Friday, 5 May 2017
ANCIENT VISIONZ INTERVIEW W/ BLOODGOD (DEATH METAL)
1. Hello please introduce yourselves to the readers? What age were you when you first discovered rock, metal music?
Hi Patrick & Gaz, first of all thanks for the interview! We're Daan Douma on guitar and vocals, Frank van Boven on bass and vocals, and me, Johnny Derechos, on drums. Together we're Bloodgod, Dutch metal moloch hailing from Utrecht, the Netherlands. Each of us independently of the others discovered rock and metal around the age of twelve. For me, guitar oriented songs started to stand out when listening to radio. The transition from pop hits to Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Guns 'n Roses to full-blown metal of Slayer, Sepultura and Death went natural for me.
2. Bloodgod formed in 2011 what gave you all the idea to start this band? What is the current lineup for the band?
Around that time, I was playing in Nuestros Derechos, which was more of a thrash metal trio with some hardcore punk ethics. Bloodgod initially started low profile as a side project, mainly as an outlet for Nuestros Derechos guitarist Jerry (nowadays living in Berlin and playing in Agonized) and former Warchitect guitarist Mike Schoemaker, a mutual friend. Playing drums with two guitarists was new for me, but it was awesome to lean against a wall of riffs, haha. Unfortunately we suffered from a series of lineup changes for various reasons: Jerry leaving to another country, musical differences, private issues that needed to be solved, etc. Nowadays I'm the only original member left. When Daan joined we decided to start over with a clean slate and new songs. We just kept the band name and logo, both courtesy of Mike. After Frank joined in late 2012 and Nuestros Derechos called it quits, Bloodgod became a steady three-piece and my main band. It's the same for Daan. Frank is a band slut who's also playing with Disquiet and a Slayer cover band dubbed Player.
3. Who are some of Bloodgod's biggest influences and for the readers who have never heard the band’s music how would you best describe it?
Since 2012 all songs have been composed by Daan. He has been a fan of groovy metal like Pantera and Lamb of God. He also likes technical, brutal death metal such as Illogicist but that probably doesn't shine through since my drumming skills do not include essentials such as blast beats on 300 bpm. I've always liked the energy of thrash metal, how a simple skank beat can really pump you up. However, the riffs that make the melody of a song will always remain the most important element for me. It's what makes a song memorable. Whether it's a deceptively simple AC/DC song, or let's say Gojira, Necrophagist or Monstrosity. I know Frank has a weak spot for Jeff Waters and Annihilator, but is also fond of Carcass, At The Gates and Arch Enemy.
4. Bloodgod recently released their new EP, 'Catharsis'. How long did it take the band to write the music for this EP? Does the whole band work on the music or one member usually write everything?
Daan wrote around ten songs in a year and a half or so and I wrote nearly all lyrics. Writing and rehearsing five songs is one thing, but recording, mixing and mastering took much longer than planned. We teamed up with the engineers of Mass Audio in our hometown Utrecht. After we recorded our tracks in May 2016, Mass Audio had some other jobs to do. Eventually, mixing started late July 2016 and was finished in August. Next step was to find a proper mastering engineer. It was already Autumn when we opted for Jacob Hansen, who offered a fair price and has a good track record. However, he was also too hung up on other things. So it took another couple of months to get the final mastered version. 'Catharsis' was released about 9 months later than planned.
5. Besides the new 'Catharsis' EP does the band have any other releases or merchandise available for the readers? If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Prior to 'Catharsis' we released 'Pseudologia Phantastica', Recorded and mixed by Quintijn Verhoef at Studio Independent Recordings in Utrecht in August 2013. It's Bloodgod's studio debut featuring 3 songs. For both released and some other merch please visit Bandcamp: https://bloodgod.bandcamp.com/ Bloodgod's music is also available on all other major platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and Soudcloud among others.
6. Besides working in Bloodgod are any of the members currently playing in any other bands or projects at this time?
Frank is also playing with Disquiet and a Slayer tribute band named Player. He's also playing sousaphone in a carnival (marching) band. Daan would like to take up drumming and has been offering his drummer services for several local bands. After Nuestros Derechos stopped, I continued with Agents of Entropy. Again a trio, it had more of a (neo-)crust punk vibe, inspired by Derrick Jensen's two-volume book Endgame. We recorded two songs before breaking up.
7. What has the reaction been like to the new EP?
So far, nearly all responses have been positive, for which we are very grateful. It's very satisfying when people seem to be able to enjoy the music that we take such delight in creating. Bloodgod may not be groundbreaking, but most reviewers seem to appreciate the music's sincerity. It's solid, straight forward and genuine.
8. Are you guys planning on the next album yet?
We're always looking forward. At the same time daily struggles like work, study and relationships gobble time and attention. Bloodgod is not our professional occupation, it's not what provides food on the table. So you can probably understand that we haven't booked our next recording session yet. Let's support this release with a series of decent live shows first, shall we? Any suggestions for a good gig in UK are welcome :-)
9. Random time lol. I'm a huge movie nerd. What are some your favorite movies?
Movies are awesome! Well, except for musicals and most romcoms. And unlike many other metal heads I'm not too keen on raunchy horrors. I presume I have the same classics on my favorites list as many others. These include the original Star Wars trilogy. I'm probably sounding like an old fart but Rogue One was mere shit. One the recent films I saw that I was quite impressed with is Captain Fantastic, directed by Matt Ross. Absolutely recommended.
10. If there was anywhere in the world you guys could play, where would it be?
We're a hungry pack of wolves with an everlasting appetite for a next gig. Our aim is get on every possible stage in Netherlands before invading Europe.
11. I've noticed it is becoming harder to get music fans of all genres, whether metal or non-metal to take notice of the DIY/mid-tier and lessser known bands. It is frustrating as there is so much good music out there. Do you guys have any opinions on this subject?
You're absolutely right that the supply of metal bands is huge. The amount of new releases every week is overwhelming. At the same time a lot of bands operate very strictly within the framework of a specific subgenre. It's tricky because on one hand metal heads are very conservative when it comes to their favorite music. Just look at the lineup of most metal festivals nowadays. Take Bloodstock, or Wacken Open Air for instance. The majority of the names on these bills consist of bands that have been around for 20 years or longer. On the other hand, interchangeability is a risk when following the genre rules as best as you can. People may hear your music and think 'Not bad at all', but it does not stick and they will forget you after 15 seconds, listening to the next band on YouTube... Now technology has become affordable enough to make everyone sound ok, creativity becomes even more important. Also, playing live as much as possible is a good way to expand your reputation small steps at the time.
12. And what is the best about playing in a DIY/independent band?
Exactly that: you have to do it yourself (with the help of others of course) and that you're independent. This means you make your own choices without someone on your back that's pushing for new material or asking for a certain style. DIY means getting in a small van to a next gig as if it were a boy's book adventure, tolerate each other's smells and bad jokes with an 'us versus the world' attitude. It means carrying your own gear. Discovering new places. Meeting new people. Appreciating the volunteers who help out with sound and lights, cook a decent diner or offer a sleeping place.
13. What do you enjoy the most about metal music?
As a genre, metal music is melodramatic. It's never subtle but everything is painted with wide brushes so to speak, e.g. you're not just angry, you're mad as hell, seeing red and ready to kill the first unlucky person that's hampering you. You're not just sad, you're feeling grief so heavy and desperately it becomes unbearable. This makes it the perfect way to release stress and frustrations from everyday’s life. That way death metal can have a very soothing effect. At the same time, metal can sound so fucking epic. It can lift you up on wings, energize you, take you everywhere. Last but not least, metal heads have a strong sense of comradeship. We can endlessly argue about subgenres and best releases, but in my humble opinion metal has the most loyal fans of all musical genres. When you spot someone with a band shirt or battle jacket, I'm sure you exchange a knowing glance as if you belong to the same secret brotherhood. The conviviality and camaraderie of metal shows is unrivalled, don't you agree?
14. Who are some of your favorite bands?
I grew up with the late '80s and mid-'90s metal so thrash metal and (Swedish) death metal became a huge part of my life's soundtrack. Some bands have managed not only to consolidate but even to sort of re-invent themselves many years later. I'm thinking of Machine Head with their album 'The Blackening', 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' and 'The Atrocity Exhibition...' albums by Exodus, 'Hordes of Chaos' by Kreator, and 'At War with Reality' by At The Gates to name but a few. That's quite admirable.
15. Where can people order Bloodgod merch?
Bloodgod's music is available on all major digital platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Spotify. If you want to order a CD, shirts or other merch please visit https://bloodgod.bandcamp.com/. Thanks for your support. Horns up and stay metal!
Johnny // Bloodgod