HORRENDEOUS

If you’ve made the HORRENDEOUS mistake like me and missed out on this band now is the time to rectify that mistake. Start doing so by reading this interview. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
-Horrendous is a death metal band formed in 2009 by three members, brothers Matt and Jamie Knox and Damian Herring. We just released our 3rd full length album, Anareta, this past October on Dark Descent Records. I like to think of our band as one that focuses on riffs and songwriting in place of striving for a harsh or brutal sound.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-We picked our name early on from a small group of options we had compiled. At the time, we didn’t think about it too much – I believe we decided on it within a day or two. It seemed crazy that ‘Horrendous’ wasn’t already in use, and it fit nicely for the time, considering we were a brand new band just writing songs for fun. Our band existed within a scene comprised mostly of metalcore bands back then, so we thought this name would separate us a bit and suggest that we are in fact an actual metal band.

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of prog/rock/metal you play? What inspires you today?
-That’s tough to answer since I think inspiration has been an almost continuous process since we started listening to music as young kids. I think our band came together not long after the three of us really got into older death and thrash metal (bands like Dismember and Coroner) and combined it with punk and heavy metal influences (bands like NOFX and Iron Maiden) that Matt and I grew up on. Over time, I think some of us have grown even more appreciative of classic heavy metal and we have become interested in things like progressive rock (bands like King Crimson and Yes) and other genres like jazz and even classical. Today, we collectively listen to tons of metal (death, black, thrash, heavy, etc), punk, folk, indie, prog, jazz, electronic bands, and more. We draw inspiration from all over and I suppose we funnel all of this through our (chiefly) death metal musical outlet.

What came first; the band name or the sound? How did you settle on a sound?
-The sound came first – we had written most of our demo before deciding on ‘Horrendous’ as our permanent band name. We did have an older band name for several months before that (we even played a show with this old name), but it was a terrible name choice. Bad enough that I won’t say what it was haha.

Is digital killing the album format? Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I think digital has partially killed the format for the general public, but it seems that metalheads remain mostly devoted to the album. I personally live for the album format and will not listen to bands with albums that have a significant amount of filler. I think it’s fine to release single tracks as a preview of the coming album, but the album itself is very important. The single is king in the world of popular music, but I don’t think this is the case in metal.

What part does art work and lay out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-We do our best to make our album a complete package, focusing a lot on the art and layout. I think having cool, original artwork is what captures people’s attention, and people really seem to like the cover art on our last two albums (both of which were painted by Brian Smith). I personally am turned off when an album has terrible cover art – I will like the album less if a component of this unit is lacking in quality.

Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote a cd? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Touring, word of mouth, paper ads etc?
-We don’t personally handle much of the promotion, so I can’t say for sure how effective traditional promotion still is. We do use social media somewhat, since it does seem to be the new standard. I seems like a lot of “word of mouth” promotion still happens online via blogs/message boards/social media, so maybe the format has changed but the basic premise has not.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-We have been located in a few different US cities but we haven’t really been part of any type of local scene, mainly because the scenes have been small and not as interested in our type of music. I feel like we are somewhat part of a greater national/international scene in the sense that we have connections in one way or another in many places.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-So far we have toured minimally, partially due to other obligations (full time day jobs). But also due to lack of significant interest in a lot of US cities. Touring can get expensive and becomes difficult when there isn’t sufficient interest to support travel. We have done lots of one-offs and weekend tours, but we hope to try some longer (one week or more) tours in the near future. I think touring does help to spread the word, so we will try to do more.

What will the future bring?
-Hopefully more widespread touring in new places (like Europe) and we will continue to write music since it is what we love to do.

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