Raw Sorcery: An Interview with Tom Hubbard of Hang The Bastard

I have known Tom Hubbard for a few years, initially by reputation only but our paths eventually crossed when our bands at the time (Rot In Hell and Wayfarer) shared some wax and stage time together. Tom now  sings for the mighty Hang The Bastard, a monstrous doom metal monster currently crushing skulls worldwide. I was delighted to discover that Tom has a keen interest in tabletop gaming & Rpg’s and after I got a peek at his Araby project I knew we had to have a chat about the good stuff…..

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Tom please introduce yourself to the Corehammer readers

Hey gang, I’m Tomas. 28 years old.   Some of you may know me from playing in a variety of bands over the years, co-running CTW Records or just that annoying guy who pops up on your facebook on occasion “people you may know”. I’m into music, reading, 28mm miniatures, castles and carbohydrates.

I’m always interested in learning about peoples routes into underground music, what was your gateway into hardcore punk?

Normally I’ve found there tends to be a divide – either you came in through metal, or punk. Although as a ‘greebo’ I liked some metal bands (‘Roots’-era Sepultura, for example), there was a Metal Hammer or Terrorizer in the late 90’s/early 00’s (can’t remember) that got me into the more sludgy side of things. It had Orange Goblin, Pissing Razors and Electric Wizard in. Overall I was into the more political-leaning punk in secondary school and got into hardcore through veganism and straight edge later on, not the other way around (weirdly).
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Similarly what was your introduction into gaming?

I assume like most people on here I played as a young teen fairly avidly. I loved the off-shoot games like Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Gorkamorka and later, Mordheim, more than the normal 40K and Fantasy. In my home town (pre-GW store), we had a little independent store called Cyberdyne where I used to go and bring my armies to war on the weekends (instead of revising or doing homework). I wasn’t very good at painting or really playing – my best success was when I won the Berkshire Blood Bowl League with a Snotling team (playlist from the old Warhammer journal, wish I could find it). Other than that I was just a goofy little kid…then music and girls took over!

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Cult Of Morr

From what I’ve seen on various social media you are an Empire player right? What is it that appeals to you about that army?

I have a fair few human armies that I use the Empire rules for on the battlefield. I Love the variety of human cultures in the Old World. I love the little snippets of lore occasionally in the older books or online regarding the area of the Southern Sea (Araby, Tilea, Estilia), and the various cults of The Empire. There are so many themes and conversion opportunities with the more ignored cultures.

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I’ve also seen some beautifully painted Araby models on your different feeds and that strikes me as an unusual choice, what’s the inspiration/interest there?

Well, firstly, thank you. I love the old dogs of war models, Mydas the Mean’s Sheikh paymaster, Al Muktar’s Desert Dogs, and Bretonnian’s Sulieman The Saracen. They are lovely flowing models from the peak of GW’s Sculpting era, in my opinion. As with all my human armies I like them being rugged and ‘real’ looking, rather than over the top and mental like with some other races. I think humans can have a lot of character and themes – more so than the other races of the Old World.

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Do you only play GW stuff or do you fuck around with other systems and games?

I don’t have a lot of time to actually game that much so I rarely play games generally. I haven’t had the time to explore many other systems in the last few years. However, that being said, once a week for the last few years I have a D&D night with some old friends, which is most likely my favourite overall favourite system (if Risk doesn’t count).

Your stuff looks really nice on the table what type of schooling do you have regarding your paint work? Do you always have a visualized end result in mind or is it more a case of ‘fuck it, this looks cool’

I am really into converting more so than painting, I put a lot more thought into that. I’m fairly flexible but generally fairly disciplined with my armies. For example, with my Cult of Morr themed army I built each regiment in full and planned each pose before even undercoating. But then with other units I go 5 models at a time. I do pay a lot of attention (and sadly, money) on getting the right models for the units. I scour online religiously looking for the correct models across ranges, either as they are or for a muse to convert.

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In true metal style I understand at least one of the other dudes in HTB is a Warhammer player, what’s the score there? Any inter band dwarf/elf style rivalries?

Sam Rice (guitarist and rider consumer) is as keen as I am and we constantly send each other pictures of our current painting projects. There’s a healthy rivalry between the two of us – he will have an Undead army so I’ll do a Morr/Graveyard themed army, for example. We actually started a blog www.timesofwoe.wordpress.com the other day to document our buildings of our grand armies. The end game is he will have amassed 15,000 pts (at least) of a variety of Chaos Hordes from all Gods and I will have an army from each human culture from around the Old World and we will do battle!

You’ve played in a number of punk bands over the years originally behind the kit but in recent years you’ve taken to the front of the stage fronting a metal band that plays large shows, how has that transition been for you? What are some of the key differences you’ve noticed?

I’ve done drums, bass and vocals now over the last few years. I preferred drums as you just chill on a seat (throne) at the back and hit some skins. I didn’t actually want to be the vocalist in HTB, it just happened out of circumstance. We got an offer for Download 2013 and were like “ermmm fuck…!” We tried a few people out but it was all too ‘shouty’ for the way the music was heading. I really enjoy it now, but use a mic stand, not only because it’s funny, but also that generic new frontman thing where you don’t know what to do with your hands! I enjoy the fact that the crowds at a Never Again show and at, say, Sonisphere are polar opposites. It’s good fun.

How was it opening up for Black Sabbath?

Absolutely nuts! Definitely one of the maddest events I’ve ever played. My parents, who loved BS back in the day, both came and it was a weird family vibe in a park with thousands of people and metal!
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You also co-run Carry The Weight records a label that has been preeminent within the UK by releasing new music from fresh bands as well as introducing us to stuff from further afield, in many ways keeping the flame that Dead & gone records carried.  What do you look for in a band ,are there any bands you wish you could have released, and what does the future hold for CTW moving forward?

Pat and I have been doing CTW for nearly 5 years now and have put out over 40 releases. These days Pat is a lot more active in the scene than I am, he’s very much the face of the label and has put so much work into his countless bands and projects. We are both very picky musically and have a lot of back-and-forth when discussing new bands. We somehow meet in the middle on a lot of the current bands on our roster. Ever year its gets busier release-wise and who knows where it will go!

As far as HTB goes, what’s next?

HTB is going to really step up in the next year or so. Our new album is going to be out this year on Century Media (which we still can’t believe!) in September in Europe, and October in the US. We are just going ride it out and see what happens basically – more tours, more riffs etc etc!