Whilst synths and artificial programming are increasingly developing a healthy partnership with droning extremity, it’s still a rare thing that bands utilize these as primary instruments. Boobs Of DOOM, hailing from the frozen Caledonian wastelands to the north of the border, are a duo of experimentalists fully embracing synthetic noise – summoning darkened, droning landscapes from a joyous mess of loops and uncanny digitized fuckery.
Since their inception in 2014, the duo’s punky, do-what-the-fuck-we-want-to sound and neon-inflected public image has enabled them to stand out from the crowd. The duo, forced to forgo conventional touring as a result of mutual illness, have instead set about tirelessly creating new material. It’s this prolific ethos that’s seen the band garner increasing acclaim in the UK extreme music underground – in fact, their upcoming release on Odd Chorus (also the band’s first physical release) is their tenth since the duo’s debut release in 2014, with an 11th on its way.
Ahead of the physical release of eXXpre$$ion, we caught up with Sadsack (aka left tit) to chat productivity, the duo’s unique creative process, and the band’s future.
You guys are constantly putting out material, what drives your work ethic?
We’re two disabled depressives trying to exist on benefits in Tory Britain and we don’t tour haha. When chronic illnesses don’t have us floored, or we don’t have doctors and hospitals to deal with, we’re trying to embrace distraction therapy. As much as we’re passionate about gaming and stuff, BOD is a compelling and satisfying distraction from real life.
You guys seem to have a very varied taste in music – what drives this?
An unflinching belief that music and art are one of the few redeeming products of the human race. Neither of us has lost the hunger for new and compelling sounds since we were teens. Personally, music has always been this weird little rabbit hole that I could disappear down and get lost in my own head. Part of it is this strange compulsion and feeling of catharsis gleaned from creation and expression. Fucking aboot with noise until something speaks to me. There is an emptiness, a hunger inside me that can only be fed or filled with certain musical soul food. Plus, nothing beats the feeling of discovery when ye find a new band that just blows ye away.
Most of my friends gave up on seeking out new sounds years ago, content to listen to the same old stuff, or worse still wax nostalgic for the crap they listened to when they were teenagers. That never sat well with me. I’m even a little contemptuous of that attitude. There is so much music out there I’ve never heard and it just might be something revelatory, life-affirming. Gave up on genre years ago.
Why restrict yourself? Maybe we are just two people who never lost the childish wonder of the power of music. Or maybe it’s that most of the music I like these days is extreme and depressing, that none of my friends ask for mixtapes anymore haha. Anyway, we want people to feel aboot our music the same way we feel listening to our favs. The same way I feel listening back to a fresh BOD track. We try to make our music evocative in the same way that bands we love make us feel. I’ll be honest; call me narcissistic, but I listen to Boobs Of DOOM a lot because it’s the sound I’ve been searching for since I was old enough to be in bands. Basically, I’m driven trying to exorcise the musical demons in my head.
What was it that first made you guys have the idea of creating drone/doom purely with synthetic instrumentation?
A happy accident: downloading my first Digital Audio Workstation (which is so shit it shall never be named, but we still made some damn good choons with it) and figuring out I could actually do this; make decent music. It came with a bunch of horrible cheezy samples to play with and I had to be creative with effects and programming to warp and twist them to suit my needs. It’s no secret that we both love Sunn O)) and their propensity for collaborating with really interesting people. Thumper (second half of BOD) and I were joking about a Sunn O))) / DJ Shadow collab (yes please -ed) and the idea really took seed in my brain.
I used it as a rough template and came up with the weird wee beats and drones demos that were pretty cool, but very rudimentary. I sent them over to Thump and something clicked. She was like “Dude. These are fucking good.” Thump already knew how to record her guitar straight into the computer; a few weeks later she sent them back with these repetitive spidery guitar lines and riffs over them. It sounded fucking amazing! It wasn’t long after that we started meeting up in my flat, crowding around my monitor for hours getting totally lost in these weird loops and stuff, cranking out a load of really cool sounds.
Do you guys produce anything outside of Boobs Of DOOM?
Not really. I have few ideas set aside for a power ambient spoken word poetry thing that I might get round to one day if I can get over myself and have some faith in my prose. But nearly everything gets channelled into the band. We do a lot of work solo and then hand off to each other to mess with it.
What’s the creative process behind your music?
Lately, I get a walloping great zip file with tons of loops and half finished project files sent from Thump in my inbox. I fanny about with them in my DAW and send them back. They go back and forth for months while we argue about arrangements on Skype. Oddly, we do all the artwork similarly with photoshop files. I missed the days of sitting in my living room passing joints around while my wife laughed at us.
Years ago we went into an actual recording studio. We spent two days recording lots of drums, guitars and synth jams with the intent of taking the recordings home and cutting them up into loops. The engineer just didn’t get what we were trying to do and was a bit of a dick, to be honest. The whole thing nearly killed us, but we’re still mining those loops to this day.
Where is it you want to go With BOD? How do you plan to progress musically in the future?
We feel that after being in bands all our days we’ve finally hit upon some sort of personal best creative gold here. Now we just wanna get it into as many ears a possible. I know in my gut that there is an audience for this weird shit. We’re just gonna keep doing what we’re doing until we physically and emotionally cannot do it anymore, go deaf or die.
If we manage to sell a few more records we’re gonna get some new gear; some new noise making gadgets that will open up some new possibilities. Although, we’re pretty damn proud of our sound considering the absolute shite gear we made it on haha. In fluffy la la land we’re buying a house in the middle of nowhere; moving in together (my wife is cool with this btw, Thump is kinda like the weird sister she never wanted) and turning half into a disabled friendly studio, then we introduce a more live element (I’m thinking Dark Buddha Rising here), invite loads of weird friends to collab, finally kill ourselves trying to up the ante with each album!
Back in the real world Thumper is gonna travel up to my house before the year is out and we’re gonna spend a few weeks cramped in the ‘living room studio’ hammering out some new stuff. Hopefully.
What have you got planned for the near future?
Album number ten ‘eXXpre$$ion’ is coming out on 11th August. We’ve already had a few great reviews and we’re really excited about it coming out on cassette thanks to Owlbinos and their new Odd Chorus label. It’s our first ever physical ‘thing’! I can’t wait to covet it in my broken fingers haha.
Album #11 is pretty much done and we’ve got enough material almost finished for the next 3. We’re always working about 2 albums ahead; playing about with concepts, track-lists, and artwork. It’s a weirdly organic evolving mutant work ethic but it’s working well so I’m not gonna be the one to fuck with it.
We’d like to put another album out before the end of the year, but we’re gonna wait and see how eXXpre$$ion goes down and give it some room to breathe, so to speak. It’s pretty fucking weird when peeps keep telling us we’re too prolific. Haha!
eXXpre$$ion will be available to purchase via Odd Chorus on Friday 11th August.
Words: Richard Lowe