BLOODSPOT interview about the second full-length “By the Horns”
Congrats for the success of the second album “By the Horns” so far! It seems you got a lot of enthusiastic responses about the album already, right? How have you been feeling with those feedbacks since the album had been released?
Marius: Good reviews are always nice for your ego, but critics can offer you a different point of view. It´s difficult to be neutral and objective when it`s all about your own art. We take reviews seriously but we try not to get too excited about them, either they´re good or bad. Right now, we´re definitely on our way, and it feels very good with this lineup.
The new album obviously sounds more straight-forward and mind-blowing with less modern elements than before. Did the member replacement effect for your musical direction for the album? Even now, Howdie and Marius are main songwriters, right?
Marius: Howdie is almost always the one to come up with new ideas and riffs, his style easily defines the “Bloodspot sound”. Most songs are written by him, but whenever a member has an idea we usually try it. Its always nice when an idea works out, and if not, we don’t give a damn. At the moment we´re working on the first ideas of Jaro, and it kicks major ass. Pete’s beautiful voice gives you such a kick that you can´t do anything else than play as hard as you possibly can. Maybe this is his exact influence on the musical direction ;-)
Howdie: In my opinion there are multiple combining factors that made the material on By the Horns sound more straight and relentless than on Embrace the End. Pete, his personality and workflow play an important role, as well as diverse personal changes and their influence on musical creativity. Especially after the debilitating split-up with our old vocalist Dom, it was very important and good to feel like a whole band again, and we became enthusiastic. Besides, it was clear from early on, that the new album is going to be more focused and brutal. And that was a rather conscious decision. Embrace The End was more like a pool of different experiments.
Both of the new band logo and the album art are killer because it’s absolutely powerful and pure fucking metal! How did you come up with the idea? Does the cover art represent more than “horns”?
Pete: I started working on the artwork and the new logo roughly at the same time I started my part for By The Horns itself. This way everything came together and that’s why it feels as made from one for me personally. The different processes while working influenced each other strongly and it gave me a very clear image of how our music would influence the listener. The rough energy and straight-forward songs on the album demanded a cover that shows exactly this musical direction and foreshadows what’s to be expected on the disc. We just want to break down walls with this album. Everyone in the band had to overcome some obstacles during the last year, and By The Horns is, both personally and musically, a big coup for us.
I had the idea for the title long before I joined Bloodspot. And I remember thinking “Yeah, BY THE HORNS… THIS IS METAL” back in the days, although the content to fill it up came somewhat later. In my first year with Bloodspot I was in some problematic situations that made me stray from my path. It was time to change things, take the bull by the horns so to say. The decision to stay with Bloodspot and working on the album gave me a very important impulse and a lot of energy. While talking with the other guys, I noticed that we were all in quite similar circumstances and everyone could connect with the title and artwork easily. That’s why it means a lot to me.
I was so curious if Pete’s low-pitched and bestial vocals could fit with the old songs, and he showed us it works great with the new version of “Far From Innocence” in the new album. Why did you choose the song from the past releases to the new album?
Howdie: We had a very narrow time frame for the work on the album. In the beginning, the plan even was to just release an EP because of the little time we had. When we advanced faster than expected with the new songs, our label proposed to rerecord an old song to have enough material for a full-length. We chose „Far From Innocence“ because we added a part to that song in the meantime, so we recorded it the way we play it live. Naturally, the song is a bit faster than the old version. ;)
So, could you explain each of the songs in the album to the listeners?
…And They Brought Gold
Pete: … is the hardest song on the album, a lot of words in a very fast song. It’s always a challenge, especially when playing on stage. Nevertheless, I love to sing „And they brought gold“, it just emanates so much aggression. The lyrics revolve around exploitation, delusion and oppression. I wrote them very clearly and straight-forward, not as abstract as other songs, to communicate what’s at stake.
The Legend Of Butch Miller
Pete: … is about my connection to a close friend. We had an experience together that will follow us forever and influenced me a lot. I tried to make something like a legend or fable from that happening. But the core of the content is about a strong connection.
„Butch Miller“ is the persona of this friend’s son. His real name is different, but when his wife was pregnant with him, he always searched for stupid names fort he baby. The song could be called „The Legend of Bronco Miller“, but I liked Butch more.
By The Horns
Howdie: This song is about metaphorically taking the bull by the horns. The bull here stands for instilled and routinized behaviour and consumption patterns, which by chance are based on the exploitation and enslavement of other people. To realize that such patterns exist, however, does not mean you can simply abandon them, because yourself have become a part of the machine already. This very conflict is the main topic here. It's the fastest and most punky song on the album!
Howdie: In my opinion, "Burst Black", is a full- fledged Death/Thrash-piece. On top of that, it's the only song featuring blastbeats, which we seldom use as a stylistic device. The text tells about the influence of the media and certain "defining powers" and the pressure they cause.
Death Down There Hold My Approach
Marius: A damn heavy song. I wanted to add a new dimension of heaviness to the Bloodspot music, so it has a very unusual rhythm and some slightly oriental scale-work. The inspiration to this song was our trip with the insane metalheads from turkey. In the beginning I wanted some kind of guitar duel for the solo section, but Howdy was too lazy and didn´t learn his part, so I have to play all three solos. This song also contains my only contribution to the lyrics, when I wrote that song I had one or two lines in mind that made it to the final version. I showed them to Pete and now we perform them together. Basically it´s about mortality and fugacity.
Marius: This is Kunos legacy. The slowest song we ever played, with a smashing groove and some sick psycho chords. I think it really sounds like lava running down slowly but unstoppable into the valley. The title perfectly matches what it sounds like, one of my faves.
Enter The Gray
Howdie: Fast and solid thrash-bludgeoning at high speed, featuring a nice and cozy halftime in between. The lyrics tell you not to think in superficial patterns, not to aspire to black or white, but stick with the middle, the gray.
Marius: Stamping intro, rifle-fire riffing, catchy chorus and two “Über- thrash-riffs” in the second half. In fact, for these riffs I invented the term “Thriff” (which means “superb thrash riff” ;-) Oh, and Howdie’s very first lead guitar part ever to be released, a very cool bluesy rock solo. I love it.
Once more, death is the main topic. (...)
Far From Innocence ‘13
Pete: … I knew this song long before joining the band and the interaction between my band members while performing impressed me since the „The Demon EP“ days. When I saw them live for the first time, I went totally mad, there are some video recordings that‘ll hopefully stay buried forever. Nowadays I like performing the song myself, its very straightforward and has a lot of groove, that’s why we mostly use this as opener.
Which song in the album do you like most and tell us the reason?
Pete: Very difficult… but all in all it’s „The Legend of Butch Miller“. It has a nice meaning and is important for me, while being a real party blast, which would fit quite well as playback bar or disco track. It’s the most recognizable song on the album in my opinion, and is a ton of fun to play.
Jaro: It’s really hard to decide between „And they brought gold“ and „Volcanos“. Both of them feature the raw and aggressive BLOODSPOT attitude, albeit in very different forms. In the end, I guess I’m sticking to “And they brought gold” – it’s fast, hard and relentless right from the start, and it keeps going like this for the whole song – a killer especially when playing live!
Check the kick-ass music video By The Horns!
The new music video “By the Horns” is fantastic too! Why did you film the video at the location? Who’s idea?
Pete: It’s rather difficult to explain because there were some misunderstandings leading to the creation of the video. The core idea at first was to symbolize indifference of chances in the world, but this was abandoned after some time. We had some problems with communication, it was rather chaotic, but because we know our video producer quite well, we had no problems in just letting it flow and simply started to shoot right away. I think the result is a good mixture from stuff a metal band would love to do on a farm and has a nice portion of self-mockery.
The song „By The Horns“ is about the process of realizing that not every human person on earth has the same chances and possibilities, and a lot of stuff that happens is just fate. Growing up in an ideal world, where we often are reminded in a very far-fetched and cautious way that injustice is real and all around us. But my lyrics are not very straight-forward, there is a lot of detail in the texts, that can be traced to very different experiences.
Howdie: The idea for the video came from our friend Bill Raab, who shot and produced the video completely on his own. In the beginning, we were not really convinced by his „farm life“ idea. Additionally, there was the chaos Pete mentioned earlier, considering the theme of the song and its realization in the video. As we made some really good experiences with Bill while filming “Consumed by Hatred” already, we just let him do his magic. And we had a real blast while shooting the video! All in all, it fits the band quite well: Some primitive country bumpkins that love to play in the dirt! :D
Could you introduce us your new bass player, by the way?
Jaro: Hi, my name is Jaro, and I’m the new bass player for BLOODSPOT. I’ve been around the band for some time before joining, so we basically know each other quite well already. I already played in a band together with Marius and Pete some time ago; in fact I’m also playing with Marius in another project right at the moment. It’s nice to be a member after knowing a band for such a long time ;)
For the album, you signed with Bret Hard Records, right? Has the signing improved your musical environment?
Howdie: We have a broader distribution and more substantial promotion thanks to Bret Hard. Another plus is the very familiar way of working with each other. We have a lot of contact and friendships with some of the labels bands. There is Skum, the band of label founder Chris, and also Five Dollar Crackbitch, Pripjat and Sabiendas.
The previous question leads to the new project New Wave of German Metal you belong to. Could you explain a bit about it?
Howdie: This is a quite good example for friendship/family ties between bands as well. Kai and Benny of Parasite Inc. and Johnny of Soulbound were responsible for developing the idea behind NWOGHM. We shared the stage with both bands already and had quite some fun with them. On top of that, both bands are very hard-working, they do everything for their music and perform on a very high level. When they showed us the project and asked us if we were interested in joining, we didn’t have to think a lot about it.
So, what is your next goal at the moment as a band?
Pete: We want to continue in the same way we did up until now. Last year was quite good! We had a lot of cool live-shows, most critiques for our album were rather favorable, we signed with a label, the personal climate inside the band is fantastic, we feel awesome! All of that makes pretty optimistic considering our future. We want to try to keep this perspective and even improve on it. We are motivated to become even better, to finally kick the last skeptics into the crotch! We are burning!!!
Jaro: Conquering the world of course… just kidding. I’m very happy to have joined the band and I hope for a glorious future full of nice gigs, nice people and some killer future releases! Regarding this topic, we’re slowly picking up the pace again in terms of songwriting… I’m very excited for the results!!!
Howdie: Of course we are looking for advancement. Time will tell how we are going to achieve it. Of course we want to record the best album that Bloodspot can offer. But to avoid unnecessary blockades and keep the music fun for everyone involved, we are going to approach songwriting in a relaxed way. The most important thing is that we are happy with the results ourselves.
Could you leave any message to metal fans in the world?
To grab a bull by it‘s horns is always a good and fuckin‘ manly thing to do... so: BY THE HORNS!!! see you on stage!
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