The memoirs of Emilio (Guitar/Vocal):
Since roughly 2011 or so Jay Nasser (drummer) and I have gravitated towards riff worship and the haunting sounds of doom metal. Though we had been close friends at that point for nearly ten years, our shared love of music brought us even closer, and we decided that we should try and start our own band.
A year or two later, we tried our hand at starting a band with a couple of friends (most of us having been long time friends from school) in a band that was called Legend Has It.
It was a truly fun experience, we played shows semi-frequently, got a decent response most of the time, recorded an EP, and made some friends along the way.
Most importantly, it set a fire off within Jay and myself, a desire to play angry and loud music, whether it fell upon deaf ears or not was not a concern at the time. We all learned a lot about ourselves from this experience, it really awakened this burning passion to play music, and it became apparent that this was something we would want to do as more than a hobby, rather is was an extension of ourselves as artists.
Though I was only on vocals for the band, I wrote a decent amount of the riffs (the more stoner-esque/sludge riffs at least), whereas our guitarist Justin would compose the thrash elements of the music. Long story short the band did not work out in the end, not all of us saw eye to eye in terms of the approach to music so we called in quits in an effort to avoid animosity between friends.
There was still a burning drive still to play shows, and to be loud and relentless, and this was not something I could let go of. It kept me awake, and even brought me down pretty severely when the practices and shows stopped, as music came to what felt like a complete and utter halt. Around 2015 or so, I decided it was time to take up guitar more seriously, try and learn to hold my own when it comes to playing. As it turns out, Jay had the same desire to continue to play shows and to keep making music, and in this prompted us once again to start playing music together.
What started out as an excited conversation between two friends eventually became plans to start a new band, whose only goal was to write loud music and to play as many shows as possible. We started out as an instrumental two piece, consisting of myself on guitar, and Jay on drums. Our name was DankBrain, and in our warehouse we began shaping songs together that would eventually become the content of our first two demos as Iron Buddha.
The songs were strange, and very different from what we had played before, or what we were used to for that matter but we didn’t care too much as they were fulfilling and helped quell the desire to play music. After a few months, we decided it was time to play our debut show as DankBrain, and lord help us all, we had a gimmick.
The gimmick, original and creative in nature, was to wear ski masks on stage, concealing our identities; pretty unique I know. We got into contact with a friend we had made during our time playing as Legend Has It, who hooked us up with a show at a seemingly abandoned and skuzzy bikers bar in the middle of nowhere, dubbed appropriately as Ballers Sports Bar, a title befitting of the drunken biker dads who collectively filled half the seats of the bar. The goal was to play our set, and get the hell out of there, maintaining a sense of mystery to our personas. The show was as successful as it could have been for two dorks in ski masks on stage, and to some degree it fulfilled that drive to play shows, or at least reignited a fire in us. Well after that show, we dropped the gimmick, turns out there are lots of bands with masks (who knew, right?).
Iron Buddha – Old Hex (2018)
Iron Buddha is a stoner//doom band hailing from the swamps of south Florida.
Beginning in 2016, the band originally started as an instrumental two piece, with Emilio Acosta on guitar and Jihad (Jay) Nasser on drums. The band started from the ashes of Jay and Emilio’s previous band, Legend Has It.
With the end of one band began the start of another, an effort ventured in order to satisfy the burning drive to play loud and pummeling riffs. Iron Buddha would go on to put out two demos in 2016, consisting of songs that were shaped during the early stages of the bands formation.
The songs were new and strange, as they were quite different from what was known to either member. As more time passed, the songs written by Iron Buddha began to shape differently, each unique in its own regard, although similar in tone, no one song sounding like the other.
With bands like the Melvins, Fu Manchu, and Sleep to inspire them, Iron Buddha would later go on to release their debut EP, RAT in early 2017. As the music changed, it warranted the need for bass guitar in the mix, in order to give the songs more of that stoner//doom beefiness. Enter Joao (Jiean) Laxamana, present bassist of Iron Buddha, whom Jay and Emilio had met whilst playing on the same bill as the band Raff, whom Joao played bass for as well.
In late 2017, the three began writing material for what would become the material for their upcoming debut full length release, Old Hex. The new material (aside from two songs which appeared on previous demos) was a step in a different direction, and the start of a new approach to songwriting for the band.
Iron Buddha’s debut full length album, Old Hex, is out July, 21st via Cut-N-Paste Records, available on Bandcamp and through most streaming/music providers.
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Special thanks to Emilio and the rest of the gang at Iron Buddha headquarters for this Friday Freebie offering. And thanks to the ongoing contributors and readers of the monthly Doom Chart. You folks help give voice to the heavy underground:
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