Friday, October 14, 2016
A Sunday Conversation (On A Friday) With Raza Khan from Poseidon
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Hearing Led Zeppelin II on a shitty tape deck was the big one for me, I was on a school trip around 1989 and my friend gave me a cassette with LED ZEP 2 written on it. I remember taking it home and locking myself in my room, pulling the curtains, lighting a joss stick and blasting this perfect album out, it never left my walkman for a good year after that. Just the sleaziness of it all really hit me, and opened up the door to other bands of that generation, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple amongst many others. Of course John Bonham has been a hero of mine ever since.
I also remember the time I first heard Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr, it must have been around 1990. I was 15 at the time, and the simplicity of the heaviness really struck a chord with me. Everything just felt so lazy but still fully in control, I thought 'I'd like to play something like that'. I had just started playing the drums, and when I saw them for the first time a year later (and my first ever live show), it cemented a lifelong love of riffs and fuzz.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
The concept comes first I guess, Matthew (bass/vocals) had pretty strong ideas musically and lyrically and we worked around that to start with. The bare bones of the songs are thrashed out by him, then we put in our own ideas into the mix. We trust him implicitly to come up with something that we're all happy with.
Who has influenced you the most?
As a band we're all obviously influenced by Sabbath, others include Melvins, Neurosis, Yob and Sleep, but then we have other less heavy influences like My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, The Smiths, Bowie, Prince. I'd like to think that all these influences also come through in our music in some way shape or form
We've just finished a short UK tour with Orange Goblin and Electric Citizen and ALL the local openers had something to offer, I always think that new ideas and motivation comes from watching as much live music as possible. Social Media has a lot to do with it being easier to find new music, whereas before it was solely word of mouth, tape sharing etc.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
Myself and Matt grew up in East London in the late 70's into the 80's, which was a pretty fucking dire place in those days. Jamie and Matthew grew up in the countryside where there wasn't a lot to do, so all four of us met in middle somewhere musically.
Where'd the band name come from?
I'm half greek and have always been interested in greek mythology. I was looking for a name that reflects the size of our sound, Poseidon is known as the God of the oceans and earthquakes. So we went for that. He's also a pretty angry guy in general, so...
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
We're still a pretty young band, so there's a long way to go in that respect. I could tell you stuff on a more personal level touring but to be honest it wouldn't be appropriate for polite company 🙂
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
I really think we've come into our own playing live, people never seem to think that we could make such a big noise as we're pretty shy on stage and just let the music do the talking. As our songs are quite long there isn't much time for any banter with the crowd, we just do our thing and leave, hopefully leaving the crowd wanting more. The response from everyone who's seen us has been very positive and truly humbling, so we must be doing something right....
What makes a great song?
Light and shade. It has to speak to you in some way, whether your happy or sad, if it speaks to you on some level then I'll go with that.
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
We've just recorded with Sam Thredder from Slabdragger and as a first release we are super happy with how it turned out. Our first one track band camp demo (Prologue: Omega) will always have a special place in our hearts as it got our music out there and kicked everything off for us, and secured some pretty big shows and tours for us so far. We've re recorded that song now and it's sounding exactly how we envisioned it.
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
Mike Scheidt from YOB is a big influence for us all, Mike is a really sincere and emotive singer and guitarist, songs like Marrow and Ball Of Molten Lead are the reasons we do this, and hopefully learn from. There's just a gauntlet of pain, anger and resignation in everything he does. He's a good friend too, so I know he wouldn't mind me saying that.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
Personally I prefer Vinyl, the whole ceremony of buying a record, putting it onto a turntable and reading the notes, lyrics or whatever whilst it's playing is something that I'll never get bored of. Having said that, I can't leave the house without my iPod, having my entire record collection available at a push of a button is pretty fucking awesome.
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice
No need to, both! It all depends on the situation though, if you're out with your friends at a pub I'll go with beer, if I'm sat at home with my friends listening to Spooky Tooth or David Bowie then Whiskey.
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
Unfortunately a lot of the record stores we frequented when growing up have disappeared, there are a few left but no way near enough. I have a good friend called Tanya Traish who runs a vinyl mail order site called Heavy Ritual Records, she always has the best stuff and is my go to for vinyl.
What's next for the band?
We've got one more show this year, then a well earned break to spend time with our loved ones. The juggernaut will roll again early next year, hopefully with a record deal in tow...
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Listen to Black Sabbath, and don't be a dick.