Interview by Matteo Bussotti
Demon Lung. They’re one of the newest doom metal bands in Vegas, but they have already made a name for themselves, playing some very important gig already. Having just released their first (after a series of demos) EP, we are now ready to interview their singer Shanda, to hear what, apart from powerful screams and lyrics, they have to say about their music and their city.
So, Shanda, tell us your story, let us know a little bit more about yourself!
First of all, I’m very flattered to be asked to do this. Our drummer and I share a love of the euro-goth bands like The Gathering, Within Temptation, Delain, etc. I have read interviews from your site before, and to be included with such amazing female vocalists is very cool.
What is the story behind the name “Demon Lung”? Does it refer to your lungs?
I wish I had demon lungs! The name actually comes from a friend of ours who is the hardest partier I know. After a night of binge drinking he always starts to cough so heavily we named it the demon cough… which turned into the Demon Lung (taken from the Electric Wizard song). When it came time to name the band, it’s just seemed fitting.
Why choosing a word from the ancient Greek language as a title (For the ones who doesn’t know ancient greek, a “pareidolia” occurs when our brain creates human bodies or faces from random elements and it’s often used in optical illusions)?
The titletrack of our EP is based on the movie “Prince of Darkness”. In that film it is discussed that Satan lives “in the smallest parts, in the atoms”. It is kind of a figurative type of pareidolia where you see the devil in matter or anti-matter.
This is your first EP, but you, as a band, have recorded an impressive number of demos (about 20, if I’m not wrong). How hard was to choose only 4 of those songs for your EP, were there some songs that were about to be put in the EP but then eventually didn’t make it? Can we expect another EP with another 4 of those “discarded” songs from the first one?
It wasn’t hard to choose the four songs because they were basically the last four we wrote. The others were the evolution of our sound. We are influenced by so many styles of doom metal that we weren’t sure which direction we were going. The last ten songs are when we really started honing in on our sound, which is mostly influenced by Candlemass. We still play some of the other songs live, but I don’t think we’d ever release them.
How was your attitude towards this first EP with your band mates? I mean, in your biography, you say it’s “bullshit-free” doom metal! What were your purposes, and what do you feel you’ve achieved recording these 4 tracks?
Our main goal was to make something we’re proud of. We are metal fans and the idea of creating something half-ass was not an option. We put a lot of time and energy into this EP, but in the end it was all worth it.
More importantly, what would you like to achieve as a band, or as an individual, in the future?
We are striving to make better music every day. We have grown so much in the past year as a band it is scary. We made the EP ourselves, completely independent of anyone else. That was a huge goal for us. Personally I feel that I have grown as a singer and frontwoman. So we would like to continue these things on a larger scale.
Also, I must compliment with you for your very peculiar voice, which is really beautiful. What feedbacks that you’ve received played an important role in developing your vocal style? Is there “something” you remember which was a special moment in your training, something that made you say “Ok, I wanna sing like this”, or “Damn, I haven’t thought about this before! I should work on this!”?
Thank you so much for the compliment, I’m extremely flattered. My band mates have a huge role in the direction I go with my voice. Especially during recording, Jeremy (our drummer) will have me try things that feel unnatural to me. After a few tries, I am doing something I never thought I’d be able to do… it’s awesome.
You played your first show almost exactly one year ago with Demon Lung. I guess you can totally remember it. So…how was it? How did you feel? Were you extremely excited and willing to rock or extremely tempted to jump off the stage and run away screaming?
It’s crazy it’s only been a year; so much has happened that it feels much longer. I was extremely nervous that night. I didn’t move or look a person in the eye. Luckily, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable on stage.
How easy is for a doom metal band to get noticed and to play some gigs in Vegas?
We were noticed by a promoter named James Eirikr in Vegas early on. Dude is like the godfather of the metal underground here. He put us on some high-profile shows and really believed in us. He never wants anything in return, he’s just a massive metal fan and we thank him every chance we get.
More generally, how is the musical scenery in Vegas?
It’s better than it has ever been. Metal has never been huge here in Vegas though. With the exception of the legendary Goatlord (who were massively ahead of their time), there hasn’t ever been a doom scene here as far as I know. The Vegas doom scene currently consists of us and our friends in Dead Neon who are “post-apocalyptic doom”. We are very close with them and share the stage as often as possible. We are meeting tons of kids at the shows that are very much into doom and are starting their own bands, especially other females! I would love it if Vegas became a haven for doom like the Palm Desert scene did for stoner rock in the 90s.
Any plans on recording an LP soon?
Absolutely. We are always writing and demoing new songs. As of now, we hope to have a full LP ready by early 2013. The timeframe all depends on if we get a label to back us or not. We also have an outline for a concept album that we will definitely be doing in the future. It’s going to be a large undertaking though, so we want to make sure that we are a little further along before we start piecing it together.
Can you tell us something we should look forward to, like, for example, a tour? Are there any places you’d like to play in particular?
Our first video is being made as we speak. Dustin Mills, the director of a great film called Puppet Monster Massacre is doing it. It should be released around the end of June. As far as touring goes, we will be making a run down the west coast probably this summer. We have gotten a great response from Europe and it would be a dream come true to play a festival in 2013.
Thank you very much for your time, and…good luck!
Thank you! I love your website and that you are promoting female-fronted metal!! Please keep up the great work!