Canterbury-based doomy proggers OHHMS are about to embark on a short jaunt around the UK in support of Animal Aid, and vocalist Paul Waller was kind enough to answer a few questions about the tour as well as offering some details on OHHMS’ upcoming new release. Joining OHHMS for the first three dates, Holy Roar labelmates Svalbard will be along as tour buddies in advance of their new album It’s Hard To Have Hope being released 25th May. See the fantastic tour poster and the list of dates down below for more details.
Of course, the whole push on animal conservation on this tour and upcoming album is all my doing. We were not going to record or play anything at all this year but I had this fire in me and wrote a ton of lyrics about the subject. I put it to the guys and they were cool with me to run with it and before you know it we have recorded the album and sorted out a run of 5 dates in May and a stack more for when the album comes towards the end of the year. With the lyrics, they are not shoving anything down anyone’s throat and it’s not lecturing anyone but at the same time, if you are inclined to read them they are the most direct words I’ve ever written for OHHMS, I can’t wait for people to hear it.
With Animal Aid I just called them up and told them what we were all about, I sent them some music and then they sent me some leaflets and a collection box for the merch desk. Bosh.
The poster for the tour is excellent, did you guys have an input on the concept? Have you worked with artist Steve Myles, previously?
Steve Myles is class, right? Our drummer Max recommended him to do the May tour artwork and the only info we gave him was that we wanted an animal in it, a whale if poss. Clearly, he just ran with it. When we saw the first draft we lost our shit and said: “Run with it!”
It’s refreshing to see a mixed lineup for a tour, for those unfamiliar with OHHMS and/or Svalbard, what can people expect from these shows?
I’m cool with mixed bills, I’m cool with same style bills, I’m always focused on our game and not anyone else’s though. This time around we have our new guitarist on board, he’s played with us before but not as a full-time member so it’s gonna be proper mad for him I expect. I think our audience is going to love him, well, at least I hope they will…
The new album just needs mixing now. As I said it’s very much my personal passion project lyrically but the band has excelled themselves again. I’ve based it around classic prog stuff like Genesis, Soft Machine, Floyd and Mars Volta where there is a massive suite and some regular ‘songs’ but of course, the music is rather heavy and riff-based for the most part… I can’t wait for it to get out there.
Is the new material ready to be tested out onstage?
All the material is stage ready but I think we will just be playing the 1 new song on this run. It’s the most non-OHHMS sounding song too…. I reckon it has a bit of a Battles feel about it… We shall see.
Both bands will be playing the same day at ArcTanGent Festival 2018 in August, with such an eclectic bill are there any other bands in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing that weekend?
MOL are awesome, Conjurer are awesome, Svalbard are awesome, I love me some Shellac. Oh my lord…. Just look at that lineup. ArcTanGent has it together this year so well. The only downside of this I can think of is that there is always bad weather. I really hope that the organisers have a sunny one this year. Fingers crossed.
OHHMS UK tour:
- 18th May: Asylum – Birmingham – w/ Svalbard
- 19th May: Garage – Glasgow – w/ Svalbard
- 20th May: Rebellion – Manchester – w/ Svalbard
- 26th May: Psych & Noise Fest – Cardiff
- 27th May: Underworld – London – w/ Rosetta