BLOODY HAMMERS s another in a long line of bands that thinks the past was better. Interview with organist DEVALLIA . Anders Ekdahl ©2012
My first thought when I saw the cover was a combination of Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” and old Hammer horror movies. How much do you look to the past for inspiration?
-The picture itself was a bit of a fluke. I was doing a photo shoot with friend and model Veronica Steam. At the very last minute, I remembered we had this great goat mask, and asked if she would wear it for a couple of shots. She was all for it, so I brought it and the torches to the studio area. When my husband saw the results, he immediately knew he wanted to use it for the album cover. He was writing the song “Witching Hour” during this shoot. As for the font, it was intended to give the listener a hint of what to expect musically.
When you play the kind of music you do are there any limitations to it?
-Anders composes all of the songs, and this music comes very naturally for him. He spent some time doing synth driven work, but always wanted to get back to his roots in guitar oriented rock. There is no limitation whatsoever as far as his passion for the art and the result. The only possible limitation could be how well it’s accepted in a world where other genres are more widely received, when compared to the underground nature of what he is doing.
Have you met people that have slammed you for not being true, people that really want to sink you because you are so great?
-Actually, there has been very little negative feedback at this point. When putting your work out there, it is normal to have responses from each end of the spectrum. We just do what we love to do, and if someone else likes it, that’s great. If they don’t like it, they can listen to something else. Everyone has a different concept of what is true. We were born in the 70s and grew up in the southern United States, in a severely televangelist era. We are truly rebellious products of our environment.
How important is it to you to be true to the music, that you don’t involve instruments that are not authentical to the era?
– At the end of the day, what matters is whether or not the songs are good. Bloody Hammers did not seek out authentic, old school instruments to produce this album. It was certainly influenced by retro song structures, but as more of a nod to this golden age of music, rather than attempting to recreate the entire sound verbatim.
I’ve notice that there are more and more labels that used to be exclusively extreme metal now have branched out to more hardrock/classic metal. How do you feel that you fit in on SoulSeller?
-SoulSeller is an amazing label, and we are pleased to have been offered this opportunity to work with them. There definitely seems to be a resurgence in the classic metal sound because it’s eons better than what the mainstream is currently churning out. There is a demand for songs with substance, and people are finding what they are looking for with classic inspired rock. Labels are looking to meet this demand, and have diversified their offerings to do so.
I love the music and the movies from the 60s and 70s and the soundtracks that comes with them as well as the innocence of them. What is so special to you about this period in music?
– The sky was the limit for these artists, and they left such a lasting impression in the history of media. It is so difficult now to do something that hasn’t been done before. They were the first to go there, and were immortalized as a result. On the other hand, society has become so much more jaded, so it is refreshing to revisit things of old.
Did the album turn out the way you wanted? What kind of expectations did you have on it when you recorded it?
-The album did turn out exactly as expected. Anders (vocals, bass) had complete control during the recording process. He laid down all of the tracks in his studio, and we mixed it ourselves. Some say you should not mix your own work, but we are pleased with the results. I come in very late in the process and offer final suggestions when his ears are tired.
How hard is it to let go of something that you have recorded knowing that once it is out there it will live a life all its own?
-When Bloody Hammers was released, it was primarily for fun. We put it out there just to see what kind of reaction it would get. Within 24 hours we started receiving feedback, and SoulSeller contacted us about a record deal. It got an overwhelming response in a very short amount of time, so we decided to go with the flow and allow it to become a bigger production than originally intended.
What kind of reactions have you had so far to the band?
-The reactions have been pretty positive thus far. There have been some good reviews and listeners have taken the time to say hello on Facebook. That means a lot to us.
What would you like the future to bring?
-We are ready for anything the future may bring. It would be fun play some shows or go on tour. The primary objective is for people to hear and enjoy the music.