Khemmis is an American doomed heavy metal band from Denver, Colorado.
Their debut record, 'Absolution,' earned the four-piece outright critical praise from the underground, including a slot on Decibel Magazine‘s ’Top 40 Albums of the Year‘ list, which allowed them to start seeping into the mainstream consciousness. 2016's 'Hunted' helped break down those final barriers in the USA Earning them a spot in Rolling Stone‘s '20 Best Metal Albums of 2016' list and Decibel‘s highly sought after Album of the Year accolade. With their latest record, 'Desolation,' Khemmis have finally reached a more international audience, winning over hearts and minds across the globe. They also released their album Mini Album “Doomed Heavy Metal” this year.
Twinmusix got to speak to Zach Coleman from Khemmis about their new album and more.
ZC - Hi, how are you?
TM - Good, how is your day going?
ZC - Alright, just busy doing interviews. How is your day going?
TM - Just starting, woke up had a tea and now talking to you.
ZC - What day is it there?
TM - Saturday at 10 AM, how about there?
ZC - It's 6 PM here on Friday night, just finishing up the workweek.
TM - Awesome, I hope you have a great weekend.
ZC - I hope you have a great one too.
TM - You just released your new album "Doomed Heavy Metal" what was your writing and recording process?
ZC - The whole thing started when we recorded this song "Empty Throne" which we did for Decibel Magazine. They have a Flexi disc series so we recorded a track for that. After that, we recorded our second album "Hunted" which was a fairly limited release.
Then Dave who runs 20 bucks spin pitched to us putting out this EP with "Empty Throne" and another cover we had done "A Conversation with Death" which was a fairly limited split 7-inch release with our friend's band "Spirit Adrift".
We all love the album " Fandango! by ZZ Top" and we kind of used that as a blueprint for doing a half live half studio album. We had to back to back shows in Denver and we decided to set up and record that. Then we needed one more track so we decided to do a "DIO" cover of "Rainbow in the Dark".
TM - What made you want to do the "Dio" cover "Rainbow in the Dark"?
ZC - It goes back to one of our first tours where we were listening to a bunch of "Dio" in the van on the drives and our singer Phil pitched the idea to cover a "Dio" song. We talked about doing a cover for this album and it came back up. We always wanted to cover Dio, and it just seemed like it would be a little unexpected, but we could bring out the flavour to the song but still honour original. It was a fun track to cover and once we started working on it just came together really quickly.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs, what band would it be, what song would it be and in your style or their style?
ZC - I would like King Diamond to do one of our songs in his style. I am a huge King Diamond fan and he's still going. I would also like to hear something from Thin Lizzy.
TM - That would be cool, both great choices!
TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live, can you tell us a story?
ZC - When I was a teenager I was a stagehand and help build stages, I was working a festival and "Eddie Money" was one of the headliners. He got was f***** up and after the second song, he walks over to the side of the stage where no one in the audience can see him and pukes everywhere right down the stairs that lead up to the stage projectile vomits. Without missing a beat turns around to walk straight back on stage and goes alright the next song is ... and I was like well that's a professional right there. That is awesome, Mabey he was sick that day.
TM - (laughs) what a great story, I can't believe he kept on playing either. What is your favourite festival then?
ZC - I think it has got to be Roadburn we got to play that a couple of years ago. The thing that stood out to me of how much of a family environment it is. A lot of people have been going to it since the start, it feels like everyone knows each other and it is a really good atmosphere. Everyone was having a good time and it was run well. We have also played Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest in Philadelphia, which is a great festival as well.
TM - I'll have to check out Decibel Metal And Beer.
ZC - Yeh it started in Fillmore but now it's also in other places and they have all been cool different line ups for the bands it is killer. It has a real family vibe to the festival.
TM - I get that family Vibe because every year we go back to Hellfest and It is like seeing family, so I understand where you are coming from.
ZC - I've been dying to go to Hellfest, hopefully, we can do that next year that would be awesome.
TM - We would love to see you there!. Hopefully, we get to catch you there next year.
TM - What's your favourite memory with your fans?
ZC - I think some of the coolest things is what our fans have told us what our music means to them. They live some pretty intense lives and tell us that our music helps their PTSD and cancer patients telling us that our music gets them through their day. It is huge and I am honoured because I have a band like that. There is a couple of guys from Chicago that are our fans and if they can make our shows they always come along, we did a handful of the tour dates and they would bring us Booze and food and hang out with us, they are nice guys.
TM - That is cool, It is always nice to have a good fan base.
TM - If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and why?
ZC - I would collaborate with Tom Waits, I think I would learn a lot and I love his lyrics.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
ZC - Thank You for all your support and we hope you are staying safe at this time and we hope everyone likes our Album.
TM - Thank You for this interview today, we appericate it and cannot wait to see you on the road.
Album - https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/4108178.khemmis.html