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Holy Serpent Want Smoke Machines Filled With Weed

The Melbourne heavy psych band bring the doom but hold off on the gloom.
November 25, 2014, 4:03am

Holy Serpent are newer than most of the canned food in my pantry, but unlike that tin of vegetarian mince that’s been freaking me out for 18 months, they’re making waves with their take on psychedelic doom. The genre has seen a worldwide resurgence of late, so it’s always encouraging to find local Australian dudes keeping up with the best of them. And considering band members Nick and Scott went to the wrong office on the way to meet me for this chat, it’s safe to say the nation’s psychedelic future is in the right weed holding hands.

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Noisey: Why did you choose to make non-aggressive heavy music?
Scott: I only got into heavy music about a year and a half ago, I really liked the sound of the fuzzy guitars but I wasn’t too stoked on the growly vocals, so I brought my own approach.

Most metal genres have had their time in the sun, whether it was thrash in the 80s or nu-metal in the 2000s. Why do you think the slower tempo kind of metal has always simmered away in the background?
Nick: I think it’s really coming back now.
Scott: There’s a whole new wave of bands referencing the 90s bands that were referencing the 70s bands.
Nick: There’re so many subgenres in the umbrella that you can call doom to pick and choose from. It wasn’t intentional though, Scott just sings a certain way and I write riffs a certain way and that’s what we ended up sounding like.

The guitar solos really stand out on the EP. It’s like they were recorded inside a pyramid on a full moon. What are your secrets?
Nick: I’ll never tell! Umm, no big secret, we really concentrate on finding a good tone with big amps and fuzz pedals.

So you’re brewing your own secret sauce?
Nick: I’m just trying to find something that sounds cool, but you’d be surprised how little effort went into the recording, in-fact zero dollars whatsoever. It’s not even mastered.
Scott: We recorded it in one weekend when my girlfriend was away in Sydney. Timon Martin from Kimbra produced an engineered it.

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Kimbra and you obviously have a completely different sound but is there anything you feel you have in common?
Scott: Nah, but a lot of the guys in Kimbra’s band played in a prog metal band in New Zealand.

If you could write and record your next EP anywhere on the planet, where would it be?
Scott: I like the idea of being somewhere isolated as possible like Sweden or something to focus. But we’re pretty happy with the way this EP turned out, so we’re keen to keep it as DIY as possible! In a way, so many strange things came together all at once

Do you have a policy on smoke machines for your first show at the Tote?
Nick: As long as they’re filled with marijuana, we’re down with them.

Catch Holy Serpent with Watchtower, Elbrus and Vadgedagger at the Tote on December 11.

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