Little Hole Filled is a doom/stoner/sludge quartet from Austria that I got to know thanks to Instagram. This band, founded in 1996 «in the deepest woods» of their country, released their first full-length And The Ants Still March On in October 2020 – a record which is highly recommended for everybody who likes the aforementioned genres and diverse heavy music in general. Today, we present to you our interview with vocalist and guitarist Philipp Diesenreiter who introduces you to the world of Little Hole Filled.
Hi Philipp, thanks a lot for your time. How are you doing?
Philipp Diesenreiter: Hi there! Thanks. I’m doing great. Due to being a live sound engineer during the pandemic, I have a lot of time on my hands and quite honestly I enjoy that. Playing guitar, making music, reading and sport and time with my lady. But I really miss drinking draught beer with my friends in a pub and talking away the night.
How are you dealing with the current situation? Did the pandemic destroy a lot of your plans with Little Hole Filled?
To be honest, I think we would not have released our debut album without the pandemic. I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands and started producing demos for the songs we had. And by doing that we realized we had enough material for an album and started recording our stuff. Normally, we don’t play a lot of live shows as we live in different parts of Austria and we all have family and/or job obligations and therefore we can’t rehearse together as much as we would like to and each gig needs a lot of preparation to be tight again. So the pandemic didn’t slow us down on that front as we were already at slug pace. But now, as we have our album released, we can’t wait playing it live for the first time!
I suppose that many readers don’t know Little Hole Filled yet. Please tell us something about your history and your musical vision.
We go back a long way as we started the band as four friends from the same rural area in 1996 and we’ve been making music in that line-up since then. And we started writing our own music from the beginning. When we started, we were rather influenced by 90s metal bands such as Pantera, Machine Head, Sepultura, Helmet and Rage Against The Machine than by bands like Crowbar and Kyuss. We rehearsed more or less once a week, recorded an early demo and played a bit more live gigs at that time but when we started studying and working and began to live in different cities, that got less. But we still rehearsed and wrote songs all that years. And all that time we got into doom, stoner and sludge more and more and that began to show in our songs more dominantly. In 2009, we recorded our Far Beyond The Horizon Of The Sun demo with some older and some new songs that we digitally released some years later on my mini-DIY Label !records. And around that time, we started experimenting more with recording our music and demos and that led to a more focused working and composing process that finally led to our debut album that we digitally released on my label in October 2020. About a month after the release, I met a friend who works for an indie label in Vienna, Konkord Records. They are vinyl afficionados and have international distribution and he told me they always wanted to have a metal band in their roaster. And so we decided to put out a vinyl version as well which really is a kind of dream come true for us. If all goes well, the vinyl will be out in March. Regarding our musical vision: for me, our music always has to have a little of that emotional impact of a Crowbar song. That’s what I try to aim for when I write a riff and that’s also what we try to aim for as a band. Power and emotional impact.
Why did it take so long to release your first full-length?
As an amateur band, living in different cities and with (time) demanding jobs and families stuff needs time. (laughs) And we mostly played and wrote music for our own pleasure and did not think of an album that much. And somehow in the last two years, we found a good way of working on music not only during rehearsals but also from home by sending ideas to and fro via internet and that really sped up our song writing process.
How would you describe the feedback you received after releasing And The Ants Still March On?
So far most people who have heard it really dig it and the few reviews we got are all really, really great. Sadly, we don’t have any budget for promotion and I do that all by myself, and without an PR agency I have a feeling that it is hard to come trough to some of the bigger blogs and magazines. I do hope that the vinyl version will open some doors for more reviews and more coverage. On the other hand the doom and stoner scene is really fantastic and supportive and welcomes new bands with a lot of love and support and there are great blogs and YouTube portals and social media groups out there that share our love of that music and help us with coverage.
What do you think of And The Ants Still March On? What’s your favourite track on it?
Well, I really love that album. I think it’s really diverse and no two songs are alike, but it still has a natural flow and consistency and sounds like coming from one band. I also love the cover very much! (done by BLAEK Design Studio). My favourite track is «Boneyard Blues». I really put a lot of effort into the lyrics trying to set a vibe that suits the epic riffs. And «Trippoziod» I also love a lot. I always say it’s my New Orleans vibe song. Swampy and trippy but heavy as fuck. And I am quite proud of the production. Everyone recorded his part at his home and I think that worked out great and the album sounds full and punchy.
Who is responsible for the songwriting?
We all write the music. Sometimes together, sometimes a lot of a songs are written at home by one member and then worked on by the band. For example «Sprout» is written by our drummer, «Boneyard Blues» and «Trippoziod» are written by me and «And The Ants Still March On» was a collective work. The lyrics are all written by me.
«Weiße Wänd» is a bit different. Please tell us more about this number.
We always had some fast and eruptive songs in our repertoire that are influenced by hardcore or the faster songs of Crowbar. And we also always had songs in the German language. And that riffs of «Weiße Wänd» are just a lot of fun to play, sort of big balls riffs that start a moshpit with kung fu kicks. And textwise it’s inspired by the book Andorra by Max Frisch. The scene in the book where the protagonist loses his mind because of the antisemitic violence and begins painting a plaza with white paint is stuck in my mind for years.
On our blog, we focus on epic metal and (epic) doom metal. How would you define the term «epic» regarding music? We received a lot of different answers regarding this topic in the last months.
Hmm… First of all clean vocals and vocal lines and melodies that grab your brain and bring you to sing along and raise your fist. And maybe parts that feel almost overwhelming, be it with a feeling of power or emotions of despair or hope.
What do you generally think about the Austrian metal scene? Are there any young metal bands over there that you would like to recommend to our readers?
There are some great bands and labels here. And also some good, smaller venues that book bands from the doom and stoner scene. Thosar from Graz are a band that you have to check out if you like brutal duos, just bass and drums but massive! Anderwelt from Linz just released a fantastic album. Ryte from Vienna made it on a lot of «best of 2020» lists for a reason. I am waiting for a new album of Liquid Earth as the last single is intense. Then there is Saturnists, also from Graz. A lot of interesting stuff in the underground if you dig a little.
What was the last record you listened to before answering my questions?
That was Hell Is Inside You by Sky Pig.
What was your favourite album released in 2020?
Death The Leveller – II. Immediately made it on my «Top 5 of all times» list. Epic, eerie and a lot of feeling and goosebumps.
Last question: What’s your opinion on social media platforms? I talked to a lot of young musicians and most of them stated that they are very important for them nowadays in order to reach a larger audience.
I think they are very important. Especially Facebook with a lot of groups that cater to doom and stoner and sludge music with 20,000 or more members. You can reach a lot of people there and especially some of the administrators of those groups are very supportive and help by spreading your music to a larger audience and also help getting recognized by blogs that write reviews and such. Instagram also is really good, especially for contacting other bands and I personally got more feedback from metalblogs when messaging them on Instagram instead of writing a mail. And when you start from nowhere, with no one knowing you, that’s very important.
Philipp, I’m happy that I got to know you and your band thanks to Instagram. Many thanks for your time. Stay safe. I look forward to my vinyl version of And The Ants Still March On. It’s really a wonderful record.