I’m not sure how many times I’ve listened to Herb Your Enthusiasm at this point, but all I know is that it’s as infectious as it is crushing, and if it doesn’t end up in my end of year list for 2016 I’ll be hugely shocked. So when I got the opportunity to dig a bit deeper into the band, I took it. Here’s Alex Hurst, vocalist of Boss Keloid…
Introduce us to Boss Keloid!
Boss Keloid are
Alex Hurst – Vocals
Paul Swarbrick – Guitar
Adam Swarbrick – Bass
Ste Arands – Drums
What are your influences?The
Influences in this band are a tad crazy as we all love different types of music but there is a common ground when it comes to anything with a good groove and beat. Influences I could list would have to be Bob Marley / Sleep / OM / Neurosis / Steely Dan / Anything Mike Patton is involved in / Will Haven / King Crimson / Secret Chiefs 3 / Kyuss.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
Seven That Spells – The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: IO
Palms – Self Titled
Tinariwen – Water Is Life
Uxo – Self Titled
Zippo – After Us
Tell us about your latest release, Herb Your Enthusiasm
With this album we focused more on dynamics and allowing more space for the riffs to ride and greater sense of melody. We feel this album is a massive step forward in song writing and overall sound. We can all look back on it and enjoy listening to it knowing we are 100% happy with the way it has turned out. Its a little journey that can take you down different paths upon each listen.
How did you choose the cover artwork?
The artwork for Herb Your Enthusiasm was a piece by an artist called Ben Tolman. It blew us away when we saw it. There is so much going on in the picture when you study it, we had to use it. It carries on the psychedelic vibe that our music creates so their is a common thread.
How important is good album art to you?
Its very important to us. It’s a visual representation of the music before someone hears it. I have bought albums in the past just because the album art has caught my eye and I have discovered some amazing artists and bands this way. We love interesting art and will always use something that stands out visually for use on posters, album art, and T-Shirt prints.
What’s the process you use for writing songs?
Our own riff machine, Paul Swarbrick, will usually bring some tasty things to the table then we all pounce on it like a pack of wolves. That’s when the magic of Boss Keloid happens and the ball just starts rolling faster and faster.
Do you know any Hot Priests?
I’m sure all priests are ‘hot’. The theme of the song came from the memory of being stuck in Sunday School as a child, a place kids got stuck whilst parents attended church on Sunday, and having some strange man in strange clothing spout utter nonsense at you. They issued you with such tasks as getting you to draw a picture of what you think god looks like. By the way, my picture of God was a cracking picture of Fred Flintstone, the only thing I could draw at that time in my life. The song is a rebuttal to organised religion and blind faith.
How do you think your music will progress in the future?
This band never sits still and each person in the band strives to be better all the time so progression is inevitable. We already have the roots down for the next album. Ideas are flying around and we are all eager to keep creating music we love. I know what ever comes out will be great because we wouldn’t settle for anything but. We love what we do and I think that comes across in the music we create.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
Tricky question this. It’s like saying which one of your kids do you love the best. I love them all in their own special way and each one means something to me. If I had to pick a track that I’d send to someone to check out for the first time I would pick Elegant Odyssey as it’s an epic track.
With music becoming increasingly digital in nature, what’s your take on the digital/physical debate and the current state of the music industry?
Digital music allows anyone from anywhere in the world to hear music. It’s helped us reach people who would have never had the chance to hear us in the past. I will always buy physical copies of anything I hear and love, if it’s available in a physical format that is. As far as the music industry goes its seems a lot of the bigger bands are cutting out the middle men and running everything in house and that’s a great thing to see but you have to have the audience already there to be able sustain that.
Playing live – essential or pointless
Playing live is 100% essential. Going back to the question before, it seems to be the way most bands make money and survive. I am a massive lover of live music and I have been since my first gig that I attended when I was 13 years old. There is nothing better than listening to a band at home and then buying tickets to see that band play their music live in front of you. I love it, and I love performing live to people who come to watch us. It’s the best buzz in the world.
How do you feel about the UK Metal scene at the moment?
It’s booming if you ask me and I feel proud to be a part of it and create music people are loving and praising. There are so many good bands about in the underground UK metal scene as well.
What are the next steps for Boss Keloid?
We will continue to gig and create music as Boss Keloid till we die in some way or other. This is what we do. Expect another video soon and more tasty live dates. Hoping to get to Europe soon too. New album next year and keeping this Keloid ball rolling is essential.