Sunday, June 4, 2017
A Ripple Conversation With DÖ
ALRIGHT, SO PLEASE DROP US A LITTLE INTRODUCTION TO DÖ. HAVE YOU BEEN IN OTHER BANDS BEFORE? WHAT LED YOU TO CREATE THIS BAND?
We are Dö, a dark stoner doom trio from Helsinki, Finland. The band that finally became Dö was created in 2007. Back then the name was not Dö, there were four of us, we didn't use the supercool artist names, and we played desert stoner.
Then, after few years the singer left to study abroad and Hank took the mic. At that time we also dropped the tempo and the style we call "döömer" began to take its form. About two years ago we parted ways with Peat Rex, our original drummer and Joe E. Deliverance stepped in to bash the drums. "E" stands for "epic", by the way. You'll understand it when you see him playing live.
Joe D. also has the most serious previous band history from the three of us. For example he was the original drummer of Omnium Gatherum, and he also played in a band called Masteroid few years ago.
Hank has played in high school punk and metal bands, and Big Dog has some background from childhood in playing balalaika, banjo and guitar. But he actually started to play guitar more seriously in his adult age, so he's either some kind of prodigy, or a freak of nature.
WHATS YOU MUSICAL INSPIRATION?
Music-wise döömer is a deadly, yet tasty mixture of the music we three listen and have listened. We share the love for heavy tunes, but we all have had and still have our own personal favourite styles and bands.
Big Dog grew up with 60-70s psychedelic folk, 80's metal and 90s grunge and stoner. Now everything that is heavy goes, but you can definitely hear the influences.
Hank's the teenage punk rocker, who is currently going through a black metal and psychedelic season. And Joe is a hardcore heavy metal fan listening to the sickest death and black metal bands, but he also has a soft side as one of his favourite bands is Mew and he is also into weird electro music and synth pop also. Although a dose of Martyrdöd is always welcome!
We bring all these influences to döömer, as our differences feed the creativity. And it's nice that people hear different styles in our music, even if we don't put them there on purpose.
But musical influences are just one part of döömer. The other part is emotion. We're not punk, nor a political band, but we scoop emotional inspiration from daily politics, environmental issues and human nature, and channel the negativity and frustration from them to our music - especially to lyrics. At the moment there's plenty to scoop from.
HOW DOES IT FEEL LOOKING BACK? HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE EVOLVED UNTIL NOW AND HOW DOES THIS NEW RECORD REFLECTS THIS CHANGE?
Sure we have evolved. Maybe not as players that much, but as musicians and as band, we've grown a lot. With every song and release we try to take a step forward.
In our type music it would be easy just to repeat the same format over and over again only by coming up with new riffs, but we want to bring something new on each release, whether it's an acoustic song, more clean singing or handing a mic to a drummer.
We don't use many ingredients, but we try to use them wisely.
HOW CHALLENGING ARE THE CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING AND RECORDING A NEW RECORD?
Actually it wasn't that challenging. When we started to write new material in the beginning of the year we decided to make two great songs instead of three or more good songs. So we concentrated on the first two that really stood out from the jamming sessions.
Because each Dö song is born in jamming sessions at the rehearsal den around a riff that either Big Dog summons out from his SG, or Hank beats from his Ripper. So none of us brings a ready song for others to practice. That method just wouldn't work for us. Neither would long studio sessions. That's why we once again trained the songs well before the recordings and therefore it wasn't hard to play versions that had the just right intensity and feeling.
But as we see music as our dark and dangerous playground, we don't want to limit ourselves too much, so maybe well lock ourselves into studio next time if we feel like it.
SO WHAT QUALITIES DOES A LYRIC NEED IN ORDER TO MAKE IT AN INTERESTING SUBJECT MATTER FOR A DÖ TRACK
On the first two EP's lyrics were pretty much something that Hank just threw together. But on "Tuho", and now on "Astral Death/Birth" the lyrics are more serious and have something to say.
These days the lyrics reflect our attitudes and feelings towards religion, bigotry, human nature, the destruction of the environment etc. You know, the basic stuff.
So far we've been using mostly English, 'cos it's been somehow easier to write in English. But then again it's also easy to write something totally utter bullshit and clichéd. Music is not about limitations, but there are few things we try to avoid: no fancy, complicated words and no forced rhymes. Hate that shit.
We also don't want to explain the lyrics, because you don't explain poems either. Just remember that in Dö lyrics the owls are not what they seem.
DO YOU PLAN ON BOOKING SOME SHOWS OUTSIDE FINLAND?
We have all kinds of plans, but let's see what happens. Only thing we can say at the moment is that we aim to get on the road before the final flash.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE LOCAL SCENE
The local scene is alive and kicking. Maybe there's not that many new doom/stoner bands popping up at the moment as there was a couple of years ago. But most of the active "small or mid size" bands are world class acts. But still, even though Finland is a metal country, proper doom and stoner are somewhat underground here. And that's great.
ANY COOL BANDS I SHOULD CHECK OUT BEFORE WE SAY GOODBYE?
You probably know all the cool bands better than us, but if we'd recommend just one, it would be our brothers in booze, Black Royal. Their new Dying Star single is an absolute killer.