Allfather’s new album ”And All Will Be Desolation” (check our review here) is about to be released on 7th of September. It is heavy, it is bold and it will crush your tiny mind in your small and dull day! What a better opportunity for us to talk to Tom, the big angry throat of Allfather, about everything around the band.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Allfather: Beards. Metal. Fuck you!
– Welcome to Blessed Altar Zine, Tom! Very happy to have you here!
– How you doing? Thanks for having us
– First of all, tell us some details of Allfather, present yourself to our readers.
– We’re five guys from Kent in England who have a love for all things heavy. We’ve released a few demos, an EP, No Gods No Masters, a mini album called Bless The Earth with Fire, a single and our new full length album is out in September. Four of us also have magnificent beards, Joe doesn’t.
– You have kept your line-up untouched through the years…
– On no, we’ve have a few people come and go. I think we’ve had six drummers come and play for us. Andrew used to play guitar but moved to bass when our original bass player left. Al joined us on lead guitar a few years ago. Joe then joined as rhythm guitarist a bit later. Recently our long term drummer Kieron left after recording the album but Aaron, our new drummer joined a couple of months back and things are pretty peachy right now.
– Why “Allfather” and who is the allfather?
– We wanted a name that sounded pretty metal so we went down to the pub, had a few beers with a list and went through them one by one. We talked long and hard about whether Baboon War was a good name but it didn’t get enough votes and to be honest, that is a grind band name if ever there was one. Goat Catapult was thrown about (no pun intended) but for some reason didn’t make the cut. Allfather sounded pretty hefty what with it being related to Odin, the Norse God of Knowledge and seemed to fit well.
– What are your musical inspirations – bands, names?
– We’ve all be listening to metal, rock, punk, hardcore and a whole load of other stuff for a very long time now, for some of us 25 years or more and each of us take inspiration from different places. For me as a lyrists and vocalist I have looked to people like Zach De La Rocha (Rage Against The Machine) and Nathan Gray (Boy Sets Fire) in terms of their lyrics and how passionate their delivery is. In terms of technique I try to go for a cross between a hardcore Neil Fallon from Clutch and Randy Blythe from Lamb of God. I’m obviously not as good as either of those but I’ve only really be doing vocals for about four years so am still learning. One negative reviewer described my vocals as “a poor man’s Phil Anselmo” but, at least I’m not a big old racist.
– And where do you find your inspirations for your heavy, riffy, sludgy, doomy, groovy and yet heartful and determined music?
– Riff wise a whole host of bands but I think on this album there are a couple of occasions, in particular the closing track, Lampedusa, where Al’s guitar solos feel extremely heartfelt and have been known to bring a tear to one or two eyes.
– Southern NOLA spirit in a Brit band, how goes it?
– We love riffs, so do bands from around there. However, we have tried really hard not to write songs that just sound like Down or Eyehategod rip offs. Whilst it’s great to be influenced by bands, I think we’ve be able to use that to write songs that ultimately sound like Allfather songs at the end of the day.
– You have brand new crushing album “And All Will Be Desolation” coming out in the very beginning of September. Congratulations! Let us know more about it. How do you see it and how would you like to present it to us?
– It’s our second album although it’s our first proper full length as Bless the Earth with Fire only had five tracks and a bonus track. It’s taken us a couple of years to write it and we are extremely proud of it. It’s a record packed with riffs, it’s heavy as fuck but is also full hooks and melodies and, as previously discussed, awesome guitar solos. It’s angry, it’s emotional but it’s also damn good fun.
– Is all so hopeless that there will be desolation left only? What’s wrong with the world today?
– We’re seeing the rise of the extreme right wing across a multitude of companies, here in the UK we have made the fucking ridiculous decision to leave the EU because just over half the population are a bit racist, we seem to be completely ignoring the very real threat of climate change. Again, here in the UK, the current government are systematically cutting support to those in our society who need it most and at the same time making it more and more difficult for people not born in the UK to stay here. Other than that, it’s all peachy.
– Which is your favourite track from the album and why?
– It probably changes every day at the moment, currently it is Lord Betrayer. I love singing it. There is the usual bellowing, some screaming and even some melody to the vocals. Lyrically is also quite emotional to sing and the end of the song just rips.
– Yeah, mine is this one too! What is different now compared to your first record “Bless the Earth with fire”?
– We’re all better musicians than we were on Bless, certainly Andrew (bass) and I are. Also, the songs were written to be part of this album, we had an idea of what we wanted it to sound like, how it should be paced, how it should start and how it should end. Bless was just all the songs we had at the time and we recorded them. Also, production wise, we knew what we wanted a lot more on this album and were able to spend more time with it.
– You have big balls in “And All Will Be Desolation” standing out there and state your territory! What have been the challenges on the current metal scene for you?
– Locally, where we live there isn’t much of a scene, there isn’t really any venues and for us it is quite difficult to get gigs but we keep trying. Also, trying to be noticed when there are so many bands out there producing great music.
– I guess your indisputable attitude helped you…
– Yeah, we’re too old to be precious about stuff, we’re a band who, as well as loving metal are also big fans of punk and hardcore so that fuck you attitude comes along with it. We do a lot of stuff ourselves, all our records are self released, we design a lot of our own artwork, on this album Al was really involved with the recording and the mixing of the record. We do as much as we can reasonably do DIY but then work we trusted people on things we can’t.
– What did music take you and what did it give you though the years?
– My love of music has given my hundreds and thousands of awesome experiences, going to shows and festivals. It’s given me a great set of friends, an awesome band to play in and most importantly it has given me a wife I love very much. We met at a club and music was a shared interest. We now have three kids and are very happy. Oh, and a shit load of band t shirts.
– What are your plans after the album is released? Tour?
– Play as many shows as we can. Touring is hard as we all have full time jobs and families/girlfriends etc.
Also, we are about to start writing new songs and hopefully going to record a video for one of our tracks.
– Is there any particular band/s you would take a on a tour with you? Or you to tour with? – Too many. There are so many goods bands in the UK right now.
– How would you like Allfather to be remembered?
– Heavy. Honest. Angry. Handsome.
– Is there anything else you would like to add or share with us?
– Only to say thanks for the opportunity for talking with us and everyone go listen to our new album.
– I would like really to thank you for this interview! It’s been a pleasure! Wishing you all the best with “And All Will Be Desolation”! Looking forward to hearing more from you soon!
Interview by Count Vlad