Nov 15, 2012

All Hell Breaking Loose: Interview with Anders from BLOODY HAMMERS ...

There are a lot of occult/horror-driven bands in the world today but few produce music as memorable as Bloody Hammers. Sounding like the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, this band has produced some seriously twisted music on their debut album. The production on said album is amazing but it is the songs themselves that give this band the edge over most other bands trying their hands at spooky, haunting doom tunes. The band is very talented as players but also have the added bonus of having one very fine songwriter in Anders. Aleks tracked him down for this great interview. Now give in to your darkest of demons and read on ......... Ed

Hi Anders! How are you man?

Very good! I took the week of Halloween off from doing anything so I could catch up on some horror movies. I was a bit behind due to working on music stuff. BTW “V/H/S” and “The Woman” were very good for anyone who hasn’t seen them.

“The Woman”? What’s it about? I’ve seen only “Silent Hill – 2” if we’re talking about new movies, and I still think that I wasted my money paying for that film.

Ahh it’s sick, you should give it a shot. Lucky McKee did it with Jack Ketchum co-writing, I’m a fan of both these twisted guys. Lucky did that film “May” that was pretty popular for good reason back in the early 2000’s.

Not so long ago you had shown the world all power of Bloody Hammers as you record one of most catchy heavy doom rock albums of 2012! Do you realize that have you done?!

No I didn’t. Did I? Well it’s good to hear some people like it. People have said some positive things in emails and on my Facebook. I just wanted to make something that I would like but it’s a nice bonus if other people do as well!

Do you see in newspapers how high did raise the number of sacrifices, acts of black magic and dark rituals in States after releasing your full-length album?

Haha. We’ve managed to keep the sacrificial mischief to a minimum here. Besides, it nearly impossible to find a virgin these days!

And that’s why all young satanists start with cats! Alright, may you name a current congregation of Bloody Hammers sect? What kind of ominous intentions does tie you all together?

I played everything on the album because it was intended to just be a small project to do for fun in my small home studio. After I finished it I put a couple of tracks online but within 24 hours SoulSeller Records hit me up wanting to release it officially. We did a deal and it will be released Nov 23rd on CD and Vinyl. Since then I have put a band together and we are now rehearsing the material with intensions to play some shows. I am playing bass. My wife Devallia is organist and Curse is on Drums. They both also play with me on my Anders Manga project. I have a new guitarist, Zoltan who is a super cool guy.

Oh, man, now I see – you run that industrial / gothic project! What is his story? And does it mean that electronic music is more significant in your life then old good hard rock?

I like all kinds of music man. Metal to electronic to a dude sitting on a pumpkin with an acoustic ripping a good country song. If the song is good, it’s good. I’m not a scene snob, I’m a music lover and sniff around all types to see what’s happening. For me, it’s the triple B’s… Black Sabbath, Beatles and Bauhaus. I think those three bands are the roots of my influence. Black Sabbath for the power and sick riffs, Beatles for the sense of melody and Bauhaus for the dynamic dark atmosphere. The ‘Anders Manga’ stuff was all over the place. The first album in 1995 was more guitar driven deathrock and actually quite doom at times.

How long did you rehearse and compose the songs for “Bloody Hammers”? You know they sound too catchy, too good for a first album of the band that simply did jump from underground!

All of them came to me pretty quick. “Witch of Endor” and “The Last Legion of Sorrow” had been on my hard drive for a couple of years. I was going through songs I had been working on and rediscovered those two. I really liked them so I dedicated time to go ahead and finish a whole album. They just came to me one after the other. I love it when I hit that stride and everything just comes together. It was completed in September 2012. Bloody Hammers is a new and old project. I have been writing and recording heavier songs under that name on a small scale since the early 90’s. However none of that stuff was ever released worldwide and only available locally. Before the internet was common, it was much harder to get your music out beyond your local area, so I stopped and moved on to my other project. It’s more of a dark electronic rock project or ‘darkwave’ as they call it. It’s all synthesizer driven music. I’m also a synthesizer nerd. I’ve been doing that for well over a decade. However my first love is heavy hard rock so it’s nice to get back to it.

 What do songs’ lyrics mean to you personally? I remember that Victor Griffin of Pentagram said that “most of the lyrics were more of a warning about forsaking God and choosing the right path”. Yet, we see that “evil” is a good rock sound, naked girls and funny pastime. What is your choice?

I grew up in the crazy southern USA in the 70’s and 80’s where the Baptists were trying to convince all parents that their kids were Satanists if they owned Ozzy records or whatever. It was a frustrating time but it was also a rush to listen to music that was so forbidden by my church and family. However, as a result I never wanted to have anything to do with churches or organized religion. The Christians that I knew were insane and scientifically unreasonable. I’m more influenced by horror. When I was growing up we had Shock Theater and other late night shows that played old Universal and Hammer Horror films that would scare the hell out of me. All that stuff has been so influential. Perhaps they look cheesy to some people now, but back then they were awesome to me. I’ve been writing horror and occult inspired songs for almost 20 years now. All the ‘Anders Manga’ albums are heavily influenced by horror as well lyrically. Music and Horror has always been my escape for as long as I remember. Many of the lyrics are laced with personal metaphoric meanings as well. However, it’s therapy for me in some way I guess to write horror stories and songs. All before I was 15 years old, my grandfathers both died of heart attacks. I discovered the body of one. My father was run over by a drunk driver and my mother died a few years later from taking too many pills, which I was also the first to walk in the house and discover. One year later my grandmother went… it was just every year there was death it seemed. It was too much death for a kid to have to deal with, but music pulled me through and horror movies seemed to make the real life horror easier to cope with.
The shorter answer to your question I guess would be, yes I prefer naked girls and good rock sounds.

One of main Bloody Hammers most colorful features is your voice, who did influence onto you manner of singing?

I think many people will agree that the first music we hear when we’re kids is the best music we will ever hear. It’s the stuff that influences you for the rest of your life and just stays with you. For me as a 10 year old kid in 1983 it was so many. I loved the power and melody guys like Ronnie James Dio and Blackie Lawless were bringing. All that stuff was just great, but then I found my neighbors vinyl collection who was an older reefer loving guy. He gave me life changing albums that I spun relentlessly on my shitty little Superman turntable. “Roky Erickson and the Aliens” self-titled album, Alice Cooper’s “Love it to Death” and Black Sabbath’s “Vol.4” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. I quickly realized that even though I loved the music that was happening at the time in the early 80’s, I loved what was happening in the early 70’s significantly more.

Can you comment some of your favorite songs from Bloody Hammers first LP? And please tell personally for me – what is song “Trisect” about?

That song is a little neurotic steam of consciousness. The magic mushrooms might have been kicking in around that time. I like that song... I like all of them really. I was doing some healing and getting some aggression out. I’m proud of it all and would bother anyone with it if I felt otherwise.

You’ll release “Bloody Hammers” vinyl edition at 23rd of November, which songs will be included into that release and who will produce it?

I self-produced it but SoulSeller Records will release it worldwide and will include all the same songs as on the CD and digital release.

I see that even Nuclear Blast spreads a Word of Sin selling your CDs in Europe, this pact is much better than pact with the devil which singed the band… Oh, I did promise to tell it not… Okay, I would like to ask you about process of spreading “Bloody Hammers” CDs from very beginning. How did you start a promotion of the band?

Nuclear Blast will be selling it from their web shop. All this is SoulSeller Records doing. They have many retailers and distributors that they work with. The rest of the buzz is viral, I suppose.

True to say I was very surprised when I’ve seen an art-work of your album for a first time, it’s too simple, too trendy… and damn… it’s scary. I wouldn’t like to meet with girl who wears goat’s head. Where did you find her?

If you meet her she may find that you need to be tied up and spanked! Her name is Veronica Steam. She is a friend, local model and professional dominatrix in Atlanta. My wife Devallia is a photographer and took that picture a couple of years ago. When I saw it, I knew I had to use it for something. When I finished the album I grabbed it, put the logo across the top and it was done! Look her up online! Beware though… she’s NSFW!

Which role do music and occultism play in your life?

Music is everything to me. I live to listen, write and discover more music. Before I am a songwriter myself, I’m a fan. I wouldn’t say I’m an occultist but I am certainly intrigued by it. I think most people are.

As we see old style occult doom rock is bloody popular nowadays, do you see any reasons of that phenomenon? I’m starting to think that it’s kind of subliminal longing for safety of childhood which was full of those old bands, retro horror movies and comics stuff…

You’re probably right in some ways. It was just a cool fucking rebellious time period and many people miss it. Black Sabbath was in their prime. Alice Cooper was shocking audiences and horrifying parents. Hammer Films were putting out their best gothic horror stuff, Dario Argento, Jess Franco, Pentagram was just getting started not far from me in Virginia… just the coolest time ever. What’s not to love?
My favorite music is between 1965 through 1985. Of course I also like stuff from the 90’s to present. I just like simple good songs with melody, a groove and darker subject matter.

And after all man, what do you plan to do with Bloody Hammers? Will you just return to Anders Manga or will you continue to work in a vein of old school occult doom rock?

I really feel like I’m doing what I always wanted to do right now. I’m having fun with Bloody Hammers and want to hang around and annoy people with it for a good while.

Well, thank you for your time and your music Anders! I wish you all the best and I hope that both of your projects will get deserved attention of public. Do you have something to say to our readers before wishing them good night?

Hell I’ve talked too much already. I certainly welcome you all to have a listen at Bloody Hammers. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do and maybe make one of your days a little better. Adios Amigos!!

Interview by Aleks Evdokimov.

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