Low Flying Hawks blend searing doom, sludge and metal with elements of ambience and shoegaze to create a brilliant cacophony of intense music that is captivating to listen to. The bands new album Genkaku is out now, fearptures members of the Melvins and Mr Bungle and is a must listen for any sludge/doom/drone fan. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist EHA to hear all about the album and its meaning and its influences.
Your new album Genkaku is out now. It’s an amazing album that sounds so heavy but so subtle at the same time. Was that the intention with the albums sound?
The intention is exactly that, heaviness and subtleness converging, light and dark.
The sound is also so dense and very live sounding, did you want that overall vibe for Genkaku?
Yes, that was the idea, raw and dense and a sort of live and spontaneous feel.
There is an intensity on the album too, was that important to get across?
Oh yeah, intense is what we wanted, we wanted a full immersive experience, and thats what we aimed for.
Despite The heaviness there is also a sense of melody and of course a very psychedelic nature to the album and its sound. Was a combination of these elements important for you to get out there on Genkaku?
Yes, very important indeed, there is definitely a psychedelic approach happening here, and main idea was to meld melody heaviness and psychedelia to give this hallucinating feel all over the board.
What was the vibe like when you were recording the album?
The vibe was psychedelic darkness!
You worked with Toshi Kasai, who has also worked with Melvins and Big Business. How was that experience and what did he bring to the Low Flying Hawks Sound?
Toshi is the best, he gets every sound and every idea of what we are trying to do perfectly so it’s always super smooth and natural with him. And the melvins what can i say of curse its a huge deal to work with them as well. It’s always been a team effort.
What does the title of the album mean?
It means hallucination in Japanese, thats what the record its meant to be.
How did Low Flying Hawks start as a band?
It started many years ago and it’s been shifting over time, in 2013 we gathered all the art, music and experience of years and years and started building what we are building today
Dale Crover and Trevor Dunn again feature in the album. What’s it like working with those guys?
It is amazing they’re great guys and great musicians, playing with them comes natural, it feels like we’ve played together all our lives
King Buzzo also features on the brilliant opening track Smile and the awesomely heavy Space Wizard. What did he bring to the songs?
Who else would you love to have on a Low Flying Hawks album?
In a utopical world Iommi, Aphex Twin, Arvo Part, Tom Waits and Neil Young hahaha!
Were you big fans of the Melvins and Mr Bungle before?
Of course, who isn’t fan of the Melvins hahaha!
You’ve been described as an ambient metal band, do you feel this is a fair description of the bands music?
We don’t like to tag our music because we don’t know what kind of music we play we just play, there is a lot of ambient and a lot of metal on it that’s for sure
Are you fans of ambient music in general?
We are, from classical ambient to Sunn O))) and all in between, but we are fans of a lot of kinds of music
What are your favourite ambient albums?
Aphex, Eno, Global Coommunication, Spooky, and the list goes on and on
What musicians, bands and albums got you into music in the first place?
Wow, so many, let’s say a lot of European metal, psychedelic bands from the60’s, classic rock, theres so many it’s impossible to list
What music are you currently listening to?
It changes everyday but everything from classic rock bands to classical, jazz, metal again so many bands and so many great records that the list would be endless, we tend to shift a lot, we never listen to one style of music not even in a single day, one day could be Crimson, Miles, and obscure band from the 60’s, Autechre and the next day it could be all classical, Bartok, Faure.
Will you be touring in support of Genkaku once it is released?
Maybe, we’re figuring that out.
Will you make it over to the U.K?
Of course, the UK is one of our favorite places
How would you describe your live shows to someone who hadn’t seen you before?
Genkaku (Hallucination) hahaha!
Will you be playing a lot of the new albums songs when you play live?
Yes, we’ve got a new EP in the works thats a bit different from what we’ve done before so maybe some of that as well
Who would you love Low Flying Hawks to tour with in the future?
Bob Weir, Neil Young and Tom Waits!