Slow, Loud & Bleedin': haarp's New Orleans Sludge Backs Up into Bayou City
"You know, really, he's the same guy in all of those circumstances," Sierra says. "He keeps it upbeat and he jokes around, and there's not really a time when he gets too heavy on the business side or too heavy on being the record-label guy. He's always just down to earth, and he's more of our friend than anything."
Anselmo has a lot of friends in Houston, and haarp seems sure to receive a warm, sweaty embrace by the Down fans in attendance Saturday. The group has already risen to the top of the New Orleans metal scene: Last year, they were named the city's Best Metal Band at the Big Easy Music Awards.
The apocalyptic pain of Hurricane Katrina -- keenly felt in Houston -- and the daunting inevitability of NOLA's slow rebuild thoroughly inform haarp songs like "A New Reign" and "The Fall, the Rise." But Sierra says his city's metal scene has emerged healthy and secure in the storm's disorienting aftermath.
"There are a number of bands that are well-known: You have your Eyehategods, your Soilent Greens, your Goatwhores, your Downs, all those bands," he says. "You have the next level of bands that are pretty good and have a good following in the New Orleans scene, and then you have a lot of younger players that are comin' out with new bands and a lot of small bands in the New Orleans area and surrounding areas like Lafayette, so it's pretty good.
"The scene's doing well, and it has a lot of different bands and a lot of talent up there making music."
Sierra and his bandmates are headed back to New Orleans as soon as the Down tour wraps up to finalize the artwork for their new record and play a few shows around its release.
"Then we go straight back to the room," he says. "We're gonna write some new stuff and record some more music for a split that's gonna come out on Housecore. We'll throw in little shows here and there when we can; we all have day jobs and we got bills to pay at home and things to do, so it kind of limits us, you know. We'd like to get out more than we can, but it's kind of difficult right now."
Whether they come back sooner or later, we've got a hunch that Saturday won't be haarp's last trip to Houston -- not if Phil Anselmo has anything to say about it. Check 'em out this weekend so you can say you saw their first show in town.
With Down, 8 p.m. Saturday at Warehouse Live.
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