Greg Anderson, currently pulling double-duty in stampeding blues-metal quartet Goatsnake and Sunn O))), a drone-metal duo whose dark output runs in direct contrast to its well-illuminated name, can trace his love of heavy music to an elementary school crush, of all things.

Greg Anderson, currently pulling double-duty in stampeding blues-metal quartet Goatsnake and Sunn O))), a drone-metal duo whose dark output runs in direct contrast to its well-illuminated name, can trace his love of heavy music to an elementary school crush, of all things.

"When I was in sixth grade, we had this teacher who had a record player in the classroom, and on Fridays you could bring in a record and play it for the class," said the Seattle-bred Anderson, who joins Goatsnake for a concert at Ace of Cups on Sunday, Dec. 13 - the band's first-ever Ohio visit. "There was this girl I was totally infatuated with, Theresa, who was pretty wild and weird. One day she brought in the Paranoid album [by Black Sabbath] and … I remember being blown away [because] I had never heard anything so heavy. I ended up becoming friends with her and borrowing the record, and [the music] really took off from there."

In recent years, Anderson, who also co-founded the influential metal label Southern Lord Records, has spent a bit more time immersed in his past - a trend that can be traced to the resurrection of Goatsnake, which released a pair of albums in the late '90s and early 2000s before entering an extended period of hibernation beginning in 2001.

"We never officially broke up, but there just wasn't time for us to get together and play," said Anderson, who first regrouped with original members Pete Stahl (vocals) and Greg Rogers (drums) in Oct. 2014 (the band's current lineup is rounded out by bassist Scott Renner). "With this band, it's never been about money or touring the world or some of those more traditional goals. It's always been, 'OK, we like playing together, and if we have time to do it, let's do it.'"

Of course, an interesting thing happened during the band's extended absence: Its profile, like a sapling planted and then forgotten, continued to grow, steadily taking on redwood-worthy proportions. Part of this could be attributed to the success of the member's other musical pursuits - Anderson with Sunn O))), Stahl with Scream and Rogers with Obsessed - though Anderson further credited the internet ("Information about the group is more readily available than it was before," he said) and the strength of the material itself.

"[The music] comes from an honest place, and it's not trying to put on airs," said Anderson, who, in addition to touring with Goatsnake, recently released Kannon, the seventh studio album recorded under the Sunn O))) banner. "Music that's made for the right reasons and that comes from the right place can have a lasting effect."

Regardless, the Goatsnake bandmates returned to the project not content to simply rehash the past, and initial rehearsals were built on workshopping new material rather than perfecting more dog-eared songs.

"The idea was, if we were going to get together and play, we needed to write some new music," Anderson said. "It had been so long that at first it was sort of a challenge: Can we write new music? Is this actually going to happen again? We were kind of testing ourselves, because if we did run into those [pitfalls] while we were trying to write new material, we probably would have said, 'OK, this is not going to work the way it did at one point.' But luckily for us we still related to playing together, and we came up with material we enjoyed."

The resulting album, Black Age Blues, which surfaced earlier this year, quite literally picks up where the band's previous full-length Flower of Disease left off in 2000, opening with the sludgy, molten "Another River to Cross," a purposeful nod to "The River," which closed out its predecessor.

"It was a way to tie all of this together," Anderson said. "When we were making new music, I didn't want to go in a completely different direction. We knew the tones were going to be somewhat different, and the mood was going to be somewhat different from before, but the overall feel and the groove and swagger of what we do is still very present in there."

As in the past, much of the dynamic is shaped by the musical interplay between Anderson and Stahl, with the former's guitar inhabiting dark, cavernous spaces even in those moments the frontman's vocals spiral to the rafters with gospel fervor. Such is the case on "House of the Moon," where Stahl, backed by a chorus of female vocalists, howls about a desire to "shine on" even as the guitarist smothers the track in thick, tar-like riffage.

It helps, of course, that both Anderson and Stahl can trace their musical roots back to the blues in some form.

"With Pete, I think it's more direct, and his influences are coming from the dudes: Muddy Waters and Skip James and soul singers like Stevie Wonder and James Brown," Anderson said. "For me, I'm coming to the blues through the influence of those bands of my youth, like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. In a lot of ways, Sabbath took the blues and made it really heavy. I think what we're doing [with Goatsnake] is taking a bastardized version of Sabbath and trying to make it even heavier."

Ace of Cups

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13

2619 N. High St., Old North

aceofcupsbar.com

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