Seven Gates of Hell with CONVENT GUILT

7. dubna 2015 v 16:09 | RaznAgul |  seven gates of hell interviews
The aim of the open series of the blogzine´s Seven Gates of Hell interviews is to introduce the bands and their music that struck my metalhead´s heart and soul recently. In seven questions, the gates are open for those who make their music of true metal spirit, pure dedication and of what I understand as underground approach and aesthetics.
Today, the seven gates open for the Australian horde CONVENT GUILT. They started in 2011, kicked out their eponymous demo recording three years ago and the last October came with their first full-length titled "Guns for Hire". I had a honour to talk to the band´s vocalist and bass player Ian.

I. I came across the Australian heavy metallers CONVENT GUILT a while ago when I started digging up the genre´s treasures from the opposite side of the globe to garnish my traditional European metal tastes. The Australian heavy metal scene of today is not a synonyme for something close to exotic, not even for an old-school European headbanger. Right opposite, it thrives as a prolific hatchery of excellent heavy bands and their stirring heavy music. CONVENT GUILT are one of those. And out of here comes my curiosity. To what extent did your music environs propel you to start the band? What kind of incentives stood behind the band´s formation?
"CONVENT GUILT formed when my previous band Shackles (which CG's guitarists also played in) split up. For some time we had been looking to play more traditional hard rock/heavy metal music and this was the perfect time to do it. We have all been fans of such music for many years, from the well-known to the obscure. There has always been a lack of catchy and melodic yet tough heavy metal coming from Australia and I think we also felt a certain motivation to rectify this."

II. Frankly, the name of the band, with some winged creature in its graphic design, did not give me any clue to what to expect from your music, first. What do the name of CONVENT GUILT and its winged guardian stand for and express about the kind of metal you play?
"I can understand that the name 'Convent Guilt' might sound darker than the music we play. I look at it in a similar vein to 'Judas Priest': a rich and evocative name that gives a lot of room for the band to work within. I think heavy metal should have dark, powerful and serious imagery, which is what you will get with CONVENT GUILT. The winged guardian is a gargoyle that might be seen on an old convent. It sits there watching over the sins and guilt that certain people in this world voluntarily bring into their lives."

III. Four years of existence, one demo recording and, finally last year, your first full-length. Do you consider yourselves a well kicked-up band with promising future ahead or would you rather remain in heavy metal underground, playing for a handful of devotees?
"We are not the fastest moving band, but we do have plans for the future. I think the best way to put it is that we are an underground band with underground attitudes, yet we would never turn down an opportunity to play for a wider audience. We will always prefer to stay true to ourselves rather than compromising for a shot at greater glory. Our most dedicated fans have always been in the underground and our loyalty is always to them, first and foremost."

IV. Your last-year debut "Guns for Hire" pounds with catchy, top class heavy metal that to some extent transcends the genre´s boundaries. I mean, in your music one could hear some hard rock allusions (ˇDon´t Close Your Eyes") or punkish guitar flavours ("Stockade") and I had really hard time to digest a rustic-like tune in "They Took Her Away" before I realized how good the song is. Where is the centre of your music gravity in this mosaic?
"Thanks for the really kind words. One of the best aspects of writing this style of heavy metal is the freedom to explore different angles, different tempos and different moods. At heart we have a strong hard rock pulse (AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith etc) that will often shine through. We are often compared to bands in the NWOBHM, which I think is largely because of a similar primitive mixture of styles. CONVENT GUILT is Australian, hard rock and heavy metal and we intend to explore every inch of those three attributes through our lyrics, music and image."

V. I really like the focus put on your songs´ very strong and instilling refrains which, together with crafty guitar solos and airy vocal performance, make your music distinctive in my current listening load. What do you regard as an essential trade mark of your music compositions?
"The essential trademark of our compositions is that they be catchy. I don't see the point in writing this brand of music if it is not memorable to the listener, so we really focus on big choruses, melodic solos and occasional harmonies to add extra colour. Not many overseas people pick up on this, but I would also suggest that our Australian influences, in a variety of ways, are a trademark as well."

VI. "Heavy metal is not just music, it is a life style", some say. Does it hold true for you as well?
"It does hold true, absolutely. That doesn't mean you can't live in normal society; on the contrary, I think being a heavy metal fan should fill you with pride and enable you to take on anything. Heavy metal is not an excuse for being a loser or for being a bad person. It is however something that should flow through every aspect of a headbanger's life. It should be a fire that drives you, rather than a stone that weighs you down."

VII. What are you on with CONVENT GUILT today and what can we expect from the band in near future?
"Next for CONVENT GUILT is a show with Midnight later this month, after which our rhythm guitarist will leave the band. We hope to have a replacement ready soon, so that we can play more shows around the country and prepare for our next recording. There are already songs written and hopefully they won't take too long to develop. What our next release will be I'm not yet sure, though I can assure you at least that it won't be boring."

Thanks for the interview, you have my full support!!
"And thank you for the interview and for the support. We hope to see you in the Czech Republic one day for beer and dumplings."


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