Interview with Dave Ingram, Vocalist of Hail of Bullets

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Interview with Dave Ingram, Vocalist of Hail of Bullets

June 13, 2016

Interview by InfamousButcher

Dave Ingram

All extreme metal fans are familiar with the work of Dave Ingram. The vocalist fronted Benediction during their heyday in the 90’s, growling his way through classic albums like THE GRAND LEVELLER and TRANSCEND THE RUBICON. He also had a memorable turn in Bolt Thrower on HONOUR, VALOUR, PRIDE and has been involved with numerous other projects. Most recently he joined Hail of Bullets as their new singer. I was lucky enough to witness their mind-blowing performance at Maryland DeathFest XIV last month with Dave at the helm for the first time! Let me tell you, I’ve seen a lot of shit, and this was one for the ages! I did have the pleasure of meeting Dave at MDF, but due to timing we ended up conducting the interview remotely.

Hail of Bullets - promo photo 2016
Hail of Bullets – promo photo 2016. courtesy of

Infamous Butcher: Hail of Bullets shocked everyone when they announced Martin was leaving. Then we were all relieved when you were named as the temporary singer! At MDF the band announced that you are officially their permanent lead vocalist! How did the band reach out to you to make all this happen?

Dave Ingram: Actually, they didn’t. It was me that reached out to them via Facebook. I gave my services for the MDF show, and it was talked about that it could be a possible permanent position after the gig. Stephan (Gebedi) surprised me by announcing it during the set, so I was pretty damn over the moon!


IB: The MDF show was crushing and spectacular! Were you pleased with how it went?

DI: It was awesome, I loved every moment of it. I haven’t been on stage for 10 years, and hadn’t for one moment forgotten the rush one gets up there. I was somewhat overwhelmed by the response, which has been incredibly positive. In regards to my decade absence from stage I’ve some other points to make, but I’ll bring them up in a later question.


IB: Is singing for Hail of Bullets much different than singing for Benediction or Bolt Thrower? What was your biggest challenge in joining the band?


DI: It was a lot easier, in fact. Not that I am being derogative to the previous bands (far from it! Some of my greatest band memories are of my tenure in Bolt Thrower) but the fact that technology has advanced so much that I can be in constant touch with the Hail Of Bullets guys at any given time. Plus with the internet I can receive music from them instantly, and don’t have to rely on small mail or phone calls. The only real challenge was learning the lyrics that Martin had written. I always found it hard to learn someone else’s text, instead of writing it myself, so what I do is re-record the songs with me singing them and learn them that way. It worked for me…except for a couple of flubs at MDF. 😉


IB: HoB’s albums are always WWII themed. I think it would be great if you did an album on the Battle of Britain, Germany’s failed attack on England, especially since you are from Birmingham. What would you like to do for the theme of the next album?

DI: I’ve a few ideas rolling around, as do the other guys, but I can definitely say that it won’t be about any of the Axis powers. That’s as much as I’ll give away for now.


IB: You have a deep death metal history, being on the scene for more than 25 years. How did you get the Benediction gig after Barney Greenway left for Napalm Death in 1990?

DI: I was out one night and walked in to the local pub in Birmingham where all the metalheads congregated – a place called The Costermongers – and Benediction were sitting at a table looking somewhat downhearted. I asked what was up, they told me Barney had left for ND full time and Benediction needed a new singer for the upcoming tour they had with Autopsy. I offered my services and the asked me to go to an audition 3 days later. A couple of days later they told me I had got the job…and here we are today.


IB: Your vocal style was very similar to what Barney’s was then. Was that intentional and was Barney an influence on your vocal style? Who are your other vocal influences?

DI: I wasn’t influenced by Barney, but we had a mutual influence, I believe….Kam Lee. That guy – a good friend – was HUGELY influential over my singing and lyrics. Along with him I have to include Tom G. Warrior, Cronos, The Baron (Amebix), Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni), Steve Ignorant (Crass) and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)


IB: Between 1991 and 1993 Benediction put out some of the best death metal ever made, THE GRAND LEVELLER, DARK IS THE SEASON, and TRANSCEND THE RUBICON. What do you remember about the recording of these classics?

[caption id="attachment_97765" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Benediction -The Grand Leveller Benediction -The Grand Leveller

DI: There was a lot to try and remember from those days – which were between 23 and 26 years ago! But each recording session had its moments. From listening to the guitarist recording solos and thinking “he should have stopped there” every damn time, or the disc drive sounding like a duck quacking, or having guest musicians in and getting pissed with them….so many memories come flooding back.

Benediction - Transcend The Rubicon
Benediction – Transcend The Rubicon


BENEDICTION - Dark is the-Season - The-Grotesque
BENEDICTION – Dark is the-Season – The-Grotesque

IB: The song DARK IS THE SEASON was inspired by the David Lynch film BLUE VELVET. How did the song come about?

DI: I first saw that film in 1989 and it terrified me, more so than any horror movie out at the time (or since, truth be known.) The very real and seedy underbelly of small-town America brought to macabre life by Lynch. I wanted to write a song for it from day one of my tenure in Benediction but there hadn’t been a song I thought was right for it…until we wrote the music that went on to become “Dark Is The Season”. Bit of trivia: The song was originally called “Darkest Of Seasons” but the label misprinted it on the press release and we liked it, so kept it.


IB: You’re written many great songs about serial killers – “Jumping At Shadows”, “Born in a Fever”, “Down on Whores”. etc. Have you always had an interest in serial killers?

DI: I did. Past tense. Though nowadays I’m still interested in Jack The Ripper, but it’s more the period – and the clothes!! One of my other projects is a very Swedish sounding OSDM style so maybe I will take up the serial killer banner for some of those songs. I haven’t written them yet, so who knows?


IB: Starting with THE DREAMS YOU DREAD and even moreso with GRIND BASTARD, Benediction’s sound became lighter with more of a punk influence. Was this an intentional change or did it come naturally?

DI: It was a natural progression, though I would have preferred it to remain the DM style of TRANCEND THE RUBICON, but obviously with some subtle differences.


IB: In the late 90s you joined Bolt Thrower and went on to record HONOUR, VALOUR, PRIDE. What was it like being part of that legendary band?

DI: Yes, I joined Bolt Thrower in 1998. Though I need to clear up the misconception that I took over from Martin on vocals. I did not. Martin parted ways with BT a couple of YEARS earlier. The band got Karl in to record the Mercenary album with them, and then I joined shortly after its release. So the ONLY time I “took over” from Martin was in Hail Of Bullets.



Down Among the Dead Men
Down Among the Dead Men

IB: When did you start Down Among the Dead Men? Will you continue that band as a side project?

DI: DATDM started in 2013 and we’ve 2 albums out (and a limited edition 7”) and it’s right now I need to clear up another misconception – one that I mentioned earlier. I’ve had a lot of people saying “welcome back!” on my joining Hail Of Bullets, citing I had been inactive since leaving Bolt Thrower. These folks couldn’t be more wrong, and here’s why. Since leaving Bolt Thrower I have done the following: Downlord (Danish band) 2 albums. Metal Breakfast Radio – Internet radio for the last 8 years, and still going. Down Among The Dead Men – 2 full length albums and a 7″.
Echelon – Full length album (recording a second one RIGHT NOW)
 Multiple guest appearances over the last decade on many albums. Next projects will be a new Echelon (full length), New Down Among The Dead Men (full length), URSINNE (brand new project, full length), Just Before Dawn: reprise of appearance on the project. So….not in a band? Inactive? Welcome back??! Where the fuck were they for the last 10 years?


IB: You’ve been part of so many legendary death metal bands and it was truly an honor to meet you. What achievements are you most proud of?

DI: There are many achievements and I am proud of every single one. Yes, some were smaller than others, but they were fought for tooth and nail by me and those involved. And we won through. I shall continue to make music and release it for those that want to hear it. Thank you for the interview; it was an absolute pleasure to both partake in it and to also meet you. Just sorry we couldn’t get it done on that day! Hopefully we can meet again next time around.


Top 5 albums (pretty current):

Fever Ray – Fever Ray

Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal

Paganizer – On A Gurney To Hell

Bonesaw – The Illicit Revue

Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris


Links of interest:

DOWNLORD back-catalogue, free download:

Twitter: @MetalBreakfast

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Instagram: @MetalBreakfast

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