Interview with Anders Manga and Devallia
of the Bloody Hammers
Interview by Caitlin Smith
Photos by Ashlinn Nash
With the rise of doom metal and the occult on the scene at the moment, its no wonder that were starting to see such a plethora of bands emerging onto the UK scene. Another band stepping up to fill this title are US based Bloody Hammers. Heading over to tour the UK for the first time since their conception 2 years earlier, we caught up with Anders Manga and Devallia before their headlining show at the Underworld that evening.
Can you give us a brief history of the band, how did this all come together?
Anders: It started as just a studio project. We live in a really small town nestled in the North Carolina mountains, population about 3000. We live at about 3000 feet elevation in a little cabin at the top of a mountain with a studio in it, and we just record stuff all the time. We’re always recording music. Nobody lives round there, it’s just us. There are people there obviously but not a lot of musicians and people like that so we just do a lot of the stuff ourselves in the studio but we were doing different types of music. We were doing darkwave sort of music for over a decade but I just wanted to do something heavier so I did the self-titled Bloody Hammers record and I put it online and the next day Soulseller records, a Dutch label hit me up and said they wanted to put it on vinyl and I was like OK, go ahead. I guess some people liked it and it just kind of spiraled from there; now were on Napalm with a new album.
Did you find it hard finding the right musicians in such a small town?
Anders: Yeah I mean we had to travel 5 hours away to meet them and they had to travel from Raleigh to meet us so it’s a challenge definitely.
So for those people who don’t know who you are, can you describe your sound and musical influences?
Anders: My favorites are Sisters of Mercy, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Bauhouse. Classic rock and gothic rock, that’s my favorite stuff. [Devallia] comes more from industrial.
Devallia: Yeah dark electronic, industrial music. Coil, old Ministry, Skinny Puppy.
Anders: It doesn’t shine through so much in Bloody Hammers stuff but we like all kinds of music.
Can you tell us about the writing process, how does a Bloody Hammers album come about?
Anders: Usually its just me goofing around on my acoustic or something. I’ll be strumming a riff and mumbling some sort of melody. I’ll stumble on something I like and then I’ll just build on that melody and build the music around that melody and build the lyrics. This last album came really fast, all the lyrics and all the songs, that’s the best way. You want your songs to come really fast, if you have to work on them a long time its usually shit. You shouldn’t have to work on them a long time because the best songs come fast. On the new album all the songs came really fast.
Do any of the other members contribute at all?
Anders: No it’s just me, its mostly just our project. They’re in another band but they help us out on tour. It’s not that that wont change, were always evolving but right now they’re just helping us out on tour for the live situation.
Your latest album Under a Serpents Sun has just come out, can you tell us about some of the inspirations behind it?
The album is based all on local folklore where we live, lots of local history there. I mean not as much as [UK] history, but lots of cool stuff. Cheroki, native Americans, Immigrants, it’s just based on old folk lore, horror stories and things that have been around. Its pretty much a concept album of just local to us stories.
How do you feel about your latest album?
Anders: I love it. We’ll just wait and see if anyone else does.
So where did the name Bloody Hammers come from?
Anders: It’s always a struggle to look for a name and that’s just a nod to Roky Erickson who is a big influence of ours, psychedelic rock legend. He had a song called Bloody Hammer and we just borrowed it from there.
What’s next for Bloody Hammers?
Anders: The band started as more of a studio project so now its about making it more of a live entity, a touring entity, so we’re just trying to get our legs live.
Devallia: More touring.
Anders: This is our first tour of Europe ever, and our first trip to the UK, we’ve done some shows around America.
Devallia: We’ve been surprised, everyone’s been so welcoming here compared to the US so its been nice.
Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Come out tonight! We’ll be back in the fall so come then. The booking agents are working on stuff so hopefully we can get back over soon, more extensive, more cities.