Tommy Stewart has been, and still is, in several bands over the years and one of which was the thrash / speed metal band Hallows Eve. Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf went in a different direction entirely with doom metal and in January released the single “Shadow In the Well” which serves as a taste from the band’s next album. Listening to the slow, methodical pacing here and the brooding atmosphere it’s a no-brainer that Tommy has been in the game for a long time and not only knows how to craft some wicked metal but twist it into classic sounding yet very dark doom metal. And he does it with just bass, vocals and Eric Vogt on drums. We had the chance to catch up with Tommy and ask him our set of Profile questions to which he was extremely gracious in his answers. Keep reading to see what he had to say.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
My mother took me to see the Beatles movie “Help!” in a hip theater when I was 7 and afterwards, casually as we left, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I pointed back at the movie poster of John, Paul, George, and Ringo and said, “That looks like a good job.” My mother started teaching me piano at about 4 years old, but I didn’t start playing with bands on bass till I was 15. As for success, all I ever wanted to do was to play music and maybe have some people like it. I’ve had a few good days with Hallows Eve, Bludy Gyres and now my Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf project.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
I don’t know about debasing, but I’ve done some crazy stuff to get things done. Once we were down to $50 between all of us and 700 miles from home. I bet it on a baseball game and thankfully won us enough gas money to get home.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
I absolutely love the growth of the doom metal movement. Like the style itself, it has been a long slow path, from arguably around 1970, and is still growing on a journey. I attribute this to it’s diversity. There doesn’t seem to be a worse thing as long as fans stay true to supporting the metal lifestyle.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Funny you should ask that because in my case there’s a very conscious decision to not write social or political issues for the last thirty years. I write more about personal moments than anything. I had to think hard about it just now and the closest I’ve come is some social themes would be about the mindlessness of followers who don’t think for themselves. It’s not that I don’t want to write about it, it’s just that I don’t care about it. I’m not sure what that makes me.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Hearing my friend’s albums was how I got into heavier music and I was about 12 years old for earliest memories. My family didn’t really pay attention to what music I listened to and, as a matter of fact, barely realized I was in a band, made albums, or what instrument I played. They didn’t know me well and have passed away. Maybe that’s part of my attraction to darker metal.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
The magazines do a great job now. I do pay attention to reviews so I hope they’re being truthful in their opinions as they are well listened to by many bands. What doesn’t help is if they’re just trying to say a witty review for entertainment of the reading. As a fan and an artist, I want well thought out critiques.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
I only want to make music and hope my drummer, Eric Vogt, and I can continue with this band. Nah, no world domination dreams here, ya’ll can have it. Sheesh, what a mess! I’m in a one man cult of “The Keep Away from Me Society of One.” My friends call me a hermit. And music is my day job. I have a commercial studio named Blue Ogre Noise Lab and work with a label. I’m in several bands, most notably active now is Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf and Bludy Gyres who both released albums last year on Soman Records. TSDW is in the studio now recording it’s second release between tour dates. Hobbies? I like to paint, but not so good at it, and I like to practice shooting my guns at a firing range. I’m very good at that one.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
In the last two days I’ve been listening to Electric Wizard’s Witchcult Today and a live Pink Floyd bootleg I have just gotten on vinyl from 1971. I’m completely into the early weird, slow Pink Floyd that had these huge empty moments and barely moved. I also listened to some Gallow God today.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Yep. TSDW just released a single, “Shadow in the Well” which is a song from our second album which is scheduled to be released in November 2018. We’re still a 2 piece, that is drums, bass, vocals only. This album will be more studio oriented than the first one which is self titled and came out in 2017. We recorded that one pretty much live and in no more than 3 takes, mistakes and all. Bludy Gyres is in a writing stage for a new album, and I have another project called Negative Wall I’m working up. A lot to do considering TSDW is touring as well.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Tommy for his time!