Interview with Desert Storm

One of our favorite recent releases was the new album by UK rock band Desert Storm, which we reviewed a couple of weeks back. You can see what we thought of it here.

Keen to find up more, we caught up with the band to get some of the story behind the music.

Easy one first, How did the band get together ?

Chris W: After parting ways with our previous band, me Ryan and Elliot decided to have a jam with Matt who we knew was a vocalist and was like minded musically. It seemed to work from the word go.

Elliot: We originally started off as a four piece (with Ryan playing Bass), but felt having a second guitarist would give the band a lot more power. Ryan then switched to playing rhythm guitar like he did for our old band, and then we got in touch with Chris B about playing bass. He had a few rehearsals with us which went really well and then joined the band.

There are a variety of different styles in your particular blend of rock, who would you say were your biggest influences ?

Chris B: We all bring different elements and interests in music, as we all vary in what we listen to in our spare time. I think that could be why our tracks could seem to be seen as being quite diverse and change between different styles. So its really hard to put a pinpoint on who specifically influences us.

Matt: Albert Hofmann. Musically a number of bands and producers ranging from the genres we play to the most obscure gems of any enthusiasts library.

Ryan: Bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kyuss, and Tool have influenced us a lot musically. So I would say they are probably the biggest influences.

Forked Tongues has been described as everything from Southern Rock to Stoner Metal, how would you describe what you do ?

Ryan: They sum us up pretty well, but we like to have a lot of variety in our music. Blues rock/metal is probably the closest we can get for a short description.

What’s been the highlight so far ?

Chris W: Supporting the mighty Orange Goblin at The Regal in Oxford!

Chris B: Personally, my highlight has been playing the festival, Bulldog Bash. It was a completely new experience playing at a festival like that. Hopefully we will play it again, it was great to relax, drink and look at the bikes.

Elliot: Supporting CKY at the Leamington assembly was pretty cool as well. It was their warm up for Sonisphere last year.

How close is the final album to what you originally envisaged ?

Chris W: Close, “Connected” was done spontaneously in the studio, we new wanted to have a wide range off stuff on the record, but it was only in the studio that we could sit down and see how far that could be pushed.

How do you guys enter the recording process, do you have all the tracks written before heading into the studio, or do you work best under pressure ?

Elliot: Everything apart from Connected was already written, we usually like to have everything planned out beforehand, this is just to save time and money in the studio.

How are the writing duties split up, who does what ?

Matt: Scraps of paper and phone recordings of Riffs or lyric ideas for songs are brought to practices and worked on, or sometimes one of the guitarists may bring several sequences that fit nicely together,

Chris W: Me and Ryan generally come up with the basic riffs, Elliot Matt and Chris then help us to develop and structure them into songs based around Matt’s lyrics.

It’s interesting that at first listen your music sounds stripped down and uncomplicated, but on more attentive listening there is an awful lot going on. Was it difficult to get a balance between the stripped down ‘feel’ to the end product and the complexity of what’s happening in the background ?

Elliot: It’s not something that we consciously think about, we just play what we think feels right.

Chris W: We have a really wide range of influences so it means that we have a lot of different ideas of how a track can be structured and layered, we love groove based music so we would never want to over complicate our music to compromise that.

Lauren Hayes vocals are an unexpectedly, erm, melodic element in such a down-and-dirty mix. Trying to do something a bit different ?

Chris B: Yeah of course, you don’t often hear female vocals on stoner rock, but with us it’s a case of why not? We thought it would work well and she did a great job, as Matt said once ‘we would play with a brass section on a track if we thought it would fit!’

Are you happy with the reception the album has received so far ?

Matt: Yeah it has been received really well which is great! It is a great feeling when someone is praising something that you have created, it just gives us that push so that we can start on the next one and make it even better!

What are the plans for the future ?

Chris B: Start on the new record, play more gigs,

Elliot: Hopefully get some tours lined up as well, and some festivals over the summer.

Matt: Anything and everything that comes our way! We’ll play the places that dig the sounds and continue to come back – hopefully a trip out of the country at some point. New releases, new cities, new venues, familiar faces.

Keep things rolling in the right direction I guess!