of all please introduce The Lamp Of Thoth to us. Give us a little
insight in your own musical background as well as that of your fellow
musicians and please let us also know, when and why you guys decided to
form The Lamp Of Thoth.
Lord Strange: All three of us have played in various bands
over the years which are too obscure to mention. Our musical backgrounds
are the typical do-it-yourself approach of many underground bands – we
write the songs that we would like to hear – none of us are trained
musicians that I know of. Our line up is as follows: The Overtly
Melancholic Lord Strange:
bass and vocals; Randy Reaper: guitar; Lady Pentagram: drums.
We have existed as a band for about a year now, united for a love of
NWOBHM and Doom bands.
Who came up with the moniker The Lamp Of Thoth? And what’s the
meaning behind that name?
Lord Strange: The Lamp of Thoth was an esoteric coven
which existed in the town of Keighley from where we hail, around 1880.
It was rumoured to be made up of some very important people from the
area who held power and influence in the town. As the story goes, the
used a system of magic which they ‘borrowed’ from The Golden Dawn, but
they used this magic not in a self –illuminating way, but in a way which
gave The Golden Dawn, and even Madame Blavatsky of the Theosophists
cause for concern. It was claimed they were making sacrifices and
raising elementals for their own personal gain and power. We practice
right next door to where this all happened – the house which they used
to hold these meetings was supposedly demolished because of a railway
line (which actually goes nowhere near it) but there are rumours that
the house was so haunted by what these cultists released it simply had
to be destroyed. Coming from Keighley and knowing the dark and
oppressive atmosphere which characterises this small industrial town
with its dark satanic mills, we identified with the story and felt it
answered a lot of questions!
The Lamp rocks as a classic power trio... which advantages does such
a constellation have for a band and what was it that made you decide to
kick off the band as a threepiece?
Lord Strange: The band is a threepiece because musically
in a band, i think that’s all you need. We love that classic sound. It
makes things easier in terms of writing, there’s not too many cooks
spoiling the broth!
If you were asked to describe your band’s sound to someone who’s
never heard any of your songs so far and who’s also not too familiar
with Doom Metal in general, what would you tell him?
Randy Reaper: Occulticus Fucking Doomicus?…we’re Heavy
Metal aren‘t we? What do you think Lord Strange?
Lord Strange: Yeah we’re heavy metal! Heavy Metal okay? There have I
said it enough? We’re heavy metal! Just like your fucking brain!
If you look back on the Lamp’s career so
far, what would you say are the cornerstones in it’s still young
Lord Strange: Supporting some great bands! Reverend
Bizarre, the almighty Gates of Slumber, Centurion’s Ghost and Earthride.
Randy Reaper: Yeah definitely the gigs, that’s what Heavy
Metal is all about, getting up there playing live, showing who you are
and getting very much in peoples faces - each gig has been fantastic to
play and they keep getting better. September will see us head to Germany
for the Power of Doom Festival to share the stage with Candlemass and
Warning - October will see us play twice with Pagan Altar, those gigs
will undoubtedly be highlights for us all.
Only a short time after The Lamp’s first songs started to float
around on the internet, the band has been offered a deal by Rich Walker
of the famous English underground metal label The Miskatonic Foundation.
How did come to this dangerous meeting of two of Albion’s coolest old
school metal forces?
Lord Strange: Rich managed to get hold of our demo, and
because he liked it he recommended that the nefarious Randy Reaper
should be raised from the dead and should join us. He asked us to play
at the Doom Metal Inquisition in Leeds and then offered us the chance to
make an album.
Randy Reaper: I’ve known Rich for nearly a decade and as I
left his place one evening he said in passing ‘you’ll be signed soon
enough, now fuck off home before I miss Eastenders…’. He never let on
that he wanted us on Miskatonic until a few months later...and nor could
we ever have dreamed of being part of such a legendary label.
And what do you expect from the collaboration with Rich? What can an
established and prestigious label like Miskatonic do for a young and
hungry band like The Lamp Of Thoth?
Lord Strange: What I expect from this collaboration is to
make a great album with the knowledge we have someone who understands
exactly what we are about behind us. Rich is one of the pillars of the
underground metal scene in England, and its great to be associated with
him. He has given us some fantastic opportunities that we never would
have had otherwise. It is nice to be involved with someone who is doer,
who doesn’t fuck about, gets things done and says exactly what he thinks
whilst still being enthusiastic about the music. His vision of a
continuing traditional British heavy metal scene which ignores all
trends and fashions and is purged of all egotism and bullshit is one we
How many songs will be on the album? And will there also be any
re-recorded tracks from your first demo “I Love The Lamp”? If so, which
songs will it be and in what way will the album versions differ from the
The Lamp Of Thoth:
We are hoping to record all the songs from the demo again. We have just
re-recorded The Lamp of Thoth for a single.
And as we’ve just mentioned your demo, let’s talk about it in more
detail... where and when have the five songs + intro been recorded and
what were the sessions alike?
Lord Strange: The songs were recorded in our practice
room, whilst the intro was recorded at my house using a cheap keyboard
and the screams from the captive women in my cellar.
Randy Reaper: T’was me who made
her scream, but I’m not saying how….
How has the demo been received by fans and media? I suppose you’ve
got a lot of positive feedback and reviews, haven’t you?
Lord Strange: We have been very happy with the reviews we
have read so far. They all seem to be positive, and people seem to like
Randy Reaper: Yeah there were some good reviews, we’re
looking forward to seeing what people make of our first proper
recordings which will see light as ‘The Cauldron of Witchery EP’. It has
The Lamp of Thoth re-recorded and also our take on Cirith Ungol’s Frost
& Fire. It will be available only on 10” vinyl and limited to 500
copies…oh and I believe it’s out July 31st.
My fave song of the whole demo is a completely fucked up obscure doom
metal monster by the prominent title of “Blood On Satan’s Claw”. Is
there any connection between that song and the Reverend Bizarre hymn of
the same title? Or is your “Blood On Satan’s Claw” rather a homage to
the old horror flick than to the Finnish doom merchants?
Lord Strange: I knew that Reverend Bizarre had a song of
the same title, but I think it was a single and, to be honest, I have
never heard it.
On your MySpace site (www.myspace.com/thelampofthoth) there are also
two songs which are not on the demo, namely “The Boggart” and “You Will
Obey”. Why haven’t they found their way to “I Love The Lamp”, too? And
do you still have any other aces up your sleeve that haven’t been drawn
Randy Reaper: Well at the time the demo was hastily put
together, we had the support slot with Reverend Bizarre and realised
that people might ask us if we had a demo - we didn’t have any money to
pay for a studio and so recorded just a few songs ourselves.
We have lots of others which people haven‘t heard yet - Into The Lair of
The Gorgon, Sing As You Slay, Dread Of The Land are just a few of the
titles which will be on the album - we’ll probably be playing some of
these in Germany and London as a taster of what is to come….Hopefully
the near future will also see us collaborate with the amazing Cold
Embrace for a split single.
How would you describe the Heavy Metal scene in the UK at the moment?
Is it any vivid and lively? And what’s the
situation alike for an upstart
like The Lamp Of Thoth? Do you get a lot of recognition,
support, oportunities to
play live, etc?
Randy Reaper: We get relatively few chances to play live
as we‘re not what the ‘metal scene‘ wants, the scene in the UK is just
full of idiotic trend following bands who copy whatever the flavour of
the month is, but I guess that’s the same anywhere really….it makes it
difficult to get gigs as we aren’t what the people want - not that we
care. If we were Death Metal, or Thrash we’d be
playing every week but that’s not what we’re about.
At the moment we’ve only played 3 gigs in 9 months! But at least it
makes each gig momentous in it’s own way, we’re not ones to whore
ourselves out to all and sundry.
Which other British Heavy Metal acts of the present do you consider
the best and most promising? Which of your fellow countrymen should our
readers definitly check out?
Randy Reaper: Well, I’m sure most of the people reading
this will be aware of the UK Titans of Doom which are Pagan Altar,
Solstice and Warning. But recently the scene has begun to stir a little
and there’s now Witchsorrow, Sinister Tales, oh and of course the
legendary Solomon Kane…
Lord Strange: Solomon Kane? That old one-eyed bastard
Titus Crowe? He can steal my woman, but not my soul, you Bastard!!!
Thanks a lot for the answers! I hope you had some fun doing the
luck with your upcoming CD and all your other future plans!! I love the