Ahead of the release of Alunah’s great new album Awakening The Forest (see our review here), we caught up with their guitarist/singer Soph for a chat. See what happened below…
Thanks for the interview – could you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Hey! Yes my name’s Soph, and I sing and play guitar in Alunah. We’re from the Midlands in England, have been together since 2006, and are about to release our 3rd album on Napalm Records.
You’re currently getting ready to release your new album Awakening The Forest – can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process?
The writing process can differ from song to song, sometimes the song grows from a jam session, and sometimes it evolves from a single riff. We re-wrote a lot of the songs on this album in order to get them just as we wanted them. The recording process itself took around 5 days, and we spent more time getting the sound just right by layering different amps and pedals. We recorded with Greg Chandler again at Canwell Studios, and mixed and mastered with Tony Reed via email.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to complete?
I think The Summerland was the one which posed the most problems, I had a very strong idea in my head as to where I wanted it to go, but it took a while to get there. We pretty much finished the song a couple of times, and each time when we came back to it decided it could be better, so kept re-writing parts of it.
My favourite track of the album is Scourge And The Kiss – can you tell me a little more about that one?
That’s my favourite to play live, it’s got a great energy and I can really go balls out with the vocals. Good for stress relief haha. Dan our bassist wrote the main riff in the verse, and Dave our guitarist wrote the chorus so it was a team effort writing-wise. The lyrics for Scourge were being used in another song, but as soon as I heard those riffs I realised that those lyrics were perfect for it. I like people to attach their own meaning to the songs, but it’s linked to Bricket Wood Coven in terms of English paganism and wicca. I wrote those two songs together, and are more story based than the others which are more personal.
Which track are you most proud of?
I’m proud of the album as a whole, but because of the problems we had with The Summerland, probably that one. It took a lot to get it onto the album, and I think it sounds great. Awakening the Forest is my favourite track though.
Do you have any interesting tales from the studio?
I don’t know how interesting this is, but back in May we visited Temples Festival in Bristol, and during the weekend we went to a car boot and bought an accordion to be used on the album. We actually recorded it, but it would have taken more time than we had to get it sounding good in the songs, so unfortunately it was scrapped. We also rehearsed a cover to record, but ran out of time, so we’re playing it at our album launch party instead. We were so intent on getting the album done in the 5 day window we had to record, that there wasn’t a lot of time for many interesting stories haha
How would you describe your live show to someone who hasn’t seen you live yet?
Ear crushingly loud and heavy, with no gimmicks.
What would you say the best show you’ve played has been?
DesertFest Berlin was a great gig – great sound, big crowd, great vibe, free beer, we hung out with friends and got to meet some of our favourite bands.
If you could play a show anywhere, where would it be?
Pompeii Amphitheatre, well other Roman amphitheatre would do haha, so we can pretend we’re Pink Floyd. We’re actually playing in Italy next week.
And if Alunah could put their name to a product, what would it be?
If it was up to me I’d say Houmous as I have a bad addiction and it’d guarantee me a free supply, but the other guys would probably say some kind of coconut based liquor…