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TGF Spotlight: Deathchant

They’ve been compared to Black Sabbath and Motörhead with their diehard fans describing them as ‘Thin Lizzy on amphetamine’. We just know they will be your new favourite band. We witnessed them play at Desertfest London in early May and saw how their energy radiates throughout the crowd, anyone lucky to experience Deathchant live will be suffering from a bang-over for days to come.

We caught up with lead singer and guitarist T.J. to find out more about Deathchant’s influences, how they create their sound and the best new music in L.A:

Can you tell us about the birth of Deathchant?

T.J: Deathchant started around 2017 or so when my old band CHILD started messin’ with dual guitar harmonies a bunch. I always wanted to do something heavy with classic nwobhm (New Wave British Heavy Metal), rock n roll, and proto metal influences but with a modern sound. Roll with the 70s influence without sounding like a fuckin’ cover band or some dumb throwback wank fest thing. CHILD fell apart and Deathchant came outta the ashes. Just sorta happened naturally. The name is a nod to the first John Fahey record & the buddhist Bardo concept of a transitional phase between lives. I used to release field recordings of Indian street music under the name Deathchant too. 

Can you tell us a bit more about other bands and artists that have influenced you and your sound?

T.J: Oh man, this ones always tough because there’s so many. The obvious classics – Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Iron Claw, Sabbath, High Rise, Blue Cheer, Blitzkrieg, Pagan Altar, old Metallica… then theres newer shit like Malady, Old man gloom, Trouble, his hero is gone, OVER-GAIN OPTIMAL DEATH (OGOD)… There aren’t many modern bands that influence our sound but OGOD, Danava, Glowing Brain, Saviours, etc. all rule… I played drums in a sort of High Rise reunion band with Narita Munehiro and Jasso from OGOD. That bent my brain a bit, got me thinking about noise differently. Also love Turkish psych stuff like Selda and tons of classic country music which I was raised on… I think some of that comes through here [and] there with the guitar bends [and] such.

Want to listen to any of the above? Deathchant have curated the playlist for you. 

Photographer: Zak DeFreese


Your last album ‘Waste’ was released in 2021, how would you describe the transition from your first album to the second album?

T.J: WASTE was a much different animal than the self titled. Different time, different lineup, different drugs haha… the first album was a hodgepodge of tunes written over a year or so with no real intention of having a cohesive singular vision. WASTE was the exact opposite – wanted a record that was intentional and thematic. A lot happened in between those 2 records man, some great some not so great. WASTE reflects a lot of change and turmoil while the self titled one sorta has a stoney comfort to it. 

What does the average songwriting process look like for Deathchant?

T.J: I demo the tune and mess with riffs, runs, harmonies and lyrics and throw it all together 8 track style, then bring shit to practice and we dig in and fill everything out together. This lineup is fairly new too and I see writing tunes a buncha different ways in the future. I almost always cook shit up while driving or sitting in my truck. Strange huh? 

Any new music on the horizon? 

T.J: Oh hell yea! We just finished our 3rd record – it’s called THRONES. It’s definitely our best yet and combines n’ builds on the strongest elements of the previous two. The songs and style have definitely solidified and reached a higher level of maturity. Like the vision is fully realized now. 

Photographer: Chaniiz Johnson

What do you think of the alternative music scene in L.A., Are there any bands that should be on our radar? 

T.J: Again… OGOD rules. Glowing brain. Danava. Blazing eye. Public acid. Only 2 of those are from L.A. though, fuck. hahaha. L.A. needs a good ol’ kick in the ass ‘n shot in the arm. Permanent records in Cypress Park keeps pushin’ the scene forward. Our label, riding easy, is always diggin’ for cool stuff too. 

What’s on the agenda for 2023?

T.J: Releasing THRONES (Deathchant 3) and more touring. Hopefully get over to Australia, Mexico, more of the states (we have yet to tour the south). Partyin’. Bringing our live show to as many countries as possible because we are very much a “live band.” 

Catch Deathchant on the last legs of their European Tour and follow Deathchant on Instagram for up to date tour announcements.

Listen to Deathchant Here:

Spotify, Apple Music

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