bigLOVE: Sammy Urwin (Employed to Serve) Lists His New Project’s Prime Influences

Photo: Maria Nemm

bigLOVE is the brainchild of musicians Justine Jones and Sammy Urwin, who many No Echo readers will know from their work in Employed to Serve.

Sonically speaking, bigLOVE carve out a path that soaks in elements of everything from doom to metallic hardcore to industrial metal-like rhythmic sludge. Recorded between 2019 and 2020, Crusaders of Joy is the forthcoming debut EP from the musical union.

With Crusaders of Joy coming out later this month, No Echo asked Sammy from bigLOVE to send us a list of some of the prime influences behind their sound.

As you'll see/hear below, the duo have quite the heavy musical appetite!

Crowbar, Obedience Thru Suffering (1991)

Crowbar are perhaps one of the more obvious influences on bigLOVE. The reason Obedience Thru Suffering is particularly influential to our sound is because it holds a certain mystical value that other Crowbar records don’t. This is hugely down to the production (or lack thereof, some may argue).

Kirk Windstein later referred to this record as a glorified demo, which for me is the charm of it. Garish, raw and plenty of cheap digital reverb. I also think there’s some incredibly unique melodies on this record that make it a particularly interesting and haunting listen. 

Cathedral, Forest of Equilibrium (1991)

You’ll definitely see a theme with the records picked. We like things that have a non traditional productional style. Forest of Equilibrium truly sounds like you’ve stumbled across a goblin in the forest, who then takes you on a journey to see things which your tiny human mind cannot comprehend.

I love later Cathedral too, but I love the cosmic dirge on this record. 

Godflesh, Pure (1992)

Perhaps the second most obvious influence on our sound. This and of course Jesu in equal measure. How can you tell? The big obnoxious snare of course! The snare on Crusaders of Joy is actually a mixture of samples, one of which is the snare from Helmet’s Betty album. Please don’t tell them. 

One of the main reasons we wanted to include an industrial element to our otherwise earthy sound is not only because of our Justin Broadrick influence, but because we wanted to make it 100% obvious that we are a two piece with a drum machine. We didn’t want it to come across that we were trying to hide the fact that they’re programmed drums. 

Anathema, Serenades (1993)

This album is truly unique! An absolute must listen for anyone into weird doomy/gothic music. There’s quite the collection of sounds going on here, From death growls, My Dying Bride esque spoken word parts, to beautiful singing.

The third track, "Jait Fait Une Promesse," is a particularly stand out moment on the record. Some very interesting guitar melodies on this record that hugely influenced the songs written for our debut LP. 

Thergothon, Stream from the Heavens (1994)

This is an absolute funeral doom classic! There’s an element of escapism we want to have with our music. To detach from this sometimes suffocating world, through a portal somewhere and into another realm. That is exactly what Stream from the Heavens offers the listener.

Play this on a dark winter's evening, light a candle and melt away from this mortal coil for just a moment. 


Crusaders of Joy will be out on May 27th via Church Road Records (US pre-order/EU pre-order).


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