“Doom Metal allows us to experiment with extremes”
Ahead of the release of As Autumn Calls’ gargantuan new album ‘Cold, Black & Everlasting’ (October 25), singer/bass player James Hawkins talks exclusively to DoomMetalHeaven about what inspires the Canadian band…
Hi James, so why do you play Doom Metal?
We play doom metal because it’s a very melodic and diverse form of music. It can be extremely dark and heavy at times and it can be soft and vulnerable at other times. It allows us to experiment with these different extremes and portray many different thoughts and emotions. I read a quote a long time ago from someone describing doom metal as a very mature form of metal. It is something that has stuck with me over the years.
Which band in the history of music would you like to go on tour with?
Good question. There’s a few bands that come to mind so it’s a bit tough to pick just one. I think it would be cool to go on tour with Opeth because when Andrew and I first started the band we were really into Opeth. We’ve seen them play live a few times here in Canada. Mikael Åkerfeldt and the gang are insanely talented musicians and we really respect the fact that they are not afraid to experiment and make the music they want to make. They seem like decent, down-to-earth, normal guys. Also I have to say Agalloch would be a close second for us. We love Agalloch. I know, neither of these bands are doom, but whatever.
What are you most proud of on the new album?
There’s a lot of things that I’m proud of on the new album. As musicians we’ve all grown a great deal and I think everyone has really added their own mark to the music. Something that wasn’t the case in the past. I’m proud of the overall feel and atmosphere because I think we’ve managed to create a very honest and sincere album.
“The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created has given me a lot of inspiration over the years”
Which public or historical figure do you most admire and why?
I would have to say J.R.R. Tolkien. The man is a literary genius and one of the most creative people to have walked the face of the Earth. The world he created has given me a lot of inspiration over the years and I still take inspiration from it to this day. His work has been such a huge part of my life for such a long period of time. He was also a very modest man when discussing his own life and his work.
What’s your most prized Heavy Metal possession?
Well at this very moment I’d have to say my brand new ‘Blackwater Park’ and ‘Marrow of the Spirit’ vinyls. Both absolutely beautiful pieces of art (see below).