Possessed by the Ram Family – ( Interview with Ramesses ) …   Leave a comment

Ramesses is the name conventionally given in English transliteration to 11 Egyptian pharaohs of the later New Kingdom period. The name essentially translates as “Born of the sun-god Ra”. It also relates to a sludge/doom metal band from Dorset, England, featuring ex-members of Electric Wizard. Seeing as the last interview with the band was a little out-dated, the doctor of doom put together this new interview with the grand masters or to be more specific, Adam Richardson

A variant of the name is Ramose; Egyptologists usually use the Ramesses variant for pharaohs and Ramose for non-royals.

Dr.D: Congratulations for the new album! So, how is everything for the Ram Family after the successful release of Take the Curse? At what status do I find you? May I guess a calm before the storm?
A: Thanks a lot. It was an absolute Beast to get The Curse out, but ultimately worth every drop of blood it cost us!..
It feels like we are in The Storm rather than The Calm before it, as we are just finishing ‘Chrome Pineal’ 12” and next LP – ‘Possessed by The Rise of Magik’ – both to be released on May 16th on Ritual – which we are very pleased about.

Dr.D: When people ask me what kind of music Ramesses play, I always find it hard to describe your style. Sure the basis of your sound is doom/death but you don’t sound like Electric Wizard for instance or a typical death band. So how would you describe your music?
A: We find it hard too!..it just doesn’t feel right telling people we are a doom band or a death band etc, and we more often than not feel totally out of place on a lot of metal line-ups…I think we are just a rock band that know no boundaries and don’t care what the rest of the universe is doing…There are no rules in The Ram Family so anything can happen – as will be more evident on the next LP!.. Of course we clearly love the likes of Winter Autopsy Celtic Frost Pentagram Godflesh etc but also are heavily influenced by Cream The Who Hawkwind etc

Dr.D: The whole album is packed with a huge variety of styles! There are some black moments in “Hand of Glory” and” Black Hash Mass”, some classic heavy metal solos in “Terrasaw”, some stoner type vocals every now and then, some brutal vocals…and the list goes on! What were you listening when you were writing “Take the Curse”. Were you afraid that mixing so many elements might make the band lose its identity?
A: I think our identity is the mixing up of styles and ideas…we are lucky not to be trapped in the same boring sound on every damn record…We would all have quit years ago if we were stuck in a ‘play by numbers metal band’ we are always mixing and experimenting with stuff in and out of the studio. eg: I frequently change my vokill style to suit my mood and vision of the song. Most RamSS material has at least 2 or 3 vox styles per track and this is something that I have no intention of stopping – the most ‘out-there’ singing I have ever recorded is on the new EP and LP – We were seemingly listening to Cream and watching Cream live solidly for the new record!!…The Curse was mainly Pentagram I think…virtually nothing on the turntable from current bands apart from our label mates Bong and 7 That Spells..

Dr.D: The artwork of the album is awesome! Can you give us more details?
A: Yes ‘Fucking Hell’ (the title of the sculpture) is fucking incredible isn’t it?!…Its the blackened sick genius of our Brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman – Warrior Saviours of The British Art Scene..I saw ‘Fucking Hell’ in the flesh at The White Cube gallery in London 3 or 4 years ago and am still feeling the reverberations now!!…never seen anything like it – it was the nearest thing to standing in front of a Bosch original that I can imagine – but more accessible and more detailed – just breath taking – the amazing shots are by legend photographer Hugo Glendenning..we are eternally grateful to these art giants and we are gratified to know that they love what we have done with the layout of their art…
We are proud to announce The Chapmans are working on a special video for Baptism Of The Walking Dead at the moment and we have supplied the song Iron Crow for a new short film they have made for Warp films due to be released soon…

Dr.D: “Take the Curse” contains the 3 tracks of “The Baptism of the Walking Death” in a different execution! Why is that? You weren’t happy with the initial result?
A: Baptism of the Walking Dead was our 1st self-produced and made release – we made it as a limited tour ep and thought it more interesting to present the tracks as different versions and mixes compared to the Curse LP – the 3” inverted cross package was a very limited production for us which we are very happy with.
Dr.D: I’ve read some sick reviews about your live shows. Do you consider yourselves as a band that gives more attention on their live shows?
A: We just do our thing really – we rarely talk about stuff – it just happens as a communal effort – gigs are essential ceremonies to us and count a lot symbolically – we have to feed it!..and often too!!..A Live Sacrifice to appease The Old Ones – Ramesses himself!!..

Dr.D: You‘ve supported quite a few important names of the genre, did you happen to meet someone that you thought special or more gifted in any way?
A: Julian Cope is the sonic overlord who springs to mind!..The guy is a god hiding in a mortals flesh!..Maybe Pan?..He asked us to support him on tour years ago after a glowing essay/review he wrote on The Tomb in which he single handedly ‘got’ Ramesses almost in our entirety – he identified many of the hidden meanings and secret spells that are prevalent on the record if you understand the occult references – He asked us to play Black Domina for him at a Bournemouth gig whilst supporting his band, which we were honoured to do – half way through playing the song I looked up mid head-bang to see Mr Cope hanging upside down from the huge lighting rig taking snap shots of us in a devil mask and huge bat-like cape with a head full of mushrooms!!!…and this was before he played..amazing man amazing night!

Dr.D: It’s been 7 years since Tim and Mark left Electric Wizard. Do you ever wonder “What if…”? Do you ever have regrets about that moment? Are there still hard feelings with Jus?
A: No. No and no…
Dr.D: After all this time what do consider the band’s toughest moment and what was the one that made you really proud?
A: Completing The Curse were the darkest hours for us – but then after a painful and difficult birth I feel it is our proudest moment – so far….but that’s only because we haven’t released Possessed by The Rise of Magik yet!!!…

Dr.D: What album or event you believe marked you as a musician?

A: hmmm, It must be ’86 when i scored my 1st £20 cheap electric guitar, hotwired it into my stereo and made those 1st broken tones whilst staring at 70s horror posters and reading ghoulish tales of wierd fiction…never looked back!

Dr.D: By the way, why “Ramesses”? I’ve never considered you as a Egypt/oriental type of band like Nile for example.
A: We have only taken(not in vain)his name – not his whole civilization!.. Tim came up with the name – It refers to Ramesses II who lived longer and reigned far longer than any other Egyptian pharaoh – he also got his image and name up on walls WAY more than any other pharaoh..its his essence we name ourselves after – his longevity, his creativity, his power…he is an ancient inspiration to us all!!..

Dr.D: So what are your future plans? Relax? Tour some more? Work on the new album?
A: Yeah, just finish the new LP and EP which we are extremely happy with and I am now recovering from a knee operation I had a few days ago – then live we got Roadburn, Paris, Finland gigs in April which may well be our only European gigs this year – we are currently plotting our 1st US tour for later in 2011…if that doesn’t happen we will plan Euro dates in November 2011…then we will start on the 4th studio LP which is pretty nearly together already!!!…

Dr.D: Guys I would like to thank the Ram Family for the excellent work on “Take the Curse” and for giving this interview! If you have any last words…
A: – Thanks for the interest and support man!…Keep up the great work.
Interview By Dr.Doom Metal ( Dr.Dooms Lair )
Ramesses Official
Ramesses @ MySpace


Posted March 8, 2011 by doommantia in Ramesses

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