'Sonic Ooze Noise' Maybe? The Densest
English Band That Defies All
by the last two full-length efforts (2008's Happy Birthday
and 2010's Eurogrumble Volume 1) of English band Hey
Colossus I'd say that they are stretching the limits of what we
know as doom metal. Not only that, but these accidental
visionaries also seamlessly bridge the gap between experimental
music and the densest of metal sub-genres. Somehow, they just
don't fit into any one description, but oh, their music is just
so fucking heavy. On the other end is Robert Davis. Read on and
spread the word...
What was the idea/inspiration behind Hey Colossus?
In the start
Joe and I wanted to put together a band that was louder and
heavier than anything we had all played before. The brief was
Melvins / Mudhoney / Sabbath. I think we got it on the 1st few
records. It's now just evolved into more our own thing.
Why did you pick that name?
sounding name to match the sound we were going for. Ian the
original guitarist came up with it. Where from only he knows.
Descriptions are a pain, but I think that everyone would
struggle to peg Hey Colossus under one genre. I have seen you
described as a stoner band in more than one occasion, but
somehow that does not suffice. How would you describe your
music/style to someone who has never heard your music?
noise maybe? It can be anything. Doom, stoner whatever. We try
not to think of the music a style. It tends to just come as it
Who are the greatest musical inspirations to Hey Colossus?
Far too many
but Sabbath for the riffs, Bon Scott for the shouting and Quo (I
am pretty sure that’s Status Quo) for the rock.
Your discography is pretty extensive considering the band ‘s
first recording dates back to 2004. How happy are you with those
recordings? Do you see them as a statement of the time and are
proud of them all or do you ever wish you hadn't put out so much
chuffed with every single thing we have done. I think some could
have been mixed or recorded better in the early days but they
still stand up against the bigger sounding records of late. We
record lots of stuff and try to get as much out as possible, for
us it keeps it all fresh. We now pretty much record and mix
ourselves so we get the sound as near as we want it to be.
Let’s talk a little bit about the creative process in two steps,
song creation and recording. First, your songs do sound pretty
spontaneous and natural. What’s the process of song creation
like? How do the recordings come together? Jamming? Is it all
born from a riff or a beat?
All of that
really. Joe, Tim or myself will turn up with a riff or an idea
and we start from there. Other times Rhys may say ‘let’s play
a fast one’, next time he'll say ‘slower’, Paul will
add stuff to the layers and we hit record. Mix it and get it
I know that the new one and Happy Birthday were recorded
quite differently from the first three recordings. Can you
please talk a little bit about the way in which these recordings
were handled? What are the advantages to this approach over
The first 3 lps
were going down the more traditional route recording songs we
had rehearsed and played live. Nothing wrong with this approach,
now we feel more comfortable to more improvised ways that evolve
into something that we possibly wouldn't find. Some Happy
Birthday vocals were recorded in my house with my daughter
eating dinner in her high chair next to me. It's a pretty
There has been an addition to the lineup and the new album shows
an extended name to the band which now includes The Van Halen
Time Capsule. Is this name extension permanent? Can you please
elaborate about the addition to the lineup and elaborate on what
that represents to the sound of Hey Colossus?
The line up is
the same with the exception of the Cosmic Leader who is
currently on a break touring his own stuff in far away lands and
Norfolk. We'll have a different name on the next LP. There's a
few ideas but just pub talk now.
What would you say is the main differentiating factor between
Happy Birthday and Eurogrumble Volume 1? Moods,
recording, tones, band's mindset, etc
I'd say there
is little difference, possibly a little more out there. For the
next LP we’re thinking 1980's Napalm Death style grindcore.
Riot Season is an awesome label. All the albums they’ve put out
have a very unique sound. How did you hook up with them? For how
long (how many albums, if at all) are you engaged with them?
We love the man
behind the label as well as the label itself. We have no
contract with them and we have no plans to do stuff with anyone
else. Our mate Craig Clouse of Todd and Shit & Shine had only
great things to say about Riot Season so when we had Happy
Birthday ready we contacted them. Luckily Andy was a fan and
What records are you listening to now?
Sloath - Riot
Cramps - Off
and Bloodshot Bill. One dead, one alive but both super mad one
What are the next plans for the band?
Unless a large
sack of cash lands our way it's unlikely we'll make it out to
the States. We were really gutted having to pull out of SXSW
earlier this year as it would have been a few shows with our
mates TODD and a general jolly. Next week we'll be in Ireland
followed by random gigs in the UK. We'll take a break around
October as I have another baby on the way bringing the band kids
tally to 7. Hoping to get some more Euro jaunts and more of the
same really. The new LP is on the way, we're hoping to get it
Read the Deaf Sparrow Review of
Happy Birthday here...
Read the Deaf Sparrow Review of
Eurogrumble Volume 1 here...