Interview: SOPH DAY (ALUNAH) “I Get Directed To This Toilet And There’s A Man Masturbating Into The Urinal And There’s Another Man Shi*ting In the Shower”

Interview: SOPH DAY (ALUNAH) “I Get Directed To This Toilet And There’s A Man Masturbating Into The Urinal And There’s Another Man Shi*ting In the Shower”

Cold dark and rainy, the perfect night for a doom show, even if it’s in Bradford. Hardly the home of heavy metal. Well fortunately Alunah are from the very home of British heavy metal. The land of Black Sabbath!

These Birmingham psychedelic folk rockers are here tonight to play a show, I got a chance to catch up with vocalist and guitarist Soph Day about the future of Alunah…it’s looking bright.

Alunah

So! We’ll start with the basics – How are you today?

I’m good thank you very much!

Your current release, ‘White Hoarhound’. You worked with Napalm on that, now you’ve inked a deal with them for the next album. How are you finding your new label home so far?

Yeah, they’ve been amazing! They haven’t pressurised us since we signed, saying ‘you’ve got to have it done by this date’ it’s just natural progression. We’ve written the majority of it so we’re talking release dates now. But yeah, they’ve been brilliant! They’ve really help pushing us, I mean at the moment they haven’t really got anything to promote and they’re still working really hard to promote us so that is really good. We’ve had to do this all ourselves before, we’ve never really had anyone behind us, it’s been really nice to take some of the pressure off of us.

I can imagine it is! So, it’s been over a year since White Hoarhound. How has the reaction been?


It’s been brilliant. We’re still getting reviews come in even last week, if people discover it and they have a website/blogsite or something they’ll review it and it has been incredible really ‘cos of when we wrote it. It’s very different from our first album, so we weren’t sure if people were gonna like it or not. But people have just fallen in love with it really. We’ve probably had 2 or 3 bad reviews people saying it’s too polished sounding. We like our doom, like Electric Wizard we don’t like it too polished, but we don’t class ourselves as a doom band really!

I must admit, I do prefer the production on White Hoarhound in comparison to the first album…

I like it, I like to be able to hear things and hear things cleanly, but it’s personal taste really.

So, you said yourself you’ve got the new album pretty much done now, you’re talking release dates, any hints of what’s coming? Is it titled yet?

Yes, we have a title, but we’re having to let Napalm announce that. But we have got a title. We have got our title track like we have on the other two albums. The album is very White Hoarhound like, we’ve got a new bass player on this one and he is basically a great songwriter, he’s come into the band and we haven’t been “oh no you can’t have any input”. We’ve let him really put his stamp on it! He’s really into his folk and he’s really into his classic music so he’s brought some of that into it. It’s also a lot more melancholy than White Hoarhound and heavier. More atmospheric in places but it has got it’s catchy singalong chorus’ and bluesy vocals.

So it’s a good mix?

I think so, we’re really enjoying it, we’re playing a new song tonight that’ll be the only new song we’ve played live so far.

Do you have a release date in mind? Autumn time I’d imagine?

Yeah, it’ll be autumn, we’re planning a tour in October so it’ll be around then. We’ve booked the studio time for May so Napalm need three or four months to plan it all so it’ll be around autumn, yeah!

You bring up tours, you’ve got dates coming up in Europe then after that it’s festival season, so what are Alunah’s plans?

We’ve not got much this year. We’ve got a festival that’s part of our tour in Autumn abroad, we can’t tell you where yet though haha, we’re not booked for any of the big summer festivals this year though. We’ve got a run of dates in May, with a couple of underground doom festivals coming up. We’re doing ‘Doom for the Doomed‘ it’s a big festival in Birmingham and the Trip Out in September, it’s like a big psychedelic festival.

So it’ll be 2015 for you guys at the big festivals then?

Yeah, well I hope so by the time we’ve released the album. I hope more people will be into us so we’ve got 2015 coming!

alunah

All of the doom and darker genres are better marketed in the Autumn/Winter anyway I try and listen to doom in the summer and…

It doesn’t really go does it.

Tours! You have to go on tour with other bands give us some of your dream touring partners!

All of mine are dead, haha!

Even if they’re dead then.

The Doors.. Big Brother & The Holding Company.. 13th Floor Elevators. They’re all dead, well some of them anyways. But from the present day I’d say Monolith Cult who we’re playing with tonight. I literally can’t get enough of them. Whoever listens or reads my interviews I think I mention them in every one, but I am a little bit obsessed with them.

You guys, touring. What do you guys get up to on the road? Are you a party band or a watch movie band?

We’re a bit boring actually, I was on about earlier today. There are a lot of bands who try to conform to what they think a rock ‘n’ band should be. I mean we like to get really drunk, we are a boozy band but we’re not into drugs or trashing things. We’re very respectful and we’re very polite, our parents brought us up right you know. But we did Desertfest in Berlin last year as part of our European tour and we were in the room with some amazing bands like Kadavar, Orchid and Blues Pills. We just made an absolute cock of ourselves ‘cos we were on quite early we’d been drinking all day…Seb from Napalm Records was there before they’d signed us, our booking agent and our EU booking agent. You know people you shouldn’t be acting like twats in front of, but that was probably our worst moment of being a stereotypical rock ‘n’ roll band. Yeah we did the stereotypical Brits abroad thing in Berlin but generally we like a drink but we’re quite chilled out.

Tour stories! Have you got anything weird, wonderful or freaky?

Oh, I’ve got a good one from Poland. We stopped in this hostel in Poland well I’m not even sure it was a hostel I think it was a hotel people actually pay good money to go stay in. I’d asked to use the toilet whilst we were waiting to check in. So I get directed to this toilet and there’s a man masturbating into the urinal and there’s another man shi*ting in the shower!

There were showers with just curtains across and his wasn’t even shut. So he’s shi*ting in the shower and the other man is masturbating into the urinal in the same room and I’m there, this little English girl, needing a wee. I didn’t end up having a wee. It was just awful and then the next morning ‘cos we had a big room to ourselves we had a private shower room ‘cos they were like ‘there’s girls in the band so you get your own shower room’. But don’t mind the masturbating man, or the guy having a sh*t but the maid told me off for going in the shower barefoot. It was like ‘do you know know what that guy is doing in the public urinal!?’

Also there was trying to rescue Elin from Blues Pills. She was so wasted she wandered into the middle of this busy road in Berlin and was all ‘I’m so drunk!’ and we were trying to pull her back! I could go on but I don’t want to bore you. Nothing majorly embarrassing but we do have our moments like falling over on stage when I decided to wear boots I can’t walk in or my tassels getting caught in my strings haha!

Alunah Bradford

Since we’re still at the beginning of 2014 effectively. February counts! Any goals you’ve set yourself for the year?

Quit our jobs and do this full time. We’ve been saying that since 2006 so I’m not sure when that will happen. We’re signed now so that’s a step closer but I can’t imagine us being able to quit our jobs yet. We’re getting our own tour bus which is a big thing. I’m getting a campervan converted into a tour bus. That’s a big thing ‘cos we spend so much money hiring vans! Goal wise though. Getting the album written, recorded, released and touring it and hoping that people enjoy it. Because White Hoarhound is a big step to follow!

I do like to finish with a non-serious question…

Ok…go on…

You’re in a room, with the band, some porridge, water pistols and One Direction. What happens?

Erm, I’ll probably eat the porridge. I really do like porridge. No actually I’d put the porridge in the water pistols then I’d get someone to fire the porridge into my mouth ‘cos why would you waste a perfectly good water pistol AND porridge? One Direction…hmm depends how long we’re trapped in the room for? Like forever?

Yeah..

The rest of the band would probably just eat One Direction whereas I’d be just there eating my porridge ‘cos I’m a vegetarian.

I don’t think One Direction count as meat though, really…

Well there is that. I suppose I could just suck the bones. HAHA! Suck One Direction’s bone then we’d have to decided who in the band to eat first really. One by one.

And finally, any parting words for your fans?

Nothing really, just thanks for all the support…if you wanna check us out go to Alunah.co.uk all the links are on there. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Every social network site you can think of we’re on it!

Cheers, thanks!

Wicked, thank you!

Alunah’s White Hoarhound is out now on Napalm Records, buy it on Amazon below.