Horrified are a devastating death metal and here is an interview with vocal/guitar player Daniel Anderson:
What sort of kid were you growing up and did you come from a big family???
I grew up in a split family to a single parent, our family history is quite complicated and I eventually moved out to my Grandmother's when I was 15 due to suffering from emotional abuse from my Mother's partner at the time. I was a video game fiend and general nerd / oddball. The type of kid that got picked last in PE class and someone who preferred to stay in than go out.
Were you always into music or did that come later on?
I didn't get into music heavily until I was about 13/14 years old. My friends in school were all discovering classic and modern rock and started to learn instruments as hobbies. I pretty much just fell into it due to my friends at the time. I got my first guitar from my friend for about £50 when I was 14; I started listening to bands and artists such as Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, CKY, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age etc etc.
Now how did you come to discover metal in general and how did you end up discovering underground metal in general? What were some of the 1st bands you heard and when you heard this music did you like it right away or did it take a few listens to get into?
Following on from my last answer, I was very much into rock in early teenhood. My friend sent me "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" from Megadeth's "Rust In Peace" album over Instant Messenger. This put me on to the path of discovering metal pretty much. Which also made me start practicing techniques needed to play metal on guitar and attempting to cover some simple thrash songs. I was heavily into thrash for a long time, and me and my friend both wanted to try and discover the fastest and most extreme form of thrash possible. I remember discovering Dark Angel on a YouTube session after school with my friend. The Darkness Descends album made us go crazy with how fast and extreme it was, coming from listening to bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Testament for the most part.
After school I met a good friend at our leavers’ do who was into metal, we got chatting and he told me about this genre called power metal. I was intrigued and, around about the time I started college. He lent me a crap ton of essential power metal classics, from bands such as Blind Guardian, Lost Horizon, Hibria, Edguy, Sonata Arctica etc etc. This opened the floodgates for me and I ended up discovering all the underground subgenres of metal which has lead me to my current taste today.
Now was there a solid underground metal scene and did you get to see many shows at all?
For a few years I thought no one was into metal in the north east. I used to only attend the bigger academy-sized shows, granted there was a fair few bigger acts playing Newcastle often, with decent turnouts. But it wasn’t until I was 18 and met some guys at an Evile show that I got introduced into the Newcastle DIY scene. It has grown quite rapidly, and these days it is very active and exciting scene to be involved in. There are loads of great local bands making a name for themselves and we are attracting a lot of attention from bands around the country to play our city, it’s fantastic.
Now what gave you the idea to start up Horrified? Now it was supposed to be a studio project only, what led to it being more than that?
My first ever band was a Atheist/Death-inspired tech-death band called Plague Rider. I used to love this style a lot when I was younger, but also loved the putrid “OSDM” style filth. I wanted to get this out but the ideas were far too "primitive" for that band. So I began writing more direct and "riff”-based material. I wanted to record it the best I could, with the limited knowledge I had at the time. I started a music production degree in Newcastle in 2012. I posted a status on Facebook asking if anyone could help me record and produce a demo, just to get it out there. I was approached by someone in the second year of the course, saying that he needed a band to record for his project, who was also into metal. So we ended up recording and co-producing the three track demo "Carcinogenic Feasting" the demo attracted some attention in the scene. So I thought it would be cool to try and form a lineup to play some shows, we had some bites and we ended up playing Byker Grave Festival in 2013 as our first ever show. This led to Horrified becoming the fully active band it is today.
How did you find vocalist Sam and were any other singers considered for doing this?
I had been friends with Sam online for a few years, who actively posts his own material on Soundcloud. One time he posted a death metal tune with his vox on his profile and I loved his vocal style. I asked him to do the vocals for the demo as I thought he would be a good fit and, I was going to step up to the vocal spot from the start of the band, but I was not confident at the time to learn how to do the vocals.
Now how quick did the 3 songs for this demo come out? Were all 3 songs ready to go when you entered into the studio? How did the creating of the 3 songs come about?
I wrote the three songs for the demo on and off over the space of a few months, in the summer before I started university. Which I had a long time off for. So I was trying to use some of this spare time as productively as possible. The songs were all ready before we started tracking. I just wrote the riffs at home and tabbed them up in Guitar pro along with the drum patterns that were on the demo.
How did you hook up with Tombs of the Valley and what was the response to this 3-song demo like? Were there any bad or unfair reviews in your opinion?
I had been friends with Stu Bartlett for a long time and he said he was game to do a 50-CD run of the demo via his label. The demo didn't receive too much press, but it did go down fairly well. It went to a couple of distros, who were enthusiastic about stocking it and obviously made some of our current members want to play in the band.
Now how did you come up with the band name and were any other names considered???
I just thought it was something that sounded cool and, I always preferred death metal band names that are just one word. I was thinking about naming the project after a Gorguts song, since they were such an inspiration on our early material. But in the end I'm glad I didn't, as the project has progressed a long way from that sound.
For somebody who has not heard your great band, what would you say you sound like and do you think you’re original?
I would say Horrified's sound is very comparable to the stylistic sound of the Swedish death, melodic death and melodic black metal movements in the early to mid 90’s. I would say our early material wasn't very original, but our new album was written without the intentions to worship any particular band in general. So I would suggest there is a degree of originality in the band's current sound.
Now tell me about this live show you did at the Byker Grave Festival. As the demo was only 3 songs, what other songs did you perform?
We didn't perform the entire demo actually, by this point I had some new songs that were ready for our debut album. We only played a short 20 minute set consisting of "Repugnant Degeneration”, "Buried Among Putrified Flesh”, "Narcolepsy" and "Descent Into Putridity”.
Now in 2014 you recorded a full length called Descent Into Putridity. Now did you have a label ready to release this or was this done on your own and then later you got a label to release it? As that will lead me to my next question.
I was recording the album to be used as my final project in my second year of university. I was in contact with Raul through the entire process keeping him updated as I went and, once it was finished, I sent him the final result. He then responded with the album deal.
Now Memento Mori Records ended up releasing it. Were they all along from the get-go or did they hear it after you recorded it and wanted in?
I kinda feel like this was covered in my last answer. I was sending Raul rough mixes throughout the production process and he seemed interested in releasing it via Memento Mori. However, we didn't get the actual deal until I sent him the full thing.
Now who plays on this release and at this point was this a full-time band type of thing where you were tour and put more releases out, etc?
Line up for Descent Into Putridity was;
Dan Alderson - Vocals / Guitars?Ross Oliver - Guitars?Dan Hughes - Bass
Matthew Henderson - Drums
Line up for Of Despair is;?Dan Alderson - Vocals / Guitars?Rob Hindmarsh - Guitars?Dan Hughes - Bass
Matthew Henderson - Drums
The band is not full-time as we all have different projects outside the band etc, but we do take the band quite seriously, trying to do as much as possible, whilst also still having fun of course. I guess the best way to describe Horrified is a pretty involving hobby taken fairly seriously.
Now how was the response to this release and were you happy with the sales and stuff with this release? Did you have pretty much all the material ready to go when you entered the studio?
The response for Descent Into Putridity was fairly positive, the album sold okay too. The material was all ready before the studio, this is how we work.
Did you play many live shows to support this release at all???
We played a few live shows to support the debut but we were not as active as we are now. By the time we started becoming more of an active live band we were debuting new material live from Of Despair, alongside material from the debut.
Now your sound is of a more old school sound, what are some of the bands would you say your influenced by??
Anata, Edge of Sanity, Horrendous, Dissection, Sacramentum, Sacrasm, Vinterland, Dismember, Uncanny, Carcass etc etc. We also have some influences outside of Death Metal, including; While Heaven Wept, Atlantean Kodex, Agalloch, Gallowbraid and Obsequiae, as well as traditional metal.
Now here we are in 2016 and you just released Of Despair. Now I got a copy to review via Stormspell Records. Is that the label you’re on now, or is that a license deal for the US???
The agreement with Stormspell is a deal for a CD version for Of Despair, this will be the only CD version released for the album. We also have licensing deals for tape and vinyl via Till You Fukkin Bleed and Infernal Devastation Records.
How did the writing of these new come about? I love the music as well as the production so where was this recorded at?
We recorded the album at Downcast Studios in Gateshead, the album was then mixed and mastered by Damian Herring at Subterenean Watchtower Studios. The album was composed between July 2014 - January 2015. Through complete and utter misery.
Do you plan on playing a bunch of live shows if you can and how would you rate the band as a live band?
We plan on playing live as much as possible to support the release. We are playing a three date tour in April with Skelethal and Decrepid, and are playing Eradication Festival in Wales in August. We will also try to play every day we get asked to play from promoters. I think we are a solid live band that do a good job of representing quite layered material in a live environment. This comes from us being good friends and having plenty of experience in bands and playing live.
Any last words and horns up for doing this interview.
Hails for your support Chris and, to everyone else who has supported the band in some way. It means a whole lot to us.
Interviewed by Chris Forbes