High On Fire – Interview with Des Kensel

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On the second day of Desertfest London we had the chance to sit down and have an interview with drummer and original member of High On Fire: Des Kensel. Here it is:

MR: – Hi Des! How are you, how is the tour so far?

DK: – Great, thanks! Good, it’s a short one, you know, half way through with nine shows… Er… tonight will be the ninth show, yeah!


MR: – So tomorrow Berlin, Desertfest there, and you will finish in Budapest, right?

DK: – Tomorrow Berlin, but we’re gonna finish this leg of the tour in Madrid. Budapest is gonna be in August. That’s gonna be the last show of the second leg of the European tour.


MR: – So basically this tour is the 20 year anniversary tour, any big thing on the shows?

DK: – Just another set. We’ve added some songs that we haven’t played live in quite a while, so that’s pretty much what we could do, not a big birthday cake for ourselves. Haha!


MR: – Do you prefer to play club shows or festivals?

DK: – You know it depends – I mean the festivals are good because there’re a lot of people there, but behind the scene there’s also a lot of organised chaos. The club shows: they are our own shows, so people are there just to see us. They both have their pros and cons.


MR: – Do you have time to watch any other bands on a festival like this?

DK: – Sometimes. Er… not so much, but you know. Tonight I’ll try to catch some Weedeater, they’re gonna play right before us, so I have to have a hard excuse not to see them.


MR: – Do you see any differences between the audiences of America and Europe, or even between different European countries?

DK: – The crowds in the US definitely like to drink a bit more, but that’s changing a bit because in the States when we started off we played in a lot of bars. So, we played later at night or early in the morning, but now we play in bigger venues, so we play earlier, so maybe our crowd isn’t so drunk, haha. But over here – a perfect example – we just played in the Netherlands. Some good shows, an earlier set, maybe the crowd was a bit more stoned than drunk, so they’re kinda just standing there, but they still enjoyed it, you know.


MR: – Is there a new album on the way?

DK: – Yeah! It’s done, it’s mixed, it’s mastered and the idea is that it will come out in September.


MR: – Has the recent Sleep album (frontman Matt Pike is also the guitarist of Sleep) made this effort take so long to complete?

DK: – It seems that we always come out with a record every 3 years. You know, we wish it was a little  sooner but this is just kinda how it goes… erm, the Sleep album didn’t get too much in the way. Matt was busier, but Jeff and I (Matz – bass player of the band) got together and did a lot of the writing, and Jeff really put in a good effort, came up with a lot of cool parts, and we made our deadline.


MR: – Is there anything else that we can know about the new album? Maybe the title of it?

DK: – We have two working titles but haven’t really decided yet.


MR: – It’s like a new child…

DK: – Haha, yeah! When the mum and dad are still debating the name. The child is there, but you’re not sure which name.


MR: – Anything you want to say to the readers of Metal-rules?

DK: – Look for the new album! We’ve put a lot of hard work and sweat into it and hopefully our fans are going to enjoy it.


MR: – Tour with the album next year?

DK: – Yes, we’re hoping that we’ll be back over here sometime during the Fall for the new record.


MR: – Des, thank you very much for your time.

DK: – No problem. Thank you.