Hot Ram to Tour Around Maryland Doom Fest Appearance

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Hot Ram

Now with even more beard, Atlanta three-piece Hot Ram will do a solid weekender run around their return appearance at the Maryland Doom Fest, slated for Sunday, June 25. Between that and the several live shows booked for August and September in their home state of Georgia, the trio will look to record three follow-up to 2021’s Electric Medicine (review here), which will also be their first release with drummer Brian Ricks pounding away behind. Ricks has played with Order of the Owl, and the new album will reportedly be tracked by Matt Washburn, who produced Mastodon‘s Lifesblood once upon a time, so if you’re already thinking heavy, you might ahead and think heavier just to be safe.

Also note the date supporting UK troupe Dunes as that band make their initial incursion on US terrain to play Desertfest New York in September. By then it’s entirely likely that Hot Ram‘s next full-length will be finished, and if not released, then likely on the way. Cool things to come, in any case.

The band was kind enough to send the following down the PR wire:

Hot ram tour to Maryland Doom Fest

HOT RAM – The Road to Doom

Atlanta’s HOT RAM announce “The Road To Doom” , an excellent weekend run to this year’s Maryland Doom Fest.

After playing last year’s Maryland Doom Fest for the first time, they are returning this year to play the mainstage this year at Cafe 611 on Sunday June 25th. For this year’s show they have an excellent set of show’s for a small run up the Carolina’s, on the way to Frederick. For this year’s “The Road To Doom” run, they start off at Greenville SC’s Ground Zero w/ Witchpit, Auralayer and Black River Rebels, and then shoot up to Fleetwoods in Asheville, NC to play with Mean Green (Bongfoot just dropped off this show) and The Beard Cult.

This run begins an exciting summer and fall for the Atlanta band. With the addition of new drummer Brian Ricks (Ape Vermin, Order of the Owl) in fall of 2022, the band has been super busy with a flurry of songwriting and playing show’s opening for Caustic Casanova, Thunderchief, Witchpit, Wyndrider and were scheduled to debut with Brian at the inaugural Snowblind Festival w/ High on Fire and C.O.C., but had to cancel due to the death of founding member Billy Konkel’s mother.

In July, they will start recording their next album, the follow up to The Swamp Records 2022 “Electric Medicine ”, with Matt Washburn (Mastodon) in the mountains of North Georgia, and follow that up with three august shows. One at the Flicker Theater in Athens’s GA for a Shadebest Records show, then play the second annual “In the Pit ” Festival in Atlanta, and then trek up to Gainesville GA, to play the new venue “The Black Strap ”. And for September 18th a show at Atlanta’s The EARL with Dunes and Red Beard Wall.

A full list of tour dates can be found below:

“The Road to Doom”
6/23 Greenville, SC @ Ground Zero
6/24 Asheville, NC @ Fleetwoods
6/25 Frederick, MD @ Cafe611 (Maryland Doomfest)
8/3 Athens, GA @ Flicker Theater
8/11 Atlanta, GA @ Inner Space “In the Pit 2”
8/19 Gainesville, GA @ The Black Strap
9/18 Atlanta, GA@ The EARL

Billy Konkel-Guitar/Vocals
Dan Giampietro-Bass
Brian Ricks-Drums

Poster: Jim Bob Cooter Jr.
Photo: Syd Howell

Hot Ram, “Conamara Chaos” official video

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Maryland Doom Fest 2023 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 31st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

It’s a big ‘un. And if you’re like me, there are a couple names that stick out from the poster below, particularly Earthride and The Skull. Both are tribute sets, of course. The Skull frontman Eric Wagner passed away in 2021 after complications from a covid-19 infection and the loss of Earthride‘s Dave Sherman just a couple months ago continues to be keenly felt in and beyond the confines of the scene he called home. Karl Agell (ex-C.O.C.) will step in for The Skull, while Scott Angelacos of Hollow Leg is set to front a rotating cast of players for Earthride. You would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting occasion for honoring one’s own, except perhaps this gig in a couple weeks.

Plenty of familiar, returning acts as well as newcomers. Hippie Death Cult and will travel from the Pacific Northwest, Switchblade Jesus and Doomstress make an appearance (not the first for either) from Texas, and Red Mesa come straight out of the capital-‘desert’ Desert. Meanwhile, Faith in Jane, Black Lung, Bloodshot, Mangog, Mythosphere, Thonian Horde, Spiral Grave and plenty of others represent the Maryland home team, High Leaf and Thunderbird Divine trip down from Philly, Curse the Son (CT) and Guhts (NY) come from farther north, Hollow Leg make the trip out from Florida, and Lo-Pan, Doctor Smoke and Brimstone Coven head over from the Midwest. That’s just off the top of my head. I’m not sure there’s ever been a MDDF pulling so many bands from different parts of the country, though of course international bands have featured in the past as well.

There are always some shakeup between the first announcement and the final lineup, but so far so good here. Any way it works out, Maryland Doom Fest has nothing to prove at this point. Guaranteed banger.

Here’s the poster (oy) and the lineup, the latter in alphabetical order:

Maryland Doom Fest 2023 sq


Maryland Doom Fest 2023

June 22-25 – Frederick, MD

We are proud to present to you The Maryland DooM Fest 2023 lineup roster and 2023 promotional art!!!!

We showcase over 50 kickass bands bringing you heavy riffs over these #4daysofdoom!!

The centerpiece art was created by Joshua Adam Hart (Earthride, Unorthodox, Revelation, Chowder, Stout, to name a few).

Josh is a career tattoo artist and is currently scheduling appointments at Triple Crown Towson Tattoo. Schedule to get ink from him at

The incredible flyer layout, coloring, and design is by our very talented Bill Kole (make sure to check out his band Ol’ Time Moonshine)!!

Above the Treachery, Akris, Black Lung, Bloodshot, Bonded by Darkness, Borracho, Brimstone Coven, Cobra Whip, Conclave, Crowhunter, Curse the Son, DeathCAVE, Doctor Smoke, Doomstress, Double Planet, Dust Prophet, Earthride, Faith in Jane, False Gods, Flummox, Fox 45, Future Projektor, Gallowglas, Grim Reefer, Guhts, Helgamite, High Leaf, Hippie Death Cult, Hog, Hollow Leg, Hot Ram, Las Cruces, Leather Lung, Lo-Pan, Mangog, Mythosphere, Orodruin, Red Mesa, Severed Satellites, Shadow Witch, Smoke the Light, Spiral Grave, Switchblade Jesus, The Skull, Thonian Horde, Thousand Vision Mist, Thunderbird Divine, Unity Reggae, VRSA, Weed Coughin, Wizzerd

Lo-Pan, “Ascension Day” live at Maryland Doom Fest 2019

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Hot Ram Premiere “Conamara Chaos” Video; Electric Medicine Limited Vinyl Out Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 4th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

hot ram

Today, Feb. 4, Atlanta three-piece Hot Ram release a special vinyl edition of their 2021 album, Electric Medicine, through The Swamp Records. And for those unfamiliar, whatever you might be expecting of a group with a name like Hot Ram — which is to say, a grand thrusting of crotch — and its Led Zeppelin-meets-modern-stoner cover art, I’m glad to report that the record, which runs six songs and 39 minutes and was originally issued last May, works quickly to defy that anticipation. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Billy Konkel and here featuring bassist Dee Flores and drummer Gordon WhiteHot Ram‘s third long-player unfolds with a sense of patience in “The Hunter,” teasing aggression to come while loosing a headphone-ready spaciousness and melody that sounds more akin to Spaceslug than not. “Conamara Chaos” (video premiering below) is riffier and rougher around the proverbial edges, with an element of metal at play that works to set up the later take on Judas Priest‘s “Riding on the Wind,” and one might say the same of the chug that begins “Trans Am.”

But while Hot Ram are in familiar territory there in theme and riff, the twist brought by the gruff vocals is darker and more atmospheric, and White‘s drums hint at the nastier tempo kick to come as the song approaches its midsection, returning to the verse as though just to touch ground before freaking out once and for all and ending what I’ll assume is side A ahead of the aforementioned “Riding on the Wind” starting side B, channel-spanning guitar solos for that twin-lead effect, and harnessing that particular, classic sense of the badass that so much belongs to Priest for Hot Ram‘s own purposes. “The Grave of Arch Stanton” — and here’s a fun bit of trivia; in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Arch Stanton was buried Feb. 3, 1862, which was 160 years ago yesterday — follows and fuzzes like Egypt in an echo chamber around its central progression, shorter on the whole but with a reach of its own ahead of the 10-minute finale “Binary Sunset.”

For an extra sense of completion to the full-length as a whole, “Binary Sunset” caps with a mirroring of the kind of somehow-still-earthy psychedelia Hot Ram brought to the outset of Electric Medicine, earning bonus points along the way for weaving guitar solos into and out of its “Planet Caravan”-esque main line, gradually moving into a build underscored only by more rumble rather than some sudden burst of drums. Gorgeously fluid, it finishes Electric Medicine in unpredictable fashion and underscores the notion that, for those of us late to the party on the album as a whole (hi, that’s me, I know you’re way cooler) its ability to run against what one thinks is coming is an asset put to fervent use. With a new lineup in place around Konkel that includes bassist Dan Gianpieto and drummer Lionel Obriot, whatever Hot Ram does next is bound to be somewhat different, but the ambient finish in “Binary Sunset” seems to end this collection on as open a note (figuratively speaking) as possible.

Well kept secret? From me up to this point, at least. I feel fortunate, though, to have the chance to dig into Electric Medicine and find it very much a third-album’s realization on the part of Hot Ram, who present an awareness of style without succumbing to the tenets of genre outright. Their individuality shines through in tone and intent alike. And they’ll be at Maryland Doom Fest, so, bonus.

I’m glad they hit me up to premiere a video. Which, hey, you’ll find right down there, followed by more from the PR wire.


Hot Ram, “Conamara Chaos” video premiere

Limited Edition Vinyl out February 4th, 2022.

“Conamara Chaos” the second single and video from Atlanta’s HOT RAM 2021 album “Electric Medicine.”

Video by Pendleton Studios ATL.

To celebrate a short press of vinyl for this coming bandcamp Friday… HOT RAM dive into psychedelic biker satanic worship territory with the heavy narcotic video “Conamara Chaos” the follow up to the barn banging “The Grave of Arch Stanton” off of the third release from these Deep south gents.

After getting out of the house post pandemic, Konkel lost both original band mates but found kindred riffers Lionel Obriot (Four Hour Fogger) on drums and Dan Gianpieto (Sporelord) on bass to get in some choice gigs with Heavy Temple, Caustic Casanova, Formula 400, Blackjack Mountain, Day Glo Mourning, Empty Black and Drifter.

With the addition of being added to this year’s Maryland Doomfest, HOT RAM is beginning to work on demoing new jams to hit your ears by June 2022.

Hot Ram on ‘Electric Medicine’:
Billy Konkel – Guitar/Vocals
Gordon White – Drums
Dee Flores – Bass

Hot Ram are:
Billy Konkel – Guitar/Vocals
Lionel Obriot – Drums
Dan Gianpieto – Bass

Hot Ram, Electric Medicine (2021)

Hot Ram on Instagram

Hot Ram on Facebook

Hot Ram on Bandcamp

The Swamp Records website

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp

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Maryland Doom Fest 2022 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan


As suspected, the lineup announcement for the 2022 Maryland Doom Fest is relatively short on fluff. No flowery descriptions of the acts involved, no hype about how important it is to get together in these times of plague and support the community, the underground, whatever it is. That’s all true enough, but as ever, Maryland Doom Fest is putting the name out there for you to see, and if you know, you know. If you’re a part of that family down there in Frederick, you’ve already got your calendar marked. This is who’ll be at the reunion.

And to that, with bands like Horehound, Thunderbird Divine, Caustic Casanova, fest-organizer JB Matson‘s own Bloodshot, Faith in Jane, ZED, Helgamite, Shadow Witch, The Age of Truth, Apostle of Solitude, Horseburner, Dead East Garden, Strange Highways and Foghound on the bill, this one will no doubt feel like a reunion in no small part. These acts and some of the others as well have shared MDDF bills in the past, and indeed, some were included in the announcement for January’s Doom Hawg Day as well, as was speculated. Still cool to see some of those returning coming across the country to do it, though, be it ZED or Formula 400.

Set for June 23-26 at Cafe 611 and Olde Mother Brewing in Frederick, MD, and of course subject to some changes between now and June, the lineup for Maryland Doom Fest 2022 is as follows:

maryland doom fest 2022 poster final I think

Maryland Doom Fest 2022 Lineup

Black Road
Dust Prophet
Ol’ Time Moonshine
High Priestess
Wrath of Typhon
Black Lung
Thunderbird Divine
Atomic Motel
Faces of Bayon
Grief Collector
Crystal Spiders
Shadow Witch
The Age of Truth
Heavy Temple
Problem with Dragons
Strange Highways
Formula 400
Indus Valley Kings
The Stone Eye
Crow Hunter
Caustic Casanova
Coma Hole
Faith in Jane
Future Projektor
Apostle of Solitude
Dead East Garden
Ritual Earth
Grave Next Door
Black Sabbitch
Lost Breed
Hot Ram

Apostle of Solitude, When the Darkness Goes (2021)

The Age of Truth, Resolute (2021)

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