guitarist Alex The Kid The Burning
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Tom Hack at Massacre Records for setting up this interview
Thanks to Massacre Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Thanks to Target Promotion for additional promo pictures of the band
HAIL THE HORDE is the name of the brilliant third album by the Danish aggressive thrash metal act The Burning. Since the album was so great I thought it would be nice to hook up with a band member in order to talk about it and to talk about touring Denmark and working with the famous producers Tue Madsen and Jacob Bredahl. I had a really great chat with the bands new guitarist Alex The Kid and here is what we talked about. Denmark has a lot of new metal acts that are coming on strong and The Burning is a brilliant example of one of those acts.
Hi Alex how are you today? Are you ready to kick off the interview?
Well I thought that we maybe could start with talking about the bands new album called HAIL THE HORDE. For how long have you worked on the album I mean with writing lyrics and music?
I joined the band after Rasmus Norman left the band in the summer of 2009, and shortly after I joined the band we started writing material for this record. I would say the whole process took about a year from the first riff was written till the final touch ups on the album was made.
Where did you record the album and how long did it take to get the album done?
We recorded the drums in The Antfarm together with Tue Madsen in his swimming pool which really sounded just as thrashed and dirty as we had hoped. Everything else was done by our good friend Jacob Bredahl in his Deadrat studio. The fact that he was a friend of ours made the whole process a lot easier because he knew what we wanted to with our sound and really understood our vision of it.
The recording process took around 3 weeks time on and off.
In retrospect do you think that the band have developed musicwise through the years and since the release of your previous album REWAKENING that came last year?
Well we’ve developed a lot I think. Especially the sound is something I’ve noticed being a lot more The Burning’ish than Rewakening. The sound is much dirtier, noisier and just all around more organic sounding, which in my book is a big plus because of the fact that one can actually hear that it is people playing their instruments instead of a computer “playing” the instruments. I really like the direction this record has taken us.
You were pretty fast to follow up REAWAKENING how come you wrote a new album so fast?
Well actually we didn’t really think about that, after I joined the band it was only natural for us to just start writing new material and when Johnny and I hit a good vibe there was really no reason to let go. And here we are, a lot of hard work later with Hail The Horde.
Who writes the lyrics and music in the band? And what are the lyrics about on the new album?
Johnny and I write the most of the music. Well the skeleton of a song at least, and when we feel a song is ready to be taken to the rehearsal room we do so and then it all gets changed and rewritten all over again.
Lyrics wise its all Johnny’s preaching hehe. The lyrics can be interpreted in many ways, but the main subjects of Johnnys lyrics is dealing with religion and war but there also songs just about drinking and smoking weed with your friends and such. But like most of us he’s got demons to fight and does so through his lyrics.
Was it hard to pick and choose which songs that was gonna be featured on HAIL THE HORDE?
Yes and no, we wrote around 17 songs I think, and just picked out the 12 which we thought to be the best for this album not necessarily because they were the best but because they complimented each other very well.
You have called this album your far most uncompromising raw and natural album you’ve ever done but isn’t that what most artists thinks of their latest album I mean in terms of being satisfied?
Haha, well this one really is! We’ve used no modern recording tricks like Beatdetective or auto tune. The record is just us playing our music! And I really think that its heard on the record. In retrospect Rewakening is a much more sterile album, with a very sterile sound that didn’t compliment our band at all. With Hail The Horde we finally found our sound!
How did you come up with the title HAIL THE HORDE?
It goes hand in hand with the cover artwork, the title is meant as a hail to the horde of spiders on the cover which is a metaphor. Of course it can be interpreted in a lot of ways.
Are the band happy with the cover art work? Who has done the cover?
We are stoked about the work that Brent Elliot White (Megadeth, Trivium etc.) has put into this piece of art. We think it reflects the vibe of the album very well being very dark and distorted and at the same time really dealing with the same subjects as the lyrics.
You did put up the songs “Bait The Hook” and “Wolf Moon” on your MySpace site what did the fans think of the songs?
Bait the Hook was a natural single for us to put because it’s a easy listen. Apart from that it has the groove which is the keyword for the entire record. Wolfmoon because it has a very nice chorus and we wanted to share the song with all of our fans because it is quite different from what we usually do in The Burning.
I’ve only heard and read positive feedback on our facebook and MySpace sites.
You have got a studio blog on your MySpace site are there many people that read and comment on the blog?
Yeah well, mostly we do it for fun but one could never have too much views on videos like that. Maybe we should advertise a bit more for them in the future hehe. It’s a cool way for us to give a bit of insight in the band and in the recording process.
There are two well known names that are making guest appearances on two songs, which are the guests and on which songs do they sing on?
We have Søren “Nico” Adamsen from thrash legends Artillery singing on Wolfmoon, and some very good friends of ours the Jensen brothers of the N.Y. style death metal band Dawn of Demise.
I have read reviews of you that labels your music as thrash-core and groove metal what do you think of being put in a certain musical category and how would you like to describe what kind of music The Burning play?
This is a lengthy discussion but we’re actually very happy with being labelled as a “groove metal band” because that’s just basically our whole foundation. Its quite accurate In my opinion.
The fact that people just have an opinion about our music makes me happy.
Have you got any plans on shooting a video to any of the songs on the album?
Actually we’ve just released our second video of off the record. The first video which was for “Bait The Hook” was made by our friends in division 666 which did a great job. The latest video for the title track “Hail The Horde” is a video which we recorded and edited ourselves. The concept is just basically us on the road drinking, fighting, arm-wrestling and of course playing.
Have you read any review of the album yet and do you and the band care what the reviewers writes about the band?
Well when releasing an album that you have spent so much time on, not caring is simply not an option. We’re dying to get our music to the fans and I know I am very interested in hearing what people think of our work. Well to sum it up we care what people write about the album but we don’t necessarily think that we have to make changes to please the masses.
Is there any difference in how you are treated by national media compared to foreign media?
Well yes and no, in Denmark we’re a pretty big band where as in the international metal community we have yet to make the big breakthrough. So as a result thereof the international press doesn’t spend that much time on us in terms of posting news etc. That being said we have on this album received a lot of interview requests and such which is great for us.
What do your fans think of HAIL THE HORDE?
The Album has been very positively received all around, by fans, by the press and the media.
Did you have any releaseparty for the album? If you did when and where did it take place and did you perform live?
Yeah we held 3 release parties in Denmark where we just wanted to celebrate the release with our fans and at the same time have the chance to show off the video for “Bait The Hook”. The release parties were held in our hometown Aarhus, in Copenhagen and on Aalborg metal festival which was really a blast!
Who did produce the album?
Both Tue Madsen and Jacob Bredahl produced the album.
I know that you recorded the drums in a different studio together with Tue Madsen why didn’t you record everything in one studio with Bredahl?
Jacob Bredahl actually told us about Tue’s swimming pool and that it would be very cool to record the drums there together with him. Also the fact that we in the band are all big fans of Tue and the work that he has done made this an easy choice for us.
How was it to work with Madsen and Bredahl after all are they two really well known and respected producer and musicians?
As mentioned earlier on, Jacob is a good friend of ours and as a result thereof the whole recording process just became more relaxed and honest. Before recording the record we talked a lot with Jacob about our vision for the sound so we decided to make a test mix and after hearing that we were hooked! Jacob and Tue both have their own vision of how music should be and it was very cool to have someone from outside the band come up with second opinions.
What are their strongest feature as producers do you think and what are the biggest difference in the way that they work?
Well first off they both produce a sound which suited our vision of the sound of Hail The Horde perfectly. That being said they’re both men with their own opinions and we just tried to take advantage of that.
Was the album mixed in the same studio?
Yeah Jacob Bredahl handled the mixing and mastering.
You have now worked with different producers on your three albums do you think that you’re gonna stick to working with Bredahl and Madsen in the future now?
Yeah I hope so. Because I really feel that this works for us. The sound is by far the best I’ve heard on the three albums, and I’m just happy with the way it all turned out.
Are you happy with the work that your label Massacre Records have put into the albums and the band so far?
Yeah they have really helped us get a lot of interviews and spend some money on us from time to time for touring and advertising etc.
Was it hard in the beginning to land a record deal for The Burning?
I wasn’t in the band at the time but I know that at that time it was easier than it is right now. But I think from when we recorded “Storm The Walls” there only went like 4 months before we got our deal.
This is the third album you put out on MR for how many albums are you signed for?
We’re signed for at least one more so its just to wait and see what the future brings.
Do you see any problems or difficulties in the fact that you are a Danish act and the MR are based in Germany?
Not really, I don’t think Massacre treats German bands better than foreign bands.
Are you co-operating with any booking agency and management?
Yeah we have a Danish booking agency called 3’rd Tsunami and are currently negotiating with international booking agencies.
Have your albums been released physically in other parts of the world? With physically I mean a proper album and not as a download item.
Yeah all the albums have been released in all of Europe both as physical copies as well as digital download on iTunes and such.
Where in Denmark do you guys come from and does all of the member come from the same town?
We’re all very proud to be from Jutland (the real Denmark) hehe.
That being said we originally come from different parts of Jutland.
How’s the metal scene in Aarhus doing if you compare it to lets say Copenhagen?
I think the Aarhus scene is the strongest in Denmark. As things are right now the underground metal is flourishing as we speak. A lot of young bands are playing very well and due to the fact that its very easy to record and release music yourself lots of them have already put out their music on the web.
The last summer did your guitarist Rasmus Normand leave the band why did he quit?
He left because he just had his first child and really wanted to spend time with his family.
Are you still friends with him and was it hard to find a replacement?
Yeah of course. I guess they didn’t have that many options since they called me HAHA!
I know that you were a member of Dawn Of Demise when you instead chose to join forces with The Burning, were there any hard feelings in between the bands?
Actually I was playing in my other band Blood Label (which I still am in) when they asked me to be a part of the band. Dawn of Demise are very good friends of ours. I often hang out with Martin the guitarist and drink beer hehe.
Your previous album REWAKENING got some great review in the media was that anything you had expected?
I don’t really know, but I remember them talking about that they were amazed as to how well it was received.
You were also nominated in 4 categories at the Danish Metal Awards last year did you win anything?
No. unfortunately hehe! But we did get to play at the award show which was very cool for us! Great crowd and great show, I just hope it gets back in the future.
Does the band members have any musical heroes or bands that they look up to or are inspired by?
Yeah of course, I know Toby is a big fan of Lynyrd Kkynyrd and actually has a full sleeve dedicated to the band. Thue is a very big Suicidal tendencies fan. Johnny is very much into Pantera and so am i.
When was the band born and who is the band leader and founder?
The band was founded in 2005 I think by Thue Moeller, Johnny Haven, Rasmus Norman and Tobias Hoest. The band leader is toby, well his drum chair says so! Hehe.
Where does the band name come from?
As I ain’t a founding member I cant tell you the exact story, but I know that we always try to simplify things, and that goes for everything actually. The band name is no different. The Burning were chosen because it was a catchy name which sticks after reading.
Do you have a large fanbase now? And where in the world do you have the biggest fanbase?
Our biggest fanbase is definitely in Denmark. Its were it started and where we have most supporters, although we are getting mails from fans all over the world.
Are there any plans on trying to conquer the North American and the Asian market anytime soon?
Not any time soon unfortunately no, But we are going to do a DK and EU tour some time in the near future. BUT we would absolutely LOVE to go to the states as well as Asia.
You have got a MySpace site as well as a Facebook page but not a website why?
Well, I guess its easier for us to maintain and update these sites than a regular website. The way of the internet right is also that when people search for new music they tend to go to MySpace and look for it first. So that’s basically why we focus so much on these sites. So if you haven’t “liked” us on facebook yet please go do so.
Have you done a lot of touring so far?
We have done some European touring but have never been outside Europe unfortunately. But hopefully in the future.
Could you tell us about the tour you did in September 2010 with MTV Headbangers Ball that tour in Denmark?
Yeah, it was with our great friends in Invocator and Raunchy. Both are great Danish bands which I personally listen a lot to! If you don’t know about any of them I suggest you go out and listen to it. But the tour was a month long and took as all around Denmark (several times) and man it was just one big party from start till the end.
Did you play any songs from HAIL THE HORDE on that tour?
Actually we played 4 songs, we played Bait The Hook, Nihilist Life, Inverted Cross Syndrome as well as Swing The Pendulum. It was very cool for us to try and play these songs to an audience and feel how they were working live.
Are there any plans to head on out on the roads now and do a longer tour now that the new album is out?
Yeah touring update as well as another big announcement is soon coming up so check out our facebook for news in the near future.
Are you going out as support or headline act?
There’s have been a lot of metal acts coming out from Denmark during the past few years what do you think is the reason why Denmark has gone through a metal revolution?
I really think the Danish metal scene is exploding and lots of acts are having great success in Denmark as well as abroad. I really cant say why we Danes are so metal hehe. I think we have a different approach to metal and Danish metal are more unique than American in some ways. In Denmark there aren’t room for two of the same kind of bands which leads bands to try to push the boundaries for what have been heard.
What would you say to the ones who hasn’t discovered The Burning yet?
Head on over to our MySpace: www.myspace.com/theburningdk
And check out our tunes and videos.
Could you give the readers three great reasons why they should buy HAIL THE HORDE?
Its heavy as fuck, dirtier than Dirty Harry, and if you’re into got plain 90’s groove metal as Pantera, Helmet etc. then this on is for you!
Do you have any final words of wisdom to the fans and readers?
Yeah, Get you head out of your ass and go buy HAIL THE HORDE Like us on facebook and simply just help us spread the fire!
That was all for me thanks a lot for taking the time to do the interview. I wish you and the band all the best in the future and I hope to see you on stage soon.
Cheers and thanks for reading!
More info about the band