You may heard No Hope's track "M-Lady" on the Doom Metal Alliance Volume 9 Sampler, if you have you will know this a real sludge filled heavy band with wide ranging influences and a deep passion for the style that they deliver. They have a EP available now called "Big Block Damnation" and its worth checking it if you are into classic sludge metal. Here is a interview i did with Jochen from the band. You can expect to hear a lot from this band in the future.

Hello, thanks for the interview. How about giving the readers a little history of the band?
Sure. Hi this is Jochen, guitarist of NO HOPE. We exist in the 16th year already, gone through all highs and lows, but finally have now a very strong line-up. We are all close friends what is very important for all of us, it's more than just making good music together. We all love heavy music, most when it's slow and deep. Today we present our third release "Big Block Damnation", and the song named "M-Lady" is appearing on the Doom Metal Alliance Sampler No.9.

The band seems to have a lot of different influences, especially in the guitar work. What bands have inspired No Hope to produce the sound that you have?
That's right, we have lots of different influences. We all listen to a wide spectrum of music, not only Metal, also Rock, Classic and stuff. These different directions formed our complete sound. Mostly we adhere to a lot of southern rock and sludge stuff, classic metal like Maiden and even extreme styles like Grindcore, Crustcore or Death Metal..

Germany has always had a big Heavy Metal tradition but what is it like for Doom/Sludge Metal?
We don't know too many doom bands especially in our country, but Germany has in fact a wide audience for doom, sludge, stoner or even drone stuff, and there were quite a lot of fine doom bands of various styles, but most of them sadly are only known in the underground.

Lets talk about recordings, give the readers a insight on whats available?
Like I said before it's our third album now. The first one was released in 2001 called "Bleeding Wounds" and was nearly a full-length. After 8 years of NO HOPE it was really time for a recording, and it contains the latest songs which were written after having a few significant line-up changes. We just distributed it for some true fans and the band of course and it's no longer available. The second release "No Hope" was released 2 years later thought as a sign of life and got given away for free just for promotion.
We made it through some really hard times with the band but managed to finish our current EP called "Big Block Damnation". All songs of the three releases are still in our live-setup and still represent the musical direction of NO HOPE.

How has the latest album been going, have you had much reaction from it?
It's nearly all up to one person to distribute and communicate, I did it all the years for my other bands, and it's way more easy to give this job to a single person. But everyone has to do their normal jobs, me too, and so it's hard to find time to do this seriously and professional in a minimum of time. But our die-hard fans always asked for the new record, and the amount of positive reactions is about to rise. We hadn't played live yet since the release so there is hopefully more to come.

You been featured on some compilations, how important are they for the band?
We're not used at all to all that. In early times you were happy about getting a positive message from a friend or a new fan. Nowadays we know what we are and try to spread our word further and give other people around the globe the chance to listen to our music. Getting famous is still very strange to us, haha.

You been playing some live dates, what kind of reaction have you been getting?
In former years the audience was very critical.. There were two groups of people: one that refuses our music and one that worship us. And this group was very very small. The last gigs after this long break were awesome, there was a big crowd, even new audience gave us a very positive feedback. This reaction is new for us too. In the beginning it was said: This is so damn slow, that's nothing about music, it's just something about body control…

How would you describe the audience you get at shows, are they more new fans of Doom or is it more a old school crowd?
We're lucky to see old and young people as well on our gigs. Some of them have nothing to do with doom or other kinds of this music. After the show they were very enthusiastic and come to us to buy a CD or simply thank us for the great entertainment. There are only a few but these people are or become great fans of our band.

What are your songs about and do you think lyrical content is important in Doom/Sludge Metal?
It's all about personal experience, most of it sad and cruel. We write lyrics on the point, not metaphorical or like poetry. Some songs and lyrics are very personal and quite difficult to understand for outside people, but mostly you get words everybody can identify with.

What have you got planned for 2010?
Playing live whenever we get the chance. Our CD has just been released, not many doomfans know about it. We will enter stage over entire Germany or further. If it's got a plug, we will play. We don't play for money or fame, just for the fun of it, to spread the word. We're not too much interested in a label, because we all got jobs. And we all know that you don't get far with this music.

If you could create the ultimate Doom festival, what bands would be on the bill?
We are all fans of bands like Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Carnivore or Neurosis. It would be very special to play with these bands. But there are also great doom bands in Germany, many of them underground but not less great. B.Son for example is a great German doom band, we are also on their sampler "Deutschland's Doomed 1". Holy Hydra should be mentioned too, our friends' doomcore band. And there are lots more, to find the right ones would be either difficult or a very huge bill!

How do you rate German Doom bands compared with the rest of the world?
They are not worse than any other doom bands in the world. The biggest problem are the fans. If it's not mainstream or played everywhere, it's hard to get kids listen to your music. But if there are some, they worship you. That's the reason to go on making extreme non-popular music.

The guitar sound is huge, what equipment does the band use?
Thanks for the compliment. Some years ago I made my biggest dream come true. I finally got a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Solo Head, one of the first hundreds. It just sounds awesome. The first time I heard this amp, I wished to get one of it. Fuck money, I just had to get one soonest. So we made all the guitar recordings with this amp. We've put the focus on the guitars, so we recorded 10 tracks of guitars on this record. To dirty up and boost the signal, we both also use a BOSS MT-2 pedal.. We use Gibson, LTD and Ibanez Guitars, most of them with EMG 81 Pickups. And we're tuned down to B of course.

You obviously love what you do, can you imagine yourself playing any other kind of music ever?
We all played and are playing in other bands. Our bass player is also sampling and programming for the mighty B.ABUSE, our guitarist plays in a Maiden and Metallica tribute band. Not too long ago, I played in two more bands, one of it highspeed Death Metal (BLOODCRAVING) and the other one some modern Thrashcore (ALL FALL DOWN). In former times I even played in a cover band, we all like to play good old cover songs. In my eyes it doesn't make sense to play the same music in different projects. We all got a big musical background, so why just playing only one kind of music? 

Thanks again for the interview, any last words for the readers?
Thanks for the nice questions, thanks for reading these crappy answers, come and listen to the sexiest band alive. Tune low, play slow and enjoy slow motion noise on heavy rotation!

Interviewed by Ed

January 2010