Hour Of 13 Interview
With Instrumentalist Chad Davis
Interview by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
The clock strikes… but this isn’t any hour that you recognise, this is the Hour Of 13. It’s a time of dark, of the occult, and all that other stuff your mum worries about when she hears the words heavy metal. Cryptically titled 333, Hour Of 13’s new album reunites Chad Davis and Phil Swanson to continue doing things their way but in respect of the old ways. The result, as Chad reveals, ‘is by far the best album I have written, hands down’ – which would suggest that Hour Of 13’s time is far from up…
Congratulations on the new album 333 – what are your immediate thoughts on the finished product?
Chad Davis (CD) – Thank you! My initial reaction to the record was mixed at first. The circumstances that surrounded the recording of the record are fairly prevalent in the sound of the album. After the completion of the music, before vocals, I was pretty tired of hearing it and the music and sound just reminded me too much of the events that occurred during the recording. After taking time away from it while vocals were being added, I have found that it is by far the best album I have written, hands down.
Is there a significance behind the numbers ‘333’, aside from this being your third album?
CD – It’s a secretive number, cryptic and obscure. Maybe a secret number of the beast of man? A secret society code? Who knows. It fits the album perfectly.
Does this reflect upon the album content or theme?
CD – Yes, since the lyrics are more in depth and not so blatant as in the past albums.
Have things moved on a lot since your last album The Ritualist?
CD – Yeah, I’d say they have. Although progression is not a driving force, nor a necessary one for me. The sound is different, heavier and darker, and it totally reflects the mood during the creation.
CD – The decision was made by the studio owner who is a great friend of mine. He basically said, "Hey man, it’s time". So, I went in and lived there for the duration of the recording. I was able to just focus on the music, and that was something I couldn’t do during the recording of "The Ritualist" since I recorded that album in my studio alone.
Of course one of the interesting, and surprising to some people, facts is that there are just the two of you in Hour of 13 – what’s that relationship like?
CD – It’s a really great one. We both know where things are going and how we want to present them. We both know when something in a tune does not feel right. Alchemy at its best!
Do you feel you face different challenges to those who are part of the more traditional larger band set-up?
CD – Not at all, since we do not think like a conventional band. So no, no challenge at all.
You’ve still experienced one of the greatest difficulties many bands face with the departure of a member – I imagine this had a massive impact on the dynamic?
CD – Yes it did, and that situation was rectified when Phil returned. The mix of my music and sound with the vocal style and timbre of his voice is magic, pure and simple.
What do you think has continued to bring you back together?
CD – The music and the ease of its creation. It cannot be denied or even doubted for that matter. Perseverance and the will to create excellent Heavy Metal. We need it….
Will you be hitting the road at all this year?
CD – Quite possibly some shows in the Northern US, and a good little stint in Europe. It’s really hard to predict the future though. We’ll see what happens.
Is it difficult to translate your sound to a live scenario, given that it’s usually the two of you?
CD – As long as the players are competent and able to understand the atmosphere I strive for, then no it’s no problem. The control to not overplay the music is a must, as it is very basic and that is a strong force in its effect and nature.
Are you looking ahead at all to what might come after 333?
CD – No. We will let Hour Of 13 take the road it feels it needs. This has always been the ethic and it shall remain so. It is its own entity.
Finally, although there may not be just 13 of them, but what is your favourite hour of the day or night?
CD – The time between 8pm and 7am. Darkness it shall be!