Interview With Bludgeon
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen and Arto Lehtinen
Transcription by Waspman
Live pictures by Luxi
Bludgeon was, or could it be said, still is, quite an unknown technical Thrash/Death
combo hailing from Chicago. Bludgeon received a record deal like a godsend with Joey DeMaios
label Magic Music. The band got an unbelievable chance to get on the tour with the
uncrowned Kings of Metal, Manowar, on their most extensive European tour so far. The whole
band was at present when the brave yet crazy Finnish metal warriors Luxi and Arto from
Metal-Rules.com went to ask a few more-or-less important questions from these cool fellows
in Bludgeon right after the band had done their sound-check.
So, how were your gigs in Sweden?
awesome. We had good response; the crowd liked it a lot. Thats always
a plus. We sold a lot of shirts and CDs there, too.
Did the crowd really know you guys?
Eric: Pretty much no. I think a few times people yelled out Bludgeon or
something, and we even might have seen one Bludgeon shirt on someone. I was walking around
in Sweden and I saw a bunch of people wearing Bludgeon shirts. Not before the show.
Eric: Yeah, after the show. Were pretty new. People are kind of shocked to see
us, cause when you play with Manowar, they expected something more like Manowar. It
was good though.
Well did you have a chance to go to the cities and check things out there?
A little bit in Oslo.
What about Helsinki?
Helsinki? I only got to a couple of McDonalds there. Everything was closed. We got here
at 11:00pm last night. I went to eat, came back and watched some movie, and then I slept
until just a couple of hours ago.
As you are kind of an unknown name here in Finland, would you tell us how you guys
Id say it was about ten years ago. I was in another band with Eric, and we had
some disagreements, so I went one way and he went another. Then I hooked up with Matt, and
another guitarist Chewie, we hooked up with Eric later cause he came back into the
scene and we started jamming together. The music we created was awesome, so thats
pretty much how we got together.
Youre musical backgrounds are kind of the same, into the same type of bands
like Slayer and stuff?
Oh yeah. Testament, Exodus, etc. all of the old school stuff.
Do you think thats one of the reasons why you guys mesh together so well?
Yeah, cause we all kind of like the same thing.
Eric: As far as metal is
concerned we all have the same tastes but we all listen to other things besides metal.
Like Punk and Hardcore like Agnostic Front and things like that?
Eric: Exactly. I havent listened to that in a while though.
So you guys are like pals then? You even live together?
Yeah, weve lived together for like the last five, six years. First we were,
yknow, renting a studio, and one person lived somewhere and we decided it would be
cheaper, with everybody renting an apartment, why dont we just rent a house? So
thats what we did for about six years. Its made us even closer yaknow?
Almost like a bond.
You guys have a background in several bands, I guess you must have done the old
school tape trading like the old days?
Sindrome, Master, Deathstrike, Broken Hope, etc. - they are from Chicago.
Sindrome used to be one of my very favorite bands back in the day.
We know Shawn Glass real well; hes a friend of ours.
What about Troy Dixler (the Sindrome vocalist) - is he still around?
Im sure. He still lives in Chicago, but hes not really a part of the scene
right now. Hes not in a band that Im aware of.
Did you ever see them live or share the stage with them?
No, I dont think we ever played with them. Eric: Maybe. At the Gateway, who was
that with? That was Experiment. Two of them. There was Macabre too.
So how was the current scene in Chicago right now?
Pretty heavy, hard.
Can you name some bands from there that we should watch out for?
Disinter, God Help Us, Red River.
Eric: Yeah, but Red River is more like an alternative kind of sound, theyre not
really metal. Pretty heavy and stuff, but maybe a more extreme version of Korn or
Like Nu-Metal or something alike maybe
Eric: Definitely. Theyre not like Slayer or anything that were playing, but
theyre friends of ours.
Theyre more like a mainstream kind of thing then?
Yeah, you could say so.
How did you guys hook up with Manowar?
Joey called and Eric spoke with him on the phone.
Eric: He was in Chicago and he listened to the local radio station there and they
played our CD. He talked to the DJ there that hes good friends with and got our CD
from him. The Harley tech for Manowar is from Chicago and is a friend of ours and he gave
Joey our demo tape also. He got it from two directions. He heard our stuff and called me
up and said I think you guys are fuckin righteous and I like what youre
doing, and Id like you guys to be the first band signed to my record label.
I bet you must have been surprised when you got that first phone call!
Eric: Yeah! At first I didnt believe it. He was like Motherfucker! This is
goddamned Joey! (laughs) Look in the Guinness fuckin worlds
records! (laughs) It was him man! From the time that the phone call was done he was
at our house, and saw us play. Before he got to our house we prepared a long set, how many
Chewie: Like 17.
Eric: Yeah, like 17 songs. He goes, Lets see what the fuck you guys got
here. We played one song, and half of another one and goes Stop, stop. OK,
lets start talking.
Chewie: We didnt even have to play the rest of the songs man!
Eric: Then about two weeks later he brought Brian Slagel from Metal Blade down and we
did the same thing for him, and thats pretty much when the ball started rolling. We
were in the studio, actually we recorded the album in our house!
Yes, I remember I read about that.
Eric: The album was done a long time ago, but it got released about a year late.
Thats with Joey being our producer with Magic Circle and everything. They were our
main record company and we were already on to them, what we needed was distribution
worldwide, and thats where Brian Slagel came in. He got the deal for that. Someone
like Metal Blade can get it in the right spots. That was Joeys main plan. He wants
to make sure that the band he signs and produces gets their records in the right spots
where it will be heard. Basically, thats what theyve been doing. With these
shows that were playing around here when we do get a little time to go out and check
out record stores, every time were in there, we see our record. So theyre
definitely doing what they need to. Joey really makes sure that he covers the business end
and that it gets out to the right people.
Did you get surprise that Joey would be interested in Bludgeon, because most people
had the impression when he created Magic Circle that he would sign every damned Power
Metal band he could find.
Eric: I was surprised that he would sign us because of the style of music were
playing but once he came to us, cause thats what we were sayin,
Manowar? Were really not playing what they are., but after him coming
down and talking to us, he looks more for musicians who deserve it. Thats what his
thing is. He heard the songs, he said This is good music, and it needs to get
out. He doesnt look for bands playing his style, he looks for good music. I
wouldnt be surprised if the next bands that they get are nothing like us. He looks
for dedicated musicians who want it. Oh, Ill make a quick buck,
thats not his style. He wants top of the line musicians and people who really
deserve it. He came and saw that we were like a brotherhood. He believes in what
were doing and here we are.
Chewie: He told us that we reminded him of Manowar when they were young. That was a big
Is he the manager for you? Because I know hes the manager for the Italian
Power Metal act Rhapsody as well.
He helps us out and everything like that, but as far as us having a full-time manager,
we dont. He probably will be soon though. Right now hes got a lot of things to
do with Manowar though.
How do you guys decide the song-writing process inside the band?
Eric: The songs that are on the record. 90% of them were written by us right here
because he wasnt in the band until two or three years ago. So those songs that are
on that CD were written by us. But, the next album which is already written was done by
all four of us. Its a different style, the next record is going to have a new aspect
brought into it. The songs are already a big improvement.
There is more emphasis on the anti-Christian themes
Well, each song has its own meaning and everybody will get a different impression
of the song. Thats what the intention is, for everyone to feel what they feel.
What about Crucify the Priest?
Well, its not Crucify the Priest in general. But, there are some out
there that need to be taught a lesson. They need to be taken away, revoked of it.
Theres some that manipulate people, rip off old people. Some just use it as a way of
How would you actually describe a typical Bludgeon practice session?
Eric: It starts out with me going to the bathroom. (laughs) Then I come out and we
smoke two joints, then we practice.
Are they mostly very tense and professional or are they more relaxed events
Its just a nice even flow, practicing.
Eric: Its not like were at a show.
Chewie: Well, we have two different practices. Yknow, we have the new stuff, so
our whole summer was like, yknow, him taking a shit, but there was the new stuff
that we really worked on intensely, not just sitting back. We do what we have to. We have
twelve new songs and wed do that. Four days a week.
Chewie: Exactly. We wouldnt just do one song, wed do all twelve. Maybe
sometimes, if we had time and no one had to work, hey, OK, well do it all twice.
Just about a month before we came out here on tour, wed cut that practice and go
back to getting the set down and figuring that out. Weve got an eleven song set that
well do tonight and not all of the songs are from the CD, so well actually do
two of our newer songs.
Eric: Its just to play and keep us going on.
Will you play any cover tunes?
Eric: No, no.
Well, I mean, just in rehearsals?
Only when warming up, definitely. Eric: A long time ago we used to play Reign in
Blood but were not doing that anymore, just in our hometown.
Everybodys playing Slayer stuff, I dont get it. (laughs)
(laughs) Yeah, but that was a great song man!
Id rather hear cover tunes from, like, Dark Angelīs DARKNESS DECENDS.
Chewie: Ive got to admit, I was... Disinter toured with them.
They were supposed to do a tour from L.A. to Seattle or something, but they canceled
the whole tour.
Yeah, but quite a few things happened to them then and they had to cancel that
particular tour in question. So can you tell us the direction that you guys are going in?
Faster; more brutal; heavier?
Faster, definitely some faster songs. Theres some slower metal.
Eric: Not necessarily jump metal, but its got that feeling to it. You get people
jumping and then throw in some million mile an hour double bass in there and people go
Where the fuck did that come from? That style. A little bit of something for
everybody so we dont get categorized. People wont be able to say that
were a black metal band, or a death metal band, or a speed metal band, were
just a band. We love what were playing. Its different styles of music to the
point where basically everybody can hear something that they like. Thats what
were aiming for.
You did a big festival in the States, the Metal Meltdown. How was that?
Eric: Good. Weve actually done it I think two years in a row. The second year was
much, much better, but we also had a better slot.
So how have you guys liked being on this tour with Manowar?
Chewie: Its fuckin great. Its like... The time of our lives!
Are they like brothers to you?
Eric: Theres no separation. Right now, they always tell us that theyre
dressing room door is open if we have any questions or just want to talk. The same thing
for us. Theres no walls or barriers at all. We sit at the same dinner tables with
them, talking and stuff. Very close. We really get along with them. Theyre real good
guys. At first we were like Wow, this is really big, and then to see how down
to earth they are. Its weird to hear. You talk to Eric Adams and hes talking
about being out hunting and stuff, its real weird.
So you guys arent afraid of getting in front of 1,000 or more people? Do you
think youīd feel comfortable to play for that many people at the same time?
Eric: Were half way through the tour already. Weve been playing in front of
a lot of crowds.
Chewie: Joey would let us know too. Hed be like, You guys know what
youre doing, so just do what you do. Thats what we did. Basically, you
walk out there and you see everybody, but theyve all got a positive attitude and
start screamin when you get to your spot. Its like OK, theres
nothing to worry about, these people want to hear what Ive got. We know how to
play our songs, so lets do it. The next thing you know everybody is screaming and
Last time when Manowar played here, three years ago, there was a lot more people...
Chewie: Basically its just Manowar, cause people dont know who we
How would you guys define your music? Would you say its like Thrash Metal with
some hints of Death Metal?
Sure. Technical Thrash Metal would do.
Because your roots are very deep in Thrash - and Death Metal anyway
Eric: Yeah, thats what I was raised on, Slayer and Sepultura, Cannibal, Grave,
Suicidal, Exodus. Thrash and death metal mainly.
Chewie: And Testament!
Eric: I wouldnt hear anything else. Straight forward on that style of music.
Whereas now, being a musician, Im a lot more open and I listen to a whole variety of
music, where before it was just thrash and death. If it wasnt that it was garbage. I
wouldnt give it a chance. Plus as you get older you start opening your horizons a
little bit more. When youre a teenager youre like, Ah fuckin
Slayer! Slayer!, but as you get older you get a more wide view of music. Its
like going back and listening to more of the old school stuff like Zeppelin and Black
Sabbath and stuff like that.
Did you guys know that a Finnish band called Finntroll was supposed to open for you
Yeah, but they had to cancel it because, this may only be a rumor, but
Manowars manager asked them to $2000 in advance to play here tonight, but because
they couldnt so they had to cancel their gig here.
Woah, I dont know anything about that.
Eric: I had only found out when I was walking through and I say a flyer that said
Manowar, Bludgeon, and then the other name and I was like Oh, cool. By the
time I went to the production office and asked them if there was another band, and they
Have you ever heard them?
What ībout any other Finnish bands then? Impaled Nazarene?
I dont think so.
Chewie: Sentenced and Amorphis yeah! Are those the guys from that and that was supposed
to play tonight?
No, those are just the guys from Finntroll. Anyway, how would you say that playing
in Scandinavia differs from playing in the States, as far as the venues and people and
Theyre a lot more open out here. There were some shows we played in the
States...Manowar fans are hardcore everywhere, but out here it seems like theyre
more accepting to us. I mean the States was accepting to us to, but we just, yknow
its Manowar and they dont play in America as much as they do here probably.
Its cool, well just have to see.
Thats cool. Can you say whats your typical Scandinavian fan and what he
looks like or talks like?
Eric: (laughs) Yesterday what I was seeing, the guys were definitely Manowar fans! They
were standing there with the long leather bracelets with the spikes and stuff but, by the
end of the show, I walked back out there and the same guys were wearing Bludgeon shirts. I
mean, they were still loving the Manowar, singing every Manowar lyric, but its like
yknow, we got across to them, they not only picked up the shirt but the CD too.
Basically the Scandinavian fans appreciate good metal. If its good theyll
listen to it!
Have you seen any black metal fans so far?
Yeah, theyre the same guys, but they just wear different T-shirts. Honestly!
Cause I see a lot of people that look like theyd listen to Black Metal, but
theyre wearing a Manowar shirt.
I think it would be quite bizarre and absurd if they wore both a Manowar shirt and a
corpsepaint at the very same time (laughs).
(laughs) I dont think weve seen anybody corpse-painted. Weve seen
some Viking soldiers dressed up in the armor and fucking hatchet and mallets. Its
Yeah, its weird.
I liked it! I think its cool.
What are you guys listening to?
Right now what are we listening to, in general? Ah shit.
Chewie: Slipknots very good, Slayers very good, um, Manowar is very good!
The new GWAR!
Chewie: Yeah, the new GWAR. I dont know if you guys have heard that, but I highly
recommend it. One of their best albums in a long time!
Wasnt it called LET THE VIOLENCE BEGIN or something like that?
Chewie: THE VIOLENCE HAS ARRIVED, its amazing! Two thumbs up on that, definitely!
Eric: Stone Sour. Corey from Slipknots new band, thats pretty good. Then
again, I listen to a lot of different stuff, a whole lot of different styles too.
Chewie: The new Cannibal, GORE OBSESSED.
Eric: Yknow I brought a hundred CDs with me, I listen to something different all
the time. Yknow a nice variety of CDs, so whenever Im in the mood for it I can
throw it on.
Chewie: The new Testament, listening to that a lot. FIRST STRIKE STILL DEADLY where
they remixed all of the old songs.
From the first two albums
Chewie: Yeah, its fuckin great.
By the way, do you ever miss the 80s metal scene?
Chewie: Itll come back. You cant keep a good thing down.
Eric: Hey, yknow, Dark Angel are an 80s band and theyre comin back.
Back in the early days yknow, the first Sabbath, the first Zeppelin, they still kick
ass. Its still here and it aint ever going.
Yeah, the 80īs Thrash Metal scene actually never died. Now even Phil Demmel is
working with a new Vio-lence album.
Eric: Oh really? I like Violence. The guy from Machine Head was in that band
originally, Rob Flynn.
So, what are you expecting for tonights gig?
Eric: Theyre going to fuckin love it like they do every night! Except now
theres a bigger crowd, so hopefully more people are going to get into it. Its
been going really, really well. I have a blast on stage every fuckin night, so
yknow. It looks like everyone else is likin it too. I mean, occasionally you
get one or two people who are just there to see Manowar, but thats cool cause
we like Manowar too! Pretty much everybody has been open-minded towards us. If they
dont like us, they can at least say that were good at what we do. They
dont like the music but they know were tight or whatever.
Our time is running out now, so we wanna thank you guys for a cool chat with us. And
best of luck for your gig, too!!
Thanks guys! It was really nice talking to you! See you guys at our gig!!
Band Website: www.bludgeon.tv