Early Moods - Interview


California-based doom metal band Early Moods have had it pretty big recently with the release of their second album "A Sinner's Past", a great follow-up to their self-titled original from two years prior, which resulted successful feedbacks from fans and critics, saying that it surpassed its predecessor by being heavier, darker and more intense. There's no denying that Early Moods is a great contemporary band which preserves the spirit of traditional oldschool doom metal, in the vein of 70's Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Candlemass, Trouble, Saint Vitus and Witchfinder General just to name a few. Aside from their new album, they also managed to gain a lot of recognition after touring with Coven and Lucifer during their Satanic Panic tour in 2023, and there have also been some talks about the band going on a pretty big tour with a pretty big band, hopefully performing in front of an even larger audience than ever before. Some time ago, I reached out to the band's guitarist and founding member Eddie Andrade, and we finally got around to chat via Zoom regarding the band's overall background, their current progress, the new album "A Sinner's Past", as well as other things that might interest you. If you wish to learn more about Early Moods and their current status in the world of contemporary metal bands, please join me on this journey and I hope you'll enjoy it.

Vladimir

So finally, we finally got our chance to do this, hahah! How are you doing?

Good, just busy, been running around doing errands and stuff. I have two jobs so it makes it hard to take some time, but today, I'm off.

And of course, doing the band and tours, I can only imagine what it's like to live this kind of a "triple life" basically.

Yeah yeah, I mean, all my jobs that I do are music-related. I mean, the reason why I do them is because they're flexible with me going on tour.

So, the reason why I invited you here is because as of lately I've been listening to your new album "A Sinner's Past" quite a lot, and I gotta say that this album checks all the marks for me. In comparison to your self-titled debut from two years ago, this one is much darker, more intense and more menacing in every way. How did you guys approach your work on this album and what things did you want to do differently this time?

Well, first off, thank you, that's what I was trying to shoot for on this record. Like, I love the first album, but I wanted to make something a little darker and honestly, I wanted to do a different approach towards the songs like doing some different song structures that we haven't done in the past, like in our EP or album, but on this album, we just took a lot of influences from many things. On the record it's like eight songs, Oscar wrote two of them, he did 'Walpurgis' and 'Soul Sorcery', and I wrote the other six. Even though we are playing doom metal and stuff like that, we are influenced by everything, like black metal, death metal, rock, psychedelic, and on this album, I was really trying to just step up our writing game and our writing structure, just to add more intricate parts and stuff like that. I was trying to experiment with a lot of chords on this record, because I was listening to a lot of early Scorpions around that time, but on this album, I incorporated a lot of influences from a lot of bands, and you can hear that because there's eerie parts on the album where it kind of sounds like black metal. For example, bands like Tribulation, Mercyful Fate or The Devil's Blood, we are all fans of that and we were really trying to incorporate that into what we're doing, because from the beginning my goal for this band was to go for like classic doom metal but also, we love NWOBHM, we are all NWOBHM fans, and blend of that with newer bands that I mentioned, like Tribulation or The Devil's Blood. Like I said, for this record, I was just trying to go for something a little darker and I feel like we did it, and some of the song lyrics are darker than the first record.

Something that really highlights a lot about this album is that it has a strong mesmerizing quality to it. Its macabre and occult atmosphere really possesses you from the beginning and it doesn't let go until the very end. Last month I was sitting at the train station at night, watching people and trains go by while listening to "A Sinner's Past" on Spotify, and I completely fell into this state of trance. Was the album meant to have this psychological effect through the music or was it just pure luck that it came out that way?

Honestly, I think it was just pure luck, because as we kept writing the songs, during the whole songwriting process of this album, we started noticing that they are a little bit darker than the first record, and it really caught our attention that this album could be like a whole dark record. It's cool to hear that some people are seeing that and I didn't even expect it, it just came out that way and I am pretty stoked that it happened.

A significant factor to your work is that it's very simplistic, but it's important to note that in this case, simplicity is highly effective. Take for example your album covers that showcase the entire band in a frame, it's a very oldschool thing, and combine that with the music, which has a lot of progression, but without technicality and without pretentiousness. Not a lot of the bands nowadays do this sort of minimal approach, I have probably seen only a couple of them do that. Considering all the stuff I just mentioned, do you find it crucial that the bands preserve these traditions in music?

I mean, for some people, they are like "the more simple the more true" or however you want to say, but our goal wasn't to write some of the most technical stuff, because a lot of the bands that influenced us are simple bands. When you listen to the song structure of Pentagram or Witchfinder General or Saint Vitus, their songwriting and song structuring isn't hard or technical, and to be honest with you we all come from a background like that, we're not huge on like these giant masterpieces. I mean, we are, because we love stuff like Camel and Emerson Lake & Palmer, but I am not sure if you would want to write anything like that just because. Our goal isn't to write simple stuff, our goal is to write what sounds cool or catchy, what we like to play. It just happened to be simplistic, but I think if you listen to the song 'Hells Odyssey', that is a longer piece which is around 8 minutes, probably like the longest thing we've ever done. It wasn't something that we're aiming to do from the beginning like "let's write something simple", it just came out that way. Who knows, maybe in the future our songwriting will change, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon now.

The defining aspect of Early Moods music is that it is heavily oriented towards that 70's heavy/doom metal sound that primarily come from bands Black Sabbath and even early Pentagram, along with a lot of occult rock elements that play an important role in your music. Aside from various bands and various forms of music, where do you guys draw your inspiration?

To be honest with you, a lot of stuff influenced this band's music. It sounds like a cheesy thing to say but when we first got together with this lineup, we have always been into horror movies and other classic stuff that takes part into this kind of music. We have been like "Oh you like The Warriors, that classic movie" or some Bela Lugosi movies, stuff like that influences us. For example, the first album we had a song "Return to Salem's Gate", I literally wrote that song because I saw that movie "Return to Salem's Lot", stuff like that will influence you. It could be movies and bands, but even like the overall daily tasks in life, dealing with depression or girl problems, stuff like that can influence you in many ways to create art and you end up creating more than music. Some of the early tracks of Early Moods, they are literally just about girls, and they ended up being good songs. I personally think that they are pretty alright songs, but they ended up being some catchy songs.

Not long ago, I interviewed Bobby Liebling of Pentagram, and during our conversation we talked about how a lot of the times doom metal bands rarely ever put effort in their songwriting and most of their outputs are very lazy and uninspired as they get. On the other hand, a band such as yourself, you are quite the opposite, a notable exception that has a lot of dynamics in their songs as well as a certain flow with each song. What is your personal take on this subject?

To be honest with you, I have never been too huge on the drony or sludgy type of doom, but I also got respect for it. Like I told Albert when we were starting this band "Hey, I know we like bands such as Electric Wizard, Sleep and stuff like that, but I don't want to go down that road", because the bands that really caught our attention were early Pentagram and Trouble, these bands that are not doing that generic slow with that type of groove, instead they are adding different timings and different drum patterns, because I love that approach. You listen to Trouble, it's classy doom but you hear heavy metal, and you have twin harmonies and there is so much going on, but it's still in that classic doom vein. We've gone through a lot of members through this bands, and in the early days we told everyone like "Hey, this isn't like your generic Weedeater or Belzebong kind of band, we're aiming for like a traditional oldschool sound but with the heavy metal approach, I want to also have like intricate song structures and stuff like that". Like I said, we all come from a different musical background, it was cool to write songs like that. Like I said, bands like early Pentagram, you listen to those early songs, they have structures and riffs, it's not just like one riff going for seven minutes. You listen to songs like "Last Days Here" or "Live Free and Burn", they have structure and I love that. They have fast moments, slow moments, some mid-pic moments and those evil slow heavy parts, so we try to aim for a songwriting like that, it really captures that kind of mood and the environment.

Yeah, that's one of the things that Bobby mentioned that "the definition of heavy means that it's intense", that's one of the things that a lot of people misunderstand when they approach their music. A lot of times, they even tend to overthink and then it doesn't go anywhere. I am very glad that you guys are really digging that traditional doom metal sound. That's one of the things that I mentioned in the review saying that this band is basically the grandchild of Vol 4. era Black Sabbath.

Thank you, man, it really means a lot, that's like one of my favorite records of all time, so thank you hahah.

One of the big opportunities that you guys had lately is that you supported both Coven and Lucifer during their Satanic Panic tour in 2023. How did the overall experience turn out for you guys? Did you manage to gain some newcomers to your fanbase?

That tour was one of the most fun tours we ever did, the whole Coven and Lucifer team, they are amazing people, we got along great, and now we have like this amazing friendship with both bands, which I never would have thought of. I mean, I grew up listening to Johanna's other band The Oath and early Lucifer, so it's crazy to even call her our friend now, she's like a huge supporter of us, but that tour was so fun. We first heard about that tour happening like a year and a half ago from now, like early 2023, or maybe even like late 2022 when we heard that there is an opportunity that we might go with Coven and Lucifer, it was gonna happen and then it got postponed because Lucifer had some stuff to do, I think they were working on their new album, so we're like "Okay, we'll keep you updated when we hear more about it". And then two months later, they reached out to our manager like "Hey, is Early Moods still interested?". It happened to be Johanna and her husband Nicke Andersson, who also plays in The Hellacopters, Entombed, Death Breath, which are one of my favorite bands, they were fans of Early Moods and asked if we're still interested and I was like "Hell yeah!". So, we ended up doing that tour and it was so cool to play these awesome venues with rock and roll royalties like Jinx Dawson of Coven, she's a legend and she's been doing this since the 60's, and to do this with her and hang out with her it was like an honor. Man, she was coming out of her coffin at 74 years old and I was like "Holy shit, now that is rock and roll!". We definitely played to a bunch of newer people who have never seen us, because you've got a lot of people coming just to see Coven and Lucifer, but unfortunately, they didn't see us open. It was crazy because after that tour, a lot of the shows we've been doing after that tour, people were going like "oh yeah, we saw you open up for Coven and Lucifer", and I hope to do another run with either band again. It was one of the best tours we've ever done and we definitely made some new fans on that tour.

Like I told Bobby, that hopefully Lucifer and Pentagram will tour somewhere around Central and Eastern Europe, so hopefully they would bring you guys to the tour as well, because I would really love to see this trio like a very nice package that would come in together. Currently you guys are gaining quite a status of respect in the US, but are there any talks to do a tour or shows in Europe?

We've been talking about going to Europe for like two years, believe it or not. After that Lucifer tour, we got asked to go on the road with them on the following February, along with Angel Witch, but it was just too short of a notice and to fly up from Europe to here is expensive. We all have jobs and it's kind of hard to drop like a couple of thousand on a plane ticket, and top of that, renting a backline, a driver and then pay for gas. It crushed our heart having to say no, but that would have been our first time going there. Right now, we are in the talks to go maybe in the fall or next year. We've been getting messages for like two years and we've been seeing the demand going for it from Germany or the UK. There has been works on it right now, we have a new agent and he's letting us know about these offers coming for us. Hopefully with time we'll make it out there, and I feel when we go out there that it will be like a very fun experience and I feel like the shows would be great.

I think that a tour or mini-tour in the UK would suit you guys well since you are a very Black Sabbath inspired band, and I think that the guys there would love you and probably request two shows in a row in the same place. I really hope that you will be able to do shows in these kinds of places where you would never even expect to get this kind of feedback from fans.

Yeah, like you mentioned UK, the heart of Black Sabbath, it is our dream and goal for us to go out there and play in the UK. I feel like it will be a good turnout for us, because we got a lot of messages asking when are we gonna play in London and I am crossing my fingers that we do that. We're trying to do as many shows as we can while we're out there, to play to as many people as we can.

I know that you guys are from Los Angeles, California, and we all know that it's a very heavy place in terms of its reputation, including the bands who originated from there. Has the environment ever had any effect on Early Moods and your songwriting?

Well, being from Los Angeles, we have a lot of music that comes out from here. We have Slayer, which is like 10 minutes away from us, they are like South Gate/Huntington Park. You have some legendary bands; you have Terrorizer from Huntington Park and you have local death metal legends like Sadistic Intent. I mean, Metallica's from here, the city I lived in is Downey, where James Hetfield is from and where Metallica started, so there's definitely a history here. I am not sure if it plays a huge role in our songwriting or anything, but who knows, maybe. Our first two records, the photography on the front covers, they were done by two photographers who are legendary in the scene, we had Estevan Oriol who is an LA legend who's done photography for every band you can think of, and he's done like Blink 182 and all the big hip hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and 50 Cent. He actually has a documentary on him, and I feel like his photography on that first record definitely captured Los Angeles in a weird way, not that it looks like a thing we're we made him do it on purpose, but a lot of people have grabbed our record, looked at it and see that these guys are from Los Angeles, they see like a couple of Mexican dudes with long hair it's like we're under a bridge at Downtown LA. Personally, for me, I don't think that Los Angeles plays a big role in my songwriting or our impact on this band, but like I was saying, maybe the photography does. Even on our second record, we had Greg, another LA local legend, he's really big in capturing the whole LA Latino scene which is all like classic hard, cholo and that kind of style or history. When people see our album covers, they are like "Who are the photographers?", a lot of people like to find out it was those guys because they are like local LA legends, and we are pretty stoked to be part of LA and doing this kind of music. I mean, we have some doom bands here, but I feel we're definitely like one of them who is like going out there, hitting the road, putting LA on the map in a weird way.

You are just like one of those bands who wants to spread their wings as high and vast as you can, so I am really glad that you guys are gaining some recognition, especially now with the new album out.  I don't really want to ask this question, but was there anything that people nitpicked or complained about the album? Because, for me, the album is very good and I can't even find a single bad thing about it.

I didn't see people complaining, but there is this one comment that I heard a couple of times and we found it funny. There's a song on the album I wrote, it's called 'The Apparition', and a lot of people were like "It's a great song, it sounds a lot like Samarithan by Candlemass" and I am like "You know what, that song definitely influenced me on writing our songs". So far that's the only thing I saw. Everything else has been like really good comments, a lot of people are like "wow" and pointing out that it's a lot darker than the first album, but that's the only thing I could say, it's just good feedback. If I hear anything else I'd be like "cool", because I like hearing constructive criticism and I don't take it up the ass or anything, because it doesn't bother me.

Constructive criticism can sometimes help the band progress further and I can only imagine what the third album will be like, especially since this one is so good it will be very hard to top.

Thank you, man. I am actually in the process of writing some new music for the third album, but right now, for the next couple of months, we don't have anything planned. I am on my free time now, it's not like I am trying to write anything. Oscar was showing me some riffs he had, and I've been meaning to show him what I have, and I probably have about two or three songs sitting right now. We'll see what the future holds, this album definitely opened up some new opportunities for us. So yeah, we're working on our third record, and I hope we can do better and we'll see what people think.

Yeah, looking forward to it. Thanks a lot for taking your time to do the interview. It's been a pleasure talking to you man. Are there any closing words you'd like to leave before we finally wrap this up?

First off, great talking to you man, it was great to finally get down and chat, I know we've been talking about this for a while hah. One thing I'll say is to just be on the lookout, we are in the talks right now about doing a pretty big tour in the fall with a pretty big band, we're waiting to see what's gonna happen, but if it does, people are gonna be like "what the fuck, you are going on the road with them?", so it's gonna be a cool opportunity. I'll just tell the people to be on the lookout.

Entered: 6/1/2024 6:46:41 AM

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