martes, 30 de septiembre de 2014


  • A Hill to Die Upon band started as a decade ago, how were the beginnings of the band? Were always clear that black metal would be the style of music you would practice?             AHTDU has been going strong for exactly ten years. We were not concerned about black metal when we started. We just wanted to play extreme music. At the time, that was hardcore. The hardcore scene in the Midwest was really strong in 2004 and we owe a lot to it for giving us something to plug into right away. Had we started out with extreme metal we would have been the only band in the area and struggled so much just to get shows. Also, we would have sucked. Hardcore is a lot easier than metal, so it was easier to play. Adam and I started playing local shows in Iowa and Illinois just as a two piece and passing around a demo.       Eventually we picked up some other guys and just kept going. Our sound gradually progressed until we became what you hear now. After a few years we weren’t listening to hardcore anymore but more bands like 1349, Behemoth, Satyricon, and Old Man’s Child. We just kept writing faster, darker, and heavier music. 

  • Throughout the years you and your brother have remained as the only original members of the band, it is very difficult to maintain a stable lineup in the band? Are you finding it easier to deal with his brother when composing?            We’ve had a lot of good people work with us over the years, but we are just the only two who have stuck with it over the years. It has been very difficult to maintain a solid lineup, but right now we have two guys that are really great players and really good people so we are happy with where we are at. It is always good to have some comrades take up the charge with you.         Typically, Adam writes the music and I write the lyrics. However, Mike Pingel and Nolan Osmond are both doing writing now as well. Elisha Mullins also did a bit of writing for Omens when he was in the band, before joined The Burial. He wrote “Darkness That can be Felt,” “Heka Primus,” and “The Chant of Mighty Offspring.” Thor Georg Buer from Grave Declaration and ex-Antestor wrote “A Jester Arrayed in Burning Gold,” “Hæðen,” and “Let the Ravens Have My Eyes” from Holy Despair. We loved his work with Grave Declaration and Antestor, and he is a good friend, so we were really excited that he could work with us on the album.

  • By the way how has been the process of writing and recording of "Holy Despair and that differs from your previous" Omens "of 2011?           Omens was written during rehearsals while ATHDU was very active, so the songs were written before and after practicing for tours and overseas shows whenever we had time. Holy Despair was written when we had no full line up and were pretty much solely focused on writing the album. Both processes worked, but I feel like Holy Despair turned out better because we were more focused on it than with Omens. We are already working on the fourth release and we have a totally new approach, so I am excited to see how this new process works. 

  • "Holy Despair can be considered mature album A Hill to Die Upon" How would you describe the sound of the album for someone who still has not heard?            Musically, it is blackened death metal. It’s fast, heavy, and dark. We tend to think that it is just black metal played by death metal players. We aren’t too concerned about being overly original. A lot of people spend a great deal of energy trying to be new, but they waste energy they could spend being good. We would rather put out quality art than subpar original art. We are convinced that originality will happen, but it is not our focus. 

  • Enslaved, Nachtmystium my point of view are Don bands have influenced the sound of your last album, what are you to your main musical influences as are noticed in your music?            Enslaved was a huge influence on our last album, but I think I’ve only heard Nachtmystium once. There was actually a point where we felt like our album was turning out too much like Enslaved and we intentionally pushed against it. 

  • What the lyrics to your songs are and why you consider it important to write about?             Religion is a common topic in black metal. We take a bit of a different approach than most black metal bands, but I typically write about religion, spirituality, linguistics, mythology, and occasionally personal experiences. As a Christian, I take a lot of different views on things in black metal. We aren’t trying to play Christian music like Vengeance Rising or Mortification, but our views still come out in the music. 

  • Watain, Rush, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, etc. .., artists from different genres and in more or less like you, can we say that you are not listening to black all the time and on the other hand a certain disconnection is necessary? by the way, that you should review the latest album by Watain?            Yeah, we listen to a lot of different music that isn’t metal. Johnny Cash is my favorite singer of all time, and I listen to a lot of other country. Adam listens to a lot of indie pop, Nolan listens to a lot of folk, and Mike listens to tons of classical. The indie band mewithoutYou has had a huge influence on AHTDU, even though they aren’t heavy at all. I really like Watain’s The Wild Hunt. I haven’t listened to it as much as Sworn to the Dark or Lawless Darkness, but I think they managed to do a lot of interesting things while maintaining a really solid black metal release. “They Rode On” is a really exceptional track. 

  • How do you see the American extreme scene? Does it feel part of the scene or a bit going for free?            I think the American extreme music scene is really strong right now. It is pretty varied with deathcore, hardcore, black metal, and death metal, but there is a lot of good music coming out right now. I’m not necessarily a fan of it all, but there is a lot of quality in it. On the other hand, there is a lot of repetition. A lot of bands sound exactly the same.             I know a lot of prominent European musicians have denounced the American scene, but I don’t think their accusations are really valid. Mostly their complaints boil down to “I don’t like it because it’s not like the European scene,” or are pointed at the plethora of deathcore bands. But we’re Americans and not Europeans, so I don’t think Americans have anything to worry about. 

  • How were your beginnings in music, cds first first concert? Because you decided to be a musician? Still preserved today the same enthusiasm as when you started?             I don’t remember my first album, but I remember that my first concert was the pop band Newsboys. They put on a really killer show. I started playing drums at 11 and have loved it ever since. Currently, I’m trying to get session work and play with different artists so I can be playing all year long and not just when AHTDU is touring. 

  • Who designed the album cover? Does it relate to the content of the album and why you decided the title of Holy Despair?             The album cover was drawn by Tyler Hays, and his father, Greg, did the layout. Despair, I believe, is a very healthy emotion during some seasons in life. The album deals a lot with this season, World War I, and the darker side of the positive spiritual experience. Despair was the main focus, and has been since Infinite Titanic Immortal. It is a painful thing, but necessary for understanding the universe and god

  • How does the ability to edit the work through the seal Bombworks Records? Are you satisfied with the response from the public and media to the drive come from?     We’ve been really happy with Matt and what he does through Bombworks Records. We hired a media publicist for our release of Holy Despair which really increased the amount of reviews and sales. The more people that hear our music the better! 

  • What future plans do you have for the band regarding upcoming releases, gigs etc?            AHTDU is already writing our next release, but we aren’t sure when that will surface. We are currently planning future tours and shows now, but nothing is set in stone. Keep your ears open for future news! We’ve got our eye on Mexico and South America… 

  • Thank you very much for your time, talking to Black Metal Spirit. If you want to add something to the followers of "A Hill to Die Upon", now is the time. Were the questions I hope to your liking?     Thanks for your interest, support, and featuring us in your blog! Just keep an eye for tour updates. We might be coming to you sooner than you think. 
Thanks to Michael (drums and vocals)

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