Could you please introduce the band to our readers (like the history concerning members, style and musical as well as lyrical influences)?
Volition consists of myself, Jason Murray (Guitar), Mark Burns (Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals), Mark Burnett (Guitar), David Hodge (Vocals) & James Doyle (Drums). We formed in our hometown of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Mark & James had played together in a band called Bosseye for some time, but they wanted to go into a more extreme, despondent doom direction. Mark used to be vocalist with UK Doom outfit Doomflight but they disbanded in the mid 90s. I had played with James a few times over the years in various projects but nothing ever materialised. Then in early 2006 after some Jam sessions between Mark Burns & James, Volition were formed initially without a vocalist whilst we concentrated on music then in mid 2006 Dave came along to complete the line up. I guess style wise we are predominantly slow doom, but we have some faster moments once in a while. But we're comfortable with the “doom” label attached to bands that play slow tempo miserable music!
I know you guys played in Boss Eye. Is that band still active?
Boss Eye is no longer active. When Volition formed Boss Eye was on it's “way out”. It was predominantly slow music but more or less instrumental, just the odd growl here and there. Mike Carling (Boss Eye guitarist) went on to join local Brutal Death Metal outfit Severe Lacerations. Check them:http://www.myspace.com/severelacerations
Why did you start Volition? Was it a drive? An artistic must? A musical obligation to yourself? And is it a project or a 'real' band?
A very good question, and a very difficult one to answer. Volition was formed out of friendship more than anything else. I have been friends with Mark Burns for over 17 years. And in that time we never really did anything together musically apart from the occasional jam but nothing really ever took off. We kind of lost touch for a while and he told me of a Doom band he forming with Mark Burnett and James Doyle and asked if I wanted to join. I was hesitant at first as I had only just started playing again but I thought I would throw caution to the wind and join. The band was at jamming stage for some time whilst we explored ideas etc and then Dave came along later to complete the line up. Volition is a real band. We take it very seriously but inevitably our main goal is to enjoy what we do, without fear of consequence.
Musically you compare yourselves to Corrupted and Winter. Can you name five other bands that had a significant influence on Volition? Can you perhaps name five specific albums?
We have never compared ourselves to anyone. We let other people decide how we sound or whom we sound like. The Winter comparison has cropped up a lot of times and so has Corrupted. We have also been compared to Toadliquor and Bunkur among others… Inevitably any band will always sound like another within the confined walls of “doom” so we're not affected by the comparisons. And face it; we're being compared to bands that are genre-defining and are/were at the top of their game. So we take it as a compliment. As far as bands that have had an influence on Volition I would struggle to pick out just five. Personally I have been influenced by At The Gates, Black Sabbath, Born Against, Darkest Hour, His Hero Is Gone, Mastodon, Sleep, Uranus & Winter to varying degrees. They influence me in as they make me want to play guitar but I lack the talent to play anything that would resemble them musically.
Why just record and release a two track demo now? Could it be seen as an appetizer for the coming full-length?
We recorded the two track demo for two reasons. The first being that Gad from Total Rust Music asked us to demo him some material to promote Volition prior to a full length being recorded. Just so folk knew who we were at its time of release. And secondly, we wanted some kind of decent quality recording that would represent us better. As up until that point all we had was a 4 track CD-R recorded on an 8 Track Portastudio at our second live performance. And the recording itself was OK for what it was but we wanted a better representation of our sound.
Total Rust supported you by releasing this demo. How did that contact come about? Will the planned full length be released on Total Rust as well?
Gad @ Total Rust Music heard about us and checked us out on Myspace, listened to the live tracks that were on there and offered us a deal for two CDs. We never set out for any of this, we had no masterplan. We just played what we wanted to play and hoped that others liked it too. So the attention we received is quite overwhelming.
What do you expect from a record label? And is Total Rust living up to your expectations?
I expect nothing but the best from Gad. Total Rust Music is in it's infancy, growing day by day. And Gad knows what he is talking about when it comes to this type of music and he knows what to do with a band like us. His reputation precedes him. We are more than happy with Total Rust Music thus far. We get reviews all the time from everywhere, which proves that the demo is getting “out there” to people. Gad is a complete “Doom Head” and a total gentleman and we couldn't ask for a better person to be at the helm.
Bri from Lazarus Blackstar is helping/producing the debut. How did he come into the picture? Judging by his appearance I guess you quite like Lazarus Blackstar?
Bri Doom runs the 1 in 12 studio in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The guy has a wealth of experience and knows how to get the best out of a band. Not to mention the brilliant job he did with Lazarus Blackstar's debut album. That record could strip paint.
Do you have a title for the coming debut? Or song titles? Can you reveal some of them and tell us what the lyrics are about? And more important, will there be vinyl versions of the new album?
At the time of this interview we have no idea what the album will be called or if it will be simply “self titled”. So far song titles include: The End Of Comfort, Cheyne Stoking, Pathogen, To Those We Have Lost, Martyrdom, Halls Of Degradation, we also have some newer songs that have working titles such as: Mistress, The Tempestuous Sea and Ave Satanas. Some themes explored are: Cheyne Stoking – This is an actual medical term applied by Doctors to describe the change in breathing patterns as someone dies. Sometimes known as the “death rattle”. A song about lying in a hospital bed and embracing death. Pathogen – That is a term for a creature that is parasitic in nature. A song about human beings raping the earth. To Those We Have Lost – This song is about losing those close to you. This song is dedicated to our fallen brother Barry James Burns. 1978-2004. I don't think Gad has any plans to release anything on vinyl. And I can see why, vinyl is nice but a lot of younger generations do not buy it, they see it as a thing of the past.
What question did my sorry ass forget to ask you guys?
The question would be: Would the two Marks like me to send them a huge mountain of Marijuana? Answer: Yes indeed my friend!
If you have anything more to say, tell us now!
Thanks for your time, and coverage in your mighty fine webzine. We are honoured that you liked the demo enough to warrant an interview. As well as the full length due on Total Rust Music we have a split 10” coming out with When The Deadbolt Breaks on US label Spare Change Records. Keep your eyes open for it.