HUMMINGBIRD OF DEATH

The first time I saw this band’s name I feared something like Lawnmower Deth or Bad News but then all of a sudden the name HUMMINGBIRD OF DEATH made sense. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-Hummingbird Of Death just kinda popped into my head one day. It definitely represents our music well, “hummingbird” representing our speed and “death” representing the brutality for which we strive. I have a pretty good list of unused band names. I’ll probably never use them all, which is sad.

As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
– I (Mike) started the band in 2005. I play drums and do most of the yelling. Joe plays bass/backing vocals and Cory plays guitar. We live in Boise, Idaho, USA.

As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
– I think a great guiding principle regarding songwriting is to make the kind of music you want to hear, or maybe music that you aren’t hearing from other bands. Speaking for myself, there are certain styles of music that inspire me and inform my songwriting, and a lot of them involve spontaneous blasts of energy. I often try to capture that spontaneity when writing. Visual stimuli can also be helpful. For example, in recent years I have taken a lot of inspiration from the “Kaizo Mario” bootleg video game series.

When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-It does sometimes, but only when bands from other parts of the world actually come to Boise, such as Gride, Wojczech, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Sete Star Sept and others. I hope one day we can travel to other parts of the world and return the favor.

How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-For one thing, we rarely ever do promo shots. I’m not against the concept, but I tend to think of it as kinda cheesy. I don’t care about “looking the part” and I don’t think my bandmates do either. We look how we look and we don’t really care to misrepresent ourselves. If I want our band to look “cool” it is usually through the use of graphic art, which tends to represent the band much better than actual pictures of the three of us. So in that regard, the graphic side is very important.

What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-When I started the band I followed politics very closely and our early lyrics reflected that. As time went on I got burned out on that approach. These days I just try to use the lessons I’ve learned in life to make original observations of the world around me.

Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I grew up in the pre-internet age, so maybe they are more relevant to me than they are to others. I don’t really care if they are or not. I do believe in using a collection of music to make a complete artistic statement. Sometimes that means recording a traditional album’s worth of music, of which we’ve done two. Sometimes that means recording a 20-song EP that clocks in under 4 minutes, which is what we did with the “Goatmeal” 5″ record. As I type this (1/18/2017) we’re actually putting the finishing touches on a brand new album.

Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-I enjoy music in any and all available formats (vinyl, cd, cassette, whatever), but I can definitely see a future where physical formats become rare, due to cost, scarcity of materials, etc. In that case people will just have to be more creative with their artistic presentation. I have some friends who recently released an EP in the form of a beautiful silk-screened poster, with a download code printed on the back. I was stoked on that.

How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-We don’t tour very much! Joe is self-employed and quite flexible, but Cory and I are working stiffs like a lot of people. Most of the people that have been in the band over the years are the same way. Our longest tour was 12 days in the fall of 2015. When we started, people in Boise and other towns we would visit didn’t quite know what to make of us. We don’t have a traditional frontman to get a live audience pumped up, so our musical performance has to carry the day. We play extremely fast, so a lot of people will just stand and watch to see if we can actually pull it off, which is fine. I still remember how strange it felt, probably 3 years after we started, to see people do what you’re supposed to do with our style of music, which is go mental and start moshing.

What lies in the future?
-Actually we just released a split 5″ record with Beartrap that was in the works forever. Also in the works forever is our new album, which I mentioned above. But it is almost finished and we’ll be in the studio in February to record it. We hope to release it later this year and support it with a North American tour.

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