Updated: 10/14/02

The most adventurous band currently playing metal is not from England or some Scandanavian country -- face towards the Pacific Northwestern region of the States and become acquanited with the artistic soundscapes of Agalloch. Their latest album, The Mantle, has been reaping a ton of critical praise. Going so far beyond normal metal boundaries, one suspects that Agalloch has created a whole new catagory of music that is all their own. Read on about the elusive Agalloch, and be sure to acquire a copy of The Mantle for yourself and enevelope yourself within it's darkened visions.

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Agalloch and how long the band has been together.

I am John Haughm and I am one of the guitarists, vocalist, drummer, photographer, designer, and overall mastermind behind Agalloch. It was conceptualized and officially started between December 1995 - January 1996, and it has functioned as a full band since 1997.

What is the metal scene like in Portland and how does Agalloch fit in?

There is Thy Infernal (black metal), Lord Gore (old Carcass worship), Wraithen (dark/black metal - recently broke up), and several horrible thrash and death metal bands. Agalloch does not fit in at all with the local scene and we are perfectly fine with that.

Where do you get the ideas for the lyrics -- what are some of the things you are inspired by?

Personal experiences, dreams, fear, hope, despair, drunkeness, hate, and so on. I'm actually, for the most part, quite sick of writing lyrics.

Has Agalloch ever played live and if so, what have the shows been like?

Agalloch never played live. We are trying to change that...

Who did the photography on the album and were these pics taken in Portland?

I took the photos and all of them were taken in downtown Portland.

If you had to describe the music of Agalloch to someone who has never heard it before, what would you say?

Well I'd rather not. It likely would not be someone who would fully understand a term like "dark metal" or something. Usually when this happens, I just tell them "dark rock" and then hope the conversation will end at that. If it was someone in the metal community, I would just try to name some comparable bands and tell them to check out some MP3 samples.

Is Don Anderson still doing Sculptured and have you ever worked with him on his projects?

I played drums on Apollo Ends and contributed some backing vocals on The Spear.... Sculptured is still alive and well and he is currently working on the 3rd album amid his ongoing involvement with Agalloch.

What other musical projects are you/have you been involved with?

I have been involved with Sculptured, Nothing, Landfill, Lotus 78, A Den Of Wolves, and a few others.

I was wondering if you have heard of Windham Hell, a band I believe is in your area, and what you think of them?

Heh...heard of them? I used to hang out with them all the time when I lived in Seattle. Though I haven't seen or spoken to Leland or Eric since late 1996 (the year I moved to Portland) when I returned the bass guitar they lent me for the recording of From Which Of This Oak. I don't know if they still make music or not. Some of their stuff, particularly the neo-classical and experimental parts, are great. In fact, my voice is heard in the hidden track on their Window Of Souls album. I think they are/were one of the more interesting metal groups in America.

Overall, how do you think The Mantle compares to your previous releases?

I think it's superior to anything we've done but I'm quite biased to say, really.

What CD do you have in your collection that might surprise someone?

People who know me wouldn't be surprised by anything. People who only know me as a guy from Agalloch would be surprised by the techno CDs I have, and by the fact that I listen to stuff like Duran Duran, Kylie Minoque, and Wu Tang Clan.

Do you now, or have you ever owned a Britney Spears CD? Would you quit Agalloch perform in her band on a world tour?

No, but I do have Republica's first album and I like what I've heard from Kylie Minoque. Actually, a very good friend of mine (who would likely join us for acoustic guitar parts in live situations) is a Britney Spears fan. He's fascinated by the recording techniques in pop music. If I had the opportunity to tour with Britney's band; as a drummer or something (does she even have a touring drummer?), I'd definitely do it. Why not?! It would be a nice opportunity to travel the world and live a celebrity lifestyle while making a good living for awhile. Then I'd come home with a ton of money and continue with Agalloch...

What are the future plans for Agalloch?

To release several limited releases before our next full-length album and possibly arrange a few gigs.

If the world were to come to an end, what would be the final song you'd like to here before the explosion?

Either Decoryah's Intra-Mental Ecstasy, Coil Dark River, GYBE! - the violin outro of their Zero Kanada mcd, or Gorecki's 3rd Symphony,'s difficult to just name one song out of entire ocean of beautiful music which has moved me in one way or another.


THE END RECORDS: The Record Label for Agalloch!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!