Lord Dying may not be a badass new character from Game of Thrones or a new Castlevania villain but they are just as cool! These masters of sludgy doom have risen from their crypt and are preparing to ravage the west coast for three days thanks to Black Arrow Entertainment. This special tour which will kick off July 7 at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, CA, make a stop here in our backyard at The Merrow on July 8 and wrap their limited run on July 9 at the Bootleg Theater in LA.
The Ugh Metal overlords had their personal ASSistants, Jennifer and Santi, chat with guitarist/co-founder Chris Evans before they embark on their tour. After exchanging heartfelt “Thank You’s” and friendship bracelets, the interns asked Chris some burning questions to get to know them a little better.
Ugh Metal Staff: Is there a particular meaning behind the name “Lord Dying?”
Chris Evans: Maybe a little bit. It was a phrase we came up with or whatever. A long time ago, right before this band, we tossed around a lot of band names. We thought this one sounded pretty cool. Erik (Olsen, vocalist/guitarist of the band) and I grew up in Salt Lake City like amongst a lot of Mormons and stuff and all that so it kinda (he chuckled) it kinda was there. A metal response to that in some way.
UMS: It’s really cool and its very Game of Throney, so I really like it.
C: (Laughs) Yeah.
UMS: (Laughs) How did you guys meet? I’m pretty sure there’s no Tinder for bands out there so give us the deetz, man.
C: (Laughs) Well the band…the core of the band has always been me and Erik who is the singer and the guitar player. We met in elementary school in 5th grade. He was wearing like a Metallica shirt or something and we started talking at recess and we’ve been going in bands on and off together since then. We learned how to play guitar together and stuff. So yeah this is kind of the next thing that we did and you know in the meantime we met…we’ve played with a lot of people in this band we’ve had a lot of bassists and drummers kind of in and out just ‘cause of how much we tour and all that. Not a lot of people can keep up with this.
C: But currently we’ve got Matt Price (bassist) and Chase Manhattan (drums) on drums and bass they pay in a band called Behold! The Monolith. They’ve been around the group and we’ve already played together It’s been working out really good.
UMS: How was your journey as a band before getting signed to Relapse Records?
C: Like I said, me and Erik have known each other since elementary school so I was trying to start a band here in Portland and I just wasn’t gellin’ with the people I was playing with and Erik was at my house one day and he stepped in and we wrote our first two songs that night. We had a friend who played in a band called Black Elk (ex-bassist Don Capuano) and right around that time they broke up and we asked the bass player to join and he did. Then we were looking for a good double kick drummer in and in Portland, at the time, there really weren’t any but we put the word out and a friend of ours told us a guy had just moved out here from Memphis, he played double kick and was looking for a band and we all just gelled really well and that’s how we got the band started.
UMS: This one had us a little curious, out of all the subgenres why exactly did you choose sludge metal?
C: Well honestly we don’t choose the sub genre we’ve always called ourselves a metal band. And I guess all the other descriptors come from other people, maybe that’s how it ends up sounding. We’re fans of sludge for sure and doom and all that but we’re never trying to do any particular subgenre of metal.
UMS: What would you consider your main influences?
C: They change all the time. I’d say originally it was, like one band all of us agree on is Slayer and we were always in to like old thrash like Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. But you know also things like High On Fire and more riffy stuff like Black Sabbath of course. We’re also in to a lot of calmer things, like me and Erik love Pink Floyd and a lot of progressive stuff… And Opeth maybe?
UMS: What new things can we expect to see from Lord Dying in the future?
C: Well right now, except for the three shows were playing in Southern California, we’re pretty much taking a year off the road and we’ve just been writing every day. We’re about halfway done writing the new album so we hope to hit the studio by the end of the year and have a new album next year and hit the road.
UMS: WHOA! Is it possible to know what kind of concept you guys are gonna do on this upcoming album?
C: Well there is but we’re kind of messing with it, the content of the album but it’s a little too early to say what we’re doing right now but it’s certainly, so far, quite a bit different than the stuff we’ve been doing.
UMS: So will you guys be experimenting in this album?
C: Yeah a little bit, we just finally decided to take the time to really sit and write and took our time to focus on like making the songs as good as we can. Some of that has taken a sort of different shape than our last couple of albums. Still heavy and hard but there’s also a lot of calmer stuff and maybe more progressive elements to it but we’re kind of just doing whatever we like at the time.
UMS: Man, it all sounds good either way. We can’t wait to hear what you guys are gonna offer.
C: Yeah we’re really excited about it. We love what we’ve come up with so far.
UMS: Is there a particular artist or band you’d like to collaborate and why?
C: Oh man. *sigh* I don’t know.
C: I know we’d love to tour with Slayer or Mastodon. Collaboration wise I don’t know, that would be a difficult thing.
UMS: What artist or band that is not considered “metal” is your guilty pleasure?
C: I would say the Alan Parsons Project. I think it’s great music I like the idea of that band where Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson wrote all the music and then hired musicians to play it. The concept of the music is all progressive and weird but the concept is super dark and I’ve always been a big fan of them.
UMS: Damn, I was shooting for Kenny G.
UMS: What is the craziest experience you’ve ever had on tour?
C: Hmmm….I’m trying to think.
UMS: Ooooh! Whoa!
C: (Laughs) Oh no! I’m just trying to think there’s been plenty of debauchery. Maybe the craziest that comes to the top of my head is a show we played in LA with Toxic Holocaust it was at an unofficial tire place but they said they hadn’t sold a tire in years. It was in Compton, it got really crazy and the cops were surrounding it and while we played, the ghetto bird with the spotlight on us the whole time, and that was pretty crazy and Erik got to yell “Fuck the police, kill the police!” on stage so that was fun .
Though Lord Dying has been around for seven years, they have managed to live the dream many bands hope to have one day. Expect to see more of these critically acclaimed doom masters in the future but while we wait, be part of this very special tour and catch them today (July 7) at the Tiki Bar, or for our local peeps catch them tomorrow (July 8) at The Merrow with Eukaryst, Raise The Guns and The Bastard Saints and On July 9 at the Bootleg Theater in the city of demons… I mean angels!