01 May 2014

Neurosis hit UK shores for two shows and fit in a natter with John E Smoke

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Neurosis have been producing extreme and emotionally powerful music since 1985. Fast forward nearly 30 years and there is no question about the band having let up. Instead they have steadily evolved and have lost none of the power. Now in a rare treat, the UK gets to witness not one but two Neurosis shows in one weekend 3rd May at Bristol’s Temples festival and 4th May at Leeds University. The ever so slightly excited John E Smoke just had to try and get a few words from Scott Kelly for Midlands Metalheads before these shows.neurosis1

Thank you ever so much for having a chin wag with us here at Midlands Metalheads. How do we find you all?

-Alive , well tested, and ready.

You have two UK dates planned for the beginning of May. It’s not often we see Neurosis on UK shores, is it the weather or the food ?

-It’s the dental care. I get all of my dentistry done in the UK.

On a more serious note, what can we expect from these two shows? Will you be playing a mix of new and old material or will the focus be more on material from your last album “Honour Found in Decay”? Or are you just going to say ‘wait and see!’.

– It’s a mix. but of course we are always focused on the newer stuff, but there will be some other stuff in there as well.

Do you have an overall favourite song of yours that you particularly enjoy playing live?

-“At the End of the Road” from “Given to the Rising”.

Visuals have always played a part of the unique Neurosis live experience. What can we expect from your 2014 dates? Who’s behind the visual aspect of your shows at the moment?

– We stopped doing visuals in late 2012, so you can expect 5 ugly men in various states of disarray and aggressive psychedelic psychosis.

One of your two shows is at the Temples Festival in Bristol. The line up for this festival looks pretty special and the setting looks damn cool too. Is there anyone else on the line up that you’ll be checking out?

-Doom, Tombs, A Storm of Light, Amen Ra…temples

All good choices! The members of Neurosis seem eternally busy with collaborations and side projects, which rather than providing the listener with a mere distraction all seem to stand firmly on their own two feet. I have personally loved some of this output and I’m curious as to when we might here more. I’ll start with the obvious one. Will there be future Tribes of Neurot releases and if so are any of them likely to be companion pieces to Neurosis releases?

– I’m not sure when we will do another Tribes record and I don’t know if we will do another companion release for a Neurosis record, we will have to see, personally my goals this year are to complete the writing and recording of a new Corrections House record and a new Scott Kelly and the Road Home record, as well as do a lot of work towards the completion of the writing off the next Neurosis record.

The Corrections House album “Last City Zero” is one of my favourite releases in a long while. Please tell me this isn’t a one off!

– I just spent the weekend in the studio working on the new one and it’s more then half done.

Squeee! I saw ShrineBuilder when they last played these shores and it was a gig to remember for all the right reasons. Is there more to come from this project?

-Doubtful, but we will see. i remember that gig too it was great.

Boo! I had a soft spot for the Blood and Time project, in particular the release a few years back on Southern Records. Is this something due to be explored further?

-No, that has become Scott Kelly and the Road Home now. all of that energy is poured into that band.
Midlands Metalheads are based in the black country in the UK which is arguably the birth place of heavy music and the “Home of Metal”. We’re proud of this and we’re always curious to see if the black country bands we treasure so much have influenced the bands we meet. Do you mind if I throw a few band names at you so you can say whether you’re a fan or if they have influenced you in any way?

We’ll start at the beginning, Led Zeppelin.– Absolutely. Page and Bonham in particular can be heard all over Neurosis.

Black Sabbath.-Never heard of them.

Ha ha! How about Judas Priest.-The last time i saw them I cried because they were so fucking good.

Napalm Death.-Of course.trailblazers.

Godflesh.-Pure genius. Justin is one my very favorite musicians of all time. I love everything he does.

Finally, Neurosis have their own label Neurot Recordings. I seriously don’t know how you find the time with the band and the other projects, but the label has gathered an impressive reputation for quality heavy releases. How is the label faring in these challenging times for the record industry? Would you like to plug some of your forthcoming releases?

– We are solid. we don’t over extend and we try to make really careful decisions. YOB is coming soon and we are proud as fuck that they would choose to bring their work to us, they could have gone anywhere. their new record is stunning.

Once again, huge thanks for sparing us some time. Is there anything you’d like to add?

– See you all soon.


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