INTERVIEW: ALEX COTTON, OHM RUNE – April 2017

INTERVIEW: ALEX COTTON, OHM RUNE – April 2017
By Shane Pinnegar

Photo by permission, copyright Kim Anderson

For years now we’ve gotten used to seeing guitar-and-drum duos, usually playing bluesy rootsy tunes to hip crowds. Former Chainsaw Hookers guitarist Alex Cotton had a different vision for Ohm Rune, teaming up with drummer Justin Kukulka, strapping on a bass guitar and turning it into a sheer, icy wall of glacial desert metal. Ohm Rune’s second single – available on 7” vinyl – is available now, with the band on an Eastern States tour with Melbourne’s Dr Colossus, before their local launch at The Boston on 22nd April.

April 22 – The Boston, Perth, WA
April 28 – Heavy Metal Formal river cruise, Perth, WA

READ MY INTERVIEW WITH ALEX AT AROUND THE SOUND

Here’s some more from our chat:

Switching from guitar to bass wasn’t a natural move for Cotton, but it fit the aesthetic he wanted for Ohm Rune so well that he couldn’t deny the progression.

“You know what? To be honest, I am a guitarist. This is the first time I’ve ever played bass. I bought the bass a year before we started this band for the bass player in Scalphunter because his bass was breaking, and I thought, ‘I’ll buy this bass, it’s a good deal, and if he wants to buy it off me later when he sorts out what he’s doing then that’s all good.’ Then that all fell through and I was left with a bass guitar.

“When I was playing around and jamming with Ohm Rune in the first week we were mucking around, I thought I’d try it out and – and it sounded good. It’s first time I’ve ever played a bass guitar in my life really.”

On the disaster of having an entire run of flexi disc singles for latest release Ether/The Great Dark proving not up to the band’s stringent quality control, Cotton restrains himself as much as possible.

“Yeah. I don’t want to badmouth anyone… I probably should, but I’m not going to,” he says through gritted teeth, “we went through quite a large vinyl pressing company, and gave them the due dates of the vinyl, and gave them all the audio and the artwork and all that back in January. They pressed the flexis and got it to us about four weeks early, which we were stoked with… Unfortunately the A side track Ether is just pretty much – I wouldn’t say it’s un-listenable, but if you paid money for it you’d throw it in the bin. It’s shocking. They basically said, ‘yep, that’s what you get,’ and washed their hands of it. So we’re about two grand out of pocket on that.

“[We’re] waiting for a call from a wonderful label manager, Anthony from Desert Highway, who’s going out to a vinyl presser in Melbourne, Zenith, and they have with any luck, test pressed the single on a normal seven inch, and we’ll have them before the tour with any luck. [Editor’s note – they did!]”

Vinyl is expensive as hell to press, with next-to-no profit margin on it, even before manufacturers supply you with unsellable product. Cotton confirms that Ohm Rune are in this game purely for the love of music, not for a quick buck.

“Oh no, we’re not making any money out of these – never will. This is purely, we’re not trying to be some massive touring band, this isn’t going to be a job for us. We’re purely in it for the fun and the love of what we’re doing, and we get to release vinyl so people can enjoy our music. If we break even, we are stoked.”

Next up is a national tour to launch this single, then Ohm Rune have their sights set firmly on releasing a full-length album – undoubtedly a crushing prospect.

“We’re pretty slow in writing songs, we like to take our time,” he chuckles indulgently. “We’ve thrown probably as many [songs] in the bin as we’ve finished. I’m sure some of the tracks that we’re releasing as singles might feature, because Star Destroyer and Adrift, that we released first, have progressed a bit and we’ve made some tweaks to them live. We recorded those two tracks before we’d ever played a show – we jammed, wrote the songs, took them straight to the studio, laid them down, and it was ideally so we could get some tracks out there. Something for people to listen to before we were out and playing a lot of gigs!

“We’re looking at ideally – money pending after all the debacles we’ve just been through – hopefully at the end of the year going into the studio and recording a full length album. So, this time next year, we could potentially have an album ready. That’s the plan anyway, but we’ll see how we go.”

INTERVIEW: ALEX COTTON, OHM RUNE – April 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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