Rock Sins caught up with Californian doom metal crew Beastmaker at Desertfest, fresh from a new record contract with Rise Above, who’ve just released their debut album Lusus Naturae, and a European tour that has seen them support label mates Blood Ceremony at 16 different shows across 7 different countries.
You guys have just finished your first European tour – how’s that been?
Trevor Church: Bittersweet, cause we’ve gotta go back home, go back to our normal jobs, and we’ve been playing with Blood Ceremony for the past two weeks – its been fucking rad.
Have you noticed much of a difference between US and UK touring?
Andres Saldate: There is a big difference. They take better care of us over here. I don’t know – we havent found any benefits of touring the US yet. If we do we’ll let you know.
Trevor Church: We don’t really have a good comparison – [so far] we just play up and down California.
Beastmaker released an album in March – how’s the reception been so far?
Trevor Church: We’re out of vinyl, we’re out of CDs right now, so I guess its been pretty good. We’re pretty fortuante to be honest with you, to be on Rise Above, to do what we’re doing – you know, our first tour ever is with Blood Ceremony, we’re fucking playing Roadburn, we’re playing Desertfest, so its awesome.
So how did all that happen? Have you guys been in bands before, did you have the contacts, or was it more of a luck thing?
Trevor Church: Well to make a long story short, we did our own recording at my house, and just put it on bandcamp, and two weeks later, basically, we had a record deal. Our friend Tony sent it to Scott Carlson from Repulsion, just our EP of five songs that we recorded ourselves, and he showed it to [Rise Above founder] Lee Dorrian, and Lee contacted us, and first he just wanted to do a 7” with two of the songs, and then he emailed me the next day like ‘Man I want to give you guys a full record deal’, so that’s how that all came about really.
You guys have been touring Europe, there’s talk of a US tour pretty soon – are those all your plans for the next few months?
Trevor Church: Yeah pretty much – when we get home we’re actually- we’ve been working on our next album, its pretty much done, so we’re going to put the finishing touches on it before we go on tour, so that’s basically all we’ve really got planned. There’s talk of touring back here in Europe in Spring 2017 for a little bit of a bigger tour, possibly a little bit longer, not like ‘bigger’ – whatever, Blood Ceremony’s fucking awesome – just doing Scandinavia, Sweden, Norway, all that – we missed Italy, we didn’t get down into Rome, we just kind of went [gestures] – you know, a lot in Germany and stuff.
What have you been listening to on the road?
Trevor Church: We’ve been listening to Demon Head, their album ‘Ride into the Wilderness’, pretty heavily actually, wouldn’t you say Andy? Its been on heavy rotation. We’ve been listening to Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Lucifer, Saint Vitus, some old heavy metal stuff too – Metallica, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Master of Puppets’, Slayer, ‘Show No Mercy’ – I listened to ‘Show No Mercy’ like two times on repeat.
Andres Saldate: We covered Danzig.
Trevor Church: Yeah we covered Danzig last night – ‘Am I Demon’ – we’ve never done it before. We had practiced it a couple of times during soundcheck, just like jamming, and then last night we decided to just throw it in there?
Are you just at Desertfest for the day? What do you think of it?
Trevor Church: We’re here for the day, and we just caught Monolord’s ten minutes of playing to come here and do this, so that’s all we’ve really experienced so far. Its like there’s a horde of people walking up and down. The owner of Riding Easy records, he just got us fucking super baked, so we’re all fucking stoned watching Monolord, and then we had to walk back over here through this sea of people, I was like ‘fuck’ – its pretty fucking wild.
Is there anyone you particularly want to catch later?
Trevor Church: We’ll check Wizard, I mean – there’s gonna be a queue, but I think with these blue [wristbands] we can skip the queue? But I think that’s gonna be about- well Trouble too, since its not The Skull, its Trouble, it should be pretty interesting, cause The Skull played Roadburn, so we’ll catch Trouble – try to Catch them, see the Psalm Nine stuff, you know, hear that old traditional heavy metal stuff. I wish we had time- we’ll probably watch mostly the bands that are playing here [at The Black Heart] – so there’s Carousel, who we’ve played with before, they’ve come through Fresno, where we’re from, so I’m going to watch their set, and then Mondo Drag, they’re from the Bay Area and they’re on my friend’s record label, so that’s pretty cool, we’ll check them out as well.
Is there any particular show prep you guys usually do?
Trevor Church: Smoke a little weed. If we can even find any, I think we kept a little teeny piece from the other night, but hopefully that’ll be about all we really do to prepare. Stretch a little bit maybe, we’ve been playing a lot of shows, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Anything else to add? Last words?
Trevor Church: We’re thankful to Rise Above Records and Desertfest for having us out here. Its really awesome and its an honour to be here – that’s about it!
Lusus Naturae is out now on Rise Above Records.