In my further exploits discovering some of the more obscured and hidden aspects of stoner, doom, sludge and balls to the walls psychedelia Denmark has proven to be an extremely fruitful landscape, producing another extremely fine example of the well honed metal that’s made them world famous in the form of Slowjoint. They’re a pummeling fist of sludge and doom, fury incarnate, erupting in the volcanic lyrics and molten metal fury of riffage encased in the brutal heart of these tunes. From the moment you hit play two things are clear about this band. First, Slowjoint are a fucking sludge fest of massive proportions, armed with deafening, cataclysmic riffs and what’s more, the intent to use them. Secondly, that there’s no hesitation or over-complication involved in the creation of the music, it’s straight from the gut for better or worse, warts and all; just the way I like it. No questions asked this is some of the heaviest, most mind deafening sacrilege spinning right now. The music seeps in through the pores of your mind and weasels its way into your consciousness, burning swaths of destruction that cut into your cerebral cortex like the plodding feet of this seething demon as it shuffles about in the deepest bowels of the hell that is your mind. With only an extremely limited self-released tape out there right now there might not be a whole lot of people talking about Slowjoint in the US yet, but they’re working on releasing their sophomore album Up Shit Creek right now, and if they’re demo tape Retarded Blues Anthem is any indicator, when this thing is pressed to wax it’s gonna blow the fuck up! There’s even talk of an extended and expanded version of Retarded Blues Anthem and the prospect of that getting pressed up gets my mouth watering just thinking about it. That’s it though, enough cheating. If you want to know anymore about this devastatingly effective trio of sludge lords and doom masters you’ll just have to read on. Poor you…
Listen while you read: https://www.youtube.com/slowjoint
What’s Slowjoint’s lineup at this point? Have you all gone through any changes as far as the lineup goes since you all started playing?
Dennis: No not since Patrick joined us. We get along just fine.
Patrick “Lazy” Bondig – Bass and lungs
Dennis “stinky Pete” Petersen – Guitar
Benjamin “Benny” Kock – Drums
Are any of you involved in any other bands or have any side projects going on at this point? Have you released anything with anyone in the past? If so, can you tell us about it?
Dennis: I did the vocals on a demo for Dirtwrench last year. Nothing permanent though.
Patrick: I’ve been playing in several rock bands since I was fifteen.
How old are you and where are you originally from?
Dennis: I was born in eighty seven and I grew up in south Jutland here in Denmark. We all did.
What was the local music scene like where you grew up? Did you see a lot of shows when you were younger? Do you feel like the local scene played a large role in shaping your musical tastes or in forming the way that you perform at this point?
Dennis: I went to local shows in a little place called GUMF when I first started going to concerts. That venue sure played a large role in shaping my drinking habits. They had a practice space for bands too, so you could hang out there all the time. I joined my first band there. Those were some good times.
Patrick: Yeah GUMF was the shit! For a couple of years it felt like my second home. We were always hanging out, playing music and getting wasted. Man, I loved it and still miss it!
Dennis: It's like you can still smell it.
What was your house like when you were a child? Were either your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in music?
Dennis: We lived way down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere when I was a kid. My dad’s a musician and my mom always sang a lot. We had a piano and a pretty big CD collection. I never learned to play the piano though. Guess I was too busy blowing up old spray cans or some shit like that…
Patrick: I grew up in a small town in south Jutland. None of my parents played music but I had some relatives that played old Danish music compared to German schlager.
What do you consider to be your first real exposure to music?
Patrick: I remember getting a Michael Jackson CD when I was nine or ten. Listened to it all the time!
If you were to pick a moment of music, a moment that seemed to change everything for you and opened your eyes to the infinite possibilities that music presented, what would it be?
Dennis: When I mixed weed with alcohol for the first time.
Paller: Ha-ha. Good answer!
When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what brought that decision about for you?
Dennis: Well, I've been in a couple of bands as a singer. I wanted to make my own thing with Slowjoint, so I figured I'd write all of it myself. But I've never been that good on a guitar. So I got an old busted up bass from Patrick. I had never made a riff before, so that was kind of new to me. It went pretty well though.
Patrick: As I mentioned earlier, I played in some different rock bands in the early years. We always made it all by ourselves. I was never satisfied playing other people’s music.
What was your first instrument, when and how did you get it?
Dennis: I've collected a lot of instruments so far, but my first was an electric guitar that I got from my dad. My favorite is still my old Squier P Bass. I've built a couple of guitars myself too, from old oil cans.
Patrick: I think my first instrument was an old electric guitar; a shiny red thing that I spent a lot of time jamming on.
How and when did the members of Slowjoint originally meet?
Dennis: Patrick and I have known each other for ten years or something like that. Benny and I met at the school for cooking education, which we of course dropped out of.
What led to the formation of Slowjoint and when exactly would that have been?
Dennis: A couple of years ago I met up with Benny and our former guitarist and started jamming. We got complaints a couple of times about the noise, so we moved out of that location pretty fast. We don't practice that much anymore, but when we do it's in my garage.
It seems pretty self-explanatory but what does the name Slowjoint mean or refer to? Who came up with the name and how did you all go about choosing it?
Dennis: I came up with the name. It fits right in...
Patrick: It sure does!
Is there any sort of shared creed, code, ideal or mantra that the band shares of lives by?
Dennis: I don't think we have one. Maybe we should...
Where’s Slowjoint located at these days?
Patrick: All over the country! I recently moved north for a job in a zoo, working with Lions and shit! Benny went east for school and a job.
Dennis: You have to drag me to get me away from south Jutland, ha-ha.
How would you describe the local music scene where you’re at right now?
Dennis: I don't go to a lot of concerts. Usually I'll have to travel a couple of hours to see live shows in the genres I like. And you're not allowed to drink and drive so… Either that or I forget all about it until the day after the show. I wish I went to more shows though.
Patrick: Me too! We did it a lot when we were younger, but now we don’t have the time or money to do it. It’s a shame.
Dennis: When you put it like that, I feel really old dude.
Do you feel like you’re very involved in the local music scene? Do you book or attend a lot of local shows?
Dennis: We drive around and play at small venues wherever they'll let us in. Usually, it's us and some local bands from the town we play in. We get to meet a lot of people that way, and I guess we do ours to keep those small local shows going.
Are you involved at all with recording or releasing any local music, and if so can you tell us about that briefly right now?
Dennis: I fool around with some old tape recorders and do a little recording myself. Unfortunately, it's not as much as I’d like to. We have secret plans on recording some of our new stuff ourselves. Don't know if we're gonna let any of that shit out.
Has the local scene played a large role or important part in shaping the sound of Slowjoint or in your history as a band, or do you feel like you all would be doing what you are and sound like you do regardless of where you all were at or surrounded by?
Dennis: There aren’t a lot of bands in our genre where we live. We're pretty much inspired by American sludge bands and blues. I've always liked that southern sound.
I love talking to new bands and I seriously dig sharing great tunes and some sweet words with awesome musicians such as yourself but there’s one thing that I do not particularly enjoy; describing how a band sounds to people who’ve never heard them before. It’s an integral part of my job but I get really subconscious about it a lot of the time and I will literally stay up night worrying about my descriptions, obsessing over the fact I might have put too many of my own thoughts and reflections about the music in there. Rather than my neurosis giving me a panic attack, how would you describe Slowjoint’s sound to our readers who might not have ever heard you all before?
Dennis: Sometimes, it’s like when you throw dynamite into a tool shed and run like hell. Other times, like slowly sinking into a thick boiling stew of bourbon and hash.
What’s the songwriting process with Slowjoint like? Is there someone that comes to practice with a riff or more finished idea for a song that you all kind of work out together, or do you all jam a lot and kind of kick ideas back and forth until you kind of distill a song from the process?
Patrick: Dennis usually comes up with some main riffs and then we just jam the rest until we’re satisfied.
Do drugs play a large part in your songwriting process? You all seem pretty open about your drug use, at least in respects to marijuana. Does weed or any other psychotropic substances play an important role in writing or performing Slowjoint’s music?
Dennis: Of course man. Have you heard our songs? There's hardly any songwriting in there, most of the time it's just riffs thrown together. Riff A, riff B and that's it. Weed goes great with a good jam.
I know you all just started recording as a band, but I don’t know how many sessions you all have done so far. As a musician myself, I think that most of us can obviously appreciate the end result of all the hard work, time and effort that goes into making an album. There’s not a whole lot that beats holding your own album in your hands knowing that no one can ever take that fact away from you. Getting to that point though, getting everything recorded and sounding like you want it to, especially as a band, can be extremely difficult and trying to say the very least. What’s it like recording for Slowjoint?
Patrick: It’s all fun. We have an idea of what sound we want before we go into the studio and once we’re there, we just concentrate on getting the tracks recorded. Besides that, we just hang out and drink dark beer.
Do you all go into a studio environment when you record and let someone else handle the technical aspects of things so you can concentrate on playing and performing, or do you all take a more DIY approach to recording where you handle things on your own time and turf?
Patrick: Maybe in the future, but this album was in the hands of the studio technician.
Is there a lot of preparation that goes into figuring out every aspect of a song before Slowjoint goes into record? Or do you all get a good idea of how you want a song to sound and then give it a little room to change and evolve during the recording process? How much of a role does improvisation play in your recording sessions?
Dennis: We booked time in the studio before we even had the songs finished. I'm a last minute kind of guy, so I finished it just before we went into the studio; no time to think it through. Mostly, when I write new songs I just turn up the volume and jam until something comes. Again, weed’s quite a great help here.
Patrick: We really don’t improvise during a recording session. The songs are usually done before we go into the studio. We actually threw away a track because it sounded like shit when we listened to it. In the garage everything sounds great!
You all put out your first release in 2013, the three track Retarded Blues Anthem Demo cassette tape. Can you tell us a little bit about the recording of the material for Retarded Blues Anthem tape? Who recorded and where was that at? When would that have been and what kind of equipment was used?
Dennis: We recorded it at CB Studios. I really don't remember what equipment we used. I was too busy trying to figure out how to play bass. We went into the studio about four months after we started the band. It took us one day to finish the whole thing. We didn't know what we were doing. Before that, I'd only recorded vocals, without having to think about guitar sound and what ever. But it's getting better.
I know that Retarded Blues Anthem was a limited edition release. Is that out of print at this point? How was Retarded Blues Anthem originally released and distributed? Do you know how many copies the cassette tape was limited to?
Dennis: Yeah we uploaded the whole thing to YouTube. I made those limited editions myself from old second hand tapes, limited to 27 copies. We sold about twenty of them at shows until the rest got stolen. I've have been planning on a re-release with some extra features and stuff, would be cool to find a small label to work with on that.
You are getting ready to follow up Retarded Blues Anthem with your self-released first full-length album Up Shit Creek sometime soon, if I understand correctly the artwork is in and the tapes are just getting dubbed at this point. What can our readers expect from your new album? Did you all try anything new or radically different when it comes to the songwriting or recording of Up Shit Creek? Do you have a projected release date for it at this point? I know that Up Shit Creek is going to be a strictly hand numbered limited edition affair, how many copies is it going to be limited to?
Dennis: We don't have a release date yet, but it's coming out on vinyl and cassette. It's the same old shit, just more of it. This time, limited to 60 copies, but I'm still dubbing them all myself. The vinyl’s gonna be out in an edition of three or five hundred copies, I just received the finished cover design a few days ago. It's hand painted with watercolor and it looks fucking awesome; just needs a little finishing with some titles and such. The plan is to release it ourselves, but I’m hoping to find a small label to work with for future releases.
What was the recording of the material for Up Shit Creek like? Who recorded it? When was that? Where was Up Shit Creek recorded at? What kind of equipment was used?
Patrick: Again, we recorded at CB studios. He knows what sound we’re looking for; besides that he’s just fun to hang out with and he brews his own beer! I don’t know so much about the equipment we used, but we ended up using some of his instruments because our own sounded too bad.
Dennis: For some strange reason I got to keep my shitty old bass. I remember the look on Christian's face when he saw Benny's beaten up drum heads, ha-ha. I actually think one of them was pretty close to having a hole in it. Of course, Benny couldn't see the problem and the whole situation was just a pretty funny thing to watch.
Does Slowjoint have any music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a single or a song on a compilation that I might not know about?
Dennis: There're a couple of songs from Up Shit Creek on YouTube.
With the release of Up Shit Creek right around the corner, does Slowjoint have any other releases in the works or on the horizon at this point?
Dennis: We’re definitely making another one. On the next one we’d like to take our time, but if I know us right, it’ll be a last minute thing once again.
With the completely bat shit international shipping rate increases that have gone on over the past few years and show no sign of letting up, I try and provide our readers with as many possible options for picking up imports as I can. Where’s the best place for our US readers to score copies of your stuff?
Dennis: I don't know man. We're working on that. I didn't think it through when I decided to distribute it myself. Hopefully we figure out something good.
And where’s the best place for our interested readers to keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases at?
Dennis: You can follow us on Facebook. I try to keep it updated.
Are there any major goals or plans that Slowjoint is looking to accomplish in 2014?
Dennis: We have a lot of ideas, but we don't plan that much...
Patrick: I just want to go on the road and play our shit to the people; national or international I don’t care.
Dennis: I'm in!
What, if anything, do you all have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?
Dennis: We're working on some shows here and there around Denmark. We're hoping to get a lot more of them, maybe do a small tour south of the border. I'd love to tour some more.
Do you all spend a lot of time out on the road touring? Do you enjoy being out on the road? What’s life like on the road for Slowjoint?
Patrick: Dangerous! We’ve only tried touring for a day or two, but it’s a lot of fun. Lots of alcohol and weed! I hope we can get out on a longer tour someday.
Do you remember what the first song that Slowjoint ever played live was? Where and when would that have been?
Patrick: Do you remember? I don’t remember a damn thing.
Dennis: That's because you're a fucking drunk, dude ha-ha.
Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to play with?
Dennis: Tjeck out Katla and Doublestone here from Denmark. They're pretty cool. We've played with the Shit Blizzards too. That was a pretty crazy night.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?
Dennis: I remember we played a show in Roskilde. We went over there in the early afternoon and got wasted. Benny passed out, really fucking drunk, and we almost couldn't wake him up. Finally he woke up fifteen minutes before showtime, with his phone in his hand, and started trying to drink from it as if it was a fucking beer. For some strange reason he played a pretty good show that night.
Patrick: We also played a show with the Shit Blizzards one time. We all ended up at our place after the show to get wasted, and the night ended up with the drummer from Shit Blizzards stepping on a rusty rake in the garden when he was out trying to take a piss. There was blood everywhere, funny shit!
Do you all give a lot of thought to the visual aspects that represent the band like posters, flyers, shirts, covers and other artwork? Is there any kind of meaning or message that you’re trying to convey with your artwork? Do you have anyone that you usually turn to in your times of need when it comes to that sort of thing? If so, who is that and how did you originally get hooked up with them?
Dennis: We don't give a lot of thought to anything in this band. We just do what we feel like and take it from there.
With all of the various mediums of release that are available to musicians today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the methods that they do. Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music? What about when you’re listening to and or purchasing music? If you do have a preference, can you talk a little bit about why?
Dennis: I like the sound of analog. I'd love to do the next record all analog. It has a more open sound to it, sounds more real. I've had the feeling of sitting right next to the band when I listened to vinyl, YouTube can't do that.
Do you have a music collection at all and if so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Dennis: I think I have about 30 vinyl albums or something like that. Different shit. A lot of old stuff. Like, ragtime jazz and some blues as well, and of course some Weedeater. My son likes that one a lot. He likes to take an afternoon nap with some fuzzed out sludge spinning on the record player; daddy's boy.
I grew up around a pretty massive collection of vintage garage, psych and blues and my dad really encouraged me to dig in and enjoy his collection. In fact, he basically encouraged me to listen to anything that I wanted to and a result I am completely obsessed with physically released music. For me it’s an obsession collecting all this amazing stuff that I hear that’s out there. There’s something about popping an album in, kicking back with a set of headphones, reading the liner notes, staring at the cover artwork and letting that just transport me off to another place! Do you have any such connection with physically released music?
Dennis: There are no cool record stores around where I live, so I don't get new records that often. Mostly at flea markets and places like that. But you don't find your favorite underground sludge band on vinyl in a secondhand store. If it's a band I really like, I feel a certain need to own their album, but most of the time I don't have money for things like that.
As much as I love my collection of music I was never able to take it on the go with me before. Digital music has all but eliminated that problem overnight, being able to have basically anything that I want at my fingertips and disposal has really changed the way that I listen to music. That’s just the beginning though, when you team digital music with the internet you have something really incredible on your hands. Together they’ve exposed people to the world of music that’s all around them and allowed them to interact with and listen to just about any band anywhere on the planet. It’s also allowed musicians like yourself to interact with their global fan base like never before and changed the way that music is produced and distributed. Nothing is ever one-sided though, and with the good comes the bad. Illegal downloading is running rampant and it’s harder than ever to get noticed in the insane digital scene out there. As an artist during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
Dennis: It sucks. It's as simple as that. There's not much heart left. The only good thing is that you're able to get the word out there pretty fast. But then again, the internet is gonna have to deal with shitty annoying bands like us. I guess it's a love/hate relationship.
I try to keep up with as much good music as I possibly can, but there’re only so many hours in a day and ninety-nine percent of stuff slips past me unfortunately. Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening to I might not have heard of before?
Dennis: Denmark seems to have a growing sludge/stoner scene. Katla made a song; I think it's called “Desolution”... That riff is fucking awesome. Oh, and Drön. We played a show with them in Aarhus. Two guys, one on vocals and guitar and one big bear behind the drums. They’re fucking heavy!
What about nationally and internationally?
Dennis: I still listen to Bongzilla and Weedeater. I discovered Dopefight a while ago, that band’s pretty cool. Drug related names seem to be the thing to look for.
Thanks so much for taking the time to get this done, I know it wasn’t short but I’m totally stoked to learn so much about the band and I hope you all at least had a little bit of fun looking back on everything that you’ve managed to accomplished since you started. Before we call it a day and sing off, is there anything that I possibly missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to talk to me or my readers about?
Dennis: There's nothing to talk about, just legalize it goddamnit! Ha-ha. Thanks man, have a good one!
(2013) Slowjoint – Retarded Blues Anthem – digital, Cassette Tape – Self-Released (Limited to 27 copies)
(2014) Slowjoint – Up Shit Creek – digital, Cassette Tape, 12” – Self-Released (Cassette Tape limited to 60 copies and 12” limited to 500 copies)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
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