Thanks to Chad for taking the time to answer some questions. If you anyone who reads this doesn’t know anything about Uzala, open those eyes and check out the links below for everything you’ll need. You can buy the vinyl on the At War With False Noise site and the tapes at Witch Sermon.
With Uzala being a Doom/Sludge band, are you at all concerned about the demo songs being "short" for that genre?
I'm not concerned at all. I think the songs are the length they should be, as that is how we wrote them and recorded them. I have nothing against long songs, I just don't write in that vein and nobody else in the band has come forward with anything of that sort. I like repetition and I like simplicity, and I don't see us writing any huge movements anytime soon. We have an eight minute song that seems shorter than that to play and it is difficult for me to conceptualize "okay - we have to write a really crazy 20 minute opus here cos THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE" heh heh... but who knows what the future will bring? I like to think of these songs as efficient.
H.P. Lovecraft seems to be the huge influence lyrically in the Doom/Sludge genre, would you say Robert E. Howard is a better writer overall? If so, why?
I love both H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard so I wouldn't say one is better than the other. I'm also a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkein and Philip K. Dick, and as far as movie adaptations of those writers, well Lovecraft has had the shit end of the stick on that deal, hasn't he? Hard to beat Governator Schwarzenegger as the Cimmerian. He was ON FIRE!
While digging up some info on the band and you guys, I noticed that you and Darcy just had your 11 year anniversary. First off congratulations and second, did you guys do anything for the special occasion?
Thanks! We spent our anniversary hanging out on a big boat in Long Beach for a tattoo convention. Ha ha! We had a great time after the work was over hanging out with our daughter, some friends from Norway, and a few from Boise that traveled for the convention as well. The Norwegian friends are KILLER and you might want to give a listen to Dagfinn's psychedelic black metal band, MYRKRAVERK. I was glad to meet Gerhard as well, and his band EINHERJER has a new record coming out that I can't wait to hear. Yeah, so I guess you could say that we're not terribly conventional when it comes to celebrating our marriage, but we like how we do it! Tattoos, anchored cruise ships, a couple of drinks, and having a blast with friends and family.
Since the demo was released a little over a year ago and the full-length is due before the end of this year, has the sound changed at all or are you guys just sticking to your guns with the new record?
I think that our sound has been refined as we play together and as we continue to listen to other music. I am constantly building effects pedals and experimenting with different wah sounds. On the demo I used three different guitars and two different fuzz or distortion sounds and three different amps and the new album only has two guitars on it, so if anything I feel like we are finding our sound within our sound. We will likely continue to slowly evolve and having Nick (Phit) on bass has surely impacted our heaviness factor for the better. The new record should be out in October or so... judge for yourself!
If you could choose five bands to tour with on a huge world tour lasting nearly 2 years straight, who would they be?
That's sounds awful. No thank you. I would love to see Uzala tour more, and we do have a small North West U.S. (and down to the Bay) tour working in August, but worldwide for two years straight? Jesus! Who's gonna pay for THAT?!? And can we have a month or two off in New Zealand? There are some fantastic bands out there that I would be honored to share a stage with. Goatsnake comes to mind immediately as well as Watain or Amon Düül II. The Wounded Kings, Griftegård, ElectricWizard... I only hope we are worthy enough. We have a great gig coming up soon with WOLVSERPENT, DARK CASTLE, and YOB that we are honoured to play here in Boise. Then the tour kickoff for August will be with MARES OF THRACE and Boise veteran rippers RAID! (ex - Septic Death). So things are looking good for gigs.
The sound you guys got off the demo sounds really dirty and gritty, where did you guys record the tracks at?
Thanks. We recorded "The Reaping" and "Cataract" at our rehearsal space, which is housed in a cold war era relic bomb shelter. Those two were engineered by our drummer, Stephen and then he mixed "The Reaping" and I assisted with "Cataract". Those were mixed at Audio Lab. "Fracture" and "Plague" were recorded and mixed by Andy A. at Project Seven studio. Andy mastered everything on the demo for us. I'll let you guess which tracks were recorded digitally and which were recorded analog. Three different bass players on that demo. Ha!
How many tracks can we expect with the new full-length and are you pleased with how it's coming out?
Well we recorded too much material for vinyl so when we get to the sequencing we will be mindful of how it flows together and also how to fit it per side. More than likely it will be a total of six or seven songs. Some of which originally appeared on the demo but have been completely rerecorded for this release. Blake Green from WOLVSERPENT is manning the boards on this one ably assisted by our drummer, Stephen. It sounds dirty but nothing is buried under so much muck that it is indiscernible, as can happen with bass tone heavy music. Blake and Stephen came up with some fantastic ideas for vocalmicing and one of the best mics is this little dictation mic that looks like it was made for the military or something. I love that sound. So wrong that it's just right. We recorded at The Visual Arts Collective here in Boise and we were able to do some really cool things with capturing the space of the place, or at least that's how it sounds to my ears. Look for it on AT WAR WITH FALSE NOISE Records for the vinyl and WITCH SERMON TAPES for the erm... tapes. No fucker has picked up the cd as of yet, but it's not a big deal. We are stoked on the old formats!
Being from Boise, Idaho, are there any bands we should check out or keep our eyes on that might be creeping out soon?
WOLVSERPENT. I wouldn't say they are creeping out, but if you haven't heard their records (or the former incarnation Pussy Gutt)...well, get right on it.
Uzala seems rather familiar, did it come from the 1975 film Dersu Uzalaor am I completely insane for thinking that?
YES! One of our favorite films, and definitely an amazing piece from Kurosawa. I would encourage anyone who is the slightest bit interested in film to watch Dersu Uzala - I'm not a critic, so I won't try to do a movie review here, I'll just leave it at a hearty recommendation. There are some scenes where the vastness of the landscape just pulls you right in.
Lastly, is there anyone you wanna give shout outs to or thank for helping along the ride as a band so far?
All of our former bass players, Sam from Visual Arts Collective for letting us record in his KILLER space, Andy A. from Gigs for helping with the demo and tons of gear, Carl Hamilton (Hamilton Guitars) for keeping all of our guitars running, Justin Black (Warbrother!) for being a killer, Nick from BONGRIPPER for trading his LANEY head for one of my old SUNN 200s heads. Anyone who has ever let me borrow stuff or helped with a gig, and of course the bands we've shared a stage with. All of the amazing bands who have inspired us to play (this list would look like an early nineties death metal album insert - look for it in our record?!?). Al from At War With False Noise for believing in us enough to take the plunge and put our first full length to vinyl, Andy from Witch Sermon for the cassette release, and Stephen O' Malley for being kind enough to agree to do the album design and layout. I should stop before I forget anyone else. Hopefully I thanked you profusely already! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.