In case you somehow hadn’t noticed, we here at Indy Metal Shows are fully embracing the Void. Ever since it dropped a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had Void King’s fucking ripper of a debut full-length There is Nothing on heavy rotation. Guitarist Tommy Miller was good enough to answer a few of Nyarlathotep’s questions via email about the record and the history of the band.
If you haven’t heard it yet, you can stream or download There is Nothing from Void King’s Bandcamp page by clicking here.
Indy Metal Shows: So first of all, congrats on the new record–the Indy Metal Shows crew absolutely loves it. What’s the reception been like for it thus far?
Tommy Miller: I would say that overall, the reception has been good. We’ve had a lot of love from overseas, which is very nice. And we appreciate it that you like the record as well. We hustled pretty hard on that thing.
IMS: You guys haven’t been together for that long, right? There is Nothing is a really tight, polished record for a band that’s only been together a couple of years. How did Void King come to be? Had any of you played together in other bands before this?
TM: Really, we’ve been this iteration of the band for less than a year. And we’ve only been a complete band for about a year and a half.
We started as just a two piece. Derek, our drummer, and I have been best friends for what seems like forever. We’ve done bands together here and there. Kind of during, but mostly after, our last band’s run, we decided to try our hands at jamming as a two piece. While that was super fun, we felt like we kind of owed it to the songs to get a bass player in there. We did that. We dicked around with three of us for minute, tried out some second guitar players, and just generally fooled around. At some point, the songs called for a vocalist. I don’t remember exactly why I shot Jason a message, but it wasn’t about joining the band. For whatever reason, he mentioned something about wanting to try it out and that he was interested in giving our band a run. That dude is still one my heroes. And that sounds stupid probably, but Derek and I used to watch his bands play when we were teenagers, and he was a big reason why we really pushed the “playing music” thing. Anyway, Jason joined the band and we changed the name from “Thereisnothing” to Void King. Last year our bass player decided that he was going to go back to school and that he didn’t really have time to do the band thing anymore. That was tough on all of us. Jake had been there since sort of the beginning of the project. But at the end of the day, we pulled my little brother into the fray and things have really taken off since then. He used to play tech metal and the like, so were a little concerned that he might get bored with the style, but it’s been great so far. But yeah, being in a band with best friend, my little brother and one of my heroes is mildly amazing.
IMS: Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you rerecorded and at least slightly reworked the three tracks that had previously appeared on the Zep Tepi EP. Any particular reason?
TM: We rerecorded all of those tunes. Really, we just wanted everything to have the same feel, tone wise. You know? We didn’t want five songs that were loud and crisp, and three songs that were sort of softer and muddy. Nothing wrong with the demo recordings, but the studio stuff was just better.
IMS: Let’s get gear nerdy for a minute. I absolutely love the guitar and bass tones on There is Nothing. Can you talk me through your setups?
TM: On the record I am using an ESP Viper tuned to drop B. I play through a 6505+ through an Egnater 4×12 with everything pretty much dimed out. I just like the distortion and the hate that the Peavey gives me. And for my money, the Egnater is as good or better than like an Orange or a Mesa or something. They don’t get a lot of love, but they are work horses. When I play out live, I use a full stack because I like to feel the skin peel away from my skull. That rig will definitely put a hurting on you.
Jake is playing a Music Man through an Ampeg 8×10 with a Big Muff clone in line. Carl recorded a channel of clean off of the head, and one that was distorted the whole time. it really adds some serious elephant balls to the sound.
There are times that I add some flavor with some delay or some fuzz pedals on another channel, but most 99% of the time I am just using my head to get my sound. 120w of tubes is pretty much the only way to live.
IMS: I see that you’re releasing the album on cassette here really soon. Any plans for physical releases in any other formats, like vinyl? And why do cassettes?
TM: At the risk of sounding old, I still love a cassette tape. There is something visceral and awesome about having that physical media in your hands. I never had that love for compact discs. They always felt stupid and shiny. Like, owning a Sabbath or a Sleep album on CD just seems counter intuitive. And I’m in no way putting us in the same league as those bands. Like, ever. But if we’re going to put something out, I want it to almost feel dirty. This music isn’t shiny.
Also, we will put out a vinyl in the future. We’ll see how the funds roll in from the tape thing. But I think you’ll be able to snag one before the end of the year. That’s the hope anyway.
IMS: Last question: now that the record is out, any touring plans? Most of the dates I’m seeing on your Facebook page are Indy shows—are you going to try to hit the road at all?
TM: We are in the process of trying to get something finalized as I send this to you. The goal is to do some out and backs on the weekends for the rest of the summer. We’re also planning a little mini-run of 10 or 11 dates all over the country this fall. Next year our goal is to get to Europe and to play some more festivals over there and here. We’re on that Doomed and Stoned festival coming up and that’s definitely the kind of thing that we want to be a part of. At the end of the day, we’re fans of this music too. So it’d be amazing to share the stage with those dudes that we’ve looked up to for so long.