Unless someone else takes over the organizing, the Stoner Hands of Doom festival is in its fifth and final year. An annual festival of all bands rock/metal/doom/sludge and loud as hell, it's time to pack up the bong one final time (yeah, right), and head down to Berbati's for some head-banging and tinnitus. SHOD's last year is loaded with incredible rock acts--from mind-melting drone gods SUNN0))) to local Klingon metallists Stovokor--who have no problem speaking for themselves.

Mike plays guitar and sings for local doom metal band YOB. He also plays D&D.

What's your favorite band playing at SHOD?

"Tough call. I'd have to split it between two bands: Ludicra from SF--they're AMAZING black metal with original feelings and bombastic insane ripping speed--and Wormwood, which is the soundtrack to the apocalypse, crushing HEAVINESS and subharmonics, the ritual death throes of our planet put to music."

What's your most expensive piece of equipment?

"Fuck, all of it is really expensive. Gear snobs, that's us. Probably my Matamp stack ($4500) is our single most expensive indulgence."

Do you have to use a shitload of equipment to play so loud?

"Yeah, we use a bunch of gear. Isamu and I will both be running two ampheads with multiple speaker cabinets. Our goal is to run everyone out of the club at one in the morning. Maybe not, but we will be LOUD."

Did any of you guys play role-playing games?

"I used to play Dungeons and Dragons! Now I play METAL. Fucked up, isn't it."

Porn (Men of) play sludgy, feedback-addicted rock. Bassist Billy Anderson answers questions.

Why did you decide to start your new album, Experiments in Feedback, with a 12-minute Pink Floyd cover?

Basically, it went like this: How can we ensure that the fewest number of people will listen to the entire album? How can we piss off potential fans in large numbers? How do we get the attention of the major-label A&R geeks, and convince them to offer us a multi-billion dollar record contract? How will we achieve our life goal of mansions and sports cars and teenage stalkers? What's the very last logical choice for an opening track? What would Andrew W.K. do? Hey, I got it! A long-winded, self-indulgent, annoyingly noisy cover of a song that only old men and pretentious limey art-hippies listen to.

Did you do a lot of experimenting when coming up with the sounds on this record?

"Not at all. It was all written in secluded conservatories by master composers, dictated to scribes from the Vienna Opera, and we actually just read it from sheet music. Really, though, like anyone could have actually PLANNED that trainwreck."

Do you consider your music more stoner or more doom?

"To be honest, I never thought of it as anything other than LOUD. We definitely throw the rock, dude. It's flesh-eating party music."

Meg Castellanos plays anvil-heavy bass in the badass Oakland metal band Totimoshi.

What are your thoughts on this SHOD possibly being the last? Are you super bummed-out style?

"We don't get "super bummed out" style about anything.... Christ, we've had our van stolen, [guitarist/vocalist] Tony [Aguilar]'s touring with a separated shoulder, our pitbull had a toe amputated, and we're still dancing."

Rockers Mountain Maker join us from Long Beach, and promise to tear down the house. Bassist Rick Martinez talks.

Why do so many metal bands include the word mountain in their name?

"The word 'mountain' just sounds so epic. We try and write epic-sounding songs where the next riff sounds heavier than the previous."

Why should stoner rock/doom fans come see your band?

"Riffs, riffs, and nothing but the riffs."

John Cobbett plays guitar in SF's black metal superstars Ludicra, Hammers of Misfortune, AND Amber Asylum. What can't he do, really?

What do you think about SHOD ending? Will metal in the US be the same without it?

"Metal will go on in the States regardless, in its usual marginalized form. It was nice to have a U.S. festival, but SHOD typically focused more on what's commonly known as "stoner rock." Being a newer and somewhat backward nation, the U.S. still lags behind Europe and other more culturally advanced locales when it comes to metal. It's a shame, however, if SHOD is ending. The way things are going, I'd think that the future would be pretty bright for an enlightened heavy music festival in North America."

What do you think about the notion that you gotta have bigger equipment to rock harder?

"A good craftsperson always has the right tools. However, if you have no craft, the best tools in the world will do you no good."

California band God's Iron Tooth vocalist Phil White answers that last question:

What do you think about the notion that you gotta have bigger equipment to rock harder?

"It's all a dick measuring contest--who's got the most gear, who plays the loudest, yadda yadda, yadda... like Michael Gira once said about the Swans, it's more about [producing] a physical impact, a force that just knocks you over. On that note, I think Gods Iron Tooth has the biggest dicks in town."

As does Pat Freed, bassist/vocalist of Seattle tribal, synth-infused metal band Wormwood:

"It's not just about the size of the equipment--it's also about how long you can make your songs last."

Stoner Hands of Doom, Fri Aug 29-Sun Aug 30, Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579. Individual tickets are $13 adv/$15 day of show. A three-day pass is available ($35 adv/$40 day of show). Advance tickets available from Ticketswest.com or by emailing

finalshod@hotmail.com .


Friday 8/29


5:00-5:30 God's Iron Tooth (California)

5:50-6:20 The Prophecy (UK)

6:40-7:10 Mourning Beloveth (Ireland)

7:30-8:00 Graves at Sea (Phoenix)

8:20-8:50 Orodruin (New York)

9:10-9:50 Floor (Florida)

10:10-10:50 Goatsblood (Vancouver B.C.)

11:10-11:50 Morgion (LA)

12:10-12:50 SUNN 0))) (LA/NYC)

1:10-2:00 YOB (Eugene)

Saturday 8/30


2:00-2:30 Avoid the Future Shadow (Eugene)

2:50-3:20 Floating Goat (SF)

3:40-4:10 Jecano (England)

4:30-5:00 Secret Order of Tusk (SF)

5:20-5:50 Mountain Maker (Long Beach)

6:10-6:40 Stovokor (Qu'onos the Klingon Homeworld)

7:00-7:40 Fall of the Bastards (Portland)

8:00-8:40 Iommi Stubbs (Portland)

9:00-9:40 The Lizards (New York)

10:00 -10:40 Fireballs of Freedom (Portland)

11:00-11:40 Ludicra (SF)

12:00-12:40 Porn (the Men of) (SF)

1:00-2:00 Bottom (SF)

Sunday 8/31


2:00-2:30 Ditchliquor (Portland)

2:50-3:20 Castrati (Seattle)

3:40-4:10 Argonaut (Tacoma)

4:30-5:00 Greenhouse Effect (SF)

5:20-5:50 Sons of Serro (Phoenix)

6:10-6:40 M-Squad (New York)

7:00-7:30 Diesto (Portland)


7:50-8:20 Ten Miles Wide (BC)

8:40-9:10 Turambar (Denver)

9:30-10:00 Hillbilly Devilspeak (Phoenix)

10:20-11:00 Turbo 400 (Eureka)

11:20-12:00 Wormwood (Seattle)

12:20-1:00 Subarachnoid Space (SF)

1:20-2:00 Totimoshi (SF)