Isn’t it weird how listening to doomy, gloomy music can actually cheer you up? Here’s a band who can help raise your spirits by playing miserable tunes…
We all come from different places in Finland, but the band was founded in Helsinki. At the moment two of us live in Helsinki and one in Tampere.
How did you meet?
Long story short, we met through mutual friends. Deaf Hank and Big Dog didn’t know each other before a friend, our original vocalist, suggested starting a band. We asked Peat Rex, Hank’s childhood friend to play the drums. And when Peat left, we reached out to Joe E. Deliverance, who Hank knew through his wife, and whom he had helping with a hardcore punk project.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The first stage of DÖ was formed already back in 2007-2008. The style then was desert stoner, we had vocalist, name wasn’t DÖ and we didn’t have these really cool stage names. We became a trio when the vocalist moved to England and Hank started spitting into the mic. That was also the turning point when we became slower and more aggressive.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It came out of the blue in the middle of rehearsals. We immediately drew the iconic lögö and that was it. The name is great because it’s short, it stands for something inevitable, and it sticks out from the majority of genre names. It sounds a bit funny when said out loud (should sound a bit like you’re vomiting). Except maybe for people who understand Swedish language. We know it’s pain in the ass to search, but hey, put in some effort and you will be rewarded.
What are your influences?
We listen to many of the same bands, but music and musicians that have affected our personal style of playing vary of lot. Big Dog grew up listening 60-70’s psychedelic folk, 80’s metal and 90’s grunge and stoner. One of his all-time guitar heroes is Matt Pike. Joe admires Tommy Lee and Jimmy Bower as drummers. As a teen he loved the most extreme death and black metal bands. Nowadays he frequently listens to both Mew and Anaal Nakrath. Hank was a metal/punk rock kid, who now listens to everything from psychedelic rock to black metal depending on mood. He’s style of playing has been influenced by Cliff Burton and Rex Brown
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We call our music “Döömer”. It’s simple, versatile and gloomy mix of doom and stoner to which we add some psychedelia, black metal, death metal, or whatever we feel like adding. We’re pretty open-minded about mixing styles when it serves the wholeness of the song. Like the ending of Planet Eater. The song is about dying planets, so why not put some death metal in it? We also know how to work as a trio, and always aim to create the perfect unison between guitar and bass. Sometimes there’s even a bass solo with wah-wah pedal.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Lyrics used to be heavily influenced by religions and politics, but after “Tuho” Hank realised that when you get bombarded by those themes 24/7 from every possible channel, thinking them when writing lyrics only grew his anxiety. So he decided to take a little distance.
The Cosmos is an incredibly inspiring place to write about. It’s the beginning and the end of everything. It makes you humble. It puts things into perspective. You hear that in “Intergalacticlude”. But the great Carl Sagan said is better:
“The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We want to an interesting and capturing live band. We don’t just go on stage to play, we go to there to perform. The setlist is planned so that the show has dynamics, nuances and dramatic arc. Bands like KISS, WASP and Motley Crüe got us into music in the first place, so visuality is important to us. For example we like to use projections, bring a large lögö to the stage or stuff like that. That’s why we also wear the “cult vests”. One of our trademarks is of course Joe, who goes totally berserk on stage and beats the drums like they owe him money. Not sure about the total amount of shows. So far we’ve played few gigs per year on average, so couple dozen maybe.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Guys accidently drinking too much before the show has been the “wildest”, and most stupid thing we’ve done so far. And that has happened a couple of times…People tend to behave pretty well, so there’s not that much to tell about any crazy events.
The most awesome place we’ve played is definitely at Aavikko vol. II festival (Desert in Finnis) this summer. It’s a small festival slash private party held in a quarry. It was real Max Mad shit. You’ll find three last songs of the set from Youtube.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Big Dog has been a Gibson SG and Laney amp guy for years. He has carefully selected his pedals and likes to stick to the combination he has found for a good while.
Hank on the other hand, enjoys experimenting with pedals and is on endless quest for the perfect tone. At the moment he plays Epiphone Explorer bass, but his favourite is still black ’75 Gibson Ripper. He switched from tubes back to solid state and currently uses Orange OB-1 amp with Acoustic 4×12” and Peavey 1×18” cabs.
Joe beats the hell out everything he gets his hands on. He really should have an endorsement from Vic Firth. So if anyone from VF is reading this, please contact us.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Naturally we’re promoting our second album Astral Death Cult which came out on September 20th. We have two great labels helping us to unleash it. Vinyl will be out via Lay Bare Recordings and cassette via Mercyful Tapes. We’ll take care of digital and CD’s via our own Döömernaut Records.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and into 2020?
We have put more time and effort into writing and the release process of Astral Death Cult than ever before. We want to take the band to the next level and that makes it even more exciting to see how the new album is received. We’ll start writing new stuff after the release rush, but there aren’t yet plans when we’ll release new stuff after ADC.
We have few confirmed gigs for the rest of the year. The highlights for this Autumn will be opening for Church of Misery and Soulcrusher Festival in Netherlands. Both are huge things for us. Hopefully we get that kind of gigs the future too. Plans for winter and spring 2020 are in the making.
All and all, our main goal is to have fun. Playing this kind of music will never be our day job, but it’s also so much more than just a hobby. For us DÖ is a way to express ourselves, unleash our creativity, see new places and meet cool new people.
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!
We would open for Sleep, because they are awesome and we’re also huge High on Fire and Om fans. So that would be chance to meet Matt Pike and Al Cisneros at the same time. For opening band we pic our brothers Black Royal, because they kick ass and we always have great time with them.