DOOMDOGS: The Dogs of Doom Are Howling

By Earthdog

Here is the long-awaited interview I did with Sweden's own Doomdogs guitarist and composer Christer "Chris The Riff" Cuñat. Make sure you check out the 'Unleash The Truth' album, you won't regret it..

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First of all, I must say congrats on the new album, "Unleash The Truth." You must be very proud of it and happy with the positive reviews it has been getting ?

CHRISTER CUNAT: Thanks Ed....and yeah..we're pretty god damn proud of "Unleash The Truth" and to get so many positive reviews of course feels just awesome...and to have the new Doomdogs album released not only on CD but also on double Vinyl LP is really a dream come a big "thank you" to Lukas at Doomentia Records...a great guy and a great label !

WC: "Unleash The Truth" sounds a little different from the début, Dare I say a little bit less modern with more of a 70's classic hard rock/metal vibe? Was this something you had planned or did the album just turn out this way naturally ?

CC: Well, I wouldn't exactly say that "Unleash The Truth" was planned to turn out with more of a 70's classic hard rock/metal vibe than our debut album...I guess that just came kinda naturally to us during the writing process...more of the band members different musical influences shining through on the new album...and with our new drummer, Emil Rolof, who's also a guitarist and composer with a love for "progressive stoner rock" (Emil wrote the song "Slight Case Of Madness" on the new album)...well, he sure influenced me to bring out some more of my "stoner/doom-soul" in the writing process for "Unleash The Truth" on the songs "The Annie-Christ" and "Eye For An Eye".

The new album is also a bit more musically diverse, with songs like Patrik's "Magic Of The Black Circle" and "Questions To My Answers", than the début album. We also went for more of an early Black Sabbath retro sound both in the musical structure of the songs and in the sound in general....the guitars are not quite so distorted on the new album as on our debut and the drums are a bit more retro-sounding...and this, as I said, just came kinda naturally to us. Guess we now found the "Doomdogs sound" that we all feel is the right sound for Doomdogs...early 70's hard rock/metal retro but with a modern heavy-as-hell touch to it and with GG's deep aggressive powerful voice as the icing on the cake - "MOTORDOOM WITH THE STONER ENGINE ON OVERDRIVE"...oh yeah...ha ha ha...But don't get me wrong...´cause we also luuuv the more "heavy" sound on our début album...

WC: The album also has more of a slight prog-rock feel about it. Is this a genre you all listen to a lot, especially late 60's bands like Atomic Rooster for example ?

CC: Yep...and bands like Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Captain Beyond, King Crimson, Cream, early Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, Beatles and then of course early Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath and Black Sabbath...hmmm...did I mention Black Sabbath ?...ha ha...

WC:As I already mentioned, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive but have you noticed any difference between US reviews and the European ones? Do you think the different countries have a different outlook towards heavy music?

CC: Well, not so much any difference between U.S. reviews and the European ones...but kind of a big difference between Swedish reviews and reviews from the rest of the world. The Swedish reviews have not been that great in general but the reviews from the rest of Europe and the U.S. has, as you mentioned, in general been pretty awesome.

We've given this some serious thought and we believe the answer may lie in the fact that Swedish reviewers often have this idea that you should be able to easily put a certain "label" on all kinds of music, and as we bring in influences and ideas from different genres. We guess Doomdogs music is not sufficiently progressive to be included among the prog-rock bands and not oldschool-doom enough to be included under the maybe the Swedish reviewers get a bit "dazed and confused" by this fact about Doomdogs music...ha ha...

WC: "Unleash The Truth" is a fairly long album. Were these all the songs you had prepared for the album or did you have extra tunes to pick and choose from ?

CC: Nope, no extra tunes to pick and choose from. When we start to rehearse new material we very quickly "feel" if a new song is gonna be up to "Doomdogs standard" and we don't waste any time on songs that we feel are maybe not gonna be quite "up there".

With this new album, great songs (at least in our opinion..ha ha) fairly quickly just started to emerge one after another, so we actualy had to stop writing new songs after we finished writing the 12 songs that are on the album, or else we might have ended up with a triple or quadruple album..ha ha ha...

WC: Do you have any personal favorite tracks from the album ?

CC: No, not really...but I guess that differs from day-to-day and between the different bandmembers...we all really like all the tracks or else they of course wouldn't be on the album. We always make all important decisions together as a band, both when it comes to which songs should be on a Doomdogs album and all other important decisions concerning Doomdogs.

WC: What was the writing process for this album like? It has been a while since the début so have you been working on these songs ever since the début's release ?

CC: Well, I'm always noodling around on the guitar at home-coming up with new songs, and then I present the songs to the rest of the band at rehearsals...and if my band mates like the new songs we then all together start to arrange them to the better until everyone is satisfied with the result...and it was the same working procedure with the songs that the other guys in the band wrote for "Unleash The Truth". Most of the songs on the new album were "born" the last 3 - 4 month before we started the recordings and some of the final song arrangements were actually done in the studio..

WC: One of the talking points of the album is your cover of the Black Sabbath gem, "A National Acrobat." This is possibly my personal favorite Sabbath track of all time but choosing a Sabbath cover is never easy seeing as they have so many classic tracks. How did you all come to agree on covering this one ?

CC: We all agreed on that we didn't want to cover one of the more "obvious" Sabbath I came up with the idea to cover "A National Acrobat" and the other guys all love that song and we also knew that this was a song well suited for the Doomdogs sound and style...and when Victor Griffin (Pentagram/Place Of Skulls) agreed to do the solo...well, not much more to add on that
subject .  ..right ?...ha ha...

And just as for you ,Ed, "A National Acrobat" has always been one of my personal favorite Sabbath tracks of all time ever since I heard it for the first time as a teenager...and I still bloody well can't figure out why It never became one of the more famous Black Sabbath songs...´cause it's such a great great song.

WC: How did you manage to get Victor Griffin to play on the Sabbath track. I know he loves Black Sabbath but how did all that come together and what was it like to work with him ?

CC: There's this guy "Shan BigMan" (Shannon Arnette) who's personal friends with many of the "big names" in the doom/stoner-mafia in the U.S...Shan (totally awesome guy by the way) has been a big Doomdogs-fan ever since he heard the first Doomdogs demo tracks at Myspace some years ago. Then one day when Shan-BigMan was visiting Victor Griffin in the studio, he had brought Doomdogs debut album with him and Victor listened to it and really liked what he heard.
Well, one thing led to another and when we decided to do "A National Acrobat" I asked Victor if he would do the solo...and to our great delight he replied - "oh yeah, sure, no problem"...

So now that we knew that Victor Griffin would do the solo, we extended the solo to twice the length of the original solo and I asked Victor if he could do the first part of the solo "Iommi-style" and the second part of the solo "Iommi/Griffin-style"...AND HE SURE DID !!!...we were totally blown away when we heard the final WOOOOW !!! Victor is such a great guitarist and musician and also such a great humble awesome guy and it was a total pleasure and honor to work with him. We of course feel so so honored and proud to have Victor Griffin playing on "Unleash The Truth" ! a big THANKS MAN to you Victor !

WC: As reported on Doommantia, Doomdogs are also taking part in a Ozzy tribute album. How did this come about ?

CC: We got an invitation from Versailles Records (U.S.) asking us if we wanted to participate with a track on their "No More Tears - A millennium tribute to Ozzy Osbourne" album...just as simple as that...ha ha...We gonna participate with a heavy-as-hell Doomdogs-version of the classic Black Sabbath song N.I.B...(the album is due for release spring 2012)...

WC: How are you and the label going about promoting "Unleash The Truth" ? Are you satisfied with the way the album is being promoted at this moment in time ?

CC: Doomentia Records are using the German promotion agency "Sure Shot Worx" for promotion of "Unleash The Truth" and both Doomentia and Sure Shot Worx are doing a great job. Unfortunately Doomentia and Sure Shot Worx only do promotion in Europe, so if there are any promoters and booking agencys in the U.S. reading this, then you sure are more then welcome to contact Doomdogs for promotion and booking in the U.S.

WC: What is in the future for live performances ? Is there any big tours planned and what about a US tour ?

CC: We just recently played as the support act for the mighty PENTAGRAM on their Scandinavian tour... and that was just so so totally awesome, I tell you man !..The guys in PENTAGRAM are really such nice, fun and humble people and we sure had a blast...(also sending a special "G'day Mate" to Victor Griffin's australian guitar tech Tom...totally awesome guy)...We would of course luuuv to cross the pond to do a tour in the U.S....would really be a big dream come true... DOOMDOGS so wanna come and play for all our awesome fans in the U.S...Hell Yeah !!!

WC: Thanks again for the interview, any last words for the readers ?

CC: Well, thank YOU ,Ed...and to all the readers - "keep it heavy and keep supporting all great doom/stoner bands...and spread the word about DOOMDOGS..."MOTORDOOM WITH THE STONER ENGINE ON OVERDRIVE"...