Horrified are an absolute crushing death metal band that will rip to shreds and here is an interview with band member Dan Alderson:
Tell me how the band formed and did you go through many members changes before you came to a solid line-up? Did any of the band members come from any other bands?
The idea for Horrified came about when I started writing material that was a little bit too direct for a technical death metal band I was playing in at the time called Plague RIder. I initially started the band as a one man studio project under this name. I recorded and produced a three track demo with the help of some friends. After that we were asked to play an event in our local area, since the event was pretty big for our scene I scrambled a line up together consisting of friends we play in other bands in the region.
Around what are the ages of the band members and tell me a little bit about each one?
I’ll start from the ground up, Matthew our drummer is twenty. He drums in several different local death metal bands including Horrified (Plague Rider, Live Burial) he has extensive experience behind the kit and is a solid player who is called on for session work outside of metal as well. Dan Hughes our bass player is twenty eight and plays bass in a ton of different bands, apart from Horrified he is more involved in crust punk type genres and plays in Winds of Genocide and Prolfeed to name a few, Dan also has a reputation in the local scene as a great player. Our second guitarist, Ross Oliver is twenty four and is a serious musician / player. He has a degree in music and teaches guitar for a living and plays in Risen Prophecy and Vacivus. As far as myself goes I’m twenty one, in my last year of a music production degree and looking to establish a production house business during my last year whilst I focus on my musical projects in my spare time.
When the band got together and a line-up ready, what were some of the early band practices like? Did you jam on any cover tunes and how soon into the band’s existence did you start writing your own songs?
We had to be ready very quickly for the event we had agreed to play, it was a bit of a scramble to get the line up together. So we focused on getting as much material intended for the album down as possible for the show’s set.
How does a song come together? Is it more of a group effort or does one or 2 members write the songs? Who ends up writing the lyrics and what are they mostly based on?
For the album I wrote four of the songs entirely, whilst my online pen pal, Matt Inman from London who is in a progressive metal band called Whetstone, contributed the other three. A song is usually dealt with entirely by one person, Horrified is an ensemble of different musicians fulfilling different roles. The live line-up play in the band for fun as a side project, whilst myself and a few of my friends write all the material, this is a dynamic that will be kept in the band for the foreseeable future. As far as the lyric front goes I write all the lyrics as for now, Sam Butterfield who tracked the vocals on our first demo release wrote the lyrics for the entire demo and I kept the lyrics for the two tracks we re-recorded for the album. The lyrical theme found on the album deal with different mental health conditions such as anxiety and different stories / scenarios influenced movies, games and literature I like.
How did you come up with your name and were any other names thrown around at the time?
I was throwing around names such as Horrific, Mortified (You get the picture there) or possibly naming the project after a Gorguts song from Considered Dead (an album which highly inspired the material for this release), but in the end I chose Horrified as I thought it fit our lyrical content the best.
Now I know you are releasing your debut album which will be out by the time this is printed, have you released anything prior to this?
We released a three track demo on a local DIY label known as Tombs in the Valley Productions in 2013.
How did you end up hooking up with Memento Mori Records and how has it been working with them so far?
Working with the label is great, they offered us a really good and fair deal. I come from a DIY background so having the support of a great label such as Memento Mori is a fantastic pleasure.
Who came up with the name of the album, which is “Descent Into Putridity” and how about the cover art for the album who did that?
I came up for the album title whilst I was writing lyrics for the album. Vincent Helmkamp (Necromaniac productions) drew up the album art, which we were more than satisfied with.
Did things go pretty smoothly in the studio and how long were you in the studio for?
We started recording in February and finished mixing the album towards the back end of April. There was plenty of headaches and stress making the release as is usually the case when seeing a project from start to end, but I was very happy with the end result and I think the time spent is going to be more than worth it.
For those who have never heard the band, please describe the band’s sound.
I’ve been describing Horrified as “Riff Based Death Metal” when asked so far and I’ll stick to that. We play a style of death metal containing the classic sound from the late 80’s Florida scene in the states, whilst following the philosophy of the original Swedish death metal style and of course, borrowing the everrealible boss HM2 sunlight studios tone to present our sound in one of the purest forms available in death metal. Production wise we went for an “organic” sound to further represent this, real sounding drums, mic’s on cabs for the guitars and bass etc.
Do you get to play live much and do you think you’re a good live band? Are there any live clips of the band on sites like You Tube?
Due to the live band’s members treating it as a side project we don’t gig that often. Which I’m fine with as I started the band as a studio project, so any live opportunites are just a bonus. So far we have played live once last year but have two gigs planned in February next year to support the release. We are doing a Memento Mori showcase weekend tour in Newcastle and Manchester with Solothus, Uncoffined and Austerymn which we are very excited about, we will be debuting some new material intended for the second album here too. We did have some footage of our debut gig up on You Tube, but we pulled it down as we were unsatisfied with the sound at the gig, the guitars were too quiet and the vocals were way too loud with a real low end rumble to them, I asked for it to be pulled down since I don’t want anything to give someone a bad impression of the band.
Do you plan on promoting this release at all yourselves and if so, what are some of the things you plan to do? Do you feel with so many bands around these days that it is hard to get noticed?
As I said earlier, I come from a DIY background in other bands I’ve played in. I have been promoting the release a lot on my own, posting the advance track to forums I post on, emailing the online press kit to review sites and doing a lot of Facebook promotion. I have two PR companies promoting this release (Dewar PR and Transcending Obscurity) yet I still can’t help promote this release. I put a lot of work into it so I want it to be as recognised as possible and I think it’s a good thing to be involved in every aspect of the release. Extreme metal has blown up to say the least in the past few years and with so many great bands it is hard to be noticed.
Does the band have any goals for it selves and around how much time in any given week is spent doing band related things?
Not really, at the moment I am very busy in the last year of my degree and real life takes over sometimes, I do put a lot of my free time into this band however.
What are some recent concerts that you have seen that really impressed you?
Me and a few good friends went to see the Death To All UK tour late 2013 which was a great experience for us, I travelled to London to see Nails in June which was amazing. I met Todd Jones and he was a really cool, humble guy. It’s always nice when someone in a big band isn’t up themselves.
If you had to pick one cover tune to do, what band/song would it be and why that song?
Extremely difficult question It would be out of:
Dismember - Override the Overture
Morbid Angel - Immortal Rites
Pestilence - Dehydrated
Where do you see the death metal scene in say 5 years?
Hopefully with band’s attempting to push the genre forward. Admittedly our album is firmly routed in its influences however the new stuff intended for our second album is a lot more progressive and dynamic without compromising the riff factor or memorability. I want the album to be a lot more melodically driven as well, something that I respect bands like Edge of Sanity, Garden of Shadows and Horrendous for. If band’s just keep worshipping their influences and go about with the direct intention of sounding like other bands, then people are going to become very bored of death metal.
Are they many good places to play where the band is based out of and how about good record shops are there any still around?
There are a couple of good venues which are understanding of our music and are very reasonable with us putting on gigs. Apart from the mainstream megastores in Newcastle there is a really cool record store called Beatdown records. Which is cool because it stocks a lot of good music including extreme metal and is willing to stock local releases.
Tell me why somebody should buy your album.
It is packed with memorable riffs whilst not deliberately trying to be obviously accessible, there is depth for repeated listens. Plus our digital download price is very reasonable at just four pounds from our bandcamp. The CD is reasonably priced too, buying from the label not only supports us but a damned fine label that is doing a good job bringing the underground to the masses.
Horns up for the interview, do you have any last words?
Hails and thanks for conducting the interview Chris, as for everyone reading be sure to check us out!
Interview by Chris Forbes`