For over twenty years, Carolina Beach, North Carolina's Sourvein front man and riffsculptor T-Roy has managed to keep the roving pirate ship that is his band afloat through sheer will alone.Pushing through poverty, the deaths of friends and family, bouts of severe depression, periods of alcohol abuse, and an absence of the stability provided by a consistent record label, T-Roy has over the course of two decades managed to build the band into a highly respected force in the metal, doom, sludge, and crust underground.On the strength of reputation alone, Sourvein has toured the States countless times and made several jaunts to Europe, the majority of the time without the benefit of a booking agent or any sort of concrete monetary guarantee.
Over twenty long dues-paying years later, Sourvein has at long last found a proper home for their doom-laden Southern noise with legendary Metal Blade Records, and T-Roy couldn't be happier."Aquatic Occult", the band's first offering on the label, promises to be heavier than a two-ton anchor dropped into an antique porcelain bathtub-- it's going to break things. "Finallyman, finally, my years of hard work have paid off," he says, shaking his head in disbelief as he reflects on the lengthy, grueling trek that brought his band to Metal Blade's roster.What makes an impoverished musician from a tiny Southern coastal town continue to fight the good fight for two decades, despite a lack of steady distribution for his efforts, much less the ability to pay the rent or buy groceries the majority of the time?Much like the backroad ramblings of legendary walking bluesmen Robert Johnson (who also remained destitute for most of his career), T-Roy's origins and earliest forays from home might hold a clue to the answer.Not long after starting his band in 92, and with no money or transportation of his own, one hot summer afternoon a young T-Roy stuck out his thumb and caught a ride off his island home of Carolina Beach to see the aforementioned legendary California doom innovators Saint Vitus in nearby Wilmington.
Seeing Vitus play on the cod tour to a total of ten people (and sleeping on the streets of downtown Wilmington NC afterwards) set the tone for what was to follow.Hitchhiking eventually evolved into a series of barely running second-hand vans that ferried Sourvein around the country on a decade's long hard-luck slow burn mission to spread their distinctly Southern brand of sonic punishment."I basically hitchhiked my way onto the dirt circuit" he says.In 1992, T-Roy put together the first line up of Sourvein under the name Bent, changing it in '93 to Sour Vain after discovering there was already a punk band working under the same name in Virginia.A chance misprinting on an early show flyer lead to the band name's current spelling.Upon noticing it, T-Roy realized he preferred aesthetic flow of the mistake better, and the rest is history.