Leeds goth rockers Black Moth are back with a brand new album, Anatomical Venus. We caught up with drummer Dom McCready to get the skinny.
Jim Sclavunos produced your first two albums. Why made Andy Hawkins right for new Black Moth album Anatomical Venus?
“Andy was the recording engineer on the second album and we were just really impressed with his expertise, especially in terms of the sonics. He always seemed to be able to capture what we wanted when we described something. We wanted this to be our biggest and heaviest record, so Andy was the obvious choice.”
As heavy as you are, you can still hum the tunes…
“I think that’s the basic philosophy behind Black Moth. When we play live we want to be the kind of band that makes people have to lean back because it’s so heavy, but at the same time a strong vocal melody, a hook, has always been important to us.”
Where did you record?
“The Nave in Leeds. It’s a converted old church and it’s got a huge live room, a massive control room with an analogue set-up. We actually recorded to tape, which was something we’ve never done before.
"It’s something that has always intrigued us and there is a certain sound that you can only achieve when you record to tape. It’s a saturation, almost a form of heaviness in itself, an analogue warmth which you capture on tape.”
Did you record with your Green Sparkle Ludwigs?
“Yeah. One of the ideas behind this record was to make us sound as heavy as we sound live so as much as possible Andy wanted us to use the gear that we use live in the studio. We made a few changes to cymbals. I use a 24" Paiste Giant Beat ride, which is an absolute beast and live it’s amazing, but in the studio it just wasn’t practical so we used a smaller ride.”
What’s your approach to playing live?
“I drive the heaviness live but when we have breakdowns sometimes it’s my job to keep that big groove there, so there is still an anchor point in the song. We try to do a lot of subtle things live where we play with the tempo. If a track has a faster section and then a slower, heavier section, often I won’t just do a straight half-time, I’ll drag the tempo back a little bit because that makes it feel heavier. If there is an energetic, more frantic section, I’ll push the tempo to try to convey that.”
What were your highlights of 2017?
“Well 2017 was mostly about getting the new record done and certainly one of the big high points was hearing the final mixes and masters. Just last week we did the launch shows for our new single Moonbow in London and Leeds.
"At the London show there was a guy from India and this was his first rock show in the UK ever. He stood at the front singing every word, which is just crazy. I don’t know every word, I’m not even sure our singer always knows every word, so to see that was incredible!”