All of you fine people that read my reviews, interviews, etc, are well aware that I have a love for music that is borderline obsession (Or addiction). My most recent find is the underground doom/occult/psychedelic/desert/fuzz metal genre. There are bands across the globe playing some of the heaviest, slowest, most psychedelic music I have ever heard; the underground scene is way better than what most people get to hear via bands like Crowbar or Pallbearer (two bands that I also love). Anyway, the group Doomstress started this obsession for me, and it snowballed from there. I did a review for Doomstress that you can read, if you haven’t already that is; just go to the Chimera Magazine site/social media pages, or my Tom’s Album Reviews, Interviews, and Musical News Facebook pages (then give them both a like). The bassist/vocalist for Doomstress is Alexis Hollada, or, if you prefer, Doomstress Alexis. She has been gracious enough to agree to an interview, and that makes me super happy as her band is one of the best I’ve heard in this genre.
Chimera Magazine (Tom) – Hello, Alexis. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for agreeing to this interview, and say how much I love the album, something I know you’re already aware of, since I blow Facebook up with it quite often. If I understand correctly, Supernatural Kult Sounds – The Second Rite is a re-release of sorts, with the addition of one new song, “Bitter Plea”. What prompted this to get that sort of special treatment?
D.A.– Greetings Tom and thank you for this interview and the great review as well!
The initial ep was a very limited self-release cd to get things going when the band 1st came out back in May of 2016. Subsequently we released 2 songs directly from that on our “Wicked Woman” 7” vinyl on DHU Records (Netherlands) with thoughts of releasing the entire ep on vinyl. We wanted to redo a few things in the mix and in that time during our 1st tour in August of 2016 we cut “Bitter Plea” to have another original song on the 12” vinyl split. We then had Kent Stump (Wo Fat) master it for us at Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas, TX
Tom – Your cover of “Rainbow Demon’ is awesome. I grew up hearing my Dad play the album by Uriah Heap that it comes from, I was born in ’74 so I got the benefit of this great music growing up. What about this song grabbed you enough to cover it in your own signature style?
D.A.– Brandon & I were on a road trip and happened to be playing the “Demons & Wizards”record as we were discussing plans for the new Doomstress band and we kind of fell into silence as Rainbow Demon came on. After it was done playing we were both having the same thought that we needed to cover this song. Something about the simplicity and openness of the riffs that we felt would really lend itself to what we were wanting to capture and knowing we would have twin guitars to add the harmony parts was gonna really make it work for us. At least that was our hope and it seems to have worked. We actually just performed this song while supporting Manilla Road in Austin, TX and Mark Shelton joined us onstage for guest vocals! What an amazing honor!
Tom – As I explored the genre more, I discovered that there’s quite a few bands from Texas that do similar music, I know that you guys are based in Houston, and I also found what is called desert rock. What, in your opinion, prompts the bands in these hot, desert-like areas, to play this genre?
D.A.– Well Houston is far from a desert and more like a swamp, especially after getting 54-62” of rain from Hurricane Harvey! I couldn’t really say what prompts others to play doom metal, sotner rock or desert rock.Everyone’s sphere of influence is different.
Tom – Oh, I almost forgot to ask this. I know Uriah Heap had an influence on you, otherwise “Rainbow Demon” would not be on the release, but what other acts, artists, or art forms influence you as a musician, and as a person?
D.A.- Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Solitude Aeternus, Candlemass, Cathedral, Mlny Parsonz & Royal Thunder, Castle, Heart
Tom –Over the years, female fronted metal bands have been on the upswing. That being said, as a transgender woman, how does it feel to be a part of the growing world of female fronted metal? Do you have to deal any negativity form the closed minded while on tour, and how do you deal with it, if you do? I remember when Mia Caputo of Life of Agony came out as transgender there was a bit of backlash from people, and I thought that was sickening to see.
D.A.– I’ve had the usual bit of social media hate crap over the years but it’s really insignificant. Most of the doom & underground metal community has been very supportive. Most people tend to realize that it’s about the music not the gender. Sure, there are assholes in every bunch, but most of the people around tend to shut the haters up without me having to worry about it. Touring has been great and I/we have been very well received everywhere we’ve traveled from the Pacific northwest to the deep south.
Tom – What are your future plans for the band? Where do you see yourselves in the next 5 years?
D.A.- While I do have goals and try to have somewhat of a vision for the future I’m really trying to just keep plodding away day by day, show by show with hopes of touring Europe and some bigger fests over there. Current plans after our October shows & tour are to get back into the studio to finish recording our full-length record before the year is done
Tom – This question is one I always ask in one way or another, do you have any show/tour stories that you feel are worthy of sharing? Embarrassing, funny, or what have you.
D.A.– Back on our April tour we were traveling from Houston, TX to Colorado Springs, Co for the 1st show, and we got hit by a big snow storm in northern New Mexico. Ended up getting stranded at a rest stop in a white out for 3 hours. We threw a few snowballs, and had some laughs, while we slowly froze in the van until they got the highway partially cleared, at least enough for us to follow and 18-wheeler in its tracks for 40 miles through the mountain. It’s funny now but at the time it was kinda terrifying, driving with brakes packed with ice, and skidding & sliding along the road! But we made it to the gig, and had a great western US tour with Disenchanter. We’ve made sure to pack a few extra blankets now. Haha
Tom – Last question…what are some bands from your area that you feel deserve more attention from our readers, and the magazine in general?
D.A.– Wo Fat, Destroyer of Light, Duel, Greenbeard, Witchcryer, Cursus, Maneaters of Tsavo, Crypt Trip, Stone Machine Electric, The Dirty Seeds, Blues Funeral, Warlung, there’s so many!
I love how Alexis brings up Greenbeard, because they are fucking phenomenal!! I wrote a review for them, and need to submit it for posting. Once again, I want to thank Alexis for this interview!!!! I love being able to do this, and to share it with all of our loyal Chimera magazine fans!!!! So, crank up some Doomstress, and support all music fervently!!