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ARCTANGENT INTERVIEW: Boss Keloid

We got the chance to catch with vocalist Alex Hurst, guitarist Paul Swarsbrick and drummer Ste Arrands of stoner metallers BOSS KELOID after their set at ArcTanGent Festival (read our review of that performance here) to talk about following up their critically acclaimed Herb Your Enthusiasm whilst also taking the time to ask the band about their perception of the alternative scene’s very own drug culture.

How does it feel to playing ArcTanGent Festival?

Paul: Superb!

Alex: Special.

Why special?

Alex: Because I think the people of ArcTanGent are proper music lovers, and they all appreciate good music.

Does BOSS KELOID like technical music?

Alex: Yes, I think the techiest we go is MESHUGGAH. Reckon they could play ArcTanGent at all? They have a tech vibe to them, but I guess those vocals…

Last time this journalist was able to catch BOSS KELOID was last year’s Bloodstock, what has the band been up to in the past year?

Paul: Writing the new album, crafting the new album. We’ve had some really cool gigs, went over to France for four days which was lovely, played with BONGZILLA, great experience.

How goes the writing for the follow up to Herb Your Enthusiasm?

Alex: It’s done. We’re recording on the 15th September at Skyhammer Studios. We’ll be done within a week and it should be out early next year!

How was the writing for the record, was it smooth?

Ste: Never is really…

Paul: Every time we jammed it was absolutely amazing.

Ste: Oh come on now take this seriously!

Paul: No I’m being serious, I’m not over blowing it, every jam you wanna progress and I felt like every week we were progressing forward

Alex: Every week was progression.

Ste: It was still hard times sometimes though…

Paul: Yeah and without hard times you don’t progress. We don’t wanna just do the same shit we’ve been doing.

Alex: Putting the lights up in the practise room, that was quite challenging. We had lighting that wasn’t fit for a peasant.

Is this how you guys write then, through jamming as a unit?

Alex: Mr Swarsbrick over here wanks away on his guitar and brings riffs in that blow our minds and then we build from that. Steven and Swarb write really well together but I’ve started playing guitar more as well so that’s another element added in.

With another guitar added in does this mean the BOSS KELOID sound has gotten heavier?

Paul: I think it’s gotten bigger, more interesting.

Alex: We’ve added keys in as well. I was in another band before these guys and I’v played guitar my whole life so I’m constantly picking up the guitar.

Paul: This guy is a fucking monster on the guitar, it’s a real different style to mine, far more bluesier.

How deep will your lyrical content be?

Alex: Deeper than the earth itself.

Paul: There Is some profound shit coming out of [Alex’s] head.

Ste: What was it you came up with back at the campsit?

Alex: A clover trodden upon by a deers hoof! That was off the top of the head mate, can throw them at ya all day. I was watching a band earlier on the main stage and just started singing along!

Do you guys come to festivals a lot when you’re not playing?

Ste: I don’t know.

Why?

Ste: I like a bed, I like a shower. I’m a very, very sweaty man, if I’m without a shower I get very uncomfortable and very nervous. I’m sat too close to you now as it is!

Only asking purely because Alex mentioned gaining inspiration from watching other bands play, do you guys do that a lot?

Alex: Endless music, anything, if it’s good. I’m a massive reggae fan, massive dub fan, we all are. If it’s pleasing the ears, it’s good.

Ste: There is music in our houses all the time.

According to BOSS KELOID, who are the best bands to get stoned to?

Alex: Im gonna say BOB MARLEY.

Ste: FUNKADELIC.

Alex: BOSS KELOID.

Paul: Yes.

When people think of the rave scene, the thought of taking pills is an easy association to make. Why do you think metal doesn’t have a likewise association, despite drugs being such a big part of the scene and culture?

Alex: Well, there is marijuana.

Ste: I don’t think metal has a particular drug, because metal is such an overarching thing.

Paul: People are into whatever they’re into.

Ste: Metal is a constantly expanding umbrella as well I think.

Alex: So long as you’re having a good time and not causing any trouble, job’s a good ‘un.

Why do you think doomy and horrible sounds like metal go so well with something as supposedly carefree as marijuana?

Paul: We’ve all got emotions and we’re all emotional. Going from one extreme to the other can be a good thing, sometimes you’re fucking really sad and melancholic and you have to embrace that.

Ste: It’s the one drug that does open your ears though; more than anything else it makes you focus.

Alex: What, marijuana?

Ste: Yeah, turns you from a multi-tasker to a single thing, if you are really listening to a band, the simplest of stuff can sound really interesting.

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