Right now Famyne is probably the best doom band to have come out of Kent. In a world where you can count down the days to Black Sabbath‘s retirement, bands will need to take their place and I could not think of a better young band than Famyne. On stage, singer Tom Vane is a possessed creature, channeling the spirit of Pentagram and Saint Vitus, while the rest of the members fight on like dedicated doom warriors. I love Famyne and they were worth missing Rotting Christ at Bloodstock for. Before the fest, I had a chance to chat to the lads about their origins, their debut EP, playing the New Blood Stage, and what the future holds for the young doom warriors.
Jack: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?
Famyne: We’re doing great thanks, how are you?
Jack: Not too bad, thanks for asking. Famyne formed in September 2014, how did you all meet?
Famyne: The short version is that we pretty much all met over the course of a couple years (2013-2014) in establishments primarily serving alcoholic refreshment.
Jack: Did you form with the intention of being a doom band?
Famyne: We started off trying all sorts of stuff, before honing in on what we all liked. It just so happens that what we all liked was doomy as fuck.
Jack: What are your major influences?
Famyne: Pain, regret… No, to be honest our musical influences are really varied, ranging from the more rock/metal/alternative subgenres to underground/folk/popular stuff of old. If we had to list the sort of bands that represent us more individually, I guess they’d be Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Opeth, Acid King, Saint Vitus, Kyuss… I could go on for ages.
Jack: Are there any of your influences who you feel are overlooked as bands? If so which bands are they?
Tom Vane (Vocals): Well, speaking for myself I’d say that True Widow is definitely one of them; they’re one of my top five. I reckon people who like doom for the same reasons I do, ought to dig them. I mean for me they’ve just got the right mix – dispassionate, harmonised, reverby twin vocals, guitar riffs that are honest and understated, yet hammering in their tone and repetition, and then you’ve got the trance-inducing, tasteful rhythm section. Unlike a lot of music I come across now, these guys (and girl) seem to be playing just for themselves: they’re not rubbing their skill and heaviness in your face, there seems a total lack of testosterone: a kind of ‘take it or leave it’ approach to songwriting that I really admire, and the result is pure heroin. I don’t just respect them as musicians, I adore them for what their art does to me. That’s the mark of a truly good band, in my book.
Jack: Your debut EP came out last year, looking back are you happy with the response?
Famyne: Oh yes, all reviews were favourable and we sold a good bunch – still do. Couldn’t ask for more, really!
Jack: Is there a coherent theme running through the EP?
Famyne: That’s a good question. At the time we were writing it, no. On reflection however, the common thread that seems to tie the three tracks together are their subjects, those who ‘speak’ in the songs, all have lost touch with reality to varying degrees.
Jack: What was it like recording with Ian Sadler?
Famyne: Just great, to be honest. It’s a bit like recording with your mate! We had a good laugh and he’s a really decent bloke, who knows his stuff and produces a real high quality end result.
Jack: What was the biggest challenge making the EP?
Famyne: Balancing our collected perfectionist tendencies with lack of monetary means…
Jack: You’ve just played Hollowfest with Undersmile and a ton of other great bands, how did that go?
Famyne: It went really well actually, it’s always awesome to play to a dedicated doom crowd, in a room where it’s so hot you can literally taste each others’ sweat! Would do it again tomorrow though! Undersmile were just brutal – in a beautiful kind of way.
Jack: In August you’re playing Bloodstock Festival on the new blood stage, how does it feel to have won the Metal to the Masses and are able to play the New Blood Stage?
Famyne: It feels like shit just got real. Now’s the time for us to prove ourselves to a whole new audience, and whilst that can admittedly feel a bit daunting, we’re just going to play like hell and keep on doing what we love, so as to prove ourselves worthy of having won it in the first place.
Jack: As a band it seems you’ve positively benefited from The Metal to the Masses as it has raised your profile. But Metal to the Masses has been criticised for dividing the scene by pitting bands against each other through unnecessary competition. What are your thoughts on these criticisms?
Famyne: We never saw any divisions – not once. You show up to these places as a band and instantly you’re surrounded by other fellow local musicians, people you’ve played with several times before. Yes it’s a competition, but you leave that stuff for the stage – you practice, you perform and your performance is judged accordingly, as it is at every gig. But personally, there was never any bad blood or hatred amongst the bands that we saw. It’s music, not sport!
Jack: Have you ever been to Bloodstock before?
Famyne: As fans hungry for their weekend metal fix, yes indeed we have. As a performing band, no. Excited is an understatement.
Jack: When can we see new music from Famyne?
Famyne: Next year – it’s a coming!
Jack: What other plans do you have coming up?
Famyne: Buying a gong and going on a European tour.
Jack: Finally, someone comes up to you and asks you what doom metal is, what album do you give them?
Famyne: Master of Reality would be a good start.
Jack: Thanks for your time and I hope you have a good Bloodstock.
Famyne: Thank you!