Merchants of Air
exploring the edges of the musical universe
We at Merchants of Air love a good sense of humor. So when we saw the messages 'Very depressing t-shirt' en 'sad vinyl' at their merchanising stand we instantly became interested in this band. Their concert was awesome too. A few days later we met vocalist Ash Spitter in the Little Devil.
M: Who's who in your band and maybe a short musicography?
Ash Spitter: Vocals
Mr. Doombastic: Bass
Mr. Lava Lava: Guitar
Early 2012 Mr Doombastic gathered the other band members, who were at that moment just five individuals thrown in the same room. There was a minor pause, but with a new year came new energy. We recorded a demo that later was released as the self-titled LP with a bonus song. We did some shows, with Amen Ra and small tours with Toner Low and Noothgrush.
M: Could you explain the name of the band?
A: I went to Sicily on holiday. My hotel was located near by the Etna volcano, the amazing sight of which awoke my interest in the phenomenon. I studied volcano eruptions in history; e.g. in 1813 there was a massive one which took the sun out of that summer in Europe. And one in Indonesia made a lot of ravage. During a repetition we were discussing what would happen when a big volcano should erupt nowadays - we're sure people would go totally mad - and Mr. Doombastic joked: "When that happens, just throw me in the crater". The name, unlike the Incubate booklet suggested, has not much to do with self-sacrifice or extreme nihilism.
M: How are new songs composed?
A: This is quite diverse. Sometimes it starts with a nice bass- or guitar riff someone comes up with, other songs arise during jam sessions. After having the first concept, we work it out together. Some tracks develop theirselves. I also monitor the right moment for a musical and vocal "eruption". I think the timing of my singing is essential for a song to work. Every now and then the music must have a moment to "breathe'.
M: What are your musical influences?
A: Iron Monkey, EyeHateGod and Leech Milk.
M: Please tell us more about the lyrics and the ideas behind the music?
A: Our older work started with describing historic vulcanic stories like Pompeii, or the year 1813 when grey ash was flowing around in the summer. But lately we've evolved to more personal messages. Every now and then you have to get away from your work or studies and just explode for a while. Newsfacts also inspire me for lyrics: wouldn't it be better if a huge volcano would erupt in the Middle-East and thus make a whole new start possible?
M: What are your plans for the future?
A: This actually was our next to last performance. The final one will take place in Venlo, after which our volcano will go to sleep. And we all know they can sleep for a long time...or not