Pod People (band)
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|Genres||Doom metal, stoner metal, experimental metal|
|Associated acts||Blood Duster|
Brad Nicholson (Vocals)
Pod People are a doom metal band from Canberra, Australia that formed in 1991. The band has since recorded six releases, playing a blend of stoner and sludge traits, with lyrics typically covering themes relating to either cannabis in their early days to topics themetically based around The Divine Comedy. During 1993-1996 founding members shifted drastically altering not only the make up of the band but their sound too.
Pod People began in 1991 from the then thriving local heavy music scene that began in the very healthy underage youth centre all ages shows and as the generation came of age centred on the Terrace bar, a beloved venue that closed in 1995. Other Canberra bands of note that were around and some who continue now include Armoured Angel, Alchemist, Psychrist, Slug, Precursor and Exceed to name a very few.
The early lineup was fairly liquid early on, but founding members Ivan (guitar) of Precursor and Brad Nicholson (Vocals) of S.I.D. were joined by Duncan (Bass), Paul (guitar) and Adrian (Drums) the band built upon momentum of some successful party shows in their home base of Havelock House and began playing regularly as well as recording their first demo at 2XX Radio studios called “Just One”.
The sound was a blend of early '90s stoner bands, Tumbleweed in particular was a band whose sound the early material was referenced too, however a little heavier and more overtly influenced by Black Sabbath which the band covered frequently in the early period.
The band played on numerous festivals and shows around the Canberra region and in Wollongong, which also had a thriving scene at the time, home to Tumbleweed, Dawn Patrol, Proton Energy Pills and many other bands playing a similar brand of fuzzed out heavy rock.
A CD EP was recorded in Sydney and released in 1995, the band played some launch shows before the beginning of a long period of line up changes which finally solidified in 1996 with the current line up of Brad, Dave or DD(Bass), Josh (also known JJ Lawhore from his 3-year stint in Blood Duster, guitar), Maggs (Drums) and Mel (guitar).
Pod People solidified their line up in late 95 with guitarist Mel Walker joining other new recruits Maggs (drums), Josh (guitar) and Dave (bass). They began writing and performing a heavier darker style than the previous line up. 1998's 'Swingin' Beef' EP sowed the seeds of the doom/stoner rock sound that lead to the 'Soil' EP in 2000. Before they signed with the High Beam Music label in 2001.
Recording "Doom Saloon" at Backbeach Studio’s in Victoria with DW Norton that the band had worked with on the EP’s, the album was very well received and led to a number of high-profile international supports. The Backbeach studio was expensive for the self-funded band but Highbeam Records footed the bill and allowed the band time to produce the 10-track album over 9 days, including mixing. However, the result was the most realised combination of a style their bio at the time was touting as "stoom" or stoner doom, among others.
The band had played two supports on successive tours by English doom lords Cathedral, but had not expected when through a friend and local doom aficionado, who sent Doom Saloon to Cathedral front man Lee Dorian’s doom uber-label Rise Above Records in the UK, that the album would be secured for an international licence.
The album received extremely positive reviews worldwide, and a film clip for the opening track "Filling The Void" was added to high rotation on Australian domestic music TV.
Notable was the artwork for the Australian release. A 4×3 CD fold-out cut into an upside-down cross showing an interpretation of a map of Inferno from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri by Canberra artist Roy Torkington of Alchemist. The artwork is significant as the band have loosely taken the Divine Comedy as a theme for a three-album series.
In 2005 the band, frustrated by the lack of doom acts coming out to Australia, bit the bullet and promoted Electric Wizard's first Australian national tour, doing a thorough tour of the east coast of Australia.
The band had a hiatus whilst recording, yet maintained live shows with bands like Celtic Frost, Clutch and a slew of great Aussie bands like Whitehorse, Looking Glass, Clagg, Dread, Sons of the Ionian Sea, Grey Daturas and Peeping Tom.
The band then recorded over late 2007 and early 2008 largely self-financed after the High Beam Music label closed in 2004. Toyland Studios in Northcote Melbourne was the first session followed by three follow up sessions at Goatsound Studio’s and home the engineer and now label manager Jason PC of Blood Duster.
Jason and Matt Collins, Blood Duster guitarist had started the Goatsound record label for Blood Duster albums and had also just worked on albums by Australian grind acts The Day Everything Became Nothing and Captain Cleanoff.
The ten-track album was recorded with the theme of Purgatory in mind and in keeping with the themes set out on the first album. Looking for a different artistic approach, and having worked with Sydney artist Glenn Smith on the Electric Wizard tour, Glenn took to the theme with gusto and produced an immaculate painting for the album cover based on Mount Purgatory.
The album is entitled Mons Animae Mortuorum, Latin for “Mountain of the souls of the Dead” and was released in 2008.
- Brad Nicholson – vocals,
- Melinda Walker – electric guitar
- David 'DD' Drynan – bass guitar
- Damian 'Maggs' Saunders – drums
- Josh 'JJ LaWhore' Nixon – electric guitar
|1995||Pod People||Self Release|
|1998||Swingin' Beef||Self Release|
|2001||Doom Saloon||Rise Above Records|
|2008||Mons Animae Mortuorum||Goatsound Records|