The members of Lord Dying look exhausted. Which is entirely understandable, considering it’s 10 pm, and most of them just finished long work days. Sitting around a table at the B-Side Tavern, dressed in the doom-metal uniform of T-shirts, jeans and shoulder-length hair, the only things keeping the band awake are the tall boys of cheap beer and glasses of whiskey.
Adding to its fatigue are all the details a rising heavy-rock band has to deal with: hanging posters for its upcoming album-release show, finding a location for a video shoot and, of course, carving out time to give an interview to a medical-marijuana magazine.
“I told them I didn’t think really sick people should have any drugs, let alone pot,” jokes bassist Don Capuano, sending his bandmates into peals of laughter.
Yes, Lord Dying enjoys a bit of chemical enhancement every now and again. But you don’t need us to tell you that. Just listen to the quartet’s upcoming debut full-length, Summon the Faithless. No matter how speedy these eight tracks get, a river of black muck runs through their core. The slow, overdriven bassline that anchors “Water Under a Burning Bridge” and the Godzilla stomp of “Perverse Osmosis” are byproducts of the band’s many stoner- and sludge-rock influences.
But Summon rages as well. It comes out most boldly through singer-guitarist Erik Olson, who possesses one of the most earth-shaking baritones in modern metal, but it tears through everything the band does on record or onstage. Hell, rage is why these four got into the metal business in the first place.
“It’s the rebellious attitude,” Olson says. “The release that it offers. The ‘fuck you, society’ part of it.”
Adds drummer John Reid: “The aggression that comes out if you’re playing metal can help keep you out of trouble. I take a lot of my workday out on my kit. Leads to a lot of cracked cymbals.”
Having that outlet has kept all four playing heavy rock since their teens even when, in the case of Olson and guitarist Chris Evans, it meant being outcasts in their hometown of Salt Lake City. “It was hard,” Olson says. “There weren’t really any record stores to go to, so we missed out on so much.”
Now safely ensconced within Portland’s abundant metal community, Olson and Evans have thrived. They started Lord Dying in 2010, playing their first show at a Fourth of July party at the request of Red Fang (“we owe those guys so much,” Olson says), and quickly ignited a buzz within the local scene.
Many tours followed, including a string of dates with Pantera singer Phil Anselmo’s Down, and last year, Lord Dying was snapped up by Relapse Records, home to acclaimed national acts such as Coalesce and Baroness.
“We realize that it’s faster than it happens for a lot of bands,” Capuano says. “But it seems to be going at a good pace.”
Olson agrees. “We’ve been real lucky, man,” he says, holding a can of Hamm’s. “But we’re thirsty, you know?”
SEE IT: Lord Dying plays White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., with Norska, on Tuesday, July 9. 9 pm. $5. 21+.