By Brayden Turenne
Hailing from Liverpool, England, Conan are a three-piece doom metal band founded in 2006 by guitarist and lead vocalist Jon Davis. Rising to considerable heights of success within the doom metal genre, Conan’s music possesses crushing weight and glacial pace.
“I think we’re better when we play slow,” Davis states. “Originally, I just wanted to play to my strengths. I’ve never been a particularly gifted musician and it was easier to write slower songs with less chord changes and complicated riffs. It evolved from there.” Turning weakness into strength, there is no sense of deficiency in the band’s songs, as Conan seem to revel in the sluggish and more simplistic.
Along with the riffs and the pummelling drum hits, the vocals, shared between both Davis and bassist Chris Fielding, shriek forth like the growls of mountain gods, depicting scenes of swords, sorcery, and barbaric violence. Fantasy and mythology are key to Conan’s aesthetic.
“When I start writing a riff, it will conjure up images in my mind and put me in a certain mood, or may make me think of a certain part of a book or scene in a movie I’ve watched,” Davis confirms. “I’ve always loved reading books and I’ve always loved playing role-playing computer games. I kind of feel that writing songs is like all of those things rolled into one. It really just feels like I’m escaping from the normal world when I’m putting a song together.”
It was last year that Vancouver first felt the wrath of Conan, and now the band are set to return to the Astoria on May 13 during their latest North American tour.
“If you want to be taken seriously as a band, you have to tour. But, on the flip side of that, I feel as if going and playing music live is probably one of the last truly free things you can do.” Davis concludes, “So much of modern life is regulated and monitored. Restricted. Any opportunity to make you feel like a human being for once should be grabbed with both hands.”
Conan performs on May 13 at the Astoria.Conan, doom metal, The Astoria