Spawned from the lonesome scenery of the Black Country, comes God Damn, the loudest, raddest, rock and roll band the UK has had to offer in a long time. Since 2010, a project initially started “as a piss about intended to piss people off” has grown exponentially, seeing the release of two incredible Albums, 2015’s ‘Vultures’ and 2016’s ‘Everything Ever’. Both receiving raucous reviews across fans and press alike.
Meeting 10 years ago at a house party, Thom Edward & Ash Weaver fell in and out of other bands for a number of years before joining forces to become God Damn. Speaking on the last ten years, and their current popularity; Thom characterises it as “Gradually getting more demanding and intense as time has gone on, like a blessing and a curse that possesses the soul and gives you a release now and then. Kinda like how I’d imagine a heroin addiction to be or an abusive partner who gives really good cuddles…. we probably should have called the cops a long time ago.” Originally beginning as a three-piece, the band via “the most fucked up, stressful and strange circumstances” became the well known two piece, but have recently added ‘Gibson Browne’ on keys, vocals and guitar for upcoming shows.
In the last few years, there has been a number of two-piece acts gaining popularity, causing the less educated music fan to pigeon hole them together. When asked about whether they’ve experienced this with God-Damn, Thom had a particularly strong feelings on the matter, stating that “Yeah by absolute morons who haven’t done their research and don’t deserve fingers to write. I can’t even begin to start on how crass and meaningless these jeb-ends are. Seriously, not music fans, it’s like comparing King Gizzard to Slipknot because they’ve got the same amount of members, as shoddy journalism as it gets.”
As a two-piece the writing and recording dynamic changes dramatically, be it a more positive situation with less ‘cooks’ or more of struggle with fewer people to bounce ideas around with. God Damn are a band who embrace the recording process with abandon “The fewer cooks the better, (with a view) to getting as close to freedom as possible” says Thom, emphasising that this attitude helps to enforce their passion and momentum.
Despite their small line up; God Damn have a huge, melodic, and incredibly loud guitar driven sound. They don’t try to please everyone, and they know that not everyone loves what you do. Taking a lead from The Beatles mentality of “If it’s good enough, you’ll remember it” God Damn literally just play what they want to hear. Despite this enthusiasm for individuality, the heavy music scene is littered with purists, and God Damn, who sit somewhere between Riff based heavy metal and punk ferocity aren’t really for those who like things Black & White. Not that God Damn really care; “People like things in neat little packages nowadays more than ever and i’m (Thom) not like that one bit. However, when we get to to impress the open minded few it’s all worth it. Pissing off the people like things black and white is even more fun.”
Being from the same area as the birth of heavy metal surely helps. Writing in the same post-industrial wasteground as Black Sabbath isn’t something that Thom is willing to rule out, saying that it’s “real and gritty”. Following in those footsteps, God Damn are LOUD. So loud in fact, it’s practically impossible to explain in the written format just how loud they are. Unfortunately, Health & Safety regulations have now enforced a number of venues and nearly all festivals with decibel limits on their stages. Much to the Thom’s dismay “I can remember going to gigs when i was a kid and feeling sick for days because it was so loud, it was such buzz! People today are so fucking wet. Rock and Roll is dead; I give up! Europe (in particular) blows for decibel limits, and they love the louder doom bands more than anyone.”
It’s quite clear that what was once intended as just some fun between friends has become an de-railed train of frenzied rock and roll. With two albums under their belts; what is next for this little band from Derbyshire? “Well, we’ve got a pretty full festival season which is going to be amazingly fun” says Thom “after that it’ll be touring and tour supports until someone deems this album cycle over. I’m writing and demoing like a trooper more than ever and that give me a massive buzz. What and how people get to hear is the even more exciting prospect.”
God Damn played the main stage at Handmade last year, and are set to return for 2017. What can we expect from them this year, i asked? “Even more puffing” was the answer. Sounds exciting.