HOUR OF 13 – A New Era
Hour of 13 is an American dark doom / heavy metal band. The band originated from North Carolina in 2006. With two albums and an recently released EP and a re-release of their second album "The Ritualist" in their luggage, they are now ready to begin a new era without singer Phil Swanson. Eternal Terrors Eivindur Gaute got in touch with Chad Davis for an update on the band situation.
So, about halfway through composing this interview I stumble upon news that Phil Swanson has left Hour of 13, again. So, Mr. Davis; what the Hell happened? Is this the last time? It’s starting to look like we’re caught in a Twilight Zone show a bit here.
First off, I would like to thank you for this interview. The deal with Phil is just a simple case of him not being able to commit to the tour schedule we want. He has a lot of responsibility and it’s all understandable. Hopefully everything will work out for him and he will be able to do what he wants.
First news on the Web says that you will handle the vocal duties during your upcoming live performances. Correct information? As much as I would like to think of myself as doing well in "Hour of 13 – 101" I don’t remember hearing your vocals in Ho13. Have I flunked? Were you there all the time and I was just too busy focusing on "Call to Satan"?
No, you have not flunked.. I have only written lyrics for one tune, "The Rites Of Samhain" which appeared on a recent 7" release. I have not performed vocals for Ho13 as of yet. I have done vocals in other bands I have been in, but this will be the first for Ho13. And yeah, "Call To Satan" is a great tune to get lost in.
The band’s name is an interesting one, where does it originate from?
The Hour Of 13 in some circles is the belief of a magical time on Candlemass Eve, February 2nd between the hours of 12am and 1am. This is also true for Samhain Day, November 1st. I have had the name since 1995 but kept it until something came along that it would fit with.
Do you draw a lot of your lyrical themes from the era of Satanic Panic or was it in the beginning influenced by old suspense or horror movies?
Phil was really into the Satanic panic era. They have been mostly influenced by the human idea of evil, and not really an orthodox Satanic belief. Horror movies I would say are not really prevalent since most are based in fantastic ideology.
Hour of 13 is one of the few non-Black Metal bands that really manage to evoke a feeling of Satanic possession, so I’m rather interested in knowing where it is you draw your inspirations from.
I get a lot of the inspiration for the Ho13 music from nature, my surroundings. I live in a very mountainous area and the scenery here can be really beautiful of really dark. when writing a record I do not listen to any metal music at all, so as not to draw any influence from what I’m hearing, other than the sound I am creating.
What is your view on Satanism or Devil worship? Do you consider them to be one and the same? Do you consider yourself to be either? If so, why and what does the package include?
To me, Satan is man, the human being. Humans are the most evil force on Earth, the most greed and the most power-hungry actions are performed by man. Satan as an orthodox belief is not in my system. I am not a believer of God, so if I was to claim orthodox Satanic belief that would make me a hypocrite, of which I am not. The Darkness in which we all came from is the most beautiful existence.
To go a bit further with this, what is your opinion on organizations in this field? On one hand we have the Church of Satan and one the other we have the Cathedral of the Black Goat. You reckon organizations, either side of the table they belong to, to be the key to higher enlightenment or just another comfort zone?
I think both organizations have their place, but when one is not really a "joiner" it really doesn’t matter. I think the believers of the pure Darkness are all connected in one way or another, but that doesn’t really mean they should "belong" to any organization. I personally like these groups you mentioned and have no problem, but I would not consider be a member of something I may only half agree with.
Now, in conclusion I would like to know what 2011 holds for the band. OK, obviously you’ve begun the year with a blast but as it seems to me you aren’t really the type to lay back and let things sort themselves out on their own. Will we see Ho13 on the road a lot this year? Any European dates in sight? A new album scheduled?
We are really looking forward to getting on the road and taking our music to the people that helped get us where we are now. We have Euro dates coming up and hopefully more than what is planned now. A new record will be worked on as well as we have a few new songs being worked up. So yeah, there are a lot of good things happening this year.
Thanks again for the interview and we look forward to bringing the world more Hour of 13 style Heavy Metal.