Australia’s Hope Drone are one of my favorite current metal bands. They write really long black metal with lots of atmospheric post metal thrown in to the mix. Their last album, Cloak Of Ash, came out last year and completely entranced me upon first listen. The opening track, ‘Unending Grey’, especially caught my attention with it’s 20 minutes of incredibly beautiful black metal. It’s a must listen for fans of Ashbringer, Deafheaven, and Barbelith.
Guitarist Karl Hartwig was kind enough to nerd out on The Simpsons for me so read this and then check out Cloak Of Ash!
What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
I grew up in the 90’s so I was pretty much around and paying attention for the best years of the show. I can’t remember my specifically what episode I saw first.
Who is your favorite character?
Homer, any of the Phil Hartman characters.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
I find it impossible to narrow it down to even a favourite season but the X-files episode was pretty iconic and I remember the hype around it when it first aired on TV. One of my favourite underrated gags is in The Boy Who Knew Too Much from season 5 so I’ll mention that.
The Simpsons has had a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
If we’re counting Phil Hartman as a guest then Lionel Hutz/Troy McClure, if we’re less frequent collaborations James Woods, Leonard Nimoy, Mulder and Scully and Johnny Cash playing a coyote.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
The shows quality is pretty dismal these days so probably not an artist I’m actually a fan of. If the show was still good, I’d say Abbath would probably have fun with it.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of Hope Drone?
Chris is pretty much Lionel Hutz so I’m going to have to go with him.
Do you have a favorite musical number from the show? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
“Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!” should just be a real thing. There’s not much to be done with a cover so Buried at Sea can just do the monorail song.
I’ve always thought that Lisa Simpson would be the one character to eventually discover metal or punk. Which character do you think will be a metal head?
Maggie would probably be into stuff like Sunn O))).
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember why you stopped watching?
I think it was the early to mid-teens in terms of season when I stopped watching. The quality just declined generally; the jokes were less timeless, everything just felt more forced and the quality of guest stars and their implementation declined, the cultural and intertextual references became clumsier as well. The humour shifted into more non-sequitur Family Guy styled jokes and the premise of each episode became more like the over-the-top content you’d expect from Halloween specials. There was a period in the season 9/10 transition and maybe even earlier where they let the ridiculousness in and balanced it well and still produced a good show but at some point it slowly fell apart. I still check in occasionally but the show just doesn’t hold a candle to what it used to be, some bits from the classic era still make me laugh every time without fail despite the amount of times I’ve seen them.
Finally, how would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
In an ideal world, I’d like it to have a return to form in terms of quality.