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HELLRIDE MUSIC 04/2003

The dissolution of the cult Hungarian doom mongers Mood was a dark day for the entire scene. Luckily, one half of that legendary band refused to let the embers of doom smolder. The result was the formation of Wall of Sleep. Their new EP, Overlook the All, is a fantastic collection of dark, reflective and melodic doom. Hellride talks to vocalist Gábor about the end of Mood, the formation of Wall of Sleep and the future of the band.

Hellride Music: Hello Gábor and congratulations to you, Sanyi, Marek, Greff and Szasa on the Overlook the All EP - to me, a great collection of melodic, 70's-based doom rock. Now that the record has been out for a bit, what do you think of your efforts? Any praise or criticisms of the songs or recording process?

Gábor: Thanks a lot ! I think these songs represent very well what we do and how we feel . About the recording process...this was a very low budget production but I think we did what we could.... I can say it was a typical "do it yourself" production. The first steps of a new band, but we are happy with it...

Hellride Music: It's no secret that you, Sanyi and Feri were one half of the revered (and first doom band in Hungary) Mood. In your five or so years together, you created four great albums and played with the likes of Beaver, Spirit Caravan and Crowbar. What happened to the band that prompted you guys to split up and go your separate ways? What are the other three guys that were in Mood doing nowadays?

Gábor: Mood was founded by Sanyi and me in '93. After 8 years the relationship amongst us changed, the point of views about the inner workings of Mood became very different, and we (Sanyi and I) thought that we should go our own way...a way we had started to go earlier. We wanted to play what we wanted to play, without any compromises, to exist how we want to exist as a band. The other guys have got a band that is called Supernatural.

Hellride Music: From your time in Mood, what was your favorite Mood album and why?

Gábor: I like all of the albums, but in my opinion the best songs were written for Wombocosmic (the third one), the only problem was that the production sounded weak.

Hellride Music: Tell us a bit about the "Flag of Doom" and the "Doomanoids Fest" you helped to organize?

Gábor: I read about the Stoner Hands of Doom festival earlier, and I thought it would be great to organize some underground club festival here in Hungary, and to invite bands we like... Spirit Caravan was the headliner on the first one, and Crowbar on the second. There are a lot of huge doom fans in Hungary and FOD volume 1 & volume 2 were very successful. I hope we can do volume 3 later this year. This is one of the most important goals. The Doomanoids Festival is a doom festival for Hungarian bands only, I hope we can carry on with it too...

Hellride Music: Now you are in Wall of Sleep with three other musicians. How did you guys meet and what prompted you to start another band after the dissolution of Mood?

Gábor: After the split of Mood we started to write new songs right away. We had the idea that we would work with session musicians only... but this plan changed. As I mentioned Feri, the bassplayer that played with us earlier in Mood for more than three years. He was a friend of ours, and we were glad that he said OK to rejoin... Greff, the other guitar player was a Mood fan since '96, we knew each other very well, because he was a fan of this music. He has got a rock band called Convoy. The drummer guy Szabolcs, "Szasa" is an old friend of mine. He teaches drummers in our hometown. We needed friends to play with, this was the most important aspect for us...

Hellride Music: What are some of the bands and musicians that have influenced Wall of Sleep?

Gábor: Tony Iommi and Wino ...and a lot of great bands , Down, Floodgate, C.O.C., Sleep,Trouble, etc. etc.

Hellride Music: How does Wall of Sleep differ from Mood, in your opinion?

Gábor: I think it's a darker, deeper, heavier and slower than Mood was. The doomy part of Mood has been crystallized here in Wall of Sleep.

Hellride Music: Wall of Sleep haven't played live for very long, but in February of this year you opened for the Hungarian leg of the Mastodon/High on Fire tour. Tell us a little about your experience there. Were you happy with your performance?

Gábor: We like Sleep and High on fire too, and it was very exciting to support Matt & company and Mastodon. The show was great, both bands were brutal... I hope they will come back to Hungary on the next tour. We were happy to support them.

Hellride Music: What's next for the band? Any plans to record a full length CD at any point?

Gábor: 90% of the debut album is done. We will record it in the Fall, and it will be released in November or December this year. We would like to organize Flag of Doom volume 3, I hope some of our favorite bands will come to Europe and we can do it... Place of Skulls for example... It seems we can support Leadfoot (couple of shows only) on their tour, we are working on it right now...

Hellride Music: Great! Sounds like things are looking up for Wall of Sleep. Tell us a bit about the Hungarian doom/stoner scene. Are there any other bands we should know about?

Gábor: The only band I've heard that plays real doom music is a band called Demon, but they haven't got a singer...There are bands who play music with doom/stoner influence, Bearfood for example... The scene is small but we try to work together with the organizers of the hardcore scene... They helped for example to make the High on Fire gig possible... united forces you know what I mean haha !

Hellride Music: I do indeed. That's great that people from other genres of heavy music can help each other out. That's a great example for the rest of us. Thanks for the interview Gábor! It's much appreciated. Any last words for the Hellride readers?

Gábor: Thanks you very much for the interview, and greetings for all the people who keep this music, this scene alive! Doom on!