Wednesday, May 29, 2013

interview with doomsters Project Armageddon (Texa,U.S.)

Project Armageddon (U.S.)
Recently, I took a very important international corporate business trip to the big apple, Houston, Texas, where the cold winds freeze, the buffalo roam free, and the lunar beaches shine bright with the stardust of the future past. It was nice to leave my grandma’s basement in Washington State for a while and enjoy my wealthy lifestyle in Houston.
One day I was having my happy vegetarian meal with a couple of tycoons, and my grandma, who is blind in Texas. Anywho, The Hermanitor came up to me and whispered, looking right into my good, left eye: “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse, I’ll make your day, punk” and then handed me this cd, and added: “Say hello to my little friend.”
It was Project Armageddon!
After dinner, my grandma and I asked the limo driver to pop in the cd.
Little did we know about the doom that awaited us. My grandma exclaimed, “That’s brilliant! Simply, brilliant! I can’t believe that Texas has such splendid doom and we didn’t know. It reminds me of the music of my youth in England, when I would go to concerts in Birmingham and Tony would get together with Bill and the lads.”
The Hermanitor was right. Here they are, Project Armageddon, calling out to the doomster stoners of the world. You wanted the doom, you’ve got the doom! Here the answers by Raymond Matthews (drums) and Alexis (vocals/bass) to a set of questions that I sent them in Morse code. --
Hello, Project Armageddon! Metal Bulletin zine here. I have been listening to the "Tides of Doom" album. I didn't realize that Houston, Texas had such doomsters. Is it true that you put out the album by yourselves? By the way, what does that mean: You have put up your own money to record the album?
We own the Production company, Shattered Man Records. So we did record the album ourselves, and we paid for the CD production from money we saved playing shows. We try hard to reinvest everything we make back into the band so we can continually improve our sound and quality of production. We also hired out the mixing and mastering to Tomasz Scull, of supernaturalsoundltd/Venomin James & I'd say he did a killer job for us.
Are you all homeless now from having spent all your money on the album?! Are you living in a van, down by the river? Project Armageddon must be one tough bunch to go at it alone, only motivated by the love of doom, right?
Raymond-I've played drums for over 20 years and have always been motivated by the excitement of creating something new, original, and entertaining, and then having the joy of sharing that with fans in a live performance. I also thrive on the technical challenges of capturing that original work in its best possible form by recording. Though I don't have formal training in recording, after spending countless hours and dollars over the years I've managed to pick up enough to make it work.
Doomstress Alexis-Really when it comes down to it, if you have a drive and passion about something that you are creating, then you strive to overcome any obstacles in order to achieve that goal. There are things that will either obstruct that objective or perpetuate it. If it means enough to you, you will find a way to make it happen regardless of the consequences, and this is true in many things in life.
Say, so how exactly does Project Armageddon achieve its sound? Do you use special equipment? Do you use equipment that is old, in order to achieve the classic 70s doom sound? How much auto tune did you use, ha ha?!!
We use a rack mounted 24 track recorder, the Alesis HD24. It captured the sound exactly as we play it. I use the same Tama drums set that I bought in new back in 1991, the Rockstar DX series, with some good mikes and as few punches as possible. It's important for the feel or the song to try to get in in as few takes as possible.
We typically play the song and record the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar all at once. This helps capture the live feel, then we go back and add or replace bass & guitar lines including solos and harmony tracks. Last we lay down the vocal tracks. Doomstress Alexis does a great job of capturing the feel in just one or two takes most of the time.
The sound has to be attributed to the gear and the mikes we use. Like to make sure we can capture the same or better sound live and we have on the album so we don't rely on any triggers or computer generated synthesizers. We use a couple samples that we made ourselves, too, like the marching crunch in “Fallow Fields,” which is the same sample we used on the first album. We do have an assortment of effects pedals and love to experiment with them to create original sounds as well. One example is running the bass through a POG (Keyboard synth pedal) as heard in the intro to “Sanctimonious.”
Doomstress Alexis-1st off-NO AUTOTUNE! We record through a mix of different gear both analog and digital, and then we sent it off to SupernaturalSoundLtd for mixing (although the 1st record we did mix ourselves via an analog mixing board). Aside from that we just use great gear that gives us the sound we like, and we capture it well thru trial and error, and advice from those with the know-how.
Is it true that all three of you (Alexis, Ray and Brad) are former members of Well of Souls? Did all three of you carry out a mutiny in Well of Souls and then formed Project Armageddon?! Was it musical differences?
Yes, we all enjoyed playing in Well of Souls for several years, including the North American tour in support of their first album. Brandon was a founding member of WOS and I joined early enough to participate in writing all of the material that has been released by them to date.
During the recording of “Sorrow My Name” at Dungeon Manor Studios in 2008, the three of us started writing songs that would later become Project Armageddon's first album, “Departure.” It started out as regular rehearsals for Well of Souls, but since the lead singer and other guitarist were unable to make rehearsals for an extended period of time, we decided to go ahead and record these new songs as a side project. By the time the album was released in 2009, it had become apparent that the other members of Well of Souls would be unable make the effort continue on, so Doomstress Alexis, Raymond, and Brandon committed to focusing on their new venture. Project Armageddon is now working on its third full length record at Dungeon Manor Studios.
Doomstress- As I started writing material that was an obvious departure from the former band, the idea of a side project became very relevant, especially due to the lack of activity of the former band. So Project Armageddon just kind of took on its own life and we've just rolled on with that tide, so to speak.
How has 2013 worked out for you so far?
2013 has been our strongest year yet. We have toured regionally and played Houston about once or twice a month. With two albums out, and the third in the works, we feel like momentum is building. I've notice more crowd support, and, with the help of our new manager Herman García, we've gained a better perspective and direction for the bands future.
Doomstress Alexis-2013 has definitely renewed our focus as we have continued to gain more attention locally and regionally. Hiring a manager seemed essential so we could concentrate on the creativity of writing and performing. So far it's been a rewarding year playing some of the major cities around the state and even SXSW this year in Austin!
The songs "Fallow Fields" and "Path of Darkness" are both over 9 minutes song. But your instrumentals are shorter. Is there a logic here? How does your band approach the songwriting process?
We like to write together as a band and feed on each other’s creative energy. The synergy of working together often gets the creative juices flowing. Typically one of us will come up with a riff on the guitar or bass, the others will join in, then it will morph into several different movements before we stop. We try to record everything when we are writing so we can piece the parts we like together after the jam. Sometimes the parts of one song were written in sessions months or years apart, and other songs come out more quickly. While vocal ideas and some melodies may come out during these jam sessions, the vocals are usually not refined until after we have a core structure to the song with well-defined riffs. In some cases we just decide that the song is strong enough instrumentally that it doesn't need vocals at all. We tend to end up with a few musical ideas that don't seem to be right for a featured song, but more or less stand on their own. Sometimes it's inspired by an instrument like the 100-plus year old pump organ at the studio, or some D'jimbes. These expressions became the shorter instrumental songs on the album.
Doomstress Alexis-most of our songs, especially the longer ones, tend to incorporate instrumental segments so naturally they tend to be longer as they expand musically upon the vocal segments of the songs. Some songs come together very easily, while others we may take some time to work out certain parts after many trial takes.
How much training does your singer Alexis have?
Doomstress Alexis sang for a few side projects before PA, so we knew she had talent. Neither Brandon nor I had any interest in singing so it was a natural thing for Doomstress Alexis to just start singing. She also has a natural talent and passion for creative writing so this new project gave her the perfect outlet to express and nurture that talent.
After working together for so many years in our previous band, and not really thinking about PA as its own band in the beginning, we never even considered looking for or recruiting another singer or any other members for that matter. Even today, we are very happy to be a three piece band.
Doomstress Alexis-I've always enjoyed singing even before playing guitar or bass. I'd been in a few bands here and there singing or not but always sang in my free time. I did some backing vocals and wrote some lyrics in our former band, but was generally too busy to try to pursue much until Project Armageddon started to take shape. I'm still expanding and developing my range and style as I continually evolve.
How can people stay in touch? I live in Washington State, have you ever played here?
We keep up with our Facebook, ReverbNation, Youtube and MySpace pages. We are on Itunes, CD Baby, hellridemusic,,, and several other locations on the web. We have also recently created our own official band website:
There are links to listen to and buy our music, shirts, and other band merchandise, as well as info about our upcoming shows and events. We also have a blog with info about past events and a fairly extensive photo gallery. From our site you can sign up to become a "Fan" & receive notifications of upcoming events. We have not yet played Washington State, but we do plan to do more touring this year and the next, so check back with us at the website to stay informed.
Raymond Matthews

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