How did you get into doom and who are some of your influences?
I think some people are just wired to like doom/sludge/metal. It's a way to still be involved with metal but I'd say doom puts the emphasis on soul over chops. We're all fans of Black Sabbath, but we're from the Nirvana generation so they're an influence on us as well. Led Zeppelin, Electric Wizard, Acid Bath...I feel like any music you like somehow has an effect on what you play.
How did the band come together?
Asechiah has known Garrett for 20+ years. Dorthia responded to a Craigslist ad. We arrived at this current lineup through a couple of rhythm section changes.
There seems to be a lot of metal, and doom in particular, coming out of Virginia these days. Do you have any explanations for that phenomenon?
Richmond has always been a hotbed for punk and metal. Maybe as humanity gets dumber we're all getting worse at our instruments and our lack of talent forces us to play slower.
Soma ended up on a lot of year end lists for 2013. Were you surprised at all by the reception the album received?
Nothing too surreal has happened yet but it was cool to get a mention on Rolling Stone's website. It helps validate what we're doing to the loved ones who got by without our presence for months at a time.
How is the current tour going so far?
Good! We're seeing a lot of familiar faces and friends in each town. Playing some really cool venues, too.
Do you have any immediate plans for a follow up to Soma?
We're writing whenever we're home long enough to unload the van.
How does the Windhand songwriting process work?
I imagine it's pretty normal. Someone will come in with a handful of riffs and we build on it from there. We share ideas and try different things with the arrangement.
Do you consider yourselves a live band or an album band?
I don't think that's for me to decide because I don't think we have to be one or the other. Playing live is what we do the most, whereas recording an album only happens every once in a while. When we record, it's all analog so it tends to be pretty similar to the live show, where timing and feeling are concerned. When we play live, doing the recordings justice is high on the list of priorities.
A lot of our readers are musicians, so I have to ask...what are you using to get those thick, heavy tones?
The guitar heads are all vintage 100-watt tube amps. The bass head is solid state but running through octave and fuzz pedals. It's all hooked up to a bunch of speakers ranging from 10"-15" in diameter.
What's one album you couldn't live without?
Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone is playing it safe, but you can't fuck with that record. It's one thing for music to be “moving”, but I see red when I hear that album. I can't wait to hear the new one.
What's playing in the tour van these days?
Nick Cave, Alice Cooper, Sixteen Horsepower, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Waylon Jennings, and the Flying Burrito Brothers lately. Coffinworm and Pilgrim's new albums have gotten some love but I try to go easy on my ears during the day.
Where would you like to tour that you haven't been yet?
Japan would be cool.