Thrash Hits verdict: You might remember last year we put on the album launch show for Future Ruins, the debut album from History of the Hawk who then…well, they went and split up. Which was a bit of a bummer. Still, Nathan Coyle, former frontman of HOTH, has wasted no time in getting on with the business of a new band: Opium Lord. And unlike the scratchy, punky snot of HOTH, Opium Lord are all about getting slow, dark, and menacing…
Describe your sound in 3 words
Heavy, bleak, pissed.
So what happened with History of the Hawk? We only put on your album launch show a while back!
Yeah that turned out to be our final show, loved the other bands that played, Throne blew me away so I really need to get them up Birmingham.
Just one of those things I guess, we all felt that it came to a natural end and in all honesty we just wasn’t enjoying making the music anymore. As soon as that starts to happen it’s get out while you can. I do feel bad as we just had an album come out but it just wasn’t possible to go on, shit happens.
Watch the video to ‘Heroin Swirls’ by Opium Lord:
What made you want to start another band?
Me and [Adam] Beckley tried to bring aspects of doom into History of the Hawk, but it just didn’t work, I love bands like Yob, Burning Witch, Iron Monkey and shit, so I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it but put our own slant on it. What Beckley does in the band is pretty unconventional with his guitar style! I’m really enjoying this band at the moment and I think that really comes across if you caught us live.
Where did the name come from?
Luke [Fewtrell] after 8 Bathams. He’s at his most creative when he is drunk.
This band sounds massively different from HOTH. When/how was this urge to make music of this particular strand come from?
HOTH had pretty dark undertones, especially the first EP, but it was just a different way of expressing myself. It was more aggressive but this is more intense – that’s what I feel anyway.
What are your non-musical influences?
Haha, I really wish I could say Games Workshop!
To be honest, I use music as an outlet to channel all my pissed off energy, History of the Hawk was more about fun but Opium Lord is quite dark, it’s more emotional! I used to go apeshit in HOTH, rolling around the floor and whatever because I felt like I had to. This time it’s more about us, I guess it’s a bit more self indulgent.
How’d you hook up with the guys at Thirty Days Of Night to release it?
Don’t really know, started off talking about doing a tape then escalated into a CD. The CD looks awesome, there is a eight-page photo booklet featuring work from the very talented Richard P J Lambert. Jamie [Farrell from TDON] is just a straight up dude who has worked hard to make sure we are looked after, I have a lot of respect for him as a person.
What’s the logo circle thing all about?
I wanted a logo like Wolves in the Throne Room, but then I released I have no discerning talent so drew a circle and a L that looks accidentally like a inverted cross (that sounds like bullshit, but it was genuinely an accident!) Maybe I’m a closet Satanist, or maybe I’m just shit.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
I don’t know much of a scene, but I like Moloch, Brotherhood of the Lake, Iron Witch, Dethscalator, Throne, Swinelord, Black Veins, Slabdragger, there is too many to list really.
What marks you out as different to other bands of this ilk that are around at the moment?
Bar the mega surf revered guitars? That’s for other people to decide, not us. We have influences but we don’t set out to copy a sound, we’re just slow and heavy as fuck, and we all put our own personal stamp on it.
What have you got planned for the future?
We plan to play as many shows as we can and tour. Our EP is a prologue to a two-part album, so there are definitely two more releases coming from us after this.
Tell us a joke.
So did you hear about the angry composer?
Apparently, he had a few scores to settle.
Opium Lord’s debut release, The Calendrical Cycle – Prologue: The Healer EP, is out on March 11 on Thirty Days of Night. They’re going on a mini co-headlining UK tour in June alongside former Future Hits alumni, MINE. Check the poster up above for the dates.