Thrash Hits Verdict: Is “retro” a dirty word? Are we doing the history of metal a disservice by referring to bands as “traditional” metal? Should we just shut the hell up, and stop trying to pigeonhole every damn band in the world? Isn’t it about time we featured a band in Future Hits that we heard about through genuine word-of-mouth – as in “a band someone we met in a pub told us about”, rather than “someone emailed us a Facebook link”? That’s where a band like Amulet come in. We dropped an email to band’s guitarist, “Heathen” Steven, to ask him some similarly pointed (and similarly dickish) questions.
Describe your sound in 3 words
How did you meet?
Inavoidably wasted at shows and festivals. We’ve generally all known each other for ages. Friends before bands.
What made you want to start this band?
We all live for this genre and have the same taste so it was just insignificant destiny. It’s a very honest and genuine calling of our own. There was also a lack of bands we liked around which makes you get your act together.
Where did the name come from?
Out bassist, Bill Dozer, came up with it soon after we decided to do the band in 2010. We were toying with the name HGV on a semi-serious level. As soon as he said Amulet though it was obvious that it was the perfect name for what we’re doing.
Listen to ‘Black Magic Attack’ by Amulet:
What are your non-musical influences?
Girls, the ‘70s, drugs and a wish to escape this present reality.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in this band?
It’s just a lot of fun hanging out. It feels very right. It’s all good.
Why is the word “retro” a dirty word?
Good question. The concept of it isn’t to us. Classic, early work in any art form is probably the purest and best there is. I believe you should just evaluate whether you like something or not and try not to worry about labels and intentions. It’s a weird and draining ‘issue’ generally.
Why release on anachronistic formats, like cassette tapes?
It’s not laser disc, people have tape players! It’s a demo, so you do a demonstration tape. Tapes just have a good vibe, and they sound more natural than CD. I’ve done tapes with several bands. In the underground metal scene there isn’t any irony or concern about stuff like this. It’s just the right format. Digital music is useful but it does suck let’s face it!
What’s wrong with modern metal? Or perhaps what’s the most wrong thing with modern metal.
That’s a loaded question! For me personally there is a lack of heart, a lack of respect for the masters and a horrible shiny sound that is immediate but has no longevity. We’ve suffered it a long time now.
Devil’s advocate: Is it possible to be genuinely “real” when you’re imitating a style of music so firmly rooted within a certain period of time? How do you avoid coming across as an ironic homage?
Urgh, I barely have the energy to answer that. I think it’s something you either get or you don’t. Us? We want to sound like – for example – 1982 because for us that was the best year for metal and it’s the main thing we listen to so it’s natural. That’s no fucking irony or apology about it. Called it homage if you want. Time doesn’t exist anyway.
Do you consider yourself as part of a scene? Who would you say are your peers?
We’re new but there are plenty of bands around we love. We have huge respect for legends like Angel Witch, Pagan Altar and Satan. Other newish bands we like include Eliminator and Wytch Hazel in the UK, Midnight, Natur and Borrowed Time from the US, Birth Ritual from Japan, Witchgrave, Antichrist and Helvetes Port from Sweden, Black Magic and Devil from Norway, Cauchemar and Christian Mistress from Canada, Occvlta and Monumentor from Germany, Whipstriker from Brazil, etc… It’s getting really good man, yeah. Hopefully we can get stuck in.
Listen to ‘Running Out Of Time’ by Amulet:
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
We probably can’t play as well as most of them but we have big hearts and we’ll still be doing this when the end comes.
What have you got planned for the future?
No grand plan. Go with the flow, do an EP or album, play shows, drink beers, have good times. Repeat.
What other band should everyone find out about?
Tell us a joke.
What do Jesus and penises have in common?
Catholic Priests shove both of them down our children’s throats.
You can buy Amulet’s first release, Cut The Crap, via the band’s official Bandcamp page. In case you haven’t already picked up on the fact, it’s only available on casette. Alternatively, you can just keep up to date with all things Amulet through the band’s Facebook page.