2018 was a big year for UK-based sludge/post-black metal quartet Conjurer, who released their debut full-length Mire in March. Following the release, Conjurer found themselves on a number of prestigious European festivals, including Roadburn, Download and ArcTanGent, as well as preparing for their first-ever United States tour alongside progressive death kings Rivers of Nihil, Entheos and Wolf King. Decibel spoke with guitarist/vocalist Brady Deeprose about Mire, the bands that influence Conjurer, festivals and Conjurer’s expectations for their first time in the US.
Mire is out now on Holy Roar.
While Conjurer has been a band for a few years, it seems like you’re really picking up speed now. Your first full-length came out last year and you’re about to hit the US for your first tour. Does it feel like things are moving extremely quickly for the band now?
To an extent, yes, obviously it’s been an absolute whirlwind of a year for us, but we’ve been hitting it hard for the last four years with little to no mercy. It doesn’t feel like there has ever really been a ‘breakthrough’ moment because we’re always working towards the next ‘thing’. It’s extremely cool that we’re getting opportunities like the USA tour and playing bigger UK festivals but it feels more like a justification of our efforts as opposed to a direct reaction to the album. We’ve laid the groundwork and are starting to build… and I see this very much as just the start.
Mire jumps across genres pretty freely—a single song might have death metal, sludge, prog and black metal parts, making it hard to pin down with any one genre tag. What bands do you consider to be influences for Conjurer?
We’d each have different answers for that, which is the biggest explanation for our sound. I think a lot of bands wear their influences on their sleeve due to a combined, focused vision of the music they want to make. With four of us coming into the rehearsal space with often-conflicting artistic vision, it makes for a more interesting experience. Frustrating, sure, but ultimately more exciting for it. Personally, I love looking at bands like Converge, Mastodon and Gojira—acts that have a unique identity but show a clear progression and willingness to experiment with each successive record. I take far more influence from a band that keeps things interesting than trying to capture the essence of someones sound, or the style of a record, or a cool part from a song.
You’ve been gigging a lot in the UK, where Conjurer is based, alongside bands like Conan and on numerous festivals, but you’ve never played in the United States. Do you have any expectations for what your experience will be like? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about or dreading?
We got our drive schedule through last week which makes for daunting reading. With around seven hours being the most we’ve ever driven between shows, as a one-off, these drives will be all the more brutal. Added to the fact we’ve never played more than nine shows in a row, the sheer physical gauntlet this tour lays down is formidable… but I relish a challenge. Getting to experience so much culture, see vastly differing landscapes and meet people from across the country will be a real privilege that we cannot overstate. I’ve heard that the USA is a lot more similar to the UK than Europe, which I guess will help us acclimatize quicker—realistically, though, this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a child: get in a van with my mates and tour the USA. Now I get to live that and hopefully, one day, make a career out of it.
By the time this runs, Mire will have been out for roughly a year. What are your plans for 2019 following the tour with Rivers of Nihil, Entheos and Wolf King?
We’ve got an extremely exciting year ahead. The week we return from the States, we play Roadburn Festival, another career highlight, followed immediately by a headline tour in Ireland, somewhere none of us have played before. We’ll be playing less shows throughout the year while we work on our next record but will be hitting up my favorite festival ever, ArcTanGent, who have just dropped one of the most staggering lineups I’ve ever seen, let alone had the pleasure of being a part of. I guess writing this I’m realizing more how lucky we are as we’re then playing Download Festival—again, ever since I first set foot there, it’s been a personal dream to play, and to be doing all this on our first record is beyond anything I though possible. The end of the year will see us step up our live show in a big way—watch this space.
3/01/2019 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA