HAMMERED was a nice surprise. I had no expectations but their metal impressed me so much that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
You have a name that is almost a declaration of intent. How hard was it to find a fitting name
– Actually, we found the name “Hammered” after spending a few weeks thinking about how our music sounded. Originally, the name had another form, but it was too polished and not spontaneous enough. We needed an adjective to describe perfectly and clearly the music we play, that could be a name for the band too. Then, just spontaneously, “Hammered” came out. Definitely, I would say we found quite easily the right name for our band.
Do you feel that the music, lyrics and art work have to connect? Is there a specific aesthetic to the music that you play that you have to follow?
-The artwork of The Beginning is not completely connected to the music we play into this first album; or rather, the music of this recording is not at the level of the artwork, which is, instead, just like we imagined it. The idea for this debut album was to represent something emerging from an old dimension, just like a figure carved into stone emerging from a scrambled surface of stone Aesthetically, the designer who realised the artwork for the album was successful! However, the music does not coincide completely with the idea of a brand new concept emerging from the past. For the future, we would definitely follow an aesthetic that is more specifically connected to our music.
How would you like to define your music?
-The music contained in this first recording is a mix between power and thrash metal with some classic metal influences.
Is it important that there are bands playing the style of metal that you play both locally as well as nationally for your metal to stick?
-Well, lot of bands play metal music in Italy, locally as well as nationally. However, it is not so important how many of them play this music genre, but rather how many of them are really interesting and original. You must have something really different/special to show, if you want to be unique, and if you want to stick your proposal of metal music. Finally, and strictly related to this, professionalism makes you reach high levels.
When you look for a record deal what is it that you are looking for?
-An efficient digital promotion on qualified web-magazines and web-radio broadcastings. A significant number of reviews is implied, in order to know how our record is considered and appreciated by fans of this type of music and by other listeners. As for the distribution of cd copies: it is important that it is organized on online distribution channels, but it is also essential that the label participates with representatives at music festivals or other events relating to emergent music, where it is possible to exchange cds with other European promoters and labels.
How pleased are you with your latest recorded work? What kind of expectations did you have on it?
-We are quite satisfied by our work! However, since this album is made up by songs which have been composed in a 7-year time span, they are obviously no longer fully representative of our present musical attitude. At the moment, we are focusing on a significant composition and production improvement for the next cd.
When you are about to enter a studio how well do you know what you are getting? How much improvisation is there in the studio?
-Let’s say, instrumentally, we were well prepared for this record; we made a solid preparation on the rhythm guitar parts, on the melodic guitar fills and bass parts. However, our line-up changed during the cording of “The Beginning”, and almost every guitar solo part has been recorded by external musicians; so, the guitar solos on this record have been totally improvised by guest guitarists. I have to be honest: I’m not totally satisfied about vocal parts; I was technically well prepared, but when I was into the studio I was still confused about the attitude, about the right imprint on the tracks, so I improvised a lot during the recording sessions: the result is a held back and very less sharp voice sound. So, improvisation has had a considerable role in “The Beginning”. Before entering the studio to record a second album, the tracks structure will be solid and well-defined, and we could use some improvisation only to improve some details, for example, using a different technique to give a different undertone to a specific vocal verse, or to some words; using legato technique to play part of a guitar solo phrase , instead of alternate picking technique; tonal variation on chords..
When you write music do you do it with the idea of it being an album or are they just single songs that you then put together into an album?
-This is a nice question! So: all the songs contained into “The Beginning” album have been written over about 7 years, and originally not with the idea to create an album: the idea to put together these songs to make a full length debut album came later, let’s say, at the beginning of 2012. Now we make new music and we write new songs with a precise concept album in mind.
I have a fear that the digital way of listening to music will kill of the album as we know it now. What are your thoughts on this?
-Yes. I totally agree with your opinion and let’s say, that I do not like the idea of people listening to my music on the net; for example on YouTube: YouTube is the easiest way to listen every single full album that you are looking for, so people do not buy cds anymore.
What future do you see?
-About our future as a band, we are working on a new album professionally, and we want to improve everything which is related to our music.
As for musicians in general, I think that we have to understand that if we continue to put albums on the internet, the music will be considered even less important and original, and it will become only a mass of unknown stuff.