Conan are just about to release their third album at the end of the month. ‘Revengeance’ is going down nicely over here at CackBlabbath HQ, so while we are crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on the review, we caught up with Jon to fill us in on the new album and some 2016 plans:
We trust you had a good festive period. All ready for 2016?
Yeah just about! We have a busy year in 2016, but that’s how we like it. We seemed to truncate our touring in 2015 between March and June and a couple of additional festivals, so haven’t played many shows in the back half of the year. The new record obviously requires us to tour and promote it and we’re excited to do that.
The new album ‘Revengeance’ is out later this month. You speeded things up a little bit on ‘Blood Eagle’… what would you say the main changes were for this album?
We haven’t deliberately changed anything actually, but I reckon most people will see quite a few differences on Revengeance. The lineup has changed, so naturally the feel of the album will change slightly also, but it still sounds very much like a Conan album. Rich joined on drums and Chris has been playing bass since early 2014 and the three of us found it really easy to put the music together. Revengeance (the title track) was actually the first song we wrote in the studio and kind of set the tone for the whole album really.
I’m only on my first couple of listens, but to me… it sounds a bit warmer and looser. Is that a fair observation?
Yes , I think so. I read one review where it said that the songs sounded more lived in and jammed than previous offerings and I reckon that is fair comment. The three of us wrote this album as a group, which is slightly different to how it has been done in the past. As a result the tracks sound more fluid.
You don’t seem to hang around when it comes to releasing new music. Is that a natural cycle or a necessity for Conan?
We feel that bringing music out every two years is a good period. We wouldn’t release if we didn’t think the tracks were strong enough obviously, but we find that releasing and then touring and writing again in this sort of cycle definitely works for us – it’s our natural rhythm or some hippy bullshit 🙂
Last time we spoke to you, you said you didn’t want to have to work for anyone again. Conan have a big presence on social media and as well as new material, there’s often some new merch on the way. Do you think any band (providing they are as good as Conan) can function as a business in this day and age?
Yeah, I remember that bold statement and so far so good.
I hate making other people rich and didn’t enjoy the working relationship that I had with some of the people that I had to work with during my day jobs. It truly is a depressing way of life, but when you’re in it you focus on your goals and your targets and I guess you don’t see past the end of your nose – I totally get that. I totally respect that some people need to work to get what they need out of life, pay bills, pay a mortgage and support a family etc but once Conan and Skyhammer started to gain popularity I just knew I couldn’t pass it up to stay working in HR…… It makes me shiver just thinking about it.
I don’t think that any band should think about functioning as a business because that is the wrong way to think about it. They should focus on being an awesome band until they become an awesome band, if they start to make money at that point they should try and work hard on setting up merch etc and doing the social media thing, but until they are a great band they will just be telling the world how average they are. Be a god band first, then see what happens.
We’ve seen you in tiny rooms and big old festivals over the last few years, you have a UK tour on the way but will you be hitting the any festivals again this year?
Yeah of course. We have several festivals lined up across the year, both in the UK and in Europe.
Will you have a constant touring partner or local support on the UK tour?
Yeah, The Bendal Interlude are joining us. They have a new album out on Blackbow Records this year.
Black Bow Records seems to be going from strength – who do we need to look out for this year?
Thanks! The label is doing great, it started out as a bit of a project but has become something bigger as time has progressed. I have new albums by Slomatics and also The Bendal Interlude this year so people should keep their eyes open for them.
Thanks for the update chaps!
It’s no secret we’re quite fond of Conan here at CackBlabbath. We can’t wait to catch you on the road again soon …
Revengeance comes out on Napalm Records: 29 January 2016…
And don’t forget:
“UK TOUR 2016!!!!!! With The Bendal Interlude – Come out and be slain”