|Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine|
L-R: Justin Greaves, Stephen O'Malley, Greg Anderson, Lee Dorrian
|Years active||2000 - 2001|
|Labels||Rise Above Records, Southern Lord Records|
|Associated acts||Electric Wizard, Sunn O))), Cathedral, Iron Monkey, With The Dead, Burning Witch, Thorr's Hammer, Goatsnake, Khanate, Crippled Black Phoenix, Varukers|
The project was founded when Stephen O'Malley was touring with Sunn O))) alongside Goatsnake and met Justin Greaves, expressing interest in a project that would be in a similar vein to early Melvins. The band even reached out to Mark Deutrom for their bassist but ultimately was unavailable. Not long after the band evolved into more of a drone project with drums. The band jammed as an instrumental trio with Marvin Gauntlett and performed live once in this incarnation at The Old Angel in Nottingham. Soon after Greg Anderson, who happened to be in England at the time, joined on bass with Lee Dorrian on vocals soon following.
In an interview with Swedish zine Hand of Doom, O'Malley explains how the project formed.
|“|| "SUNN O))) and GOATSNAKE toured the UK together in June 2000, during which I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mr. Justin Greaves. Following the tour I spent time in Nottingham with Greaves and his family, and spent time jamming and writing the foundations of which would become the ziggurat of TEETH OF LIONS RULE THE DIVINE. At that incarnation we were an instrumental 3 piece with Marvin from Varukers on bass guitar. We wrote some material re-arranged the KILLDOZER cover track and played one gig at The Old Angel there in Nottingham town centre. Following this and spreading some rehearsal tapes to Anderson and Dorrian, We converged again in Nottingham during winter 2000/2001 post-masochistic mental abuse to sort out this grimm thought pattern and lay some heavy doses down in the miniscule studio Thumb. Dorrian completed the vocals later in the year and Anderson and Billy Anderson mixed/mastered in San Francisco during the autumn 2001. Here we are.
[On attaining Billy Anderson] Since Dorrian had recorded Endtyme with him in mid 2000, and Anderson had several association with him it became a natural choice. Billy has the ear and neurons to complete the fourth phase of this complicated transcontinental dirge.
The concept to me was originally twofold. Justin and I wanted to feel like we were playing early MELVINS tracks and ultimately the play with timing separates your mind form the atmosphere, or influences it, to the point that it really is altering reality. The performance and experience is a method of gravitational and temporal manipulation. The end result ended up closer to SUNN O))) with drums and a madman rather than the original ideas however, which was to be expected. Remember to breathe."
— Stephen O'Malley, Hand of Doom E-Zine
This lineup composed an album entitled Rampton, released in 2002 on Southern Lord and Rise Above Records. Rampton featured two original songs and a cover of "New Pants and Shirt" by Killdozer along with featuring an emphasis on drums working around the drones, something Sunn O))) would rarely ever utilize. Notably, the title of the band's name originates from a song by the band Earth and a track on "2: Special Low Frequency Version". Also one of the original songs "The Smiler", shares the same riff as "Mocking Solemnity" by Sunn O))). The album's title references a mental hospital in Coventry.
In two different interviews, Justin Greaves has given insight into the formation of the band, the process of recording Rampton and the unlikely possibility of a follow-up.
|“|| ‘I love that, it’s one of my most proud moments. Not a lot of people like it, I don’t think people get it and I understand that because it is a very difficult record to listen to. It was born out of me and Stephen O’Malley, we were having a conversation, talking about our love for The Melvins. So after that conversation he came over and stayed at my house for a while. At first it was me and Stephen and Marvin from The Varukers playing bass, just the three of us. We had a show in Nottingham and we had just had one rehearsal. We wrote the songs and rehearsed them in one day, and that night we were playing a show with Armour Of God, and Stephen was there so we just played the set that night. That was like early on in the year.’
(On the crowd's reaction to the Armour of God set) ‘Uhm, they were pretty much crushed, people falling over and stuff haha! Stephen of course brought a stack of Sunn 0))) amps, so it was like a wall of sound. Even recording it man, we recorded it in a fairly small room, and the sound was just so oppressive you could heard the compression. You could feel your chest pound when we were playing and recording it. It was a very thick sound, and it wasn’t even in a big studio or something. We recorded it in a studio of a friend of mine which was literally around the corner from my house.’
(On the line-up of choice) ‘No, but Stephen came over again and at this time Lee from Cathedral was down with doing the vocals, and we wanted to have Mark Deutrom who used to be the bass player in The Melvins. But Mark was really really ill, so Stephen asked Greg Anderson to play with us and he came over to do it. We rehearsed the songs the night before and then had a discussion about how we were gonna record it since we all live in different countries and play in different bands and such. So we decided to record the whole thing the next day. It really destroyed us all to record that record, I mean at that time, this was before all the drone sort of bands, like five or six years ago, at the time it was so extreme. It was experimental doom stuff, it had the pedal walls, where Stephen and Greg would just fool around with their pedals creating all sorts of sounds. There was no way we could record that sound the way we experienced it in that rehearsal room. But it is what it is and I love that album.’
‘Hopefully. I’d love to do it. I mean I’ve spoken to everybody about it, it’s been mentioned. I was talking to Lee about it too actually, he has some ideas about it as well. But next time we gotta do it right, with more time and such, so we can think about what were doing.’
— Justin Greaves, MetalRage
|“|| That was one of those things where we were all in a certain place at a certain time. I met Steve before Sunn O))) had even released their first album, and I think they were supporting Goatsnake on one of their tours – they were playing in some really small little clubs and I think I met him in Derby. So we got talking and we thought it would be cool to do some ridiculous band that would “out-Melvins the Melvins’ first album,” y’know? We just thought it would be a cool thing to do. And then Steve came over and stayed at my house and we got to jamming and talking about ideas; originally the plan was to have Mark Deutrom (who was in the Melvins at the time) to play bass on it and we booked a studio around the corner from my house which was like a broom-cupboard. But then Mark went AWOL – he just sort of disappeared – but as it happened, Greg was in the country at the time and he said “I’ll play bass on it” so he came and played the bass. And then because we were all friends with Lee (I’d known him for a long, long time) we said “Come do some shouting on it” and that’s how it happened. We just basically jammed it in the evening, just made it up as we went along and then recorded it the next day – we just did it all live in one day and that was it.
(On being asked about the band) Yeah, occasionally, but the question is always: will there be another album? But who knows? I mean, me and Steve have talked about it and if we were ever in the same situation again and it was spur of the moment and it was spontaneous then it could happen but we wouldn’t want to plan it because that would turn it into something else and we’d probably be thinking about it too much. We’ve both been so busy with our own things over the last few years anyway that it’s rare that we see each other but every time we talk we sort of mention it. We came close to doing a second album – that was right before I started Crippled Black Phoenix. In fact, some of the really early CBP demos that we never used I originally did for the Teeth of Lions thing, it was really slow and heavy but then I got into CBP and that was the last time we really made an effort to do it. But who knows? I would never rule it out but I think it’s very, very unlikely [laughs].
(On Earth being an influence) I don’t think they were a particular influence on the music that we made but Steve was the one who brought the idea forward of using that name and it was a kind of a tribute to Earth. But we didn’t sit down and discuss that we wanted to do a band like Earth or anything, it was just a cool idea.
— Justin Greaves, The Sleeping Shaman
- Lee Dorrian Vocals (Hexing Pariah) (As "ALF Antisocial")
- Justin Greaves Drums (Avalanche) (As "Crippled Black Phoenix")
- Stephen O'Malley Guitar (Flagellation In Beautiful Sixes) (As "Drone Slut")
- Greg Anderson Bass (Of The Night Goat) (As "Mystik Kliff Macabre")
- ↑ / Hand of Doom E-Zine via Wayback Machine Interview with Teeth of Lions Rule The Divine, accessed 17 April 2020
- ↑ Metal Archives
- ↑ Metal Rage Justin Greaves - A Trip Down Memory Lane, accessed 7 January 2017
- ↑ The Sleeping Shaman Justin Greaves: Interview With The Infamous Musician, accessed 7 January 2017