An Interview 'Karma to Burn' which took place at The Park, Sheffield University on December 3rd 2001.

When Karma to Burn recently toured the U.K. I caught up with the guys about an hour before their set of Instrumental Sabbathesque ditties in the dressing room (which was more like a large janotors storeroom - hey, it probably was !!!) which they were sharing with support band, Sixty Watt Shaman who also happen to be label mates (on Spitfire Records) and buddies of the band in general.

Here you'll find out what makes 'em tick, what they love, who they've toured with, what they get up to and how they come up with their musical ideas - plus shedloads more......

Let the musical maestros and myself do the talking......

Glenn: Where did you get the idea for the 'Almost Heathen' CD cover from?

Rob: It was from drinking a bottle of Absen in Amsterdam, Holland - which we finished and then we stacked up all the furniture in the room !!!

Glenn: Why do you only play instrumentals?

Rob: We went down that instrumental pathway because we had a scheduled show booked - had no singer, so we played without one. It worked out - originally we told stories in between the song.

We love the music even though it has zero commercial success. It has been featured on snowboarding on MTV etc and on a stock car Playstation game called 'Nascar 2001'.

Glenn: How was it touring alongside Metallica?

Rob: We opened for Metallica - they were real nice. One night they threw a party and they hired 30 strippers!!! We were given tokens touse the strippers which they then turned into cash. I remember receiving a massage from this girl !!!

Glenn: Who else have you toured with?

Rob: Sixty Watt Shaman, Armoured Saint, Queens of the Stone Age. Speedealer and Atomic Bitchwax will be our next tour as well as the onw with C.O.C. (Corrosion of Conformity) - in fact, Mike D's wife saw us - she actually got us high!!!

Glenn: What makes you play the style you do?

Rob: Well, we are actually fuelled by hay (well that's that's what I thought Rob said - it turned out to be 'fuelled by hate' but he liked the thought of being 'fuelled by hay' and said "keep that in -so there you have it - fuelled by hay)

Glenn: Why are the songs on the 'Almost Heathen' album (available now on Spitfire Records) numerically titled ?

Rob: It's the order they were written in.

Glenn: What are you most proud of - when it comes to being a member of the band Karma to Burn?

Will: I'm of being able to have sex - it makes it easier when you're in a band !!!

Glenn: What do you do in between gigs?

Will: Get drunk, smoke drugs, look at chicks - occasionally talk to them - unless there's Cock-Block !!! - That's when a Tour Manager or a member of the band of the crew asks you if you got the number of the bird you saw the previous night - which causes the bird you are currently chatting to immediately lose interest - hence 'Cock-Block' !!!

Glenn: What are the bands future plans?

Will: More touring. We are going out on tour with Atomic Bitchwax and Speedealer. In May we are possibly gonna some festivals and drink a bottle of Jack Daniels !!!

Glenn: What labels are the first two albums on?

Will: The first two 'Karma to Burn' and 'Wild & Wonderful' are on Roadrunner. We wanted out of this deal because they didn't promote us - we switched labels and signed to Spitfire.

Glenn: How do you go down at the venues you play?

Will: In the States - Pretty Well. it's a big place to conquer - we've so far done two West Coast tours. In Europe though, we go down really well in Holland, Slovania and Germany. We do ok in the U.K. - London especially, although we haven't toured a lot in the U.K.

We did a tour 2 1/2 years ago in the U.K. and Scotland - maybe a dozen or so dates.

Glenn: Do many venues operate a pay to play system ?

Will: Yeah - like a deal on the door - yeah - some are like that - like dates in Italy and France - but we always come out on top !!!

Glenn: What music are you into ?

Rob: Sabbathy stuff - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath I like a lot.

Rob and Will (taking turns to spit out band names): Robin Trower, Thee Hypnotics, Peter Pan, Clutch, Speedealer, Kiss, Thin Lizzy and lots of Pink Floyd.

Will: By the way. What is that sticker on the new album 'Almost Heathen' (the one that says 'Parental Advisory - Explicit Content') ?

Glenn: I don't understand it either - maybe its the cover ?!?!?! (with all the Pythonesque comical blasphemy goin' down and the naked woman who's been murdered with a cross.)

Glenn: What's the story behind the band name?

Will: That's a long story. Back home we got talking to this guy who was a big drug dealer in the 70's. The FBI had tapped his phone and on Thanksgiving he held a party he held a party for his friends.

He said, "The birds in the oven" and he was talking about the turkey. The FBI mistakenly took this as meaning that 'the drugs were ready' - they (the FBI) then raided his house and found nothing. The drugs in question hadn't got shipment yet !!!

After he'd told us the story he said 'Yeah - it's like I had 'Karma to Burn' - we were like 'what did you say' - we loved the name and it stuck - 'pretty weird'.

Glenn: How is your fan following for this U.K. Tour ?

Will: Well, we played Swansea last night (2nd December) and it was packed - then drove 25 straight hours to be here in Sheffield - this dressing room is like a house for the day !!!

Our status has been helped by the fact that we played the Dynamo Festival in 1997 with Korn, Rammstein, Machine Head and Cradle of Filth. Kids still come up to us and say, "I remember you at Dynamo" - that was back in the days when we had our first record out on Roadrunner.

Glenn: With regard to songs - how do you compose them and how to you get them to a standard that's qualifies 'em good enough to be used for an album?

Will: We write our material in a basement. We have it well rehearsed - and since we don't have a big budget, we get each song done in 2 or 3 takes.

We play together a lot - with all the bullsh*t around in this business, I can't believe we're still together - we've just got to go out and play music we like - we are like too stupid to quit !!!

I personally like to be alone when composing - just sit down and concentrate.

I hate the guy at parties whose forever playing his guitar and showing off to people - noodling about on his instrumentals throughout the night.

Glenn: So who came up with the bunny on the back of the 'Almist Heathen' CD?

Will: That was me - it's funny. We don't like to take it serious like a lot of those Black Metal bands do - who sport pentagrams and devil signs all the time.

We even placed a satanic looking Davey Crockett character on the inside cover. Many said, "You can't do that - whereas other people thought it was cool.

The last album had a woman on the cover. This time we wanted to have something almost satanic in it. There's no real conceptual plan to it.

Glenn: So when can we expect to get our hands on the next Karma to Burn album ?

Will: We'd like to get into the studio soon - maybe Jan/Feb 2003.

Glenn: Who would you like to tour with in the future?

Will: C.O.C - they play dirty rock 'n' roll - been going a long time - we admire those guys a lot. We respect any band that's managed to keep in this biz for anything over 5 years.

How do you guys survive as a band financially ?

Will: We make our money from the Tours and selling merchandise.

Thanks for your time guys for an awesome interview - special thanks to Darren @ Eagle Rock, DJ Mutley @ The Corporation and the Security at Sheffield Foundry for being so helpful.

Check out the review of 'Almost Heathen' in our CD reviews section and the review of the gig that followed the interview.