Gloom/Doom and Sludge Metal from Tampere, Finland.
We chat to frontman/vocalist, Kimmo, about the sounds behind LURK
Can you tell us about your release ‘Kaldera’
Kaldera was a big step up for Lurk, as we let all of our influences flow freely and stain the palette. Finally we knew where we were going.
Any favourite tracks?
I have two personal favourites: Ritual, which infuses brutality into heady ambience and epic melodies. It almost beautifully murders your brains. The second is the title song, album ending Kaldera, which mutates and lingers through different paces until the final explosion. Pure, raw, thorough ravage. It’s everything that Lurk is about.
How and why did you first pick up the guitar?
My passion for the distortion-laden music finally led me to obtain my first guitar when I was sixteen. I was never going to be the world’s greatest shredder. From the beginning the goal was to beat out riffs and powerful rhythms, truly feel and release the right vibe. I have always gone mood before technique, although never afraid to learn something new and useful. Just harnessing more tools to abuse. And when the first distortion pedals appeared under my foot, they showed me the path to the abyss where all the exciting things dwelled.
First album you purchased ?
First meaningful record for me was Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All. I picked it up from the library shelf purely because of the artwork. Luckily the music was brightly on a par with the bloody hammer. That record showed me the music can and should shake you up really good. I’ll tell you, that album in a small Finnish village deep in the forest in mid-90’s did deliver quite unfamiliar and groundbreaking sounds for a ten-year-old.
What kind of attributes do you look for when choosing an electric guitar
The guitar has to have just the right feel in my hands. Bold neck, thick and resonant body, those are good starting points. I really like neck-through bodies, because of the vibrancy of the construction. My main guitar is B.C. Rich Mockingbird Exotic Koa with Lace Finger Burners. Also the looks of this instrument is top notch, dark wood with classic B.C. Rich details.
Can you describe your approach to songwriting — how do you decide which riffs good and which are bad?
The riffs, the melodies and the arrangements have to have the right atmosphere and power to come through as relevant pieces of the composition. Rhythms and all, they have to lock tightly together. Not in the way that the performance has to be played on the grid, almost just the opposite. The music has to breath heavily to have a monstrous groove. When you start to smile or laugh uncontrollably, you know there was something worth discovering. We as a band make the arrangements always together because all of us have something to give to make the composition better.
Tone-wise, what was your recording setup like?
Personally I (and think the other guys in the band as well) have always liked to turn all the buttons to the full and observe what happens, because you have to test and ride hard to find the greatest things. On the verge of breaking things, or sounding like that, is usually where the magic happens. If the music is ripping souls and worlds apart, it needs a truly special kind of a sound for it. You have to be prepared to different situations and needs and that’s why I’m such a pedal junkie. Many kinds of gain stages stacked upon each other creates something unique, worthwhile and hopefully, unexpected. We have always produced everything by ourselves as we have a clear vision and the knowledge to capture it. The basic parts with drums, guitar and bass are recorded live without click tracks. That’s where the groove lives. One of the most important parts of the Lurk-sound is our guitarist Arttu’s rig. Peavey XXX head to XXX 4×12” cab pushed with Boss HM-2 and Tokai Metal Driver and Arttu’s emblematic use of different delays from Eventide Timefactor build an intoxicating wall of sound.
That combination has always offered the basic guitar sound, captured with three or four mics(usually at least Sennheiser 421, AKG 414 and Shure Sm57). For the upcoming record we used two sets of basic rhythm tracks panned left and right. The other rhythm sound is something quite different but still in the same league sound-wise as Arttu’s basic rig. A 15 watt Fender Pro Jr. 1×12“ open-back combo. Yeah. Lil’ Fender was pushed hard with HM-2, to the point the amp was trembling and resonating all over the place. It was dangerously beautiful. And I doubt that you can tell apart which rig is which. It’s all down to capturing the sound right. Bass was recorded with TA2400 PA power amplifier to SWR 4×10″ cab with Sansamp Para Driver as a preamplifier. Smallsound/bigsound Team Awesome fuzz machine was the main source of distortion. I think Weehbo Helldriver was used as a boost.
Then a plethora of other guitar tracks were added. Selmer Zodiac mk II served for cleaner parts. I recorded additional guitar parts with my Blackheart Handsome Devil(/w WGS Liberator in a homemade cab, miked with Heil PR31BW) with few of my favorite pedals flavoring the big picture: AA Abominus, Lone Wolf Audio Plague Rat, Smallsound/bigsound Mini, FoxRox Octron and Digitech Supernatural. Also I recorded some of my vocals through these gadgets. My vocals were also recorded with Heil PR31BW. That and it’s brothers PR30 and PR35(my live mic) are the best all-purpose dynamics I’ve tried. Refined and natural sound with almost no feedback or leakage problems.
How do you recreate this live?
Our live setting is very basic but very, VERY loud. Arttu and our bassplayer Eetu use almost the same gear they used in recording sessions. Although Eetu has this rude fuzz he uses live, Joyo Voodoo Octave. Kalle(drums) hits hard whatever he can find and I deliver some human rumble through Heil PR35.
Anything in the upcoming horizon for Lurk?
We are looking strictly forward as we have a new record ready to be released. It is something else, as we’ve taken the best parts of our debut and Kaldera and pushed them beyond logical reasoning. The music and the lyrical concept entrail around a new brutal ardor with production values and everything topping all we have done before. It is truly an exciting adventure, almost insane if you look it in the wrong way. We are searching for a label to release our upcoming album, rehearsing at the same time to get some doom and destruction delivered across the stages of northern hemisphere.
Give us your best “wtf” live show experience…
Taking this crew on the road is full of tiny moments of madness and small miracles that keep us going, but there was a little overheard thing that gave us some laughs: after a gig in our hometown, some fellow was musing over our performance of the evening and found it quite bearable (even enjoyable!) if only for one little detail, which was our guitar players hairdo (“how can he play that music with such short hair?”). Just goes to show there’s no pleasing everyone.
Thanks for taking the time to give us your insights
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