Local kings and queen of the jangly gloom anthem Doom Town have two new split records coming out. The first is the love-child byproduct of the band's 2012 European tour with Hamburg, Germany's No More Art, and the second is a late-night scheme hatched with Carbondale, Illinois' Autonomy. And let's not forget the band's contribution alongside Black For a Second to the Tower Groove Singles series of local split EPs.
See Also: - Doom Town brings stories home from Europe
Lead guitarist Bryan Clarkson played his last show with the band at CBGB a few weeks ago. The search to find someone to fill his shoes continues as these various projects come together. To get a handle on this globetrotting spread of viral vinyl and lineup drama, RFT Music tracked down bassist/vocalist Ashley Hohman and guitarist/vocalist Ben Smith.
RFT Music: You guys toured with No More Art in Euope. Any wacky, remotely legal high jinks with them to report?
Ashley Hohman: Yeah, they came out with us for the first week of tour, up until Norway, and then they joined us again in Berlin for our last leg. It was instant bonding. Lots of partying too much and singing the Entombed cover of "Night of the Vampire" every single fucking day. Having ridiculous Euro-trash dance parties after our sets every night, blasting AC/DC in the van before every show and just getting along with four people we felt like we'd known for years. They couldn't match us drink for drink, though.
Ben Smith: Yeah, you bond really quickly with four other people who can barely handle English better than they can a huge van barreling through the Scandinavian Mountains.
Because Autonomy lives like two hours away, are there any plans to tour together?
Hohman: Ray from Autonomy and I are currently splitting duties booking an East Coast tour for two-and-a-half weeks in October. The booking process is going incredibly smooth, and we've already got shows set up with some of our favorite active bands, like Nervosas in Columbus and Joint D≠ in Charlotte.
When is each release available?
Smith: The seven-inch with NMA is available now online, but we'll have them for the first time at our show with Slut River on September 1.
Hohman: Our split with Autonomy will be ready for release in the fall, just in time for our tour together. We'll be playing a record-release show with them here and in Carbondale when it's ready.
Are these the recordings from the session in Oslo, or the new stuff you recorded a few weeks ago?
Smith: All of this material was recorded here in the prolific Jason Hutto's basement, mostly because he's brilliant and knows how to push us in the right direction.
Hohman: I don't think anything will ever come of the Oslo recording we did. We had a day off and just happened to be playing a show in a legendary recording studio, and at this point it's been a year and a half. For the split with Autonomy we recorded five new songs, some of which we've never even played live yet. The whole idea for the split came about while we were playing a show together and their ex-singer Nick was like, "We should do a split together where we cover 'Doom Town' by Wipers, and you guys cover 'Autonomy' by Buzzcocks." Never underestimate the power of late-night conversation.
Doom Town performing live across the pond.
I heard you guys have done some tryouts to replace Bryan. Who's the new guitarist, and when is the big debut?
Smith: There isn't one yet.
Hohman: We're still searching for Mr. Right. But assuming all goes to plan, we'll have ourselves a new ripper for our show on September 1 with Slut River at Blank Space.
Besides the safe assumption of the Wipers, what bands do you definitively consider influences?
Smith: Brain F≠, Ennio Morricone, Suicide, Dead Moon, Neil Young and Rudimentary Peni.
Any rumors you want to spread about your drummer Shaun Morrissey?
Hohman: It's impossible to start rumors about Shaun. Anything you might ever say about him, no one would be shocked or surprised by. That's our Shaun.
Any specific shows to plug or other plans to announce?
Hohman: Come to Blank Space on September 1. Slut River are amazing, and no one can get enough of Black Panties.