Monday, September 08, 2008

HOODED MENACE interview!

The debut CD from HOODED MENACE will be out this Fall on Razorback Records! I spent some time asking lead hooded-freak Lasse some questions about the band and upcoming album! Check it out! And also go to the Razorback Records myspace page to hear an exclusive new track from the album.

1.Hey Lasse, tell us a little bit about how HOODED MENACE came together. What was your inspiration to start this band?

Lasse: It all started in June of 2007 when I was jamming Candlemass songs with my two friends. Instead of melodic singing I just growled the lyrics in death metal vocal style. We really enjoyed playing that style and liked how it all sounded and thought that maybe we should write our own material that was a combination of doom and death metal. Also we couldn..t think of too many awesome doom/death bands that were around at the time but just lame keyboard "doom" bands and boring funeral doom crap so we decided to give it a try.

2.HOODED MENACE takes influence from the Blind Dead films, but also other stuff as well. Why do you think the Blind Dead imagery fits so well with Doom Metal? Also, what is your favorite of the 4 Blind Dead films?

Lasse: The overall creepy atmosphere of the films and the slow pacing of the Blind Dead just fits so perfectly to this type of music. All that foreboding mood... It's a match made in heaven or hell.

Choosing the best of them is so hard that I'd rather not do that but if someone forced me to I guess right now I would choose "The Ghost Galleon" because I haven't watched it for a while. Next week it could be "Night of the Seagulls". So the favourite keeps changing. I just choose them all!

3.I know yo'u're a big fan of CANDLEMASS. Tell us which your favorites are by them! Also, do you think the melodies in the band help keep HOODED MENACE separate from some of the other bands playing doom metal today?

Lasse: I'm a fan of the old stuff up to "Tales of Creation" which I think is the last great Candlemass album. "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" is easily my favourite right next to "Nightfall". I know they (Leif Edling) improved from the debut album to "Nightfall" a bit songwriting-wise but at the same time the band lost a bit of that murky atmosphere that made "Epicus..." so special. Of course the singer is also different and I have to say I..m more a fan of Johan Langquist than Messiah Marcolin though both are awesome vocalists. I just think that Langquist had more feeling in his vocals and he just had that perfect tone for Candlemass.

Yeah, I guess the melodies we have must make us a bit different from the other bands out there nowadays. I hope so. We are not about pure monotonic crushing doom or gay keyboard sweet melody "doom". We are more like an evil ugly and chunky little brother of Candlemass or Cathedral. A brother that didn't want to sing but just grunt.

4. What are some other doom metal bands you enjoy? Do you think there's too many of them and not enough to make any stand out from each other? What do you think helps keep HOODED MENACE interesting and not "just another doom band"?

Lasse: Aside from old Cathedral and Candlemass I enjoy doom bands like Electric Wizard, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Reverend Bizarre,Isole to name a few. The rough doomy stuff like Winter and Coffins is also cool. I don't follow the scene too much and I listen to only a handful of bands compared to some doom freaks out there. I can stick with my old faves and get inspired by them again and again.

I don't know if there are too many doom bands as I don't follow the scene that much. I guess there are too many bands in every category today and as far as I know in every category vast majority of the stuff is boring. Probably it's just the same thing with doom bands.

I think Hooded Menace is interesting and stands out because we have good, catchy songs tho they are very crushing and doomy still. We are not slow just for the sake of slowness. We do not play one note for like 4 minutes to make our song more "epic". We try to avoid of being boring. Good songwriting is the fond of it all. To make a slow, creepy, crushing, long but still interesting and great song is a challenge in writing doom/death metal. Also not many bands don..t seem to play stuff like we are.

5.Your first release just came out, "The Eyeless Horde" 7" EP. Tell us about this release and how it came out on Doomentia Records! The quality and packaging is amazing! Will you be doing the LP version of your album with them also?

Lasse: Thanks! I agree it really came out great! Doomentia did amazing job as well as Eric "Rot" Engelmann created totally brilliant artwork for it. We will work with Doomentia again for the vinyl release of our full lenght. I bet that will be such an awesome package too!

6.Tell us about the upcoming debut album on Razorback Records. Name some of the songs, and tell us what they're like compared to the demo/EP songs you did. Are you happy with the production and sound for this album?

Lasse: The album is entiled "Fulfill the Curse" and it contains 9 songs. We are very happy with the result. It sounds and looks great. Putrid did a stunning job with the artwork. It..s all black&white and just grim! Also the layout by who else but Sly from Fondlecorpse rules! The production is crushingly heavy and big. Still totally DIY without any of that expensive pro studio shit.

Music is still very much in the same way as on the demo/EP. However there is a track like "The Love Song for Gotho, Hunchback of the Morgue" which is a bit faster than our usual stuff. Of course "fast" only in terms of Hooded Menace. I would also bring up a song called "Grasp of the Beastwoman" with its pretty melodic Candlemass and horror soundtrackish Fabio Frizzi influenced parts. That..s also a new flavor and hey, we have also covered Fabio Frizzi..s "Theme from Manhattan Baby" for the album!

7. What are some goals for the band? Do you want to play live or just focus on recordings? Do you want to get more EP's out and more vinyl releases? Any bands you'd like to do splits with?

Lasse: We have no plans to play live. It doesn't feel tempting at all. We just wanna document our music. Playing live, doing a show is not really what we are all about. We rather use that time and energy in creating new music. We don't have plans after the full length is out other than planning the follow up album but sure a split or 7"EP could be cool. I really don..t know with whom we would love to make a split. We haven't thought about that at all yet. Maybe they should reform Eternal Darkness for the split release... or are they already resurrected?!?! I know shit! Anatomia could be also a cool partner for a split.

8.When it comes time to do a 2nd CD, what would you like to try to do with it? Any changes? Is it a challenge to write such epic sounding songs?

Lasse: It will be a challenge to write songs but it..s also something I..m really looking forward to. We have a few riffs in store and they all sound like "Fulfill the Curse" material so for now I don't except any big changes. I only wish that we could record as solid entirety for the follow up. We wanna stay as creepy and crushing as always.

9.Tell us about any doom bands from Finland that you enjoy. What has the response been towards the band over there?

Lasse: Puritan (if you can call them doom) and also Fall of the Idols sounds nice. Again, as I don..t follow the scene that much I possibly miss some decent stuff. So, I'm far from an expert to answer to this.

The response towards Hooded Menace has been pretty good in Finland also. Sweet reviews and nice response.

10.The glory days of the old Finnish death metal scene are long gone, but it seems like you're helping to keep it alive with HOODED MENACE, as well as your other band VACANT COFFIN (interview with that band in the future). Do you miss the old days in the early 90's? Who were some old bands you were good friends with in those days?

Lasse: I miss the freshness of ideas and since I'm very nostalgic person I miss the those times just like I miss the 80..s too. Anyway, I'm very comfortable with the present and what I ..m doing musically today. These days rule! To me it's almost like the late 80s, early 90s are back since I spend over a decade doing basically nothing sensible and serious musically.

I don't know if we were very "good friends" with anyone but I recall we felt that we had something in common and some kinda friendship with bands like Disgrace, Xysma, Sentenced, Demigod... We weren..t the most social guys really.

11.If you have any last words please tell us! Good luck with the debut CD and keep crushing with the mighty HOODED MENACE!

Lasse: Thanks for this nice interview, Billy! I'm pretty bad at last words so I'm just gonna say look out for the upcoming Hooded Menace album! If you liked the demo /EP you won..t be disappointed! Cheers!


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