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Maybe you’ve heard of them, or maybe you haven’t. Either way, ITHAQUA are one of the finest sludge bands going around, and they’re making the trip from Japan to Ballarat’s Karova Lounge to give us all a taste.

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte Magazine, how are you and what are you up to at the moment? 

All good, and we’re getting ready for tour.

Most people will probably associate Japan to J-Pop bands, what’s the heavy metal/sludge scene like over there?

There are some legendary bands in Japan. I think you know Boris, Church of Misery, Eternal Elysium, or Corrupted.
And there’s a lot of great bands but most of doom/sludge bands are living underground. The doom/sludge scene is more closer to hardcore punk than heavy metal scene, I think.

And how does it compare to Australia’s scene? 

I think it’s almost the same. There are many extreme bands, but we wanted to listen more heavier, good riffs – I like them with loud volume. So we started the band.

Your music is heavy on the riffs, slow burns and accompanying imagery, are the images based off the music or the other way around?

Ithaqua’s music is based off horror movies, books and scary things I like. I like the tale about something where we can’t handle them and of course I love HPL and Cthurhu things.

We saw with your Australian tour teaser and the track ‘Ghost’ that there’s quite a lot of icons that flash across the screen. Where did you source these from and do they have any particular meaning?

This is our first video. So I wanted to introduce ourselves. I put many occultic icons took from black magic, astrology and the others. It’s the image of us in my head, but there’s no particular meaning.

You’re not super involved with social media either where many bands use it as their main tool to promote themselves and communicate with fans, is there any particular reasoning behind the decision? 

No, I’m just not skillful with using social media…

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a new release from you guys, is there anything in the pipeline? 

Last year, we shared a stage with Earthless in Osaka. It was so exciting and a great experience for us. Otherwise just daily work, practise, song writing and many shows in many places.

There is just the two of you as well but you many to have such an all-encompassing sound. Is the collaboration between you both pretty equal, or is someone more responsible for one thing or the other?

No, it’s always unexpected. But I like that happening.

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with Forte Magazine, are there any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?  

The words I like by Martin Luther: “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice even more boldly.”

When & Where: Karova Lounge, Ballarat – February 7