"And here I thought there might never be another band who would traverse such varied corners of the musical closet as the quiet-loud-quiet equation, the snail-slither sludge, the expansive psychedelia, the guttural howling and the unfair element of pseudo-melody that has made Helms Alee such an indelible new face on the music scene. The band, made up of vocalist/guitarist Ben Verellen, bassist Dana James and drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, exudes a refreshing kind of hybrid featuring explosive dynamics in songcraft, and more Northwest buzz than a Puget Sound bumblebee. With the band embarking currently on a West Coast tour (and with a stop at Monstro’s Pizza this Thursday, November 13th), Helms Alee is blistering venues with doses of their mischievous doom as evidenced on their debut LP Night Terror, released on seminal metal label Hydra Head. James was cordial enough to carve out time to talk with Synthesis about the band's unyielding ferocity, why Seattle has no "sound" anymore, and why a new revolution of Northwest bands may be your new rulers.
Your music incorporates an interesting dichotomy of part heavy-sludge and part slacker noise experimentalism. Is the cross-section of your style necessarily indicative of each members' influences?
Yeah, I suppose it is although I wouldn't say it is a conscious choice. We don't set out to systematically and purposely incorporate our influences directly into our style, it just sort of ends up that way. I think most bands can attest to that inherent factor of creating music and art in general. Though I don't think we wear our influences on our sleeve so much as they are just woven into the fabric when we write. Our influences collectively branch far and wide, way past heavy-sludge and noise experimentalism, and I think those influences are apparent in our sound too, but maybe in more subtle ways...." Read the full Synthesis interview here
Also, be sure to check out this review and stream of Shmnna' from Night Terror on Ground Control