Vital Vinyl: Barren Womb Drummer Timo Silvola Talks ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken’ + More
With three limited edition pressings of their debut album, ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken’ – including a triple-split yellow-and-black record that looks like a frog’s eye – Norway’s rock duo Barren Womb have quickly made a name for themselves on the ever-growing list of new music.
With rhythms, riffs and vocals that blend the worlds of metal and punk into one headbanging concoction, Barren Womb push the boundaries of what two guys with instruments can create. There’s no doubt this music is meant to be heard spinning around your turntable.
Talking to us all the way from his homeland, drummer Timo Silvola tells Loudwire about the intriguing cover art for ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken,’ why they released it on vinyl and what the future holds for the band.
First off, congratulations on your debut album, ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken.’ What has the reception been like in Norway?
The media attention we’ve gotten so far has been overall positive and people who came to our release tour have also expressed their love, so we’re pretty damn happy.
Here in the States, it seems like everyone is excited to get yet another killer LP from a Norwegian rock band. What do you think it is about Norway that produces this type of intense rock?
Fresh drinking water, fresh air and the amount of pollution we are responsible for around the globe as an oil power makes Norwegians totally devoted to Satan. Hence, good rock and roll.
Do you have any plans to tour the U.S. in support of the album?
We’re planning to tour America early next year. Were also hoping to do a split 7-inch with an American band for the occasion. Any takers?
What’s the music scene like in Norway? Do you feel like you “fit in”?
Well, we force ourselves to fit in. The scene is so spread and various that we feel we can fit in everywhere with the right kind of push.
With ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken,’ the band sings in English. Did you have any hesitation about not singing in your native tongue?
Not really. Listening to mostly English lyrics as a kid and generally absorbing a lot of American culture made it natural. Also we have a bit of a mixed native tongue since I’m originally Finnish and Tony [Gonzahl, guitarist] has some Spanish blood.
This will be a lot of Americans’ first introduction to Barren Womb, though you’ve released music before this full-length. What did the beginning of the band look like?
We started off with no other intention than to play music. We had quit our previous band and had a clear vision not to push it or stress stuff that didn’t matter. The underground scene picked us up quite early and the ball has been rolling since.
Have things changed for you since the beginning of the band to where you’re at today?
Apart from the workload, not much has changed really. The biggest difference from before is that we used to put out music on our own label, The Perfect Hoax, while this album is released on Spartan Records. They’ve worked hard around it and that has most definitely borne fruits. Recording and touring wise we do things as we always have: record when we feel like it and tour as we please.
I’m always intrigued with bands who decide to take on the effort of pressing their music on vinyl. Why was it important for you to press ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken’ not only on vinyl, but on some pretty special editions?
If there should be any kind of physical release, it should be vinyl. The unique quality of the sound and the sheer size of the cover art doesn’t exist on any other format. Tony is quite fond of colors and so is the label, so that’s how the three different variants of the first pressing came about.
Can you talk about the artwork for the album? What’s the story behind the frog?
Tony wanted to do something out of clay and showed up with the frog one day. Then I painted it and presto, album cover. It also ties in with the themes and title of the album in some weird way.
How important is vinyl to you personally?
It’s the format we buy music on. A lot of the underground has kept vinyl and cassette as their main formats and that’s the way it’s probably going to be in the future, too. I don’t see anybody trading minidiscs at shows.
How important is vinyl to the metal scene?
I don’t know about the metal scene. We feel we belong more in the punk scene where vinyl is and always has been a key element.
What’s on the horizon for Barren Womb?
We’re just jamming around right now and yes, the seeds to another album are being planted.
If you want to puck up a copy of ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken’ on vinyl, check out the limited pressings here. The record is available on custom purple and yellow-purple-white-black splatter wax as well as the unbelievable ‘Frog’s Eye’ version mentioned above, all thanks to Spartan Records.
Barren Womb – ‘The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken’