Sourvein have just released their heaviest album yet with the magnificent Aquatic Occult. We had a chat with singer T Roy to hear all about the album, it’s sound and its various guest appearances.
How would you describe the sound on your new album Aquatic Occult?
It’s different it’s heavy but rocking as well. It has a good mix of all kinds of influences we never had the chance to explore before as well as keeping the elements of crust and doom and rock.i think it captures everything well.
Was it always your intention to do an aquatic takes record?
Yeah, this album is a tribute to my hometown Carolina beach. I grew up on the ocean and wanted to do something different than the last record so i wrote about something that’s close to me.
Bands like Mastodon and Ahab have written albums about the aquatic as well. What was it about that subject that made you want to write an album about it?
They did? right on. I didn’t hear theirs, I don’t listen to much new music. Well for me the ocean is home. I was born and raised on a island. I am a beach kid through and through so it’s not like someone from the midwest writing about a concept of the ocean. I know it well so it’s a tribute to my home town as well as a loose theme on how heavy and mysterious the sea can be. I even wrote some lyrics under water on the chunnel in the British channel, France to England when we got stuck on there underwater for five hours. It broke down, that was a crazy experience so I wrote some lyrics that day that ended up on the record.
Do you have a favourite song on the album yet?
Yeah there’s a few really. Capsized because i got my old friend and hometown hero Capps from All Tore Up to join in on vocals so that’s special plus I wrote the riffs on my porch. Reed Mullin did some great work on this song . It’s awesome! And Hymn To Poseidon, Avian Dawn and Oceanic Procession are a few others i dig a lot.
As well as the song Cape Fearian, are there any other songs on the album inspired by your old Cape Fear stomping ground?
Yes of course. All of the songs have ties to the place. I am from Carolina beach, every one of em.
How does the new record differ in sound from your last release Black Fangs?
It’s more of everything more planned out and thought through plus its done analog on 2″ tape so it sounds better and is a more uplifting album in every way but still the sound of the band is the same but evolving writing and new elements.
Have the band changed much in that five year gap between albums?
Yeah I changed I got myself outta the bars and party and put myself around positive people and fell in love with my guitar and been writing like mad every since.
The cover for the album definitely lets you know what the album is about. Who did the artwork for Aquatic Occult?
Jordan Barlow killed it. He’s an amazing artist and tattooist from New Orleans, he did the last High On Fire album art and he sings for Ritual Killer. He took my rough sketch with the elements I wanted and it turned out perfectly.
You had Mike Dean from Corrosion Of Conformity produce the album. How did the recordings go?
Yeah Mike Dean did a good job. The recording was good once we worked out some kinks, it was a very enriching experience. It was fun to record this album with Mike, he’s a wealth of knowledge and a very creative guy.
How did you hook up with him producing the album?
I’ve known Mike Dean awhile and we ran into each other and he mentioned he’d be into working with me and he had a new studio to work from so I planned that my next recording would be with him. And we went for it!
Mike Deans COC bandmate Reed Mullin guests on the majority of the songs in Aquatic Occult. What did he bring to the album?
Yep ten tracks. Reed Mullin is one of the best drummers in the world. He destroys it and writes these amazing drum patterns and crushing beats. He’s a legend and it’s a true honour to have him on a Sourvein record.
You also have a number of guests on the album from Stig Miller from Amebix and Dean Berry from Iron Monkey/Dukes Of Nothing to Lamb Of Gods Randy Blythe and All Tore Ups Dave Capps among others. Were these friends you asked to be on the album.
Yeah just a bunch of friends. Randy, Stig, Dean and Capps are my old pals I wanted to be a part of this album. No different than what the Melvins or Queens Of The Stone Age do. I just happened to have an opportunity to do something different this time so i made some calls. Stig Amebix does tracks 1 and 14 and he did an amazing job. Everyone did. It was a lot of fun. Next time it will probably be just me and the core band and maybe Stig again i hope. I don’t know, maybe I’ll call in some more friends, we will see.
Were you fans of their bands anyway?
Absolutely. Capps and his band All Tore Up were a band locally I looked up to in high school, they were the order dudes already killing it and Capps was a big influence. And i’ve loved Corrosion Of Conformity since 8th grade. Amebix is a huge influence and Stig is one of my favourite guitarists ever. Iron Monkey were great as well, we used to tape trade with them in the early 90’s.
Would you say that this is Sourveins heaviest album to date?
Yeah, in content for sure and heaviest in thought. Its pretty damn heavy music wise. But also some different stuff that’s not meant to be heavy. It’s not as abrasive and in your face as others but it’s got a lot more going on than most of those albums.
How does it feel to be releasing the album on such a respected label as Metal Blade and how did you end up on the label?
Amazing! I am so happy to be a part of the Metal Blade family. Its a true honour and the label I wanted to be on since high school so I am really excited. They saw us on the Saint Vitus tour in LA in 2012. I was told I should send some music in. So I did, then on tour in Europe in 2014 their guy there saw us live doing my older material and said I should sign with them, I agreed with him and here we are, thanks to Brian Slagel and the Metal Blade family.
You have previously done split releases with the likes of Buzzov-en, Bongzilla and Graves At Sea to Coffins and Church Of Misery. Is there any band you would particularly like to do a split with in the future?
Yeah, Witchcraft, Uncle Acid,Low Desert Punk, Pentagram, COC, Iron Man, Doom and Antiseen to name a few.
How does it feel to have Sourvein going as long as they have?
It’s awesome, I never thought about it then one day it was our 20th anniversary! It’s been a long road but the experience is everything. I love it.
Will Sourvein be touring in support of the record?
Yeah of course. Europe and UK first then everywhere else we can. We’re looking to promote all year and looking for an agency at the moment.
I first saw the band live a decade ago with Rameses and being blown away by the intensity of your performance. How would you describe the Sourvein live experience to someone who has never witnessed you live?
That was a amazing tour! Honest, heavy, loud. Pure passion, its real from the heart. Live is when it’s most alive. It’s a party as well, its exciting i’ve heard.
What song do you love playing live the most?
Fangs. I’d say at the moment but that will change soon when we start doing Avian Dawn and Capsized live.
What are the bands plans for the rest of the year?
Tour!!! Do some festival stuff and get back in the studio I’ve already got four songs so i want to have back to back releases.
Any final words for your fans out there?
Thanks for the years of support and anyone who has helped the band in anyway thank you from the bottom of my heart. Cheers, grab the new record and we will see you on the road. T. Roy / Sourvein
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