By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – There are few things in heaven and earth that have not been dreamt of in The Weir’s philosophy. The Calgary-based doom-metal quartet has been exploring the heavy-dreadful landscape since the manifestation of their debut release, Yesterday’s Graves (Pint-Sized Records), back in 2012. Vast and suspenseful, The Weir’s deadly drone required a modulation of the ballistic tempos that dual guitarist/vocalists Jim Hudson (Breathe Knives, Oxeneer, Snake Mountain) and Sergey Jmourovski (WAKE, Snake Mountain), drummer Mark Schmidt (On Lock) and bassist/vocalist Eddie Dalrymple (Oxeneer, Fuck Off Dad, Deadhorse) had grown velocitized to as members of their respective punk bands.
“We all had a background of playing pretty fast music and when we first started out we were bad at playing slow,” says Jmourovski. “Our first test demo was friggin’ rippin’, so we had ‘SLOW DOWN’ written on Mark’s snare and my volume pedal as a reminder. It became a sort of mantra and over the course of the years it evolved in a general attitude towards the band.”
Recalibrated to a sin-definingly slothful pace, The Weir would dive into the deep end of the sludge-core spectrum with the release of their ominous 2015 LP Calmness of Resolve, released via Sunmask Records. A challenging album for musician and listener alike, the album spawned life-altering moments and discoveries that resulted in significant changes to the band’s makeup and artistic approach.
“Eddie joined half-way through the writing of Calmness of Resolve and contributed a lot to that record,” Jmourovski explains.
“After the CD came out we decided to write something more and he became an integral part of the writing process. So, I feel like there was a transition between that record and whatever was gonna come next. We thought doing a new EP was evidence of logical fucking progress. And a cool step forwards.”
Thus, Dalrymple found himself charged with penning lyrics for The Weir’s forthcoming EP, Detached (Hearing Aids Records), due for release in November of 2017. It was a task he accomplished by distilling his innermost thoughts through a carbon filter of the darkest poetry prior to spilling ink on to page and stage. Exceeding all expectations on Detached’s titanic twin tracks, “Weak With Rage” and “Below The Surface,” The Weir’s bone-chilling lingual oblations bespeak a renewed sense of immediacy and intent.
“My lyrics are about a lot of personal situations, but run through a thesaurus. Not to disguise them, but to make them less specific,” Dalrymple elaborates. “There are three singers in the band, so it makes it something that the other guys and the audience can see in their own light and interpret for themselves. It’s a literal representation of larger events, so it becomes fantasy. I try to write about very specific ideas from a non-linear, non-sequitur, non-narrative position.”
Another benefit of flexibility afforded by adding Dalrymple’s tributary parables to their songwriting process is that it has enabled The Weir’s other architects to concentrate on contributing their own brutal algorithms to the communal incantations. A welcome respite for a foursome that is lauded for the intensity of their compelling live performances.
“There have been shows where I’ve been totally fuckin drained and not rejuvenated. Like I left a lot behind. Like you turned yourself inside out. It’s nauseating, but it’s also very satisfying,” Jmourovski deduces.
“That led to a couple of cathartic shows, until I was like ‘Fuck, dude! I cannot expose myself like that anymore!’ Because it’s tiring. It’s too much. And then it loses its meaning. And what’s the point of doing something that doesn’t have a meaning to it? And, we can talk about the whole professional band thing; at some point your purpose is going to inform your art and, no, it shouldn’t work like that!”
The Weir release their new EP Detached via Hearing Aids Records in November.Defining Gravity, Detached, Hearing Aids Records, The Weir