jueves, 10 de septiembre de 2020


Q: Bloodred was born in 2009, as a one man and, why did you decide to form Bloodred? And why did you choose the name Bloodred?

Ron: Ive been making music for many years and played in local bands, but that had weakened somewhat over the years due to a variety of circumstances. In 2009 I made the decision to play music more seriously and purposefully again and therefore founded BLOODRED for myself. This should help me to focus more and move forward in my musical work. The early days were very much shaped by developing a style and laying certain foundations. I wouldn't want to play the first songs to anyone today, but they were still important for the development.

When looking for a name, I was inspired by bands I grew up with back then. There weren't any complicated names, you just knew where you were. Examples are „Metallica“, „Slayer“, „Dismember“ or „Death“. I wanted to find something similar, simple but meaningful, and then ended up with BLOODRED.

Q: During the time that Bloodred has been active, not much has been lavished in terms of releases: an EP and two studio albums to date, do you find it difficult to bring out the compositions and recordings of Bloodred, hence the great interval time between releases? Have you ever considered adding members to Bloodred to make it a full band?

Ron: As I said, the first time was still a development phase, recording for an EP or an album was out of the question and so the period seems to be a bit longer than it actually was. But you're right, the pause between releases has been very long. Part of that has to do with the fact that I do everything myself for BLOODRED and then you just need longer. And sometimes it is also the case that life just comes in between and other things are simply more important for certain phases.

Making BLOODRED a full band is still one of my goals. Unfortunately, this has not worked that way in the past because I just couldn't find the right musicians in the area. I searched quite some time, but apparently not in the right places. At some point I said to myself that I would just continue BLOODRED as a solo project and that I would not be stopped by the fact that I was alone. It has advantages and disadvantages, but for the moment I've settled in pretty well with it. However, I am very happy that I have found a drummer in Joris Nijenhuis who supports me at least in the studio. I think that's very important for the quality of the music. Nevertheless, I would like to bring my music on stage at some point, so it could be that more musicians will join in the future ...

Q: Since Bloodred's last two work “Nemesis” (2016) and his last “The Raven's Shadow” (2020), almost four years have passed, is it very difficult to keep fans connected with Bloodred by spacing out their releases so much? What is the writing and recording process like for an album like "The Raven's Shadow"?

Ron: This is actually a problem because few bands can afford such long time between releases. For me it was a bit like starting over again in the run-up to the release of "THE RAVEN'S SHADOW“."NEMESIS" got great reviews overall but at some point you will be forgotten and therefore you have to fight for the attention of the fans again. Of course, this is even more true if you have to do this as an independent artist without a label behind you. This is one of the reasons why I am very happy that I have become part of the Massacre family and that I now have an established label in the background.

The songwriting sees it that, in principle, I work out the songs completely by myself and then send them to Joris after a certain degree of completion. These songs have programmed drums so that he has an idea of which direction it should go. But I definitely give him the necessary freedom for the final development of his drum parts so that he can bring his skills and style to the table. For "THE RAVEN'S SHADOW", Joris recorded his tracks based on the demos from the pre-production and I then used them as the basis for the guitars and bass. I recorded my instruments in my home studio, but then went back to Alex Krull's studio for the vocals. Alex can of course support me with his experience and we are working on the last details before we start mixing and mastering.

Q: Your specialty is guitars and bass. How do you deal with the fact of having to deal with vocals and the rest of the instrumentation for Bloodred? What is the most difficult thing that you find in the recordings? Having Joris Nijenhuis on drums, why is it? How do I contact him? And what do you think you've brought to Bloodred?

Ron: I started out as a guitarist, but due to the circumstances it was simply inevitable that I gradually got to grips with the other instruments. That wasn't and is not always easy, but I see it as an important extension of my art, because it gives me control over more aspects of music. For the vocals it actually took me a long time to find my own style and I also think that I can definitely develop further there. But if you compare "NEMESIS" and "THE RAVEN'S SHADOW", you will hear this development. As far as the other instruments and sounds are concerned, I think I've developed a really good feeling over the years and acquired the necessary skills. And when I get to the point that I cannot implement something, then I learn something new to make it happen.

In fact, it was Alex Krull who suggested contacting Joris before recording the first EP. The original plan was to use my programmed drums but we quickly agreed that it would sound a lot better with a real drummer. Joris also plays with Leaves' Eyes and Atrocity, so it was natural to talk to him. He was ready for it right away and I think he saw the music as a welcome challenge (especially in terms fo the speed of my songs). Joris is a very precise drummer, which suits my songs very well.

Q: The sound of his latest work "The Raven's Shadow" could be framed within blackened death metal, in a rough way, however it must also be said that it provides a dose of melody and a more Scandinavian atmosphere that distances it somewhat from the classicism of blackened death metal. How do you describe the sound of Bloodred? And what bands influence the sound of Bloodred?

Ron: I always find it difficult to categorize my own music. My influences definitely come from Death Metal and Black Metal, but there are also, for example, Doom or Thrash. And sometimes I get inspiration from things that are completely outside of Metal. I myself would describe BLOODRED as "Extreme Metal" in general, but it is quite open and high-speed songs can stand next to slow and epic pieces. It is always important to me that the songs have a certain melody and that they become more complex and (hopefully) more interesting.

The fact that my music is heavily influenced by scandinavian bands cannot be denied and is certainly due to the fact that I myself have had a preference for bands from this region for decades. Nevertheless, in my early youth I was definitely influenced by bands from the USA, which can still be seen if you listen carefully.

The first big influence is certainly Metallica or to be more precise: James Hetfield. At the end of the 1980s, it was he who motivated me to learn to play the guitar in the first place, and Metallica songs were also the first ones I tried to play. As the next influence I would name Morbid Angel, because through this I found my way into Death Metal. As with so many, at some point I was looking for faster and harder music than Thrash and then ended up with MA. I still enjoy listening to "Altars of Madness" regularly. From there, the way to the Scandinavian bands wasn't that far for me. Entombed, Dismember or Amorphis are mentioned here as examples. And then came Black Metal with bands like Immortal, Dark Throne and Emperor. This really blow me away with it’s fierceness  and rawness and it left a deep impact. But I try to keep listening to new bands and music and not just stick to the past. Therefore the influences change from time to time and keep my music fresh.

Q: The lyrics “The Raven's Shadow” are a bit different from the typical black theme, focusing on other more mundane ones. Why do you consider it interesting to treat them?

Ron: I have made up my mind to use well-known clichés as little as possible in my texts. It may well be that I fall back on images and metaphors that at first glance may seem genre-typical, but I try to convey more and more with them. Often my texts have a personal background: things that I have experienced myself or that have left an impression on me. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes a little more hidden. Personally, I am convinced that texts should definitely address topics that are also relevant to society and, in the best case, stimulate discussion. Also, I don't want to repeat things that other bands may have already made the subject of their lyrics in detail. That would be too boring for me. And I definitely wouldn't describe them as mundane, for me those are actually more the lyrics that don't leave out any cliché.

Q: The album artwork was done by Stefan Heilemann, why did you decide to work with him? How is the cover related to the musical content of “The Raven's Shadow”? And how important is the visuals of an album to you?

Ron: Stefan is an internationally known artist who has already worked for bands like Nightwish, Dimmu Borgir and Lindemann. And he's from Stuttgart, so he's not that far away from me. I also got to him through a contact from Alex Krull, Stefan also designed the artwork for "NEMESIS" back then. Working with him is really inspiring, because Stefan often only needs a few keywords or excerpts from the lyrics to develop an idea for the design. We then play these ideas back and forth between us and he then implements it visually. If you look at Stefan's work in general, you know that, especially in his photography, he sometimes treads unusual paths and thinks in different directions. That also helps with the development of the artwork.

The obvious connection between artwork and music / lyrics is of course the many raven skulls and wings that are integrated into the artwork. This time we made a conscious decision to use a relatively dark design because it fits in very well with the content of the album, which also takes up the darker side of life. Nevertheless, there are many details, some of which you may only recognize at a second or third glance, which is ultimately well reflected in the music, the complexity of which is not always immediately obvious.

The cover or artwork of an album is very important to me personally. I grew up with metal at a time when the cover in the record store was an important indicator of even listening to the album and then possibly buying it. Unfortunately, with the triumph of streaming, the importance of artwork has decreased more and more. Today, many see the cover only as a few centimeters large picture on their smartphone and no longer really bother with it. It might be a little different in metal, but I think it's a general trend. I find that unfortunate.

Q: Bloodred comes from the German town of Oberstenfeld of just over nine thousand inhabitants, is it difficult to get known and be part of the most important extreme metal circuits coming from a small town?

Ron: It's incredibly difficult. For a long time I felt like the only person you saw walking around wearing a metal shirt. In the meantime that has changed a bit, but you certainly can't say that the place is now a metal stronghold. In fact, for many years it was only possible to a very limited extent for me to get in touch with the right people. That only slowly improved after the release of the first album and of course it reached its preliminary climax with the signing by Massacre. One aspect is certainly that BLOODRED are not a live band and so the visibility to the fans/musicians/labels was simply lower.

Q: The incidence of Covid19 on the live performances of the bands has been disastrous, an aspect of the concerts that does not affect Bloodred, but how do you think it has influenced sales and promotion of your latest album? At the moment have you considered taking Bloodred live by recruiting other musicians for the live shows?

Ron: In the current situation, I can be very happy that I don't have to rely on live shows. As you say, this is of course an existential catastrophe for many, many artists and bands, as an important source of income fell away overnight. Even if there are now the first formats that are supposed to create a replacement here (for example concerts via live stream), they cannot replace a full tour. I'm also very curious to see how the situation will develop in the next few months or years.

With regard to BLOODRED, I have actually already started thinking about live performances, which I have now put on hold due to the pandemic. Basically, I would like to bring the music out of the studio onto the stage and feel the energy together with the audience. Let's see what will happen in the future ...

Q: How were your beginnings in music: first albums you bought, first concerts you attended? What happened in your life meant that you wanted to dedicate yourself to music?

Ron: My first concert in 1987 was the "Monsters of Rock". The headliners were Deep Purple and before that, Metallica and Dio played among others. I think you can start your concert career worse. I can still remember very well what it was like to dive into the world of Hard Rock/Metal and see so many new and unknown things. I must have been walking around with very big eyes all day … My first album was "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" by Iron Maiden, followed by "Master of Puppets". Before that I had found and listened to albums from AC/DC, Deep Purple or Twisted Sister in my parents' record cabinet. Fortunately, they listened to rock music predominantly, so I was influenced accordingly from an early age.

As I said above, it was James Hetfield who made me want to actively make music myself. It even went so far that I bought his black ESP Explorer, which was extremely difficult to get back then. I am therefore very happy that I have already met him twice so far. I noticed very quickly that music in general simply gives me a lot and so the development towards a focus in my life was almost inevitable. In retrospect I have to say that this fact was and is really very, very important for me.

Q: What was the last album you bought? What album represents the essence of black metal for you? What album can't you stop listening to?

Ron: The last album I bought was Metallicas „S&M2“ as a special edition. Nowadays I almost exclusively only buy such special editions to collect them and to have the included bonus-material. Unfortunately, the normal CD is on the decline, as streaming services are now predominantly used.

The question of the essential Black Metal album is difficult, because of course there are so many different varieties of this genre that you can really only be wrong. For me personally, I would call Emperor's "In the Nightside Eclipse" the most important Black Metal album, even if that is certainly not the most innovative choice. But I think the album offers the best balance between the wildness of Black Metal and complex songwriting and musical skill. And that as one of the first albums in this genre.

Q: The German label Massacre Records will deal with the CD edition of “The Raven's Shadow”. How did the possibility of working with them to make this edition come up?

Ron: The headquarters of Massacre Records are actually only a few minutes by car from where I live, so it made sense to do something together. In fact, Alex Krull also played a big part in this, as he knows the guys and girls from the label very well and gave a recommendation in the direction of the label after the recordings for the new album. I am of course very pleased that the offer to work together came up and that I can publish with such a renowned and established label.

Q: What immediate future plans do you have for Bloodred? Are you already working on new songs for a future album or as on previous occasions it will be a slow process?

Ron: I can promise one thing: it won't be as long before the next album! In fact, I've come a long way with songwriting and I've got some new songs at a very advanced stage. Of course I can't say when these will be published yet. But for now I will focus on the release of "THE RAVEN'S SHADOW", which is due on September 25th anyway. There are still a few things to do here, including a new video.

Thank you very much for taking the time to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Bloodred this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Ron: Thank you for the interview! I'm looking forward to the album's release and I'm really excited to see the fans' reactions. Take your time (and some good headphones) and enjoy the album!

And in times of Covid-19 especially important: stick to the guidelines, wear masks and above all: stay safe!


Taake ‎– Stridens Hus 6.99 €

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