BLACKSLASH have a split tribute EP with Spain’s Witchtower coming out. Answered by Clemens Haas/Vocals. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

At first I thought you paid tribute to the Swedish band Randy but I guess you are not. Why a tribute now?
-No, actually it is a tribute to Randy, a great but unfortunately extremely underrated band from Denmark. We’ve been listening to Randy for years when we decided to make a cover version of the song “It’s got to be love”. Establishing the song in our live-set, we recognized that people in the audience really loved it. So the great responses of our fans and that kinda “Randy-Mania”, which is coming up among the Heavy-Metal- underground made us believe, that it’s absolutely worth it to release a tribute EP and our Spanish friends from Witchtower were down for it. This split EP titled “A Tribute To Randy” contains two Randy covers and two original songs of each band. The Randy guys absolutely deserve it and we hope they gonna like it

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
– It’s just a name, you know.

Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today? *
-We are all Iron Maiden fans. So Maiden was one of those bands we were strongly influenced by when we started playing Heavy Metal. But we also like our German Metal-Heroes Accept and The Scorpions as well as we are into Thin Lizzy or Riot

When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-Actually we just started without thinking much about how we want to sound like. By the years the twin-lead guitars have become a main feature of the typical Blackslash sound. But I guess, there is no such thing as a name/sound combo

I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-There have been several changes in music industry and in the way people listen to music since the very first day artists started recording music. Vinyl has been declared dead years ago, but it is still extremely popular among the Traditional Heavy Metal Scene and beyond. So digital might be killing the album format that we used to know. But it’s not killing the music, not killing Heavy Metal. And what is bad about releasing single tracks only?! A good song remains a good song! To be really honest, there are so many albums out there containing one extraordinary good song, but eight other shitty songs. So I can totally understand the idea of releasing single tracks only and therefore giving the fans the chance to buy exactly those songs they love listening to. Don’t worry about the prestige of the good old vinyl-era, thousands of Heavy-Metal Maniacs out there will preserve it, forever

What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention? *
-It is important to us, because it makes the album a piece of art. And we are really lucky to have a great corporation with Dimitar Nikolov, an extremely talented artist from Bulgaria, who made the coverartwork for our upcoming album “Lightning Strikes Again”.

Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Totally. In terms of promotion social media became more important than anything. So check out Facebook and Instagram!

When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-As Bruce Dickinson said: “We are all part of one family – We are all BLOOD BROTHERS” ! That is pretty much what it feels like to be a member of a Heavy Metal band. Playing concerts with our friends in Spitfire, Booze Control, Katana (Swe), Hitten (Esp), Blizzen etc. is always great fun. You know, having a good time with great people from all over Europe, who are loving the same music, loving the same bands, loving the glorious days of Heavy Metal…of course this creates a certain sense of unity. And together, we still let the good times roll

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
– “Blackslash live in concert” – that is why we started the band back in the days. And touring is still the thing we do it for!

What will the future bring?
-We are looking forward to the release of the Split Ep “A Tribute to Randy” (Out on April 13th), featuring the Spanish Band Witchtower. And of course, our highlight in 2018 will be the release of our new full-length album “Lightning Strikes Again”, which will be out within the next few months. Currently we are preparing for several shows this year and we hope to see you on the road!!!

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