So, Liam and I really haven’t talked much when either one of us were sober. In fact, most of those sober discussions revolved around article submissions. It’s just one of those things where we would talk about shit that made sense only to the inebriated. We really didn’t know much about each other aside from what we both post on social media. For those that have followed my magazine in the past and when it was at the height of its popularity, you will remember my pattern with unconventional interviewees. This is one of those. I present to you, Liam Doyle, my friend and that weird Irish guy that most people may know from The Sludgelord.
So! Liam! We've been friends online for awhile and you have written a few things for me in the past. Never really knew much about you though so lets dig in. What are some of your hobbies aside from getting drunk and doing questionable things during that time frame?
I've only just gotten back into writing regularly because I'm a fickle cat like that, but when I'm just being a lazy asshole I tend to spend my time watching crap horror films, reading crap books, playing a little bass, and living the humdrum life of a college student. Or I worship at the altar of the horned one. That too. For keeping up appearances.
Sounds like a laid back existence. What are you studying in college?
English and Sociology. English because I can understand it, and Sociology because I made a huge mistake and have realized that, three years into the course, I despise people. I'm not much of an academic, but I can pretend really well.
What is it about people that you despise and does that play a role in your fascination for horror flicks and your music taste?
I didn't before, it's more that the criticisms of certain academics don't sit well with me, and that's made me hate the entire scene as a whole. They're so politically inclined that everything has to be either left or right wing. They look for potential harm in everything. They're looking everywhere but their own arseholes, where the real trouble is. They don't like transgressive art whatsoever, and I can understand that, but I just hate the cherry-picking. People are more informed by reality, not fantasy. They don't seem to understand that.
Sounds about right. That's one reason I can't see myself going back to college. Studied sociology myself for a little bit and I was going into the research side of it. So what are you going to do when you graduate? Do you see anything practical coming out of that kind of institution?
You know it well then. Don't get me wrong, I'm liberal, I'd just rather applaud than stamp my feet. I want to get into journalism, which I'm already doing without pay. So basically I'm just hoping to get paid for doing what I do, one day.
Your English major will help with that for sure. How did you get your start into doing journalism and what forms of it do you practice?
I started on a kind of DIY basis, just with a blog. I studied journalism in Dublin Business School for a year course, but that was it. I suppose I just learned how to approach people by being naturally socially awkward and trying to do as best not to upset them.
What kind of stuff did you blog about and who do you write for now, if anyone?
I tip and tap away on That Makes It Not Insane here and there with anything that comes to mind, but as I said; I'm only getting back into the swing of things lately, so I don't know where the blog is going to go. Other than that I write a weekly heavy metal column for The Thin Air magazine and will be getting back to work with The Sludgelord blog this week.
That's pretty cool. How did you get into starting with The Sludgelord? He's gotten pretty big in the past few years.
Yeah, the guys are brilliant there, always on top of the game. I answered one of their advertisements when they were looking for new writers last year. I haven't written nearly enough as I should have for them, but I'm hoping to correct that in the coming weeks. The will to write just left me at a time when I really needed it.
I can understand that. Do you push through it sometimes or just stop till you feel the urge again like you did before? Does doing review after review make you jaded after awhile with music like it does some people?
Sometimes I try to push through it, but it's hard enough. I still need to leave this "tortured writer" mindset, where everything is so difficult, because writing isn't difficult whatsoever, it just takes time. I'm a creature of habit and I need to get back into one. Yeah, reviews are quite brutal because I still haven't learned how to detach myself from what I'm listening to. I've never written a good review because I've always been too soft. It's something that needs to be worked on. It should be a fun thing to tell people they're shit!
The tortured writer..a stereotype that never dies. One day I will read a review that will utterly shit on a band and hopefully the deserve it. Most of the time, I don't do that unless the guys are assholes and, if it is the music, I try to be tactful about it. Let's get to the music for a bit. What kind of music are you into and what started you on that path?
I guess I got started by simply looking for places to write for really. I've always been into underground music but never really considered writing about it as a career until I started with The Sludgelord and Blood or Love.
That's awesome. What was your beginning like in just being a fan of underground music? What broke your virginity and got you into the real stuff?
I was into the entry-level stuff like Nirvana and Mudhoney in the beginning, then eventually got into death metal through Morbid Angel. One day in school (high-school to Americans), my friend told me to listen to Cannibal Corpse, and after that I blew my load and couldn't stop. I think I was 14, late bloomer really.
That explains your line about Cannibal Corpse t-shirts in one review you did for me. What about it appealed to you the most? That particular music style isn't for everyone as you know. The scene can be pretty harsh to new fans and musicians alike.
I've always been into the more rough around the edges tunes than the technically skilled ones, so death metal was the logical next step. Nirvana's "Endless Nameless" was my favourite track of theirs, so the seeds were already there. The scene in Dublin is good, but I got out of the whole 'look' quite early on because I was far too pretentious and thought the city folk were looking down on me because I didn't wear New Rock boots. So I was disillusioned early on, and so it became more about the music than relationships. I only have four or five close friends who listen to extreme metal.
Does the music taste of your other friends bother you or do you just ignore it and move forward? Speaking of which, you ever try being part of a band yourself?
Not at all, we never had any kind of a scene in my town so we never really split into groups. I was in a power-pop band called Gender Imbalance when I was 18, which is a constant source of hilarity because we were all hideously drunk during the band's run, then I was in a short-lived doom band called Flock. I want to get back into playing music, but I need to correct my lethargy first.
Seems to be a running theme with you. I can't talk much. I am the same way at times. Why pick up the bass and how did you get into doom from the more extreme stuff?
Seems to be! There's nothing wrong with it, unless you're edge, but let's not get into that. I think that you can only listen to so many blast beats before you start yearning for something a little slower and groovier. Death metal might be my first love, but Doom is my bride. You can say so much more in a Doom track than you can in a hundred Death metal tracks. Darth Vader's imperial march wouldn't sound half as sinister if it was played at a breakneck tempo.
Very true. A lot of people that are into extreme metal don't get that at all. They always complain about songs lasting longer than three or four minutes. I asked about the bass since I picked it up too. Most of the people that I get along with most either play bass or drums. Was it just something that clicked for you?
So you're in the same boat, you place importance on the groove, that's why you picked the bass. Low frequency nastiness. I played guitar first, but I decided to play bass when I first hear Electric Wizard. I thought "Fuck me, this is the sound I want." I play around with both, but until I'd still consider myself a bassist.
That's awesome. Yeah, the groove and the low end sound just turns me on. No better way of putting it. So, what's your poison when you usually drink?
Right on sister. I'm currently indulging in a can of cheap corner shop lager called Hackenberg, but my favourite is Tuborg. I'm a beer sort of guy. I used to like all sorts, but I realized, eventually, that all sorts don't sit well with me. I used to love red wine, but you can only be 17 for so long.
Love red wine. And beer. You know, I realized that I just love Margaritas for the salt? Getting on a tangent there. What is the crazies thing you have witnessed personally in the music world?
I've seen some weird shit live, so it's weird to choose. I think that seeing Hoest, who was playing for Gorgoroth at the time, smash a wine bottle in a guy's face was probably the nastiest thing I've seen. Blood everywhere, then Gorgoroth left the stage. That was pretty intense.
Damn, dude. That's kinda fucked up. Been meaning to ask, what glaring differences do you find in the attitudes of musicians and fans over in Ireland, or Europe in general, as compared to here in the United States?
I think that American musicians are more interested in doing interviews because the word is spreading outside. Irish musicians, or at least those I've interviewed, are more casual about it. I tend to ask unconventional questions, I might try to antagonize a little bit. For instance, Scott from Nocturnal Poisoning / Xasthur answered me when I asked him what he had for breakfast, whereas a sludge band from the UK gave me the typical cold "misanthropic" answer.
"Your mother's blood in a flask!" or something like that. Now, here is the real nitty gritty of it that everyone's been waiting for....................When will you write for me again?
As I said before, I'm only finding my feet again, but I'd be happy to come back and write for Blood or Love. It's all about finding content. I'm writing opinion pieces for The Thin Air, writing reviews for The Sludgelord. Maybe I could interview for Blood or Love? I'm down like Charlie Brown.
Hahahaha! Love busting your balls sometimes, I gotta admit. Don't worry about it, but if you are down for interviews then that is cool too. There you have it! Expect some great stuff in the coming weeks from this guy and keep a watchful eye on The Sludgelord, That Makes It Not Insane, and The Thin Air magazine while you're at it! Thanks for being a good sport, Liam.