In maintaining the relentless spirit of the band we aim to never slow down. Even with an extended festive break, the Astralnaut unit steamroll into this year with great fervor.
But first, a recap of the last few months. When we left you here last we had been in recovery from a hefty trudge around our fair Isle on our first tour together as a band.
Since then we played at Armagh's premier metal festival ARMAGEDDON! Of which we as a band had the privilege of assisting to its feet. The whole event went down a treat for all involved, the Co. Armagh metal brigade was out in full form. Here's to the next one, folks!
The remainder of November '13 was relatively quiet on the gigging front as we returned to rehearsals to prepare fresh material for an upcoming studio endeavor. However, on the 29th and 30th we managed to strip ourselves away for a weekend of debauchery alongside fellow rockers, Crafty Fuzz. It was a great weekends craic spread out between Masons, Derry and The Greenroom in Letterkenny.
I would be tempted to say this was the precursor to us working alongside Alan Hanlon who owns and runs Hi-Tone Studios in Balbriggan. If ye ever need any work done in a timely fashion, he's your man.
Firebrand After Dark Magazine caught up with Tom before the end of the month also, if you missed out you can check out the interview RIGHT HERE!
At the onset of winter we had planned for lots of rehearsing and testing out some new gear but managed to fit in a few great nights in between.
The 6th of December brought us to Galway with our friends and stoner accomplices Weedpriest and of course the main man, Trevor Seery of FuzzedOutRadio and DesertRockIreland. These guys are keeping things alive on the west coast.
The following week saw us making two appearances in the Northern hub of Belfast. Both nights were equally enjoyable even though the gigs were worlds apart. The 11th we played in Voodoo alongside PigsAsPeople, Chocolate Love Factory and The Last Generation. Not one of these bands can we fault and they're pretty spot on chaps the lot of em. A few days later we returned to a familiar haunt of ours. Even though we're out of towners, The Limelight, The Distortion Project and its followers have always been kind to us. Its never a hard decision to play.
December was decidedly to be left for regrouping, recovering and planning the next attack. Thankfully, apart from intense rehearsing, we had only two shows in the month of January, the 4th in Fibber Magees in Dublin with those oul hallions from Crafty Fuzz, Electric Taurus and stoner/metal awesomeness NAUTILUS. At the end of the month on the 31st we returned to Omagh where we played our first gig as a band and hadn't returned since. The Omagh crowd always commits!
January also seen the release of Heavy Planets much anticipated second compilation 'Bong Hits From The Astral Basment Volume 2' << [click to listen/download] A collection of some the best stoner rock, doom/sludge metal from around the world and we were delighted to be once again included in the lineup. Thanks Heavy Planet.
In February we got the pleasing news that we were to be included on yet another compilation. This one is brought to you by none other than Belfast's leading hardcore label SAVOUR YOUR SCENE [<<listen] and it all goes to benefit The Warzone Centre in the heart of Belfast. The Warzone are main proprietors in all things homegrown and play a huge part in supporting the underbelly of the Belfast music scene. You can download or listen to the compilation HERE or visit Savour Your Scene bandcamp via the link above.
Also, a massive thanks to Todd Severin and co. at The Ripple Effect. Todd was very happy to get around to reviewing our last effort in the run up to our next release. You can read the review HERE or go and visit the RIPPLE MUSIC for yourself!
So, as it stands, the past month we have been knee deep in tracking for the next effort. As drums are complete and all guitars nearing completion in preparation for vocal tracking we're all feeling quite happy with ourselves here.
Plans for our fourth release (in the guise of our 3rd EP) which will be titled 'Thieves, Beggars and Swine', are falling into place nicely and all is set for release in early May of this year. All being well, we'll have more than just our music to offer.
For now though we can offer something in the way of fresh merchandise. Today we released a pre-order of a new t-shirt design (aptly titled 'AstralVirgin') done for us by a very kind fellow, Kieran from Belfast's Purebred Apparel, purveyors of extreme and alternative custom clothing design and production.
Follow the link on the top left corner on this page, all pre-orders come with a free download of our latest EP, 'In The Gaze Of The Gods'.
Lastly we're elated to be able to announce we'll be playing with Karma To Burn and Desert Storm when they come through on their UK Tour. It's not until September 1st in Voodoo Belfast so you have plenty of time to snap up a ticket.
The following months will hopefully see out completion of the next release, heavy promotion and a bit of work on a few music video ideas we've been knocking about. You may or may not hear from us until then so i'd like to leave you with this...
"Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence."