of the range. It’s got Lace Dirty Hersher pickups in it, goes into a Boss OS-2 for main distortion, then into a 70’s Fender Bassman 100 and Orange 4×12. Other pedals include an MXR Distortion plus for dirty cleans, a Moog tremolo, and Boss flanger and chorus. On our recent tour with Monolith Cult, I was also taking a feed from my board into an Orange Crush Pro 120 powering a standard Marshall 4×12 1960 cab.
Graeme: Fender Precision bass, into a Big Muff, cranked.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
Richy: Record a debut album, release it on antiquated formats with free downloads then go back and record another album. But we’ll see
Kev: Yup indeed, album! Also hoping to get down to the Midlands area in late September or early October for shows.
Graeme: Hopefully squeeze in a few local shows before the end of the year too, so keep an eye on the Glasgow listings!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Kev: A reformed Entombed, Wolverine Blues lineup. Bacchus Baracus from Glasgow on there too, of course.
Graeme: Neurosis for me! Amenra to support us, and we can go on in the middle just to annoy everyone there.
Richy: I’d like to support Strapping Young Lad during the City album tour and have Carcass open up for us.
From previous Band of the Day, Defences: What is, objectively speaking, the best type of bear and why?
Richy: As long as he rides a cool motorcycle and is willing to shave his handlebar moustache, but not because I’ve asked him, because he wants to. Objectively speaking though, gummi bears.
Kev: A koala, as they always have soft, sumptuous toilet paper handy, or so the advert would have you believe.
Graeme: Do Ewoks count? I saw a meme the other day that summed them up perfectly: they are just homeless care bears who sold their magic powers for drugs.