Conducted by: Fernando G. Quiroz (e-mail)
Published on: 12/11/2017
How you are doing guys! I’m Fernando Quiroz, editor of Insanity Remains Webzine, I want to thank you for your time and attention; What you think if we start with this session?
IRW: When, where and how did Bloodstrike started?
Ryan: Jeff and Holly originally came up with the idea for Bloodstrike back in 2013 in Denver. Jeff had filled in with Holly’s previous band on bass and after that band ended they wanted to start something old school, brutal, and riff-driven. They first reached out to mutual friend Joe to play guitar and then they worked on a couple songs. After a few drummers didn’t work out they asked me (Ryan) if I had any drum students who could play death metal. I didn’t, but I had been interested in the old school Swedish sound for a while so I gave it a shot personally and it worked out. We auditioned a few bass players who really weren’t a good fit, sometimes hilariously so. Then after a while we asked Rhiannon to join and she clicked into the bass slot pretty easily and off we went.
IRW: Can you tell me who are the current members of Bloodstrike and who are the influences on the sound of the band?
Ryan: Currently, as of December 2017, its Jeff Alexis on Guitar, Holly Wedel on Vox, Joe Piker on Guitar, and Ryan Alexander Bloom on Drums. Our sound is mainly influenced by old school death metal like Entombed, Grave, Dismember, Bolt Thrower, and thrash bands like Slayer, for one, but also classic heavy metal like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, of course. A good mixture of what came before us.
IRW: So far, you guys have released a demo "Necrobirth" in 2014, the album debut "In Death We Rot" in 2015, how was the national and international reaction for both?
Ryan: The reaction for both of those releases was great. We got a bunch of positive reviews for the demo and the first album and we’ve had to use google translate a lot because we often get reviews in languages we don’t understand. From what I can remember, we’ve had Portuguese, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, French, Italian, Czech, and probably a bunch more I’m forgetting. So, as far as international, at least some people overseas are hearing us and liking it.
IRW: Who was in charge of the songwriting of your newest album "Execution of Violence" or is the result of the collective work of the band?
Ryan: All of our writing has been a fairly collaborative process. Jeff, Joe, and I split the riff writing between us for all 3 releases so far and we all have songs on the new album. Holly writes the lyrics for the most part and then we all sit down and work out the forms and changes together. Everyone gets input, so there really isn’t anyone in charge at the end of the day.
IRW: Where was recorded and how long did it take you to record "Execution of violence"?
Ryan: We recorded at Firestorm Studios in Colorado, which Jeff owns. This makes the recording process easy because we rehearse at the studio and are already comfortable there. It took a couple months to record, but of course, because we had access to the studio at our leisure we weren’t tracking daily. Mostly on our days off or after work.
IRW: I knew you are good musicians since the first time I listened to you, but can you explain me, How the hell did Dan Swanö get involved to do the master process of "Execution of Violence?
Ryan: Well, it turns out that if you want to work with someone awesome, just like anybody else, the first step is to ask nicely. He happened to have time in his schedule when we approached him and he agreed to do it. It may have helped that our sound is right in his specialty area.
IRW: How was the experience working with him? Will that happen again in the next album?
Ryan: He seemed very professional, worked quickly, and told us exactly what he needed from us. He also said that we sounded a lot like Bloodbath, which is nice to hear from a guy with his credentials. We like his end result so we are certainly open to using him again although we haven’t really even started to think about the next album yet. Its very possible.
IRW: Can you describe me what is the difference, (if any) between "In Death We Rot" and "Execution of Violence? (e.g. How was the songwriting process? etc.)
IRW: If there is something you could change or add to "Execution of Violence", What would it be?
Ryan: Obviously, if we had unlimited funds and time we could have done all kinds of crazy things, but we are pretty happy with the results we got. I think we would all agree that this album sounds pretty much the way we envisioned it at the start. More so than the last one, for sure.
IRW: How has the support of Redefining Darkness Records towards Bloodstrike?
Ryan: Our label is pretty small so the resources are limited but it seems like they’re advocating for us all the time and we are given a lot of leeway to do what we want. We often finance things ourselves and are pretty self sufficient so we aren’t relying a lot on other people for our day to day operations or even for big undertakings like touring.
IRW: How has been the distribution of the most recent material "Execution of Violence"? Are you happy with it?
Ryan: We have distribution going in a fair number of places in the US and in Europe and South/Central America. For instance, we have a cassette release of Execution of Violence with Raw Skull Recordz in the Netherlands. If you are looking for our album you can find it. Clearly we aren’t getting into every record store on earth but with a smaller indie label and playing an underground style of music we were never expecting thousands of units moving immediately. We are always looking for new distros and connections in other countries to help get us out there.
IRW: Where can we order Bloodstrike “Execution of Violence”?
Ryan: The easiest place to get it is at bloodstrike.bandcamp.com or you can go directly to our label Redefining Darkness Records, or contact us at Facebook.com/bloodstrikemetal for unusual requests or whatever.
IRW: I understand that you are about to end a small tour promoting "Execution of Violence", What has been your most memorable performance, up to this moment?
Ryan: As far as on this particular tour we had great shows in Albuquerque with our friends in Suspended and in Laredo where we didn’t expect much and then actually had a great time. In a general sense we played Denver Black Sky Fest last year with Terrorizer, Exhumed, and Demolition Hammer and that was pretty sick.
IRW: Do you care playing for small audiences or do you prefer to play only for large audiences?
Ryan: We like a good crowd, whether that’s a large one or just a small but rowdy one. Its nice to see a venue full of people, so its great to play a small dive bar and pack it out. Even if that’s only 80 or 100 people, its still awesome when they’re wall to wall. We don’t need to play arenas to have fun.
IRW: How could you define the current underground movement?
Ryan: The underground is pretty fragmented these days. Lots of scenes have quality bands, but the thing we hear on tour everywhere is that a lot of good venues have closed in the past few years. That makes playing and getting bands together pretty difficult sometimes. Also the internet has kind of made some people complacent and unmotivated. Posting videos online and getting out there in the real world are totally not that same, but that’s getting to be more common, just having an online presence. We are all not that tech savvy and lets just say we aren’t spring chickens anymore, so maybe we are falling behind in the social media race. We like to get out and do things for real, and sometimes there’s no online documentation, like pictures or videos. All we can do is keep plugging away the old fashioned way, and a lot of the best bands we know do the same thing. We think that eventually people will come around to seeing that the underground scene is still out in the clubs and bars and not really online. Overall we have played with some great underground band over the years so they’re out there doing good things.
IRW: Death metal, does not provide enough to make a life of it, what do you do in real life to live?
Ryan: We all work quite a bit. Holly is a welder and does some machining as well. Jeff works with laser engraving machines and records local bands at his studio. Joe manages a food warehouse and I teach drum lessons and do some light commercial property maintenance.
IRW: Do you have any idea what you would be doing if you were not playing in a Death Metal band?
IRW: Have you ever considered playing some other kind of music outside of the genre of metal? (e.g. Country, Hip Hop, Rap, Soul)
Ryan: Holly played orchestral cello in school, Joe has been known to play some crust punk, I have a degree in classical percussion, so I’ve played in a lot of wind bands and done a little substitute orchestra work. Jeff is pretty die hard into metal, but I think he would play in a Kiss tribute if given the chance. But, on the other hand, no none of us would play country, hip hop, rap, or soul. That is taking it a bit too far.
IRW: This is a must ask question; In a scene so saturated with bands playing the same genre; What makes Bloodstrike to be different from others and to be accepted? Are you worried about that or not?
Ryan: We aren’t too worried about being accepted. I think our attention to detail, our obsession with our live tone, and our classic songwriting approach, and our professionalism make us worthy of standing beside other bands in a similar style without being too overshadowed. We often feel like we are different enough at shows we play that people take note.
IRW: Besides Bloodstrike; Any of you have a side project?
Ryan: Sometimes we will fill in for other bands when asked, especially if it pays or they’re our buddies, but nothing serious.
IRW: I know, it's too fast to ask for Bloodstrike's third album, but I must ask, will arrive a third album next year? are you working already on it?
Ryan: We haven’t started anything yet. Its probably not going to be next year at this rate, that’s my best guess.
IRW: Where do you see Bloodstrike in five years from now?
Ryan: We will definitely have another release by then. Hopefully we can weasel our way into the consciousness of the average metal fan and become more of a staple old school band with recognition from the mainstream metal media. We would like to continue touring in the US and in 5 years it would be great if we had gotten to Europe and South America for some fests or a tour too. Spread the brutality far and wide.
IRW: If you can have a dream to make come true; Which one would it be?
Ryan: I think we would all like to be on the major festival circuit, Wacken, Bloodstock, Maryland Death, Eindoven, Hellfest, and that sort of thing where we can play to thousands of people at once through massive sound systems. It would also be cool to tour with Entombed, Bloodbath, Grave or other legitimate Swedish gods.
IRW: Would you like to add anything we missed during this interview, or a send a special message to your fans and/or followers?
Ryan: Thanks to our fans and supporters. We can’t do it alone. Watch for a music video to come out sometime in the next several months and maybe we can get on the road again soon.
IRW: I want to thank you Ryan for your time and support and I hope you have had a nice time answering these questions.
Stay True ... Stay Metal ... Stay Brutal ...
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