Interview with Bast

2015 is looking to be a great year for UK based sludge act Bast. Their killer debut album Spectres from last year is already being reissued, a day they’re playing at festivals this year such as Incineration Festival, Bloodstock and the legendary Roadburn. With this success Primul OM took the time to answer some questions for Swirls of Noise…

First off, thanks for talking to Swirls of Noise

No problem. Thanks for chatting with us.

How would you describe your sound for someone who hasn’t heard of you guys before?

We’ve never really attempted to sound a certain way, or strive to be a specific genre. Between the three of us, we listen to a very broad range of music, a lot of which tends to be within the doom and black metal spectrum, but we definitely draw from hardcore, progressive, death metal and post metal too. Some of these influences are more obvious than others, but they all rear there heads in some way.

Your debut album Spectres has had a good reception, and has been reissued

after less than a year. Did you anticipate such a response?

Honestly, we tried not to think too much about the sort of response it may or may not receive. The most important thing for us is to reach the point in the writing/ refining process where we feel like it’s finished, and as good as we can make it. Our mantra is that it’s better to spend the extra time making sure we’re all totally positive about what we’ve written, rather than put it out there and have any kind of regrets. The continued support from Jon Davis of Conan at Black Bow Records is something we’re eternally grateful for though. Seeing the record reissued so soon, and the response it has received since its release is a constant source of pride for us.

The album flows really well as a whole, a really coherent release rather than a collection of songs. Is this something you set out to do, and how do you approach your song writing?

Yeah, it was a conscious decision to make a piece with an over-arching narrative thread. The first step of our process is to discuss the story we’re trying to tell. This goes on to inform every subsequent step in some way, inspiring the mood and pacing of the compositions and the lyrical content. Even though the individual tracks are written separately, we try to be mindful of how they’ll fit into the album as a whole, and have a rough idea of what we’re trying to capture for each stage of the concept. Almost like chapters in a book.

Your live performance is really tight, so much so it’s almost studio quality, and you generate such a great atmosphere on stage. Do you prefer playing live to being in the studio?

Thanks very much!

Probably playing live. Recording Spectres was the first time any of us had properly been in the studio, where as we’d been playing tracks from the album for a number of years. We intentionally approached the recording process with the mindset of trying to capture an approximation of how we sound live, as we consider ourselves – first and foremost – a live band. That being said, we had a great time at
Skyhammer Studio, & working with Chris Fielding had always been a long term goal of ours, having produced some of our favourite albums.

And following on from that, with the attention from Spectres you’re playing some great festivals this year, Roadburn, Bloodstock and Incineration. How does it feel to be booked to play these this shows?

We’re really looking forward to it, 2015 is set to be the best year yet for us. Incinteration’s line up is amazing, and we’ve collectively attended Bloodstock for the last few consecutive years as patrons, so we’re honoured to have the opportunity to play alongside such legendary acts. Roadburn especially is a festival we’ve always wanted to attend – and with the exception of Craig (guitar/vocals) – have never gotten to do so. They’re some of the biggest milestones yet for us, along with Damnation and Into The Void – which we were lucky enough to be invited to play last year.

And finally, when can we expect the follow up to Spectres?

We’re working on new material at the moment, but the only honest answer would be ‘when it’s ready’. Spectres took us a long time to write, as we constantly scrutinised the material and generally didn’t move forward with anything unless we were all 100% happy with it. We’re very proud of the end result though, and don’t think it would have been possible if it wasn’t for this process.

Thanks for your time, do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Just a massive thanks to all those who’ve checked us out on record, or taken the time to catch us live!

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