Stone Lotus are a 3 piece from Bunbury (aka the southern end of Western Australia) brandishing a sludged out, fuzzed out, doom metal sound. We chat to frontman and guitarist, Dave Breaker, on bringing new flavours to a traditional deep fried, southern style recipe.
Can you tell us a bit about the debut Stone Lotus 2014 EP
The Stone Lotus EP for me was a real test to see what we were able to achieve having never been through the recording process before, we really wanted it to sound as raw as possible and it had to be done on a budget so all of the artwork and photography was done inhouse and our good friend Ryan Pearce did the recording, mixing and mastering for us from his home studio. We are really proud of the result and look forward to stepping it up with the next release.
Can you describe your approach to songwriting and what elements each member of the band brings to the table?
This is how it works for Stone Lotus. Our Bassist Sam is a fucking Doom/Sludge/Fuzz nut case, he lives and breathes this shit, and honestly I feel like I’m getting an education each time we hang out! Quite often our jam sessions start out with Sam laying down a riff, It could only be 3 notes but you can feel that vibe in the room, next Reece (drums) will come in and with his adaptability to play multiple styles and pull a beat out of nowhere, it ties together this whole train wreck of noise we call Southern Doom. The best thing about Reece (drums) is his ability to play slow… it may not sound like a hard thing to do but with Metal getting increasingly faster and more brutal every year it is quite refreshing to hear a drummer slow the fuck down! I contribute a fair bit of the Southern Influence and post rock/metal in the form of inverted chords and little single note nuances and and all that bullshit which is most prominent in the instrumental outro of ‘Electric Goddess’. I also get to scream a lot which is great, it keeps me sane in the outside world!
First album you purchased ?
Well, It was actually Metallica’s Black Album in 1991 on Cassette, followed closely by Sepultura’s Arise that same year, I probably didn’t get my first CD player until 1996 and by then I’d transitioned into the Groove of Pantera and Corrosion of Conformity and things started to progress toward the more obscure after that until Doom struck!
How and why did you first pick up the guitar?
I picked up the guitar from listening to old Alice Cooper and Metallica albums and really connecting with the power of those distorted guitars and filthy riffs, once id learnt how to master a friggen power chord I was set! I was a vocalist for a few years before that and it was a natural progression to fuse the two together. My first guitar/amp combo is probably like a lot of peoples when they first start playing, it was a shitty strat rip-off, a Monterey to be exact and a Drive amp, I don’t know if you remember those things, they flooded the market back in the 90’s, throw in a couple of DOD pedals and I was set to create the most horrible sounds known to man! All good fun though, ya gotta start somewhere hey!
Definitely can relate…stating the obvious, but we are definitely spoiled for choice, at all ends of the budget nowadays. What kind of attributes do you look for when choosing an electric guitar?
I’ll lay this out on the table right now, I am sick to death of guitars being stereotyped because of the genre of music you play, next time someone says to me I need to buy a Gibson Les Paul or SG because I play Doom/Southern/Sludge I swear they’re gonna feel the heavy end of my JazzRat!
And to that point…My JazzRat!
The JazzRat is my Jazzmaster inspired guitar built by a great friend of mine Brooksy from Ratbone’s Guitars. He’s one of those old English guys you find working in a small brick shed hand carving lumps of wood into not fancy, but real honest working man instruments, he doesn’t own a mobile phone and barely knows how to use a computer so if you want something done its by word of mouth or ya gotta get off ya arse and go around there, it’s great, and I’ve got a lot of time for people like that! I’ve owned Tele’s and Strat style guitars from day dot and am really comfortable with the style of bridge and the flat neck of the fenders, hence never being comfortable holding a Gibson, in fact, I find it down right awkward! I’d never been a fan of the Jazz shape until a few years ago when I viewed and played another of Brooksy’s guitars which was styled on the Jazz, stained green and complete with a Bigsby.
It was then that I decided the Jazz shape was what I wanted and it was also fuelled by the ignorant words of a few people who were more worried about my look on stage over everything else..aka Gibson = Doom Bullshit, nothing against people that use em, just each to their own! I still get “it’s a Jazz! You can’t Doom with a Jazz” F’ing watch me!! The neck is hand carved from Western Australian Sheoak and is 22 fret and 24 ¾” scale length and based on the Dean FBD ML because again it was the neck length/radius I’m used to from previously playing an ML.
The figure on it is unreal! I’m running Gibson P-90 Pick ups from a Les Paul and they are absolutely filthy, perfect for this style of music!
Recording/Live setups behind you guitar sound?
Tone wise, I use Orange and Randall Amplifiers, a TH30 a T2 and PPC 4×12 to be exact. Again, I cop some shit by going against the norm of massive wattages in this genre but anyone that has been to one of our shows has heard the volume 30 watts can push out, so unless your chasing clean headroom then there’s no real need for 120 and 200w heads. I use the T2 as a slave so I can run a full stereo setup.
Annnnnd, here is my secret……The AA Vagiant Fuzz!
Im not here to suck Anarchy Audio’s dick about how good the Vagiant is, I give credit where it’s due and for me the second that Vagiant Fuzz hit my board it hasn’t come off, I’ve stacked it against EHX Muff’s and Black Arts Pharaohs which are the industry standards but the Vagiant is so ingrained in our sound that it aint going anywhere soon, I’ve thought about buying another one in case anything happens to this one! I’ve gotta thank Brendon from BAYOU for putting me onto them.
I also have to give a Huge shout out to Ray Goring of GOT SHARKS for the AA Prototype Fuzz with LFO, which I’ve dubbed “Architeuthis” which is the song it’s predominately used in, this pedal enables me to make my amp sound like it’s just been fried!! And you can hear it as the ‘SOS’ intro to the song of the same name. Ray kindly donated this pedal to me after I loaned it from him for the recording! Cheers man, Legend! I also run the Esquilax which allows me to cut mids during the straight up Doom segments of our songs which is one thing the TH30 is lacking…Mid Control!
We have a rule, if we can’t pull it off on stage then we don’t put it on the record, All that weird effect shit you hear on the record, that’s all played live through our guitars, effects and amps, we don’t do patches or samples or any of that shit, its not who we are.
You recently released your deput EP at 459 Bar in Perth and now that it has been released what next?
We have new songs that we play live, ‘Mountain of Filth’ and ‘Swamp Coven’ to name a few, they will go on the next record, whether it’s a follow up EP or LP we are undecided, though we are aiming to have something out by the end of the year. As for tours/gigs we are quite laid back, you get your bands that are very aggressive in their gig regime but tend to stretch themselves thin, no one wants to go see the same band every other week, we take them as they come and try to let the music/fans do the talking, if were doing something right then the gigs will come, we’re here for the long term so there’s no rush!
Give us your best “wtf” live show experience…
Hasn’t been anything too wild yet, though it’s coming no doubt! We’ve had gear failure like everyone does, mainly leads cutting out or power supplies fucking up, or starting a song with your amp on standby, ha ha, I’ll admit that was me, funny at the time, it’s up on YouTube already, you learn from it and move on. Sam did have a whole dude end up on his back across his pedal board, fucken beer everywhere, much to his horror, ha ha
Thanks for taking the time to give us your insights
No worries man.
You can check out Stone Lotus on
www.stonelotus.bandcamp.com – free EP download!