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Interview with Bloody Hammers
07 August 2014
They have just released their third full-length album called ‘Under Satan’s Sun’. Roland Oei talked to founding members Anders Manga (vocals, bass) and Devallia (organ, piano) to find out more about the band. Here’s what they had to say......
How long has the band existed for?
Anders : We met in 2003 and the band has existed since 2012 but we did other music as well which was more dark wave, more electronic and we still do that as well but this has taken a lot of our time. That was just under the name Anders Manga and put out as my solo stuff. We did that for well over a decade, well at least I did and then she came along and helped. We toured and did stuff with that and now we are focussing on Bloody Hammers.
Have you been writing together since the beginning?
Anders : It was me at first and then she came along.
Devallia : I just add pieces in. I don’t actually do the song writing. He has a song idea and I come down and play something on it.
Anders : She is more like a producer. She just tells me what sucks and what I should delete. She also puts some keys down on the albums as well.
Tell us a bit about the writing and recording of Under Satan’s Sun.
Anders : We were invited by Phil Anselmo to play his festival and we played it and it was really inspiring so I came back and it was Halloween and it had this Halloween feeling in the air and I sat down and wrote all the songs in a week. It all just came out quickly. You get these spurts of inspiration where a lot of stuff comes to you at once and when they come fast like that it is usually the best stuff so that is how it worked out.
How has the music changed from the first album to this one?
Anders : I would say this one is more of a cohesive thing because we live in a place called Transylvania county, North Carolina which is a very small little area and there is only about 3000 people that live there and we live in a cabin at the top of a mountain with a studio and we just write songs up there and we wanted to write...there are so many cool stories from around there, folklore that we wanted to write about and all the songs on Under Satan’s Sun are based on old folklore from where we live. That is the concept to the album.
Is there a particular story that stands out?
Devallia : I would say spear finger stands out to me. It is a story about a witch that used to inhabit the woods and she had a long spear like finger and would stab the livers out of children or anyone in the woods and eat their livers. That one stands out to me.
You cover occult and horror themes in your lyrics. Do you write about other things?
Anders : I just like to tell stories. Mostly I just write stories around stories that exist already. Most of our albums are based around local ideas. We like writing about horror and occult the most.
In the press your music has been described as everything from Stoner to Doom to Occult. Do you think there are other elements to your music besides those?
Anders : That is pretty much it. Whatever anyone wants to call us. We just write songs we like and you can call it whatever you want.
Why did you choose The Town That Dreaded Sundown as the first single off the new album?
Anders : That was Napalm Records. We didn’t choose it. We just told them do what you want to do. We like all the songs and we said choose which one you like the best. I think they just like it. Sometimes we are so close to the songs, because we write them, mix them and produce them that we let them choose because it is easier that way.
How long have you been a touring band?
Anders : About a year. We have been going on and off and this is probably the most aggressive thing we have done yet touring wise. This has really been a studio project until the last year but now our goal is to make it a live entity.
You say this album is better sonically than the other two. What did you do differently on this one?
Anders : I think I am learning more about recording because as I said I am recording at home and the first one I can’t believe anyone liked it as it sounded pretty bad. I guess I like it. I am learning as a producer so with each album I learn new tricks and it sounds better. I like working alone and besides we don’t live around anybody so it is easier to do it that way. It kind of evolved that way.
How do you rehearse with the rest of the touring band?
Devallia : We meet half way. They drive 5 hours and we drive 5 hours. We rehearsed for several days for this tour and it worked out.
Some of your music has been used in films and shows.
Anders : Yeah I had a song in The Vampire Diaries, I don’t know if you get that shit over here. It is a big show in the States but I haven’t seen it yet. Our songs have also been used in movies like The Shriven and My Summer as a Goth. There are many. I have seen them on DVD but I have never watched them.
Can you pick two songs that people that have never heard you before should check out to get an idea of what you are about?
Devallia : I guess Fear No Evil and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Fear No Evil is from the self titled album and people seem to really like it. I like it because you don’t hear songs with an organ in it like that very often. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is melodically good. You get a good vibe from it and we like playing it live.
Any message for your fans?
Anders : We will be back. I think they are working on that now. It will be a more extensive tour next time, hopefully in the fall.