Album of the Month

The debut full-length from Greek band Automaton is weighty, sludgy, coffin-lid-slamming Doom perfection.
(Read more)

Random band

A very atmospheric and dreamy, yet ultra-heavy sounding band. Their first album, 'Nord' consists of a multi-faceted blend of Sludge, Drone, a...
(read more)

A band featuring MDB stalwarts Hamish and Shaun, exploring music based more on their various stints with Solstice - that has to be an interesting prospect, right? Comrade Aleks certainly thinks so.

Interview with Godthrymm.
"The release of an EP isn't usually a big deal, but Godthrymm's 'Dead In The Studio' is a special case. Hamish Hamilton Glencross (vocals, guitars) and Shaun Taylor-Steels (drums) founded the band in 2017, and this is their second EP, but - of course - they've played for many years in bands like My Dying Bride and Solstice, not forgetting Hamish's involvement with the lesser-known Seer's Tear or Shaun's time with Anathema on 'Alternative 4'. It would be easy to label Godthrymm's new release an "ex-MDB members' project", but the fact is they've found their own identity on 'Dead In The Studio', and once you'll hear it you understand what I mean."

Current Godthrymm line-up: Shaun Taylor-Steels (drums), Hamish Hamilton Glencross (guitars, vocals) Danny Lambert (bass, vocals).

Hi gents! So, Godthrymm was formed less than two years ago: the original line-up consisted of you both (Shaun on drums and Hamish on vocals and guitars) and Rich Mumford (bass) alongside Chaz Netherwood (guitars). It's fun that all of you played in Solstice in different periods, but well… who didn't play in Solstice? Half of the UK tried to return it to life for years. But that's too long an interlude, let's resume – how did you all gather together?

Hamish: Whilst in Vallenfyre, I did the Decibel Tour with Pallbearer. I became close friends with those guys, and they were telling me that they loved the New Dark Age album that I played on. This made me look at that past body of work that I had ignored for a long time and reevaluate it. I got in touch with Chaz to tell him about Pallbearer's appreciation for our past work, and this led to us meeting up with Shaun and jamming out some new tunes in that style. The stuff came very naturally and seemed strong, so we just booked Academy Studio and recorded some stuff. It just gained a bit of momentum from there.

Shaun: When Hamish mentioned the idea of getting together with Chaz to write some new material, I was more than happy to offer my services. As soon as we hit the rehearsal room, everything kicked off from there. We were all thrilled at the fact that it sounded so good and it felt really good too to once again rejoin forces.

All of you have years of experience playing in a lot of metal bands and it seems that Doom was always a priority for you, in both Traditional and Death Doom forms. Why did you choose its epic form for Godthrymm?

Hamish: I would describe the very first album I recorded (New Dark Age In 1998) as epic doom, so it was more of returned to a sound I'd not played for quite some time.

Shaun: Yeah, it was exactly the same for me too. I hadn't played in that particular style of band since leaving Solstice.

Hamish, you've spent two years in Prog Doom band Seer's Tear, and Shaun played in Ironside, which is tagged as a Hardcore/Doom band. Did you think of creating a Doom metal hydra with many heads built of combined genres?

Hamish: I think it's important to have focus and direction.

Godthrymm - 'A Grand Reclamation' (Official, 2018):

And speaking about your experience – how does it affect songwriting within Godthrymm? You've played all over, so don't you ever catch yourself thinking that this riff or chord was actually used in some of those bands where you previously played?

Hamish: I don't recall ever repeating ourselves. It's actually very easy to view different bands as completely different entities with different dynamics. I can't see that ever being a problem.

By the way how do you share duties between the band's members? Are each of you responsible for your own parts? Or do you have someone who generates most of the ideas?

Hamish: It was a lot more haphazard at first, with multiple people contributing to the music. This resulted in the first EP being a bit more random in its identity rather than the channeled power we have now. We've since found a much tighter focused dynamic by which I am taking the lead with writing the music, we arrange it all together collaboratively in the rehearsal room, then Danny provides the lyrics and vocal lines. Of course, there are instances where he'll write some riffs and I'll write some vocals, but for the most part now, we've got a good rhythm.

The band's name has a strong pagan vibe, and I guess that heathendom is still a quite underrated topic for Doom bands. Do you see it as a central lyrical theme for Godthrymm?

Hamish: I doubt it moving forward. We're a bit more into more personal themes now.

Shaun: Godthrymm is a totally different entity now. We have grown and matured so much over such a short period of time. So i guess the name isn't quite as relevant now as it was back then.

So… You started with the EP 'A Grand Reclamation' – four anthems of professionally performed grim and epic Doom. How long did you work on this material? What kind of goal did you set before the band started working on the songs?

Hamish: At that stage we just wanted to write and record. We booked the studio before the songs were finished. It was all very quick but we were enjoying the time.

Shaun: Yes, we were itching to record and get something out as soon as possible. We did pretty much everything in a day.

The compositions are perfectly produced, so I wonder what conditions did you have, working on the album? Do you have your own studio already? Or did you spend some time at a real studio?

Hamish: The Grand Reclamation EP was recorded at Academy Studio with our old mucker Dan Mullins. So it was all a bit of a revisit to old haunts and connecting to old times. Moving forward, we want to continue to try different approaches. We did a session recording two songs with a very hands on producer, which was a very different experience for me, and worth pursuing even though it strayed a bit away from our natural sound. A good experiment. However, finding Nathan Bailey was a revelation. He captured us perfectly in a live session, and that pointed out what was most important; and that's capturing the intensity of our live sound.

Shaun: Returning back to Academy studios was a very enjoyable experience. Like harking back to the old days. Nathan Bailey did us a truly fantastic job. He nailed it right away, so very professional.

I was surprised that 'A Grand Reclamation' was released by Transcending Records (US) and Cosmic Key Creations (Netherlands). How did these gents find you? You know - two men who played in Solstice and MDB, that's already a brand in itself: I'm surprised that the EP didn't appear on some major label.

Hamish: I approached each of those labels as I had respect for each of them in what they were doing. We've had one deal offered so far for an album on a more recognised label, but we're still waiting on that to gone through. I really hope soon though.

Chaz and Rich left Godthrymm in 2018, and the band became a trio with Danny Lambert on bass / vocals. Did he take part in writing stuff for Godthrymm's forthcoming EP 'Dead In The Studio'?

Shaun: Danny comes along with some great ideas. He fits and understands perfectly what Godthrymm is all about and shares the same vision.

Hamish: Absolutely, he brings in great vocal lines and hooks that I would otherwise be a bit riff-blind to come up with! He also contributed awesome riffage to the song 'Beyond The Veil' which will be on the album.

I see that there are three songs on the EP, and all these live studio tracks were already uploaded on YouTube. While 'The Devil I'll Be' sounds quite dynamic and catchy, 'Cursed Are The Many' is pretty mournful and down-to-earth. And 'We Are The Dead' is a kind of mix of both. I need to say that EP sounds damn killer… I guess that I have just one question: why did you choose to record all tracks live in the studio?

Shaun: The first EP is so very far removed as to how we sound now so, it was a must that we should record some live footage as soon as possible.

Hamish: Over the course of the shows we've been playing, we've proven to be a strong live band, and that's what we wanted to capture. I don't feel debut EP really does is justice now, so I woanted something else to act as an introduction to the band.

Speaking about shows – how tight is your gig schedule for 2019? And do you have ambitions to spread Godthrymm's words as far as it's possible with your shows?

Hamish: We've got a few things lined up - first show in London and return shows in a few cities we've got before. We'd love to get back playing a few shows outside of the U.K. though. We've only done the In Flammen show so far. So anyone wanting to book us, please get in touch!!

Shaun: Yeah, we have a couple of things in the pipeline in regards to overseas shows but, nothing concrete as yet. Would be super cool if something becomes of them though.

Godthrymm - 'We Are The Dead' (Official, 2019):

Isn't it time for Godthrymm's full-length album? How do you see your prospects?

Shaun: We are more than ready now to record a full length release. We have all the material to do this so, we really feel the need to enter the studio as soon as humanly possible.

Hamish: It certainly is, and we are desperate to get back to the studio and record. It's a different world out there. Our past history doesn't influence much I feel. We just need someone to give us a chance and a bit of a budget, and we will create a great album of crushing power. It will be my tenth full length album I've recorded, yet also feels like it would be my first.

Will you keep the full-length album in the vein of 'Dead In The Studio'? What kind of ideas do you aim to fulfil in it?

Hamish: We just want to expand in the sound we've got, record the songs to the best that they can be. All the time pushing the limits of what we can do. I want to hear more harmonies and more sorrow.

Shaun: It seems that; every time we write another song it's better than the last. We just have this magical connection. We know our direction/vision, it's very clear to us all. When a song reaches fruition it really is such a joy.

Okay, gents, I'd like to thank you both for this nice conversation, my pleasure. And I hope that people will dig Godthrymm's new material, as 'Dead In The Studio' is really worth attention, that's a killer album. Didn't we miss anything? How would you like to finish the interview?

Hamish: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. Thank you to everyone who has checked us out so far, and please do get in touch if there's a way you think we can work together; be it gigs or releases, cheers!

Shaun: Thank you very much for taking the time with this interview Aleksey and, for your interest in Godthrymm. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us. Hopefully we will see you ALL real soon, horns up ^^

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Godthrymm bandpage.

Interviewed on 2019-06-30 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
Rotten Copper
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com