Friday 8 October 2010

Interview with Sadomancer of Deathhammer


Deathhamer, if you have been following my advice, are one of the best thrash bands out there. Not just of the new crop, ever. Why, just this month I gave them a 9 for their new record, Phantom Knights, in the most recent issue of Vice. It also made Cover of the Month, to which Sadomancer—one half of Deathhammer—said, "Ah, that is cool as hell! Can we drink Champagne with Katy Perry now???" They are coming to London to play Live Evil festival real soon, and also the pre-show at Catch, where he's looking forward to meeting some "drunk sluts". Anyway, I caught up with him for a full interview. Well, actually, I sent the questions about two months ago and got it back recently, but it was worth it.

How does it feel to be a part of the Live Evil festival?

Sadomancer: To share the bill with some of the coolest underground metal acts around like - Körgull the exterminator, Ghost, Salute, Natur, Speedtrap, and our friends in Obliteration and Nekromantheon - is something I look forward to with great joy. Also, seeing Vulcano is gonna be a memorable event for sure. We planned to go to Live Evil anyway, so it was perfect that they wanted us on the bill.

What bands are you psyched to see?
I think ALL the bands have something great to offer (not ONE bad band on the bill!), but I am dying to suffer a sonic metal overkill by Körgull The Exterminator because that's probably my favourite newer underground band nowadays. Their Dogs of War album is pure metal essence. Ghost and Vulcano is also gonna be very exciting.

What would you like to tell the people of London prior to your first shows here?

Expect nothing but total destruction! I have switched from drums to guitar (bored of playing drums live) and Kick from Nekromantheon is gonna destroy the drums (he is Norway's answer to Gene Hoglan), so it's gonna be even MORE violent than before! Prepare to be crushed under the hammer of death.

Where did the concept of Deathhammer come from?

The desire to play this music came from our pounding metal hearts. The "concept" of playing true metal comes from within and should not come from anywhere else. This is our call.

When did you decide to start the band? Was it because of the then influx of bad thrash bands that became to flood the scene?

We started the band in fall 2005 because we had some songs which we thought were good enough to release. I was only 15 years old so we hadn't heard that many other new underground thrash acts at the time, we only listened to the good ones anyway (Witchtrap, Sauron etc). Basically, we just wanted to play like Celtic Frost and Kreator. We noticed some Norwegian bands around at the same time as us which quickly found out playing thrash wasn't the cool thing to play anymore and broke up. Such trendy bands should never pester the scene in the first place, so it's sad they got to release demos and play gigs, but what can you do (except for wait and see who stands when the smoke clears). I didn't hear about bands like Municipal Waste until a couple of years ago and I don't care about them at all 'cause I'm not very into that kind of thrash (for crossover-thrash I'd rather listen to Wehrmacht or D.R.I.). I like my thrash to be about violence and destruction, not Turtles and toxic baseball hats!

I know this is a fairly generic question, but what is your inspiration?
Our inspiration comes from living a life of severe intoxication, listening to metal and banging our skulls, obscure voids, the Japanese black metal Gods Sabbat, movies like The Beyond (horror/macabre movies in general) and everything evil and morbid. The most important songs for Deathhammer's sound I guess would be "Total Desaster" (Destruction), "Tormentor" and "Bonebreaker" (Kreator) and "Sacrifice" (Bathory). The Bathory feeling is the holiest of all there is.


Which bands do you think are bringing the right sound to the table nowadays?

There are plenty of great bands around nowadays, luckily. Bands like Körgull The Exterminator (which we will release a split with in the coming future), Vomitor, Ghost, Witchtrap/Nightmare, Natur, One tail, One Head, Black Majesty, Obliteration/Nekromantheon, Obsidian Sea, Demon's Gate, Slingblade, Negative Plane, Rust, Salute... Well, too many to mention actually. Long live the new flesh!

Where the FUCK did you get that wailing banshee shriek heard on the new album?
Salsten always drinks a lot of geitemelk (goat milk in English) before the vocal sessions, so maybe that's the key.

The album took a while to come through, but at one point last year you were said to be releasing a full-length titled, Onward To The Pits, is Phantom Knights the same project renamed?

No, this is a another recording. We recorded Onward to the Pits, but we will re-record it soon with the equipment we recorded Phantom Knights with. We'll also add more songs we didn't manage to include on the old recording. We had some problems with the mixing of Onward... so we thought it will be best to just re-record the whole fucker. We also have a bunch of old and new songs ready for a third full-length assault and some unreleased old recorded songs which we will use for some selected splits. Hell awaits!

The album in parts has a more black metal sound than on your previous releases, was this intentional?

Not intentional as in "let's make this release more black metal than thrash this time", but when we had recorded all the songs (10 in total) we had one called "Supporter of the Cause" (which will be on the "Nekrothrash" 4-way 7" split on Duplicate soon), which we left out because it is more traditional thrash than the dark vibe present in the other 9 songs. I guess we were determined to make this release a hellish one. Our next attack will probably be a mixture of both thrash and black metal though, like on the "Savage Poser Hunt" demo tape.

What bands/records/songs were you looking to emulate?

Our gods are Sodom, Kreator and Destruction! But we don't imitate other bands or rip them off, that would of course be a losers thing to do.

Who does all the songwriting, and when and where are the songs written?

We both write songs and we make them separately on electric axes in our homes. We usually write lyrics to our own songs but on Phantom Knights I wrote the lyrics to a couple of Salsten's songs too. Anyway, the credits are written inside the booklet for those interested.

What are your thoughts on the current music scene, metal and otherwise?

There will always be good stuff if you really have the interest to search and dig deeper, but I'm not finished with searching the 70s and 80s yet, and that's my main concern for now. Darkthrone and Burzum released the best metal albums this year and I'm also expecting the new Körgull album to destroy everything. I don't follow any music scene except for the metal scene, but I just heard the new Lady Gaga single and I have to say, it's pretty good.

Tell me where you see the future of Deathhammer heading?

Heading out to the highway! We will release more albums and desecrate more stages hopefully. I'm really eager to record a new album, so let's hope it doesn't take forever.

What other projects are you guys working on (Ghoul-Cult, Black Magic, Faustcoven etc.)?

Ghoul-Cult was never our band, but me and Salsten joined the live line-up for a few gigs, which went great. There was some talk about Ghoul-Cult releasing a new 7" with a old song re-recorded that never got released called "Bulletbelt Blitzkrieg" and maybe a cover, but it's probably never gonna happen. About Black Magic, I was up at Jon's place far up north last month and recorded our debut album called Lucifers Legacy. Expect nothing but total evil! We are not involved with Faustcoven, but I think they maybe will record their new album in my basement (where the Deathhammer records and the Black Magic demo was recorded), so let's wait and see. I have heard some songs and it sounds really gloomy and heavy. Salsten is involved with a obscure band called Goofer, and they recorded a demo at my place a while ago. Myself, I'm involved with a couple of projects which I have worked on for some years now and will finally record something very soon.

Below is my own tape rip of The Rotting Demos comp from last year, comprising all the demos plus two new tracks for the release that aren't on anything else. Scans of the sleeve etc. are in the folder too.

Deathhammer (Norway) The Rotting Demos (2009)

3.Graveyard Necromancy
5.Return of the Hammer
7.Demonz in Leather
11.Bestial Slaughter