Heathen Apostles – New Gothic Americana Album Out Today

Gothic Americana is a genre that is fast taking hold around the world, in that it combines the sub-genres of gothic country, dark blues and depression-era jazz. The Heathen Apostles were amongst the first to inject all three into their incendiary music.

Gothic Americana
Their fifth album Dust To Dust opens with the aptly named (and surprisingly danceable) incendiary stomper Burn It To The Ground, and doesn’t let up from there. The Heathens keep one foot firmly planted in driving heavy gothic numbers with Home Sweet Holmes (a recount of America’s first serial killer) and One True Belief (featuring eerie Middle Eastern-esque flourishes). With Dust To Dust, the band continues to explore the boundaries of Gothic Americana: the jangly Bad Seeds-esque Two For The Road, a spooky Southern Gothic dirge reinvention of the classic In the Pines, and the lamentful Paradise Lost (written for the victims of last year’s wildfires.) And since no future classic would be complete without an anthem, the Heathens offer up the soaring spaghetti western Rise. As an added bonus, the album concludes with the entire The Fall EP, which was selected by Folk N’ Rock Magazine as the EP of the Year for 2018. You can check out the album HERE.

“I truly dove in head-first on this album, building complex and layered vocal harmonies as a complement to the musical arrangements. Just as the best movies inspire multiple viewings, I sought to create melodies that invite the listener back to hear more and more of the song unfold. With Dust To Dust, we dug the grave a little deeper sonically, but we think you’ll enjoy falling in.” Mather Louth, vocalist.

“After our last album, the decidedly rootsy Bloodgrass Vol. I & II, we chose this album to showcase all of our influences; gothic rock, bluegrass, dark country, cowpunk… and much more.” Chopper Franklin, guitarist/producer.

Heathen Apostles Cowboy Goth CD “Dust To Dust” Reviewed on Viola Noir

The Russian Gothic website Viola Noir has posted a review of the new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust, it really connects with the Americana and cowboy goth vision of the band. Here is the English translation:

Heathen Apostles cowboy goth CD "Dust To Dust"The new Heathen Apostles album Dust To Dust is a return to where they began. After experimenting with bluegrass, covers and collaborations, while revamping country music, the Heathen Apostles use the doctrine of the darkness, terror and horror with accompaniment of the banjo once again.

Burn It To The Ground begins as smooth dark country, leaving both ritual and dark roots in place. Bluesy symphonic tragedy and western-swiftness appear with the track Rise. Two For The Road mixes the narrative with emotionality, and generally changes the mood. On to One True Belief, where the listener is already warmed up and ready to listen to another scary tale with a bad end. The Bride develops the mystic-theme and brings us to a true tragedy on Paradise Lost. After – Where The Waters Meet as an unusual track for Heathen Apostles – lyrical with hypnotizing elements from old school, post punk music. Home Sweet Holmes – a gothic americana slasher with a dense narrative and an injection of sinister atmosphere. Spooky Southern Gothic, dirge-like reinvention of the classic In The Pines follows- as the soundtrack to sorrow and sadness, a kind of farewell song. Meditative, contemplative Easeful Death gives a short pause before the intense final part of the album. The final you could already hear when EP The Fall came out. Exactly in the same sequence of tracks, so we will not be repeated.

cowboy goth

A successful appeal to their roots, without self-plagiarism, with the development of new themes, with a more fresh sound, where there are still characteristic handwriting and recognizable powerful vocals. Moreover, the Heathen Apostles never disappoint.

The release of the album Dust To Dust will be on June 7 from Ratchet Blade Records. Presale has already started, in addition, they have published dates for a European tour in support of this album. 8/10

tags: cowboy goth, Gothic Americana

Pre-Sale Launches For Heathen Apostles’ Album “Dust To Dust”

The pre-sale has launched for the new Heathen Apostles’ album “Dust To Dust”, out online on June 7th (and in stores worldwide on July 12th). The album is a great blend of their Gothic Americana music, combining the gothic club stomper Burn It To The Ground alongside the spaghetti western scorcher Rise and the poignant Paradise Lost (released earlier this year to benefit the California wildfire victims).

The pre-sales are a copy of the CD, a Heathen Apostles Logo T Shirt and a large Deathrider sticker for $15, and a CD and Deathrider sticker for $10. Both packages will ship as soon as the CDs arrive from the factory, and the T Shirt bundle will end as the shirt sizes run out. So check it out now, you can visit the band’s webstore by clicking HERE.

Heathen Apostles' Album "Dust To Dust"

Heathen Apostles – “Deadly Nightshade” Swamp Witch Music Video

The Heathen Apostles are proud to announce Deadly Nightshade, their new swamp witch tale in the guise of a music video, directed by good friend Jorge Jaramillo. It is the third video from their Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album, out on Ratchet Blade Records. Here is the press release for the video:

Deadly Nightshade, the new music video from the Heathen Apostles, takes the band back into familiar dark territory; this time, the atmosphere is that of the quintessential Universal horror films of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Swamp Witch

 

Those familiar with the iconic genre will thrill to the sights of a mortician-like banjo player piloting an angelic victim down river to her doom and corpses floating up from their graves, while burlap-masked musicians provide the soundtrack to a feral witch stealing the soul from our helpless heroine.

‘Inspired by classic horror movies and German expressionism, the main goal was to not romanticize an old style, but rather to bring it to something that could still be dark, creepy and beautiful,’ states director Jorge Jaramillo (who also directed the Heathen Apostles’ Paint the Stars video). Watch the new video HERE.

Swamp WitchLead vocalist Mather Louth: ‘When the Heathens sat down for the initial pre-production meetings with Jorge, we all agreed that reinventing and modernizing the classic black and white horror genre would be the perfect visual direction for “Deadly Nightshade”. I’ve always felt very strongly about “Deadly Nightshade” being incredibly cinematic in nature, and it was always clear to me that Jorge would be the perfect director for the song. His work is thought-provoking, filled with symbolism and horrifically disturbing creatures, and he is a true visionary and original.

The video also served as a fun exploration for me to portray both predator and prey, and I particularly enjoyed finding the physicality and mannerisms of the witch’s character. There is something quite freeing about playing a character that is so wholly repulsive and ugly, especially in today’s overly filtered and appearance-obsessed culture.’

Deadly Nightshade is the third music video from the band’s Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album, check it out HERE. The Heathen Apostles fifth album, Dust to Dust, is out June 7th on Ratchet Blade Records.”

Gothic Americana Website Launched By Ratchet Blade Media

Ratchet Blade Media has launched a new Gothic Americana website that is dedicated to the genre. GothicAmericana.com is a collective that will feature the best in Gothic Americana music, art, film, literature and much more. The music end will lean heavily on the darkest country, blues, bluegrass, jazz and Cajun bands, as well as soundtracks and musicals. Film and literature will sway towards modern releases, as well as historical works, and there will be artwork from the many different forms in the style. To visit the site, click HERE.

Ratchet Blade Media sprung out of Ratchet Blade Records, itself a force in the Dark Roots genre, and has previously launched GothicWestern.com, SouthernGothicBible.com and CowboyToCowboy.com.

Gothic Americana Website

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club.

Folk N Rock Names Heathen Apostles’ “The Fall” EP Best of 2018

Folk N Rock has named the Heathen Apostles’ “The Fall” EP as the Best EP of 2018. Folk N Rock’s coverage includes Folk, Hard Rock, Roots, Punk, Metal, and more, with a special focus on artist that infuses various styles. Some of those include Celtic Punk, Folk Metal, Folk Rock, Symphonic, Medieval, and an endless list of other combinations. Here is the announcement on folknrock.com:

Best EP: Heathen Apostles – The Fall

Heathen Apostles' "The Fall" EP Best of 2018We’ve heard a lot of EP’s in 2018, but the one that really made us do a double take, followed up with an endless amount of takes, was the EP from Gothic Americana band Heathen Apostles, in the release “The Fall.” The dark and haunting tones sets a mood that suits the lyrics and while s display an inner sense of melancholia, it is far from being sad and depressive music. It’s a release that you need to check out, and if you’re not already familiar with their band, you’ll also want to be taking a look at their entire discography.

You can preview and purchase The Fall EP HERE, and you can see this and the rest of the Best of 2018 on Folk N Rock by clicking HERE.

Heathen Apostles’ “Through The Forest” Dark Music Video Begins

The Heathen Apostles and director Jorge Jaramillo are collaborating again on what promises to be another dark music video. The video is for Deadly Nightshade, the lead song from their latest album Bloodgrass Vol. I & II, out now on Ratchet Blade Records. They have collaborated previously on the Paint the Stars video, released this past summer, and this video looks to be even grimmer than that effort. The project is currently in pre-production, with production assistance from Ana Sanchez, and will begin shooting in January of 2019. Check back for more details and BTS photos.

Dark Music Video

Felipe Orozco, Esteban Orozco, Jorge Jaramillo and Mather Louth on the “Paint the Stars” video set.

Heathen Apostles The Fall EP $1 Pre Sale Has Launched

Ratchet Blade Records has launched the $1 Pre Sale for the Heathen Apostles The Fall, the new 3 song EP that will be released on Halloween. Upon purchasing the Pre Sale you will receive an immediate download of the Gothic epic Through the Forest, Through the Trees, and you’ll receive the entire EP on Halloween day. The EP was produced by Chopper Franklin and features cover art by Ana Sanchez. Click HERE to preview and order.

Heathen Apostles The Fall

Cover Art For Heathen Apostles’ “The Fall” EP Revealed

The cover art for the upcoming Heathen Apostles’ “The Fall” EP has been revealed, it features a painting by fine artist Ana Sanchez. The three song “The Fall” EP will be released on Halloween day on Ratchet Blade Records, and the band is playing a release show at the Redwood Bar (in downtown Los Angeles) on Friday November 2nd. Check back for listening links and purchase info.

Heathen Apostles "The Fall" EP

Heathen Apostles Interview in Germany’s Ox Magazine

During the build up to their 2018 European Tour, the Heathen Apostles were interviewed by Karin Hoog of the popular German music magazine Ox Magazine. Below is a scan of the Heathen Apostles interview in German, to read the English translation scroll below it.

Heathen Apostles Interview

 

They have a gloomy version of the Gershwin classic “Summertime” and a even more gloomy of the ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN song “Killing Moon” recorded. Their singer Mather Louth has duets with the Helsinki vampire Jyrki 69, and with the title of their two “Bloodgrass” EPs, the HEATHEN APOSTLES from Los Angeles has invented a new genre, a kind of Dark AIternative-Country / Americana Gothic / Doom bluegrass sound. A drawer in which also fits bands like WOVENHAND, 16 HORSEPOWER and GUN CLUB. The songs are miniature dramas of blood, passion and horror. That guitarist Chopper Franklin played earlier in MAU MAUS and THE CRAMPS, makes it all more exciting. In autumn, HEATHEN APOSTLES are on a European tour, nine dates in Germany have already decided, including one at the Wacken Open Air.

When did you start playing together as a band?

Chopper Franklin – We formed in 2013 and recorded our “Boot Hill Hymnal” album and shot the “The Reckoning” music video before we played our first show. We thought that our brand of Gothic Americana might be a little crazy for some people to wrap their mind around, so it was good to have those out when we first started gigging.

Mather Louth – It’s been a wonderful 5 years growing together musically and personally.

Where did you get the name Heathen Apostles from?
Chopper – A demented mind. I always thought of as a great title for a spaghetti western. Then when this project came about, the name was perfect for it.

Can you please tell me more about the members and their background?
Chopper: I come from the punk rock days of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in Los Angeles. I lived with, and roadied for, Black Flag in 1979 when I was 15. I soon moved to Hollywood and joined the Mau Maus, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mather: I’ve got a long musical history in the jazz and blues scene as a singer, and it’s certainly shaped my phrasing and vocal style to a degree. I formed the experimental Radio Noir about a decade ago, and once that ran its course, Chopper and I crossed paths, and here we are 5 years later!

Nothing works without YouTube today, you are there too.
Chopper: We are always shooting videos for our different songs and releases. A lot of our songs have a bit of a cinematic feel to them, it’s great to release videos to go along with them. We usually write and direct them ourselves, but we do work with others too. We are currently collaborating with filmmaker Jorge Jaramillo on our next video for “Deadly Nightshade” (off of the upcoming Bloodgrass Vol. II EP).

What have been the band’s releases up to now?
Chopper: Boot Hill Hymnal (2013), Without A Trace (2014), Fire to the Fuse (2015), Requiem for a Remix (2016), Bloodgrass Vol. I (2017) as well as several singles and other EPs. We will be releasing “Bloodgrass Vol. II” digitally this Spring, as well as an album combining both Bloodgrass Vol. I and Vol. II EP’s for our European tour in August.

From the Mau Maus and Thomas’ Kings of Nuthin’ to the Heathen Apostles, it’s a long way to go musically: how have people reacted to you?
Mather: It’s mostly been a positive response to our music, particularly when we are performing live. Oftentimes there are people who aren’t at the shows to watch us specifically, but end up becoming fans and introducing themselves- that connection always feels deeply gratifying.

Every child needs a name: how do you describe your music?
Mather: We’ve used several terms over the years: Gothic Americana, Gothic Western, dark country, and so on. More recently, we’ve been classifying what we do as “bloodgrass” (with our latest EP titles cementing that association.)

Chopper: We’re influenced by bluegrass, country, blues and gypsy jazz, as well as gothic and heavy rock n roll.

You regularly release covers: Are you thereby paying tribute to bands/artists you like?
Mather: Absolutely- we always have a “wishlist” of artists and songs that have inspired us over the years, and that list tends to grow over time. Sometimes, an artist moves to the front of our list for one reason or another- in the case of Merle Haggard, we felt compelled to release an EP after his passing in honor of his incredible career.

Chopper: We also love to take songs that weren’t meant for our genre and bending them to our will, haha.

Can you please tell me more about the songs you covered on “Bloodgrass Vol.1” Why did you choose them?
Chopper: “Summertime” is a Gershwin classic that Mather has covered for quite a while with jazz bands she’s performed with, and “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” is a dark ballad about workers dying in the coal mines of Kentucky. It’s a song I’ve always wanted to cover but never had the right band to do it until now. We take a lot of care in choosing and recording the songs we cover. “Bloodgrass Vol. II” has the old bluegrass standard “Shady Grove” on it, as well as Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man”.

Mather: “Ramblin’ Man” is another tune I’ve been singing for what seems like forever. Initially, I had introduced it into the Radio Noir setlist (along with a very dark cover of Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight”), but I feel it has truly found its home with the Heathens.

Are there any bands that influenced you?
Chopper: For me 16 Horsepower, Gun Club, Bauhaus, Bill Monroe.

Mather: I’ve always been influenced as a vocalist by a lot of male performers- some of my favorites being Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, and the legendary Howlin’ Wolf. However, I’m equally in awe of Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, and Shirley Manson (my earliest icon.)

Where do you draw the inspiration for your lyrics from?
Mather: It’s never really from one consistent source. Lyrics float to me when I’m in a sort of stream-of-consciousness creative mode, or sometimes when I wake from a dream. I’m an admitted logophile and appreciate how certain words reverberate when sung, so that plays a hand in my lyric writing. Sometimes, a concept for a specific character will come to me, and then I work to tell their tale lyrically.

Do you have other artistic talents apart from music?
Mather: Those that know me know that it’s no secret I’ve got an immense passion for couture and costume design. I’ve been rather fortunate over the past 6-odd years to hone my craft as a seamstress with the help of my dear friend Cheri Wilson Chagollan (of Wonderland Corsets.) Nowadays, most of my sewing projects are directly tied into the Heathen Apostles music videos and photo shoots. But on occasion, I can eke out time for personal couture projects (and have also tackled a select amount of commissioned projects for private clients.)

How important is your styling/your appearance to you? Is it part of your artistic concept?
Mather: Absolutely- it’s always been a central force in our band since its formation. When Chopper and I first began collaborating, he expressed that he’d like me to take the reins for crafting our visual aesthetic (which was wonderful, being that I had a strong stylistic vision in my mind from the get-go!)

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you while being on stage?
Chopper: I’ve had it all happen it seems; knife pulled on me by a bouncer, cops beating up the crowd at a street festival, getting electrocuted, etc., but being onstage with Lux Interior of The Cramps was wild every night.

Mather: I don’t know if it’s the strangest occurrence per se, but I have had audience members (usually the drunken sort) audibly comment on my “backwards” style of playing guitar. One actually came up to me and tried talking to me about in…in the middle of a set.

Which gig you’ll never forget?
Mather: I’d say hands-down, Bakersfield was an amazing gig for the band. We had been approached by Heresy (the one and only goth club in Bakersfield, which as a city is far more known for being a country music mecca and home to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.) The promoter was so lovely and accommodating to us, and the fans were absolutely unreal- just imagine a large pack of goth kids who are equally as passionate about Siouxsie Sioux as they are about Merle and Buck! Sadly, Heresy is now defunct, but we were so honored to be a part of that amazing scene while it was still around.

How did your European tour come about?
Chopper: We were put in touch with Kurt De Bont of Rootstown Bookings in Belgium and he started putting together the shows and festivals. I’ve toured Europe several times with other bands, so we were looking at the right tim

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