The release of new material from sludge legends, Noothgrush, have let the public and fans know they are still here and can still throw down with the best of them. Hot off the release of their 7″ split with Coffins, Russell Kent takes some time to talk with ThisIsNotAScene.

The new split is packaged and ready for delivery, how do you feel about it?
Very good.

It is the best sounding recording we’ve ever done (Hail Greg / Earhammer) and both sides are great examples of what each of us does well. Everything happened on schedule, Southern Lord is awesome, we are pleased!

How does it feel to be writing new music again?

It feels great. We all contributed to these new songs, Dino included. With all of his experience and the fact that we’ve all been friends since ’95 or so we are a stronger band AND we are still having fun with it.

Why now, was there a single motivating factor?

Yes! We want to keep playing but we, and our fans I’m sure, would like to hear some new songs… we have a lot of riffs and ideas that just need to be hammered out, arranged and completed. We are creating a full-length that gets as close as we can to what this band is really about both musically and lyrically. We hope to create the best work we’ve ever done.

My favorite on your split was Thoth, can you give us some background on the track and any insights into meanings?

It is dedicated to our friend Phil Herz who did a show on KFJC. He used his show as a conduit to all of the heavy-handed Doom, Punk and Metal bands hosting regular live mic’s, playing demo’s and releases and was a fixture at many shows smoking his weed and often nodding off. He was also a mystic of sorts, a seeker of all things both dark and spiritual, a world traveller… he was full of knowledge and well read on mysticism, magic, alchemy and the like.

We were writing when he died very unexpectedly and wanted to dedicate a song to him. A week or two later KFJC had tallied up his play lists over seven years of doing a weekly show and Noothgrush was his top play. Humbled, we then began to visualize a more involved tribute which includes his “statement of intent” that began each of his mic-breaks heard during the intro. The words in the middle section were taken from his last broadcast, the anniversary of his seventh year on the air and he speaks of transcending the physical realm, all this just 48 hours before He moved beyond the horizon. At the end he’s left someone a message about the story on the Miami Bath Salt / face eating attack which he thought was hilarious.

How is the tour with Coffins going?

We are home now but it was incredible. Coffins set everything up very well, all of the shows were well attended, the people were great, we saw some great old friends and made a lot of new ones, we got to play 5 nights in a row with Coffins and played with Corrupted in Osaka for the first time since 1997. There were many other great bands at every show, Disgust, Butcher A.B.C., Sul9b… so many.

How is the crowd responding to the new stuff, they must be going crazy I imagine?

The response has been great.

Any hopes of a US tour, even a small one, in the works?

We really would love to but we can only do things when we can. It looks like we will have a van soon and can consider doing some short trips here and there. It is mostly that we all work and have little free time. There are some things on the horizon though, we would like to do a West Coast tour with Coffins at some point.

So whats next for Noothgrush?

We are writing a full-length record of all new material, we have confirmed Roadburn and Maryland Deathfest next year (there will be 2 or 3 European shows around Roadburn), and there’s talk of more with another Japanese band which I can’t go into right now. We will be doing as much work both live and in the studio as we possibly can in the next year.

Time for last question, can you share a couple of new bands like you like and are listening too?

I have been listening to Show Of Bedlam from Montreal.

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