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Sophie Day (Alunah)

Interview with Sophie Day from Alunah
by Danny Sanderson at 21 February 2015, 9:41 PM

ALUNAH is a band that is, by rights, on the lips of many a metalhead in the UK scene, and those savvy with the Doom/Stoner/Psychedelic echelons of Metal. Fronted by the charismatic Sophie Day, they bring something a little different to the Doom palette - female-fronted Stoner; far more straightforward and Rock-oriented than the spacey and fuzzy WINDHAND, of similar proclivities, ALUNAH's set is nonetheless enchanting. Danny Sanderson recently had a chance to speak with Sophie about the new album, the new record deal and plans for the future.

The last time that we spoke, when you were playing the Star and Garter in Manchester last May, you were finishing the recording process for "Awakening the Forest". How do you feel that the album has been received both critically and by fans?

From what I've read, and from what people have said to us, I believe it's been received really well. It's gone out to a wider array of people this time, so non-doom/stoner fans are picking up on it. Because of that we've had a few negatives, but mostly people who are coming to us after discovering this type of music. On lady messaged us saying "I don't know what doom is, but if this is it I like it". The existing fans seem to be really into it too which is great.

 Which is your personal favourite song on the album?

To listen to is "Awakening The Forest" and to play live it's "Scourge and The Kiss".

Where did the title "Awakening the Forest" come from, and how does it fit into the themes on the album?

I had a moment in a forest whilst walking my dog where I suddenly thought that this could be the last thing of beauty that I saw, I could die that day without really appreciating the beautiful world we live in. Things like that weigh heavily on my mind, so I went home and wrote the lyrics. The main themes on the album are that of death and rebirth, as well as paganism and an appreciation of nature, so I'd say it's at home with those.

You are, of course, now signed to Napalm Records, a major label, and you have been doing far more headline shows. This has given you a chance to play with some of the best up and coming Doom/Stoner/Rock bands. Have any of them caught your eye?

Recently we played with Pyre of the Earth and Buried Sleeper in Glasgow, both of those were great. We're playing Edinburgh soon and we asked the promoter if Pyre could play with us, as they were coming to the gig anyway and we all really enjoyed them. Also, we played with some really great bands this last weekend in London, and one which stood out to me was Famyne, a bunch of young lads playing great riffs, great vocals and loving every moment.

One of the upsides of the exposure you have received with this album is that you now have a chance to play further afield than you might have before. Are there any countries, venues or festivals that you hope that you will be able to play in the future?

We've been playing Europe for the past couple of years now, and we're looking at getting over there again this year. We've visited some beautiful countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and Austria. We're also playing Malta Doom Metal Fest which is a first for us, and doing a few more dates in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are the obvious metal festivals that we'd like to be a part of, but I'd be really really happy to tour the Scandinavian countries as apart from Denmark we haven't visited them yet.

This is your third full length album, and obviously that means you now have more material to play live. Has it been harder picking songs to put into your set, and are there any songs that you've had to drop from your usual setlist?

I wouldn't necessary say it was harder, it's actually nice to have a decent selection of songs to choose from, and playing different songs each night keeps us from getting bored. There are times when we have to drop something that's someone's favourite, but we just include it another night.

What are your plans for the immediate future?

We're re-releasing our first two albums "Call of Avernus" and "White Hoarhound" on CD on PRC Music Canada as they are both sold out, "Call of Avernus" is also getting a vinyl release on Hevisike Records. We've got some dates in Ireland and Scotland, a few festivals (Red Sun, Cardiff, Siege of Limerick, and Malta Doom Metal Fest) and are planning a European tour so pretty busy at the moment. We're also working on a lyric video for one of our new songs, and starting to write for the fourth album.


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