Faith in the industry, faith in society and faith in an ever-loving benevolent God. These are the three vile demons you must slay in order to truly appreciate the work of Bristolian doomgazers Sugar Horse.
Despite being a fairly new proposition to many, Sugar Horse have already made a significant impact due to their sheer dynamism, offensive disregard for genre conformity and ability to manifest all annihilating walls of noise that are both crushing and beautiful. In celebration of their spectacular new EP DRUGS, we got in touch with frontman Ashely Tubb to hear about the top five records and top four non musical inspirations that helped birthed the record.
"Here follows the words of a man that takes himself far too seriously and a look at some of the inspiration behind our new EP, 'DRUGS'. I’ll try and do it justice and I hope it doesn’t bore you shitless... I’d recommend listening to some kind of Benny Hill soundtrack while you read to really give this slog a wee bit of levity."
Oceansize - Music For Nurses
"Anyone that knows me even slightly will know that I rarely stop banging on about this fucking band. They changed my life permanently from the first time I heard them and were the first band to show me you didn't have to limit yourself to one sound. Sometimes oppressively heavy and complex, sometimes minimal and beautiful and sometimes a mix of all of the above."
"This EP has a unity to it, a flow that binds all these disparate sounds together and that overall unanimity made us wanna sit the disgusting bits next to the lovely bits and make them part of the same story.I think a general majority of Oceansize fans are super into the technicality of the band, but that's never really been important to me. Mike's vocals were always my favourite part of any of their songs (although the instrumental tunes are just as monumental). It still astounds me how he manages to write such incredible vocal lines over masses of utter chaos."
The Chariot - Long Live
"I'm gonna really annoy a load of punks right now, but I wholeheartedly mean it; this record is the greatest Hardcore album ever recorded.There's an anticipation The Chariot summon. A feeling of having no idea what's coming next. It's both avant garde and ferociously simple at once.The energy they manage to summon in this pretty stark recording is unreal. Josh's vocals play a gigantic part in this. His voice is so incredibly emotive, without having that corny METAL-GUY "brutality". Don't even get me started on his lyrics. If you've never heard it before, listen to the middle section of 'The City' and have the lyrics in front of you. A truly breathtaking part on an utterly perfect record."
Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights
"This album was a big revelation to me when it comes to production. Without going into the incredibly boring nuts and bolts of it, there's a certain feeling on this record of what I like to pretentiously call "infinite space". It's these real fake and digital sounding reverbs slathered over every instrument, so you get no sense of the actual room they were recorded in. It gives the record this grayscale backdrop, like Film Noir. I went so deep on this, I managed to get my hands on digital recreations of the exact verbs they used and these are all over the record. On everything and unashamedly high in the mix. Every time someone tells me "there's way too much verb on everything" it always makes me smile like a smug twat. "GOOD YA BASTARD""
Sleep - Dopesmoker
"If you haven't heard about the Spinal Tap levels of farce that surround this record, then you're in for a treat. First of all the "album" is one track that's an hour long and is pretty much open C for that entire hour. I mean, the drums don't even come in for three whole minutes. That in itself is brilliantly hilarious. The audacity....There are tales of the band taking a big wedge of cash from London Records, then proceeding to spend all of it on weed, booze and amps. As so often happens with bands that partake in such ridiculous past times, the band broke up shortly after the album's release and kind of lived in smoke stained folklore. The thing we really appreciate about this album is the willingness to make entire musical sections out of just one note. Taking melody completely out of the equation and making the tone of the instruments the whole focus. We really ride this in the EP's closing track, DogEgg. The end is essentially just open A over and over again with some dickhead shouting over most of it."
Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me
"When this band started we wanted to sound like Pavement with Dino Jr fuzz. That kinda went out the window real quick. You can't stop a miserable goth making miserable music."
"This record is like daggers in your ears. The guitars are like chainsaws and they are completely relentless. J Mascis is renowned for stacking up far too many fuzz pedals, running all the controls at full and sticking it all through a wide open wall of Marshall stacks. It's a genuinely heinous sound and it made us completely disregard the standard straight into a Peavey 5150 school of getting heavy guitar sounds. Stacking up pedals like that means you can completely destroy the original signal if you wish to, or when you wanna back off you can get a more traditional thing going."
"We're all big pedal nerds and between us own a stupid amount. It's a problem and I really don't want to stop."
"An unexpected opener, I'll give you that. However, it's probably the biggest influence on the lyrics on this record. Don't get me wrong, I ain't no Christian. Quite the opposite. We are but specs of dust in a universe of chaos. Saying that, I fucking love a bit of fire and brimstone, old testament Christian writing. The tone of it just feels really grand and there's a particular brand of vengeful wrath that I feel suits our music perfectly."
The Current Metal Scene
"I don't wanna slag people off here. It's Not my business what anyone does and I'm not trying to be some kind of bloated arbiter of taste. However, I am really not a fan of the vast majority of current heavy music. There's a polish on everything that bores me and makes every band sound nearly identical. I like my heavy ragged and full of energy. We all like records that sound really singular and have sounds you can get from literally nowhere else. I think ....And Justice For All is a prime example of this. Loads'a people criticise it for its production, but for me that's the best thing about it (well second; Hetfield as an entity in this period is almost mythic). There's a starkness and immediacy to the sound of it that you can't get from any other record."
"While we haven't succeeded in making anything anywhere near as original sounding as Justice, I like to think that we at least tried to and you can't do much more."
"Almost exactly a year ago now, after a long and established career, I decided to give up drinking. I won't go into the long winded and honestly pretty shite reasons I felt I needed to make this decision, but it felt like I'd taken it far enough. Half of this record was written while I was still on the sauce and the other shortly after I'd kicked it. You can't help but be influenced by these things when you write and this is no different. I've had slip ups, like anything else, but it's the best decision I've ever made and alcohol-free beer is pretty good to be honest."
"This is the first period in quite a few years now I, and the other guys too, have felt any kind of stability in our personal lives. I guess there’s a kind of romantic ideal of the tortured artist, always on the run from something. Spinning plates and staying up late. We’re making much more interesting music now we’re somewhat comfortable. I'm sure the course of current events will throw a big shit-covered spanner in the works somewhere, but for now we’re all pretty content…..as we can be."
"Thanks for reading and thanks to all those who’ve seen us, listened to us, bought any of the weird shit we sell or showed even the vaguest bit of interest in this band. It’s truly batshit and we’re very grateful to you all. Keep yourselves warm you bunch of miserable goths."