Slowbro Interview – “Hopefully no one will be harmed by our death stares”

Stoner/doom trio Slowbro were never meant to be a gigging band. “There was a spot to fill on a show so we had to come up with a name quickly so we could play it” says James Phythian, one of Slowbro’s 8-string guitarists, “everyone went wild for us at the show so Slowbro has just stuck as a real thing after that”.

The set-up is as follows: James Phythian and Sam Barker-Poole play 8-string guitars to crazy atmospheric, dirgy effect whilst Zeke Martin pounds the drums with thunderous intensity. No bass, no vocals; just a dark doomy guitar-induced trance and a tonne of imagination.

Slowbro released their debut album ‘Nothings’ in May earlier this year and following my review of their hometown launch gig in Coventry, I caught up with the band to find out what they have been up to since the launch of ‘Nothings’.

How did Slowbro come to be?
Slowbro came from James and myself acquiring 8-string guitars and thinking that we better go have some fun with them in a practice room. As the two of us and Zeke are big stoner-rock and doom fans it seemed like the best combination [as a band]. We wrote some songs and have kept it going from there really.

Your album ‘Nothings’ has a lot of TV/film/pop-culture references with songs like ‘Stranger Strings’ and ‘Sexlexia’ – that’s from Futurama, right? – what generally inspires the songwriting? Has this changed over time?
The songwriting always comes before the naming of the tracks. The names usually come from us just making ridiculous puns at each other from what the songs remind us of; Stranger Strings, Fuzz Aldrin… or just out of nowhere in particular. Sexlexia is from Futurama though, yeah.

The live shows have a really overpowering, immersive quality to them and a lot of long, death stares out in to the crowd. Is that the effect you aim for?
We’ve never really discussed a plan for the live shows, we tend to try and just have fun and not take things too seriously. Occasionally we might get put in a trance by our horrible drones, resulting in these ‘death stares’, but hopefully no one will be harmed by said stares.

Now that ‘Nothings’ is out, what’s next? Any gigs coming up?
We’re working on a split E.P with Those Amongst Us Are Wolves’, to be released on Damage Limitation Records. We will have three tracks each and it should be with you by the years end. Until then, there’s no shows at the moment whilst we work towards finishing the E.P.

So, that’s no gigs but you’ve a whole album to get your teeth into before the release of the Slowbro/Those Amongst Us Are Wolves’ split E.P. Give ‘Nothings’ a sample however through Slowbro’s Bandcamp and keep an eye out for shows and the forthcoming E.P through their Facebook.

Written by Sophie Williams.

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