Damnation 2019 Interview: Jake Mason of Alunah

After their performance on the Eyesore Merch stage at Damnation Festival, we caught up with Alunah’s drummer Jake to get his thoughts on the performance and what the band had been up to since we last spoke to them.

You played a little earlier on today. How do you think that went?

Really well. We were on at 1pm with not much time to mess about. I think the fact it was pissing it down outside brought a lot of people in. It was a pleasant surprise to be on the stage we were as I thought we’d be on the one down in the dungeon downstairs. It was quite a busy room which nice to see as well.

As we were discussing before this, it’s been a little while since we last spoke. Quite a bit has changed in the band. How has it been working with the new people?

You could say that! Yeah, it’s been ridiculously easy which almost sounds cocky to say. Sian’s been in the band for about 2 years and has pretty much put her mark down as we had an EP come out around that time. Dean then came into the band earlier this year and we wrote an album in pretty much record time that was so easy. I know it does sound it a bit cocky, but overall it’s been going well.

The new album came out about 2 weeks ago. How do you feel it’s been received?

It seems really well. The reviews we’ve had have been good. We got a good review in Kerrang recently and MetalHammer liked it. We got a 9/10 in Powerplay recently as well so predominantly positive reviews. When we’re playing the new songs live, the response is a lot more positive and upbeat which is nice. We’re only playing the stuff that Sian’s played on these days and today we only played songs off that album which might have been considered a risk but it was very well received.

Damnation has sold out once again this year. Can you think of any reasons why it keeps selling out?

I think, without wanting to put things in monetary terms, it’s such good value. There’s not that many one day festivals of this level around. There’s a lot of underground one’s dayers all over the shop and seemingly every weekend but for this kind of thing it’s great for people who don’t want to camp and a blow out for one day. Plus it’s indoors which is another draw compared to some other festivals which were a washout. We were at Bloodstock earlier this year on the Sunday and I didn’t realise Cradle of Filth had been moved to that day. I was standing around minding my own business and then I saw Dani come on and was a bit surprised!

What do you think of next year’s Bloodstock Lineup?

Pretty good actually. It’s really cool that Paradise Lost are on. I think some people were moaning a bit because Priest were coming back sooner than expected. But, Judas Priest playing a heavy metal festival for their 50th anniversary makes sense. Particularly with the 20th anniversary of the festival, it just makes sense. Everyone’s always got something to moan about though. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to go!

What are your plans for the next few months?

Since the album’s come out, we’ve been doing a lot of one offs. We did Uprising festival which was really cool and Doom Vs Stoner in Sheffield which was cool as well. We’ve got a couple of dates in Germany through our label and some shows in Birmingham and London later this year. Next year is when things start properly gearing up.

How does your new label compare to the old days?

The communication these days feels a bit easier. Napalm are a huge label and they’ve got massive bands on there and we were obviously not a massive priority which we totally understood. Our new label has been great though and even though they are not really a booking agent, they’ve been super helpful getting some shows for us. The PR for the album has been fantastic and I can’t really fault them to be honest.

Are there any bands you’re hoping to catch today?

Opeth would be good. A Pale Horse Named Death would be nice to catch as we played our first show with Dean with them earlier this year. I mean, the aim to make sure I eat and don’t get hungry. I remember one year I lived off pasties but there’s so much choice this year.

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