Band of the Day: Possessor

Partially water-borne sludgey-metal for you to chill to on a Sunday. We spoil you…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Nathan and I reside in Dulwich, South London and Ollie lives on a boat called Swamp Thing.

How did you meet?

Mainly I guess through the live music circuit. I’d been aware of Nathan for a long time and seen him play in a few different bands. Ollie also plays bass in Old Horn Tooth which features one of my very best friends Mark on drums, so I met Ollie through him.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band has been in existence for nearly six years now which is wild as it was never intended to be such a long running project. I can’t stop now though! Ha.
Ollie only recently joined as sadly we had to replace our long-term bass player Ellie a few months back. No hard feelings, we are all still pals but sometimes you have to just make changes to make everyone happy. I think maintaining a good friendship first is often more important than the music.

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Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Ha, yeah this always comes up. It’s just a cross between Possessed and Confessor. It sounds like an old horror film too, and it looks nice written down.

What are your influences?

Image and style-wise the classic fright films of the seventies and eighties. Something about the freedom and wild abandon of that whole wave of shit like Last House on The Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Frightmare spoke to me deeply. The nastiness but crooked air of humour lingers throughout our sound. Musically I just wanna create something that has its own howling voice and piece together an orgy of all the different styles of heavy fucking rock that have inspired me since a kid.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We don’t really have any rules and I honestly have no idea what we sound like, but that’s for the best! If we wanna play a bit of sludge but at the tempo of Repulsion we will, just as much we often play like early Kreator but in the key of Fu Manchu. Anything goes! It just needs to be one big party for the ears and eyes and wake the dead from their slumber. Everyone’s invited.
I don’t think anyone can reinvent the wheel these days but you have to at least try to have your own ideas and screw pigeonholing yourself.
Who the hell wants to be in category? I don’t get it.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

The mad and the macabre, a touch of the paranormal and a twist of modern day anxieties.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We aren’t a hugely prolific live band as I’ve always been much more focussed on writing and recording music. To be honest I take a fair bit of live inspiration from Kurt Cobain and Greg Ginn (before he lost it) as that ‘who cares as long as it has soul’ vibe works well for me. Singing and playing the guitar doesn’t always feel natural but I make do by going a little crazy. I’d certainly like to think we have a good energy live and inject a shot of lunacy to the proceedings. Our shows should be like a party and a funeral all in one. And smoke! Lots of smoke.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Besides playing so drunk in Kingston I have no memory of the gig…the one memory that stands out for me is seeing Trail of The Dead throwing all of their gear into the crowd. Not just drum sticks but amp heads and shit. On the tube home the girl sitting opposite me was carrying a floor tom on her lap. Also seeing Lightning Bolt for the first time, playing in the middle of Sonic Youth’s crowd before the latters set had even finished!

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What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I always use Epiphone guitars these days as the weight of the Gibsons really messed my back up. I have an Explorer and a Flying V both tuned to drop C and blasted through a Marsall DSL100H head. I also use a Genz Benz cab that’s the signature model of George Lynch from Dokken! I don’t know anyone else who has one of those cabs, or for that matter actually listens to Dokken. They weigh a ton but boy are they loud. Pedal wise I only like to use the essentials: tuner, noise gate and tube screamer to add the classic thrash edge to proceeding. I’m not a huge fan of effects but I always have a Boss DD3 and a cry baby on my board to cover up any mistakes during solos etc…

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Our new album Damn The Light came out on Halloween. It’s been a very challenging year mentally and physically and I’m really chuffed we somehow managed to get this done. It’s out on APF Records on some truly wonderful formats including a vintage mini VHS style cassette box and transparent/splattered vinyl, all available for order via bandcamp.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

It’s really hard to say due the pandemic. Obviously we would love to play some decent shows in venues we’ve never played. Sadly everyone is left crossing their fingers in hope everything won’t be cancelled. We were due to play Sophie Lancaster Fest, Desertfest London and Riffolution Fest this year. All were cancelled. I guess all we can do is plug the new record and rely more on keeping our online presence up front and exciting. We have a new music video dropping as we speak. I think that will help people see that we are well and truly not dead yet.

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!

That’s a tough one. The first thing that comes to mind for me though is, almost predictably saying that opening for Metallica would probably be unbeatable. With perhaps Haunt on the bill too. They’re a pretty classy band. Oozing Wound, Baptists and Kvelertak would be cool to play with too. If we were to choose some buddies to drag along I’d choose Black Helium, Slabdragger, Butcher In The Fog, Mastiff, Hawkeyes, Oldblood, Kowa Axis, Witchsorrow, Surya, Petbrick, Video Nasties, Human Leather…ah man I could be here all day! There is almost too much great music in the world and too many good people.

Possessor: facebook | bandcamp

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