Metal Hammer Interview: Hour Of 13

13 07 2012

Here’s an unedited re-print of an interview I did with Hour Of 13 that ran in Metal Hammer recently.

Fresh Meat

Hour Of 13

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and that hoary old cliché most certainly holds true for North Carolina/Connecticut-based doom duo Hour of 13. You see the band, who unashamedly worship at the altar of all things Sabbath and NWOBHM-related, have survived not one, but two splits with their singer Phil Swanson over the last few years and their career to date has been rather combustible. But, like any good horror movie monster, the frontman returned once again last winter at a time when we thought the original line-up was officially dead and buried and according to the vocalist this latest reunion with multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis was all sorted with a simple phone call.

“Chad called, said he wanted to write and record a new record and I said yes,” he says. “That’s all it took and that’s all it’s about really-writing music and making a record. Everything else is just bullshit politics and only comes into play after the record is made.”

“The record” in question is their recently released, titanic sounding third album 333 and, even though the pair live in two different States, Swanson reveals that the distance actually helps bring the best out in the band.

“If the band can stand the distance, then I think it makes for a much stronger union. We’re not in each other’s faces all the time and driving each other crazy. It’s like when you live together as a family-you are always at each other’s throats, but when that family separates there is suddenly a deeper respect for that bond.”

A decidedly British sounding effort (“It’s all about the NWOBHM, without it there’s really nothing of importance in my mind,” he says) their Earache debut also sees them once again rekindle their love affair for the darker side of life and the singer reveals that his fascination with fear has been with him all his life.

“It’s always been about horror with me,” he concludes. “It’s hard to say why I’ve been attracted to it. Maybe it was being brought up by my grandmother and her having Dark Shadows on the television as a child or maybe it’s facing deeper fears I had as I was stricken with night terrors growing up. All this could be me just reliving that.”




LINE-UP: Phil Swanson (vocals), Chad Davis (instruments)

SOUND LIKE: If King Diamond, Black Sabbath and Maiden mascot Eddie were at a Hallowe’en party, 333 is the record they’d play on the death deck.

CURRENT RELEASE: 333 (Earache Records, 2012)