Gothic Americana Music

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An Interview With Heathen Apostles – Folk N’ Rock / Americana Goth

Los Angeles based Americana Goth outfit Heathen Apostles recently put out their latest studio album, “Dust to Dust,” and soon followed up with a European tour in support of the release. I spoke with Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin about the album, the tour, and where the band might be headed next.

Now that your European tour has just ended, can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?

Mather: In a word: a whirlwind! Which is actually quite surprising, being that it was essentially 5 weeks long and our longest European tour to date. But, it was incredibly inspiring, not only because of all of the sights we were able to take in, but also because of all of the connections we were able to make with fans (both new and existing alike.) Our tour took us everywhere- from the hustle and bustle of big cities to some beautifully remote locations- and that in itself provided a beautiful variety of experiences.

As much as playing 32 shows in 32 days was exhausting, it was equally exhilarating thanks to the adrenaline of performing on a daily basis. As a singer, I was pushed to my limits, but the genuine love for performing allowed me to keep hitting the reset button every night. You can never tell what each day will bring when on tour, so you just try your best to enjoy the highs and (as cliched as it sounds) maintain a sense of gratitude to have the opportunity to share your music with people that truly appreciate it.

Americana Goth

What was the writing and recording process like for Dust To Dust?

Chopper: While we were on last year’s European tour we talked about what kind of album we wanted the next one to be. The previous album, Bloodgrass Vol. I & II was dark, but also really rootsy, and we thought this one should have a heavier mood.

As soon as we got home I began writing music that reflected that vibe, and then served the demos up to Mather for lyrics. Since we record in my studio we are able to build on the demos, and Thomas and Luis come in and do their parts. By busting it out this way we were able to have the album out for this year’s tour.

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW HERE.

Heathen Apostles In Nijmegen, NL: Goth Americana and Hellbilly

The bearable lightness of the dark Heathen Apostles: Goth Americana and hellbilly on a sunny Sunday evening.

Goth AmericanaWith a voice that can sink ships, it is a miracle that the nearby Waal is not littered with wrecks after the performance of Heathen Apostles. Fortunately that did not happen, but it could have, because in the music of the American goth Americana and hellbilly band death or the devil comes to the fore in almost every song.

Yes, you read that right. Goth Americana and hellbilly. Broadly summarized as Americana with a dose of folk and country topped with a pitch black edge. The murder ballads of Nick Cave meets Johnny Cash in a reincarnation of Bill Monroe. Frontwoman Mather Louth is dressed as a black widow and has a white face-painted grave face and the rest of the band (violin, guitar / mandolin and bass) also wear moody black clothes. 

Darkness is dripping from the songs on the set list tonight: ‘Death’s Head’, ‘Death Came a Ridin’, ‘Dark Was the Night’, ‘Evil Spirits’ and ‘Dark Days’. Not the kind of music that you like to set up to enhance the atmosphere at a birthday party. Or maybe it is, because despite the macabre clothing and lyrics, the music does sound exuberant the majority of the time. Thanks to the vibrant violin, the scorching guitar and mandolin, the barking bass, the powerful vocals and up-tempo songs such as ‘Two For The Road’ and ‘Shady Grove’, the performance is rather cheerful. Sure, the themes remain dark and more than once a murder ballad is played, but the whole thing is played with such a lightness that it remains bearable.

THE MOMENT
Goth AmericanaAnyone who thought Nirvana’s cover of the ‘In the Pines’ (with them under the title ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’) was heartbreakingly beautiful, will undoubtedly revise his opinion after the performance of Heathen Apostles. That American traditional – wrongly attributed to Lead Belly – was seldom brought with such a lump of pure emotion and darkness as Sunday evening in Nijmegen.

By Patrick Struijker Boudier. 3voor12 Gelderland is again reporting extensively on the Four Days Marches this year. Follow the  file  for the latest tips, reviews, photos and other relevant articles.

 

Heathen Apostles Duo Wrap Mid West Tour Dates

The Heathen Apostles Duo (Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin) have wrapped their Mid West shows opening for Shawn James. The dates included shows in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. All shows were very well received, and the band will return shortly with the full line up. After a brief rest the band will  begin recording their next release, due out in Fall 2019. Here are some photos from the tour:

Heathen Apostles DuoHeathen Apostles DuoHeathen Apostles Duo

Heathen Apostles DuoHeathen Apostles Duo

 

Americana Noir – Review of Dust To Dust By Rootsville.com

Americana noirWith the Heathen Apostles we entered into the dark side of the music; we are at the Americana Noir “Bloodgrass” as they have come to call it. The Heathen Apostles consist of Mather Louth, Chopper Franklin, Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro and are from the “City of Angels” aka Los Angeles, California. Punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin has played in groups such as The Cramps and Nick Curran & The Lowlifes, and those are definitely names that stand out. And with femme fatale Mather Louth the mutual admiration for murder ballads, Americana Noir and Memento Mori came into the picture and soon the Heathen Apostles was created.

Dust To Dust is their 5th album and brings them to Europe for the promotion of their new album. On the album we find 13 songs from which almost all songs are a creation of Mather Louth and Chopper Franklin; only the traditional In The Pines is the exception to the rule. The opener on the album is Burn In To The Ground where they immediately showcase the characteristics of their music. A mix of Gothic and Americana is how they come to create their own sound; it’s a sound where the lyrics are usually darker than the melodies.

The common thread throughout the album, in addition to the powerful and clear vocals of Mather Louth, is the penetrating violin playing by Luis Mascaro, and it is all enhanced by multi-instrumentalist Chopper Franklin and double bass player Thomas Lorioux. This mix of two contradictory directions in the contemporary music scene seems to work wonderfully with the Heathen Apostles. From threatening songs like Two For The Road, to morbid-feeling ballads like The Bride, they know how to create an atmosphere that is at one with their way of playing and living. Bringing together an absolute connection of dark and sometimes eerie-looking aesthetics with Gothic music and art, the Heathen Apostles has succeeded without too much trouble, and in a perfect balance.

Jumping out of the box or not at all, the traditional In The Pines is a song that carries a veil of dark mysticism throughout its existence. Also very morbid to the touch is Easeful Death, but then everything seems to clear up again by bringing the catchy  tune The Fall. The closing of Dust To Dust is Out Of The Ground and with that we had a more than appreciated introduction to these Gothic Outlaws.

tracks:

01 Burn In To The Ground 
02 Rise 
03 Two For The Road 
04 One True Belief 
05 The Bride 
06 Paradise Lost 
07 Where The Waters Meet 
08 Home Sweet Holmes 
09 In The Pines 
10 Easeful Death 
11 Through The Forest, Through The Trees 
12 The Fall 
13 Out Of The Ground 

musicians:

Mather Louth: vocals 
Chopper Franklin: guitar, banjo, mandolin, keys, drums 
Thomas Lorioux: upright bass 
Luis Mascaro: violin 

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest Photos and More

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest photos (located in Gierle, Belgium), as well as other photos from their 2019 European tour, have been added to the tour’s gallery. You can click HERE to view them.

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest

Heathen Apostles Sjockfest

Review of Herselt, Belgium Show By Rootsville Magazine

We have received a nice review from Rootsville Magazine of the Pallieter Café show in Herselt, Belgium, here is the English translation:

Heathen Apostles (US) 
Roots – Americana Noir 
Pallieter Café Herselt (08-07-2019)
reporter & photo credits: Freddie – Rootsville

Just back from the successful edition of Hookrock Festival and we are already back on track as they say. This time for four “Gothic Outlaws” from the “City of Angels” as a contradiction to it. These bringers of “Bloodgrass”, as they call it, go by the name Heathen Apostles, and consist of Mather Louth, Chopper Franklin, Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro.

Rootsville With this “Gothic Four” we end up in the past of American music history, but not exactly the traditional “American songbook”. Punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin has already played in groups such as “The Cramps” and “Nick Curran & The Lowlifes” and these are immediately names that stand out. Getting together with femme fatale Mather Louth, their mutual admiration for murder ballads, Americana Noir and Memento Mori came into the picture and soon Heathen Apostles was created. The band was completed by the addition of Thomas Lorioux and Luis Mascaro.

Rootsville Under the guise of their new album Dust to Dust they are now touring across Europe. On this Monday evening they are not at the gates of the Titty Twister in the Mexican hinterland, but simply at the Pallieter Café in Herselt , and we are grateful  to Kurt from the Rootstown agency for that.

There is a saying of “every bird sings as it is called”, but we still have to make some exception with the Heathen Apostles. This foursome has the dress code “Gothic Black” and this together with the skulls and tattoos may seem somewhat impressive but are all in all friendliness itself, even though there is suddenly an impressive Chopper Franklin for you to get acquainted with. The regular bass player Thomas Lorioux was not able to play the entire tour, so the Belgian Jens DeWaele, who we also know from the Ghent “Fifty Foot Combo” and “The Grave Brothers”, was hired as a replacement.

Since it was my first introduction to this “Bloodgrass” I didn’t know what to expect but these Heathen Apostles immediately caught my eye with songs like “Fool’s Gold” and “Death’s Head”. Mather Louth is a murder girl who can really sing and immediately catches your attention. In another outfit she could even be a “star” in any of the roots and / or Americana bands. The support of Chopper on the guitar, Jens on the double bass and the phenomenal Luis Mascaro on the fiddle make their “Bloodgrass” more than digestible, even more so you’ll immediately love it.

Rootsville Dark? Perhaps in the lyrics that are also about murder and destruction, but the music would almost encourage you to dance. The prominent presence of the fiddle also runs as a common thread throughout their performance. It becomes unreal when they perform a piece of Gershwin. “Summertime” was actually written by DuBose Heyward but due to commercial considerations only Gershwin was added. The Heathen Apostles version of this classic almost made me fall off my chair, and my compadre Vic immediately grabbed his smartphone to make a recording of it. It is simply a fine example of their abilities, as if Mather Louth has some DNA from diva Fitzgerald.

Of course we also get a lot of songs from their album Dust To Dust, such as an unbelievably strong version of the traditional “In The Pines”, a song that we also know in the versions of Lead Belly and Nirvana. This song has an exclaiming violin and fits perfectly in the picture of the Heathen Apostles. Respect!

Voilà, and so we are immediately in the mood to head towards the 44th edition of Sjockfest, all this next weekend at the Poeylehei in Gierle where we have a second meeting with these Heathen Apostles on the high mass of the “Rock” n Roll Highlight of the Year “.

You can read the original post HERE.

Rootsville

Heathen Apostles Photos and Video From Kempten, Germany Show

We have received some photos, along with a highlight video, from the Heathen Apostles’ June 15th show with Shawn James at 13th Floor Kulturetage in Kempten, Germany. It was a slammin’ night to a packed house and a great way to help Shawn wind down his tour as the Heathens began theirs. You can see Mather and Chopper open for Shawn as a duo on the Midwestern leg of his American tour, see more details HERE. Photos by Image of You (image-of-you.de), video by Bergshoen Media.