Metal is supposed to be fun, despite what you might hear from certain black metal camps. Metal, to me, is supposed to help the listener escape the real world for a little while, augment it with a sense of joviality. No band does that more through their music and their performance that Ten Ton Slug. I was hooked by the name, as I’m sure everyone else will, but what is the Slug? How is the Slug? Let’s take a look at one of Ireland’s most unique and awesome bands…
Resounding Footsteps: Congrats on the release of your new EP! Seriously a damn good album. What went into creating it?
Ten Ton Slug: A lot of blood sweat and slime. This has been a year in the making as we recorded it back in October 2015. We are very happy with the end result. For us it is a true representation of the Slug. We never wanted to be a studio band, we wanted the EP to sound and feel like one of our gigs, heavy, like being crushed under the weight of the Slug. Many of these songs were written out in the depths of Connemara. That is where the Slug got its sound.
RF: The name of the band has been a huge topic of discussion when I talk about you guys to my coworkers, friends, and family. It certainly evokes some crazy images. How did the name come about? What effect do you think it has on the musical outlook of the band?
TTS: Well at first we were called Auditory Shrapnel, it’s a bit of a mouthful and didn’t really represent the music we play. We wanted a name that related to the music we were playing. It was around this time of brainstorming and a trip to Connemara that we had our first encounter with the Slug, it came from the bog and over the hills. We do not question its will; we are but vessels of the Slug.
RF: Just a note, I like the name Ten Ton Slug much better than Auditory Shrapnel, it gives the whole band a mystique and a very unique image.
TTS: This pleases the Slug.
RF: When someone listens to Brutal Gluttonous Beast, what do you want your listeners to experience?
TTS: Everyone is different. Each person will paint different images when listening to the songs. What we want is for everyone to feel the weight of the Slug.
RF: Where did the idea of the slug hunt come from?
TTS: Galway is the kind of city where there are loads of different events and activities organised indoors and outdoors on a weekly basis. We came up with the Slug Hunt as a way to have a bit of fun, it gives people something to do while they are wandering the streets getting through their bag of cans!
RF: What have been your experiences touring recently? Any interesting stories?
TTS: Our experiences touring so far have involved 5 of us cramming ourselves and all our equipment into a car for extended durations on the road and basically reverting to cavemen when conversing. Good craic. We hit the road for 10 days in the lead up to our performance at Bloodstock, playing a few shows in Scotland before making the trek to Derby. During this we had the chance to visit Boleskine House near Loch Ness which is famous for its connection to occultist Aleister Crowley and Jimmy Page, that was very cool.
RF: What tours/fests are you guys eager to be a part of?
TTS: We want to play everything! We’d love to be asked back to Bloodstock, and of course to play festivals like Desertfest, Beermageddon, Uprising, along with European festivals too, the list goes on! We really want to support Crowbar, as we are huge fans of theirs! Until then we’re working hard to get out and play in new places as much as possible! Ultimately we’d love to follow the lead of Dead Label, an excellent Irish band who are extremely busy and hardworking, playing festivals and doing full tours through Europe and further afield supporting some major bands.
RF: How did 2016 go? What do you think 2017 has in store for the slug?
TTS: 2016 was excellent! The best year we’ve had by a long way! We started the year with a determination to play as many gigs with as many great bands as we could and that has most definitely been happening. The Metal 2 the Masses competition was the catalyst for us to fully focus and to work hard to get where we want to go. Bloodstock was an unbelievable experience and something we’ll never forget, playing on the New Blood Stage to a packed tent of 2000 people was just incredible and has given us a thirst for more! We recorded a lot of footage of our gigs and the general craic on the road to Bloodstock which we released in the form of a mini documentary last November called ‘Road to BOA’.
Overall for 2016 we’ve gotten better as a band, met a load of new people and made some great friends along the way, both in Ireland and further afield. It’s been a blast.
For 2017 we have a lot of plans! We will continue playing all around Ireland and will be returning to the UK with fellow Irish Sludge enthusiasts and good mates Two Tales of Woe for some shows in Early March (Mansfield on March 4th and Manchester March 5th), we will also be guest headlining some Metal 2 the Masses semi finals, playing Leicester on May 14th and Lincolnshire on June 24th! We are working hard to try get some support slots with bigger touring bands and for the summer we hope to get to Europe and later in the year perhaps further east for some gigs and/or festivals around Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.
We are already working on our next release, and hope to get into the studio to record our debut album sometime in the second half of 2017. We are hungry.
RF: What do you want Ten Ton Slug’s legacy to be? How do you think you guys will be seen in Ireland and the world at large?
TTS: We’d like to do ourselves and the Irish metal scene proud, there is a lot of excellent music and bands coming out of the country at the moment and to be considered amongst them would be an honour. We want to spread groove-filled slime that people will still be trying to shovel off the roof of their house 10 years later.
RF: You definitely achieved that goal, I can’t say I’ve heard a band that sounds the way you guys do. Your live demo and the EP have very similar sound qualities. What were some of the technical aspects?
TTS: I guess they’re quite close to our live sound, they were both recorded in the same studio: the Oaks Studio in Enniskillen by John Moffat. The demo was recorded as part of a live performance and captures us well at that moment in time. The EP was also recorded with all of us playing together, so it captures the live feel too!
RF: You guys seem really enthusiastic about the Irish metal scene, I think that It’s really important to have such strong ties and support of your fellow scene members. What do you think of the Irish metal scene overall? What do you think the Slug adds to it?
TTS: The Irish metal scene is thriving, there’s an immense amount of bands releasing great music, and the support shown between bands is fantastic. For anyone who wants to see how Irish metal is doing we would recommend heading to the Siege of Limerick which takes place every Easter and Halloween in Limerick in the West of Ireland. It’s free, it’s serious craic and is packed with excellent bands across 3 stages. The Metal 2 The Masses competition in Dublin is another testament to the strength of the Irish metal scene, with Simon Hall choosing not just one but two bands to play Bloodstock for the last few years.
Any of the numerous gigs across Ireland every week show what talent is in the country, we’re just glad to be a part of it and to contribute what we can for the good of us all.
RF: Not a question but thank you guys for sitting down and talking with me, best luck on the road!
Ten Ton Slug is:
Eoghan Wynne – Bass
Michael Sullivan – Drums
Adam Trakumas – Guitars
Rónán O ‘hArrachtáin – Vocals
Sean Sullivan – Vocals, Guitars
‘Brutal Gluttonous Beast’ is now on Spotify, iTunes, and all major digital distribution sources