I used to be so deeply into everything metal. It simply could not be heavy enough for me, and somewhere in my twenties I “decided” that this love would never wane, that I would be a metalhead for life, and that nothing or nobody could do anything about it. And yet somehow life did. Nearing my forties now I hardly spin any of my Immortal, Neurosis, or Godflesh albums. Let alone heavier stuff like Agoraphobic Nosebleed, or Archon Infaustus.
Somehow my ears slowly got tired of it, and aside from a couple of very dear exceptions I don’t regularly spin any of my heavier metal records anymore. So when a promotional email reaches the Weirdo Shrine office telling me “black, thrash, or death” is on offer, I usually pass. I passed on No Spill Blood too, a couple of times even, even after the first listen. I used to love the way a band like this stormed out of the gates on their first track, blast beats blazing…but not anymore, right? Right??? Wrong.
Somehow this Irish threesome got their hooks on me, and I kept returning, at first appalled, then, curious, intrigued, and finally fascinated. For while No Spill Blood at first glance is a very heavy band, when you dive into the rabbit hole with them, they turn out to have a quite a bit more going for them.
Their heaviness is the motor that spins a psychedelic maelstrom, grabbing the listener by the ears and swirling him with them into the black abyss, and beyond, into deep, deep space. The synthesisers do most of this tractor beam work, messing with your head, as the raspy vocals growl at you, and the relentless drums grind away.
As I let go of any initial resistance, I realised that No Spill Blood is no ordinary metal band. They are a portal, and once you are over the edge, they will take you anywhere…
I threw out a line with No Spill Blood‘s label Svart Records and quite quickly the band responded with the following answers. Reading about their backgrounds made me even more glad I got over my initial metal tiredness and really discover the band, for there is a lot to discover!
How are you? How has the pandemic period been for No Spill Blood?
Very quiet, there was quite a lengthy ban on concerts in Ireland which made things very tough on bands to get by.. but we used the time productively writing new material and finishing our new Lp EYE OF NIGHT.
Can you introduce the band, and how did you meet ?
We are Matt Hedigan (bass and vocals), Ruadhan O Meara (synths) and Ror Conaty (drums). We are old friends who have been hanging round together since forever and would have toured and jammed together in various different guises before starting the band about 10 years ago.
What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?
While we all would be part of the same scene in Dublin we would all have our own particular leanings and other projects.. Matt would be heavily involved in the noise rock scene with his other bands Hands up who wants to die and Shifting. Ruadhan would be more orientated towards the experimental and electronic areas and makes solo music as Magic Pockets. Ror has a long and storied history in the Punk &Metal end of things , playing with Wizards of Firetop Mountain, Puget Sound and Burning Realm.
What does a regular day in your lives look like?
We all have our day jobs but we have access to a good rehearsal space in the city where we meet a few times a week to work on music. Beyond this we bounce home recorded ideas around on email and see what sticks.
What is the best thing about Eye Of Night?
We’re very happy with how the record turned out, and the crew of people we got to work on it. Once again we recorded with Rian Trench and Scan in the Meadow , which is an awesome picturesque studio in Wicklow. We then got in the legendary Phil Manley of Trans Am / The Fucking Champs to mix the lp and James plotkin to do the master. Beyond this, we are pretty stoked about how the various live elements of the band were captured , while also getting to do some more expansive development and experimentation.
Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?
We all live in Dublin City, which has a great vibrant scene. There is a wealth of stuff to discover in all genres. Real estate is major issue in the city though and finding rehearsal space is tough. There are lots of good gigs to go to and touring bands come through regularly.
Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?
Some of our favourite acts at the moment would be Oranssi Pazuzu, Krallice, Oneida, Eternal Champion, Blood Incantation, oneohtrix point never, Horse Lords, Dead Rider, Messa, Oozing Wound.
Can you tell me about how you go about composing and recording songs?
Something usually comes from an initial riff, from bass or the pro one synth. We have to be quite selective about what we do ,as essentially we are composing on 2 monophonic instruments and we have to be careful how things are placed sonically. Granted it might be a a very unusual way of making a band, but it is not without its pitfalls and impracticalities! But for us it’s a fun and interesting way to do things.
What are your immediate and long term future plans?
We are currently on tour with the awesome Year of No Light in EU which has been a truly fantastic experience. After this we will launch the Lp with some Irish dates and look towards autumn to arrange more shows. As soon as we get home we will continue work on new material and start eyeing up a follow up release.
What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?
Immediately concern themselves with acquiring our new Lp EYE OF NIGHT out on 24th Feb on the fantastic SVART label. Once this has been accomplished check out Hands up Who Wants to Die, Shifting, Magic Pockets, Burning Realm.