I thought I knew of BLOOD OF CHRIST but apparently I got them confused with some other band. Here is waht Jeff Longo, Guitars answered. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-Good day, and thank you BattleHelm for speaking with me today. Blood of Christ was originally formed in very early 1994 and our sole purpose at that time was to create the most progressive, vile, offensive and brutal death metal possible. We have matured a tiny bit since then, but the spirit remains the same 24 years later!
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours?
-That question somewhat depends on what era you’re honing said sound in. These days, there are so many incredible bands out there that is can be tough to stand out from the pack. Back in the old school days, however; I don’t feel that it was difficult to carve our own niche because not too many bands were as brave as we were. We were not afraid to incorporate elements of black metal, doom and even classical music to help portray our stories in musical form. This may be a bold statement, but I feel that back in 1995, 1996… Blood of Christ was one of the few bands that really blended death metal, black metal, clean vocals and poetic lyrics. It all came naturally to us though, we didn’t force anything.
What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-We have a fairly vast array of influences, such as Sepultura, Led Zeppelin, Morbid Angel, Enslaved, Dismember, Carcass… the list can carry on for many paragraphs. We simply love music of all forms and I think that finds its way into our music naturally. I wouldn’t say we copy our heroes, but we tip our hats to them. If that makes sense. When writing music, it comes naturally. With respect to guitar playing, there is no other way, nor no other genre for me. If I pick up a guitar; I create grind chords and can’t help it.
Why have it taken 14 years to come up with a new album?
-Unfortunately, that’s a long story. One that I won’t bore you to death with. Human relationships can wander, can experience tension and strife; but, then they can be rekindled. I carried the torch through those many years and waited for the right moment to return to the battle field. That moment is now.
What kind of creative process do you guys go through and how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Personally, I wouldn’t say it is difficult to release new songs. It is an enjoyable process. Playing guitar and writing music is as enjoyable as breathing, eating or copulating, to me anyhow. With respect to recording, I would say that is different for everyone but we are in a really fantastic groove right now with that in the way we approach it. Having a patient and understanding recording engineer (Thomas Ireland at IceHouse Studio), is paramount to make said process comfortable and triumphant. We have a quite random and sporadic creative process, mainly; the numbers originate with me by way of crafting frameworks for songs on guitar. Then we come together and manipulate those like Lego blocks until we are content with the song. We live far apart from one another, so these days there’s a lot of long distance trading of ideas over the evil entity that is the internet.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-I’m heartbroken that the album is almost an extinct format. Personally, I think it’s best to record with someone professional in a proper studio. This setup yields the best results for me. I have no interest in being a one song per month Youtube sensation. Albums are where its at for me. I still listen to complete albums from start to finish every day, several of them in fact. Not limited to, but including my own! Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that it is my feeling that when musicians record at home, they’re not really going all the way. It is just a home studio demo at that stage.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-You’re 100% correct. Music is, unfortunately, in the eyes of the pop culture vultures; disposable. There are still those underground, dedicated people out there though that will always hunger for the physical format and the newest album from their favourite artists. We are already experiencing the future of music, it is now and it’s bleak. For musicians and artists alike, it is a tough go to really focus on your passion and your craft. This matters not to me though, I play for the love of playing and if people enjoy what we do; then that is wonderful and greatly appreciated. I wonder if those same kids that expect music for free also go to the market and expect their eggs, meat and bread for free?
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-Our new singer, Chris, he gets a lot of attention from groupies. We typically get a resounding “fuck yah” response when we play gigs. Nice pit action, nice headbanging… some yelling. The usual death metal gig stuff. I think we are well received and we genuinely appreciate that. It is nice to inspire people to throw down in the pit.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-I’m not surprised by the small world anymore, truthfully. I’ve been victim to the internet’s grasp since 1995 or so, which makes it nothing new to me realy. It is a useful tool, but at the same time it kills mystery and the suspense of going down to the record shop to get the newest albums and get back home as quickly as possible to listen to them. My heart longs for those days… Having said that, it is really spectacular that you can easily trade music with bands from around the globe in an instant.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community?
-Sometimes it does, yes. It depends on the region you’re playing in. I like the fact that this genre of music is truly global and can bring people together from all walks of life. It is a shame that the pop culture views it as something sinister, because it really isn’t. Not that I want to be a part of the pop culture, just saying… they should just mind their own business and not attack fans of the genre simply because they don’t subscribe to whatever bubble gum trend is on Youtube today.
What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Definitely meeting people from different cultures, such as Japan, Europe or South America; or anywhere for that matter; that isn’t home. Feeling triumphant because someone from all the way around the globe compliments you on your music is really wonderful. I am proud to have experienced the many things I have because of my band.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Again, that depends on what region you’re attacking with your live performances. Where we live, I’m not sure. Going abroad, however; that’s definitely an opportunity that yields excellent results. Ultimately, if you’re not going to play gigs; you should just stay home and stop releasing Youtube videos. The live gig is where its at. That’s where the music really happens. The connection between the band and the pit is an experience that is unparalleled anywhere else in life.
What plans do you have for the future?
-Definitely not another hiatus. It is my hope that we can record and release our 5th album in 2019, as well as a reboot of our third album. Other than that, I hope that we can take our band on the road to new regions that we haven’t visited before, meet new people and make as many albums as physically possible. I would love to pump out a new album every year. I certainly have enough riffs to do so! Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, appreciated.