EMQ’s with PAK40

PAK40 Logo

EMQ’s with PAK40

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with York, England based Stoner/Sludge/Drone band PAK40. Huge thanks to drummer, Leo Hancill, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We’re called PAK40. We’re a ‘stoner’ drone band – just a two piece: drums and bass. We started when we were students – we used to drink and play kind of bluesy, janky, weird songs after Tom Waits/Primus, using electric guitar and boots and pint glasses and stuff. We recorded one called ‘Mar-Nar’ which circulated around our friends, that was fun.

I think we knew we’d start a band then. I remembered I had a drum kit at home in Sunderland and I brought it down and set it up. I didn’t have stands or anything – just went for a walk along the river and got some sticks to prop the cymbals on, used the frame of a bed for a clanking/rattling sound. We took it in turns to play drums or guitar/bass.

I actually dismissed metal out of hand – blues was my favourite and anything that wasn’t blues was rubbish. So, when I played guitar, it was Black Keys covers and when Andy played bass it was Primus covers.

I think really when I discovered Sleep and Om my drumming improved loads because it set an attainable bar, and that’s when we settled on a sound, for sure. That kind of crystalised the current arrangement.

How did you come up with your band name?

Andy and I are kind of nerds for old stuff – diesel-punk, WW2, Airfix, Ray Harryhausen films, etc. We were trying to name ourselves after some double-barrelled cannon I think, but ‘Pak40’ (German anti-tank gun) sounded loads better. ‘PAK40’ means a band to me, not a gun anymore. We try and steer clear of war stuff because…well, it’s not cool.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re based in York, UK. The metal scene isn’t as big as other places – I think PAK40 and my other band Redfyrn make up about 30% of the stoner rock in York. But we have ‘Northern Extremity’, and the North in general is good – it’s not far to Leeds, some big bands stop there on tour, same with Newcastle (which has a really good sort of grass-roots scene). Manchester, etc. Yeah, the North is good.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Latest release is called “Bunker”, our debut album – we recorded it in Feb 2020 in an air raid shelter-cum-rehearsal space in Bochum, DE. That was a fun trip – had a couple of friends Niklas and Krischan engineer and mix the album and sent it to Monolord’s drummer Esben Willems to master. We’re dead pleased with the end result and it’s been getting great feedback! Way better than I expected!

‘Sausage Roll’ (Bandcamp Audio)


Who have been your greatest influences?

For me, Om, Sleep, The Black Keys. That’s what got me into drumming and when we wrote the songs on Bunker that’s kind of where it all came from.

What first got you into music?

Teenage boredom, really. It was never a choice, it just sort of happened. Yeah, just curiosity and having nothing else going on when I was like 14 living in Sunderland.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Pass: maybe a second bassist would be cool? Or vocal harmonies. Yeah, too much choice. My girlfriend plays guitar – It’d be cool to have some nice sound effects over big riffs.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Desertfest, probably London. I’ve been twice and saw great bands both times – Sleep, Fu Manchu, Om, All Them Witches, too many – would love to be on the bill with any of them!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure it’ll be weird when it does.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for all your support, and if something is hard work it’s probably the world trying to get you to stop – doesn’t mean you should, but definitely think about it before you wear yourself out for no reason.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

He never died, and he wasn’t a rock star per-se, but I’d say Chris Hakius – Om’s OG drummer. Because I really want to see original-format Om…

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love playing music. I hate not having time to play music. And the price of rehearsal spaces. And carrying cymbals, that sucks too.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Get rid of it? For the sake of money, crap is piped into everyone’s ears while genuine art goes unheard.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Lysol” by Melvins – it’s somehow short and epic at the same time.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I’d have to say Cassettes. The bit in the middle of “Bunker” where the tape flips really adds to the suspense and the album pace.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Head of Steam in Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2019 – great to play in my homeland to a large and receptive audience, great gig.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Writing? Carving? Something creative still, for sure.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I hate dinner parties, so probably 5 people I could go do something else with. My mates – we could just play Age of Empires instead.

What’s next for the band?

We have about 3 albums worth of unreleased material, can’t wait to rehearse that and write more. Touring, hopefully! More gigs, more albums, more everything!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook. Check out Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings and Panurus Productions on Bandcamp – They’re great dudes: they released our album and have loads of other cool stuff in their inventory.

Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings

Panurus Productions

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Like a small cake, I guess.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Maybe they need to be bigger to be a cake!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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