INTERVIEW: God Damn | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As debut albums of 2015 go, you’d be hard pushed to find a record as ear-bashingly brilliant as God Damn’s Vultures. A blistering assault on the senses, Vultures may be unforgivably loud, but it’s also a rollercoaster of sonic diversity. Sludge-rock and grunge collide with 80s metal and psychedelia to create a glorious noise that sets God Damn apart as one of the brightest hopes in British rock right now. Heck, even rock royalty Dave Grohl agrees.

The intensity of Vultures is all the more impressive given that God Damn are a two-piece. Consisting of Thom Edward on guitar and vocals and Ash Weaver on drums, God Damn originally began life as a three-piece in their hometown of Wolverhampton before downsizing to a duo in 2013. “It actually works out really well us being a two-piece,” explains Weaver. “Thom and I have played in bands together since our late teens so we know each other inside out. We know what we like and what we find annoying about each other. When you’ve known someone as long as I’ve known Thom it’s easier to tell them if you find something annoying. We rarely have those awkward discussions anyway, we’re pretty relaxed.”

The explosive quality of God Damn’s sound is somewhat at odds with their chilled-out approach to song writing, which is testament to how in-tune with one another Weaver and Edward are. “There’s no set writing process for us, though Thom writes the lyrics and riffs and I write my drum parts. The only thing that’s a constant, is that everything tends to come together when we’re both playing the same song or idea together. I suppose sometimes we do know what the other is thinking, even if we’re just jamming something out, we’ll stop or go into a quiet bit at exactly the same time.” Maybe they’re kindred spirits? “It is quite romantic, there’s some love there!” Laughs Weaver. “Maybe we should get married?”

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“Weaver name checks their musical influences as “everything from The Beatles to Slipknot”, which leaves a hell of a lot of room for manoeuvre”

Beautiful bromance aside, there’s a lot more to God Damn than meets the eye. Sure, they’re primarily known for their ferocity – particularly during live shows where they become a sheer force to be reckoned with – but Vultures often demonstrates a careful dynamic between loud and quiet. God Damn know when to create a cacophony akin to a sledgehammer to the face, but they also know when to reign things in. On the one hand you have the caustic vocals and shredding riffs of the likes of When The Wind Blows, but then you have the stunning acoustic nostalgia of nine-minute long masterpiece Skeletons, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Neutral Milk Hotel’s Oh Comely, before it transforms into a sludgy behemoth. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Weaver name checks their musical influences as “everything from The Beatles to Slipknot”, which leaves a hell of a lot of room for manoeuvre. “If everything is just loud all the time, then nothing really stands out. I like to think of it as accents within our music. Without those quiet parts, there couldn’t be the loud explosive parts, though we don’t set aside moments where we say ‘this needs to be quiet.’ It’s about what feels good.”

For a band still in their infancy, God Damn already have some pretty impressive achievements under their belt, and though there will no doubt be many more to come, it’ll be hard to top supporting Foo Fighters at Old Trafford earlier this year, especially since they were handpicked as support by the band themselves. So did the nicest man in rock offer any advice? “Dave Grohl told me to wear ear plugs. He asked how old I was so I told him, and his reply was ‘you’ll be fucking deaf!’” Wise words indeed.

God Damn play The Cluny, Newcastle on Tuesday 29th September.

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