We had a breather last year, but again we’re aiming to bring you a little bit of info about as many bands as possible who will be featuring at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. Hitting the Jagermeister Stage on the Saturday are Lowen…
Nina: We are London based but I am a second generation Iranian immigrant, born in the depths of Peckham.
Shem: I’m from London, born and raised.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Nina: We formed in 2017 when I met Shem at an Akercocke concert at the Underworld. We released our debut about 9 months later and have been playing as a band ever since.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Nina: The word Lowen is an anglicisation of the German word for “lion”. Lions are potent symbols in both western and eastern culture, and that cultural bridge is something we explore in our music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Nina: We play heavy, ancient music using Middle Eastern techniques and the dead languages of Sumerian, Akkadian as well as Farsi and English.
Shem: Guitar-wise we play a lot of downtuned, dark, heavy riffs that convey a monolithic sense of scale to match the vocals. There is a ritualistic quality to our music that sets us apart from a lot of other bands.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
Nina: You’ll have to come and find out.
Shem: We would always encourage people to watch the music they think they will enjoy the most, but if you haven’t heard us before and you enjoy hypnotic but brutal riffs, frenzied drum work and soaring powerful vocals then you’ll likely enjoy our set.
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
Nina: I’ve been to Bloodstock twice and really enjoyed the festival. It’s a great size and everything is laid out wonderfully.
Shem: It’s actually going to be my first time and I’m really looking forward to it!
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
Nina: I was in A&E with a suspected Long Covid induced blood clot when I got an email inviting us to play. It probably cured me of my ills as in the end I was ok and it helped ease the 6 hour waiting time.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Nina: We will be playing parts of our debut album for the last time ever and ending the set with an improvised jam.
Shem: We’re going to be saying goodbye to our older material as soon we will have an entirely new set.
Which other band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Nina: Probably Paradise Lost. They have fantastic hair.
Shem: Yeah probably Paradise Lost for me too. As a huge fan of both death and doom metal I really enjoy their music from the past as well as the present.
What are you working on at the moment?
Nina: We are currently halfway through writing our second full length album on the back of the acoustic EP we just released. We may have a few other surprises coming too.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Nina: We played a very secret show at an ancient temple, I won’t say much more than that.
Shem: We played a headline set in Bristol after I’d had an accident and fallen on a knife the day before. I had several stitches on my stomach as a result. Minutes into the show the stitches burst and I ended up bleeding all over my guitar and clothes. I didn’t even notice until after the show when the adrenaline had worn off.
What drink do you throw back to get yourself fired up before going on stage?
Nina: I always have some herbal tea and a bit of pineapple juice.
Shem: Lots of water, it’s important to be hydrated and focused. I want to play to the best of my ability out of respect to our audience and myself as a musician. If the crowd is enjoying the show then that intoxicates me more than enough!