The concept of god is a fascinating one. GODHUNTER are fascinating in a whole different manner. Check them out. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-There is this wonderful duality with our band’s name, which I believe sets the mood exactly as we want it.
On one hand, you have a very aggressive visual of a group that is out to hunt down God himself, with the intent of all out war. This is our angry side, the side that despises the injustices set upon humanity. It’s us taking the role of the adversary, in order to challenge a corrupt system.
On the other hand, you have a more metaphysical visual of a group looking to find God himself, which could be defined as finding a better path for humanity. This is the side that comes after the anger, after the expression of disgust, that you often find in our music.
Musically, I think the two sides play out as “A Conversation Between Hope & Despair,” which was the subtitle of our full length, City of Dust. That musical conversation has held true throughout all our releases since then.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-I understand what you mean by not being able to find the right people. Bands can be very challenging. You not only have to find common ground musically, but also be able to resolve differences in personalities and professional goals. And those challenges are ongoing throughout a bands life.
So, why do it? Why not just be a solo artist? Because the music that comes out of collaboration with the right people is almost always better than what comes out of “going it alone.” The back-and-forth that happens in bands actually serve to shape the end result in ways you might never have imagined on your own.
This latest release, Codex Narco, is the result of exactly that. The framework of the two longer tracks, Black Fingernails and Cocaine Witches, started out sounding sorta like a film score with guitars. But by the time we added all the amazing input from Clay, Sage and Josh, the tracks took on an entirely new and exciting personality. Frankly, one that I never would have predicted. And one I couldn’t be happier with!
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-That’s tricky, and pinning down a genre for this latest release might be an exercise in futility. Haha!
I think it’s an amalgam of many genres we personally enjoy. We love many bands who write sludge, doom and black metal. We also love pop, old country and film scores! In earlier releases, many of those genres were represented, but often separated by tracks. You’d have a sludge song, then a doom song, then an acoustic song. Now, we’re having a little fun answering the question, “What happens when you add this sound with this sound?” Sorta a sonic alchemy, if you will. It’s all still very rooted in heavy rock and metal, but without limiting ourselves to a genre.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-I think it mostly comes down to listening to each track, particularly the beginning and ending of each track, and seeing how each flows into each other. That’s the sonic method, searching for the right flow of sound from the beginning to the end of the album. I think Codex Narco and Endsville followed this method.
City of Dust was sequenced with the above method in mind, but because it was a conceptual album, we really payed attention to how the subject matter – the lyrical content – was sequenced as well. City of Dust was very carefully arranged to make sure the album made sense – sonically and lyrically – from beginning to end.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-I find the inspiration initially comes from conversations that we as a band have together. Sometimes they’re political conversations, and sometimes they’re personal. It’s the emotion and thought from those conversations that invoke a mood that we want to capture musically. After we’ve chewed on that mood for a while, we’ll usually start jamming and sending ideas to each other. The process of creation is less about listening to a specific sound and trying to recreate it. It’s more about, “What kind of sound invokes the mood we’re trying to express.” Codex Narco definitely followed this method.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-Godhunter has always been very big about the artwork that goes into our albums! It’s integral to the experience of our physical copies, as we release every one of our albums in an analog format, such as vinyl and cassette. There is nothing like opening up a physical copy of a record or cassette, and experiencing the band from both the auditory and visual aspect.
We love the artists we work with, such as Rudy Flores, Steven from Blial Cabal, Bailey Illustration, Nate Burns, Andrew Weiss and Shona Crawford. They all have been incredibly important to how our albums have come out! One of the greatest examples is the work we did with Rudy on Endsville. My god! The amount of work Rudy put in to set up that scene for the two beasts, Godhunter vs. Destroyer of Light, was inspiring in its own right.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-In my experience, fans of heavy music are still very much into the album as a whole, not just singles. Sure, singles are often released to “whet ones appetite,” per se, but almost everyone I know still loves to listen to the full album of bands they love. Besides, most bands out there are still writing albums to be listened to as a whole. As long as bands write compelling albums, and not just singles, then fans will listen to them.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-I think people who love heavy music are a very different breed of music lovers. In my experience, they are closer to jazz and classical fans than they are to other popular music fans. They love albums, they love live shows, they love merchandise. I don’t hear metal fans often talk about a “track” that their favorite band wrote. They most often talk about the “album” or the “set.” They love the total experience of the band.
If that attitude keeps going strong, then I don’t think the metal genre has anything to worry about.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-I don’t think we’re really looking for a scene to fit into. I think that can be a dangerous trap to fall for, because if you start trying to fit into a sound or scene, you immediately are stifling yourself. I get the perspective that if a band adopts a genre or a scene, that they can find a receptive fan base faster. However, I think we’d rather define our own sound, and have fans from different walks discover us. And, hopefully like what we do!
What does the future hold?
-The future is never set. All I can predict is more experimentation with our sound!