Interview with Anders guitarist and vocalist of Declared Dead done by Patrick
1. Hello Anders how are you doing this week? Please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello, Patrick! I'm doing okay this week. Feeling a tad tired but trying to fire myself up to push on through. I'm Anders - guitarist/vokillist/creator and leader of the Metal band Declared Dead.
2. Anders you handle the guitars for the band when did you first become interested in playing the guitars?
Yes, yes. Well, Dimitri and I handle the guitars, of course. Dimitri pulled off some striking solos on the newest release, I must say! Well. I would think my interest in guitars started when I was seven, maybe? I had a school chum who showed me a drawing of a guitar he wanted to design and it piqued my interest. No. Wait. I would have been around ten, actually. It was a guitar shaped in the form of a lightning bolt. I told him, "There's no way you could play that, man." He insisted people could. But we have no proof since we no longer know each other. And it's been a long while since that conversation. I doubt he followed through with it. Though, who knows? Now, however - I would concur that it would, most likely, be playable. "My bad". I'm notoriously known to be contrary and contradictory in my small circle of friends - "devil's advocate" and such.
When I was seven, my mum bought us kiddos a cheap ukulele (she was a fan of Tiny Tim?). Wait...wait...even before that. At five years or so - Mums bought me a toy guitar for children. I barely remember it. But I do see in my mind - I had to strum it with my thumb since it didn't come with a plectrum. Also, I must have fancied myself as the next Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain since I gave blisters to my left thumb (meaning I was naturally playing "leftie", for some reason). I'm a "rightie", in most situations. We'll keep it at that, for now. All innuendo aside.
Though, speaking of when I wished to play guitar in a more "real sense". I'd say I was around thirteen. It was a few years later when I got to actualize that desire.
3. Who would you say are some of your biggest influences and favorite guitarists?
So many. So many. Whew. The guys in/have been in TestAmenT (Eric, Alex, James), John Petrucci, Jeff Waters, George Lynch, Trey Azagthoth, Erik Rutan, the Cannibal Corpse guys, Slayer guys, Exodus guys, Criss Oliva, Vito Bratta, James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Chris Poland, Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Jason Suecof, The Black Dalia Murder guys, Chuck Schuldiner, Andy LaRocque, Ralph Santolla, Flotsam and Jetsam guys, Mille Petrozza, Randy Rhoads, Buckethead...
No particular order, there. Many more...can't think of at the moment.
4. Besides the guitars you take care of the vocals when did you start screaming and growling? Do you do anything special to keep your voice and throat healthy?
I'm sure as most people - I began screaming when I was born! "No, no! This fucking life!!!" Growling came a little later. Probably when I became fascinated with the so called "big cats". Maybe, bears and dinosaurs, also. I would copy them at three years old, I'm sure!
Musically - when I listened to Deicide, Morbid Angel, Death, Cannibal Corpse, etc., for the first times. I couldn't control the urge to growl with them as they summoned forth demons through my speakers!
To keep my voice in tip-top shape, I drink a special blend of freshly devirginized and deceased human female pulverized labia in my morning Tang. The liquid extract is sublime but the powdered form is cheaper. Both make me sing like a rabid mongrel! I want to be endorsed by Liquid Labia (now with clitoral hood enzymes!) as soon as I can! Sign me up for the t-shirt! I'll wear it with pride!
No, no...sorry, sorry! That's just my sick sense of humor shining through!
I've had a "lucky spell", lately - concerning my voice. When we recorded our first LP, my voice was wrecked throughout! I have no clue what's being done differently, lately. There's still strain and brief loss of ranges but not as gaping as that first one. I'll remember that experience 'til I go senile like that AC/DC guy!
5. Who would you say are some of your favorite vocalists?
Let's see. Chuck Billy, Bruce Dickinson, Erik Rutan, Corpsegrinder, Tim Owens, Sebastian Bach, Mike Tramp, Eric A.K., David Vincent, Sean Killian, John Bush, Ozzy, Steve Perry, Chuck Schuldiner, Jeff Waters, Mike Howe...
There has to be more.
6. Anders you formed Declared Dead in 2014 when did you first get the idea to start this band?
It was early 2014 when I thought of forming it. Hanging out with a few others into that kind of music and jamming on and off with them. I mean the "band idea", in general, had been percolating in my mind for a few years before that. But the term "Declared Dead" wasn't there until around the time the band, actually, came together. With a single intention of recording a demo, etc.I had most of the music worked out, already (in terms of guitar parts/structures). So, we started from there. The other guys added ideas (like the drum rhythms and basic bass lines), while I whittled away at the lyrics.
So, it was Declared Dead 2014! Vote for fucking Pedro! Metal up your crusty asses campaign of death!
7. I would say Blood Bender is the bands most thrashy and violent metal release to date. What gave you the idea to do a full on thrash/metal release?
We just love that kind of thing! Declared Dead started out as an "old school Death/Thrash" band ("Subterranean Nightmare (Demo)"). That was the intention the whole time. But once I moved to where I'm at now (after the demo), I met up with my current brothers in arms - who have very different musical tastes. We all like to experiment (some more than the others - Mikhel being the "more than the others"...haha!), but I tend to prefer the more thrashy/fast paced type of stuff - so, I kind of "won out" for the "Blood Bender" release. We really experimented quite a lot with the previous two releases ("Revel in the Macabre" and "A Date with the Coroner"). So, we kind of got that out of our systems, for now. But, if you remember the "Shiv e.p." after our first full length - that was mostly Thrash Metal, as well. Our first one ("Denounced and Defiled") wasn't as aggressive as we would've liked but we were somewhat satisfied with it, at the time - mostly as a "learning and growing experience". Most of us - also - like some "progressive" type of stuff, as well - so, that tends to creep into the mix. Plus, the producers/engineers we've worked with made suggestions that we might not have adhered to if we "knew then what we know now" type of thing. You know?
But - also - we don't want to repeat ourselves or become "formulaic". We want each release to be distinct and have a meaningful expression of what we want to portray, yet retain that over all "Declared Dead-istic" sound/style - at the same time. It's art, after all!
For "Blood Bender", since the last two albums were kind of "gothic-tinged" and almost "avant-garde", it was naturally time to explode with aggression! I felt we were getting away from the initial roots of Declared Dead. It was fun and meaningful at the time for those previous releases. But now is the time to rip your faces off and wipe our butts with them! It's time for a "Blood Bender"!!!!
8. As mentioned Blood Bender is Declared Dead's fourth release how long did it take the band to write the music for this release?
It came about very quickly! We DID re-record a couple of tracks ("Ghouls Around the Blade" - which appeared on the "Shiv" e.p. and I wrote new lyrics for a song that was called "Quelling the Beleaguered" - that was on the "Denounced and Defiled" album. The new version is called "Segue to Satan"). But the other eight full tracks came together really smoothly. I was surprised at how well they came to be without much struggle! It was still hard work and energy consuming. But we didn't feel exhausted from the tensions of peripheral nuisances while bringing "Blood Bender" forth from the abyss! Well. I'm - almost - constantly working on new material. Whenever I play guitar - each session seems to spawn, at least, one new idea that I end up keeping for later. Usually, more than one, actually. Plus, I have many stored ideas from years past that I've not used sufficiently. So, I go through those - sometimes - to spark creativity in the present, etc.
Writing music, for me - is kind of a "non-linear" experience, I guess. So, it's tough to say how much time or how long it takes for any given song/album. Depending on whether a riff was written a few years ago or if it was written ten minutes ago, you know? Also, how many hours are used in just "daydreaming" about the structures and so on.
But with "Blood Bender", it just seems like we nailed it. Hit the mark with a steady calibration each time we recorded. It just flowed! Almost like "blood" from a "fresh sacrifice"? Giving the artistic elements all the more power! I hope our next sequential releases are that way!!!
9. Where did you draw inspiration for the lyrics on the new release?
Well. Each album we've done has a "theme". Each song kind of ties in with the album title, for the most part. Whether "blatantly" or "subtly". Even the music itself tends to have a "meta-coloring" to the overall shape and atmosphere. So, with "Blood Bender" - the songs tie-in with "blood", mostly. But the "bender" aspect, as well. Whether it's referring to the "hue" (red, scarlet, sanguine). Or the movement thereof ("Tributary"). Genetic tampering. Going on a "bender" meaning a brutal killing spree/out for blood. Or the metaphysics of dna. Morphogenetic, epigenetic, etc. Blood as a drink/libation...drunk on killing.
I just tried to be creative in referring to "Blood Bender" in various ways. Most just came to me - almost "magically". Like, magnetically, or something (the "iron" in the "blood"?). That's what I mean about the "flow" (again related to "blood") and ease of this new album.
I thought for sure the title track ("Blood Bender") was going to be about "ethnic cleansing". But it turned out to be about a flea infestation my cats and I endured last year. They've only just FINALLY subsided in the past month or two! It was ridiculous! So, it struck me that maybe no one has ever written a song about this experience? I like to do and say things that seem "original" in some way. I'm drawn to that type of thing, as well. So, the more I looked into "fleas" and their lifestyle, the more intrigued I became. They are - actually - fascinating! But loathsome, at the same time! In a way, they ARE "Blood Benders"! That's their "sole purpose", basically! Feed, feed, feed! On blood! So, they go ON "blood benders", yet I'm sure they are effecting the hosts' blood/circulatory system, in some way, as well. So, "bending" in a "genetic" sense. Like using "anti-coagulants" to keep the blood flowing from the wound? Diverting the blood flow, in general ("bending" it to their will).
The other surprising and "original" - to me - lyrics/song concept is/was the last song I wrote lyrics for. "Where Kali Dwells". It's actually based on menstruation! Haha! From the microcosmic aspect of the ovum's journey through the Fallopian tubes to the uterus - to the macrocosmic aspect of the humanfemales' mood swings and hormonal changes due to the whole cycle, etc. Haha! Plus, the effects it has on their male counterparts, etc. Then, the egg "dies" and ends up being flushed down the toilet. Haha!
Of course, there's the general "anti-Christian" relationship in a few songs, as well. That's - always - an easy "go to". Haha.
10. If anyone is interested in hearing your music where can they buy your releases?
We're not in this for the money, so all albums are set for "pay what you want" or whatever (if we get more than 200 downloads a month the site will automatically set prices for the albums until the next month where we get another 200 freebies - just so you know. I'm not lying, here, if you see a price sometime - it's them, not us!). There's been a few people who pay a little something - so that's always cool to see. But the majority just download it for free. We just want the music to get "out there" as far and wide as possible! To those who enjoy it!
Check our main website, as well (links to various sites you can listen to our stuff at, etc.). https://declareddead.weebly.com/
We've seen some forums and blog sites that have our releases posted, as well. We appreciate the interest! Get it wherever you can! Haha! Also, post it on your own sites if you wish. If it's honest support and distribution - so much the better! The "true underground spirit"!!! If you like it, spread the word!
Not to "jinx it" ("Whoops! Too late!"), but we've received some label interest (just yesterday, as I type this). So a physical release of "Blood Bender" is ever so slightly possible at the moment. I've not looked into this further - just read the email alluding to this possibility. If it becomes "legit", you should find info about it on our main website. Also, our "Twitter" account will be updated, etc.
11. When you need to take a break from writing new music or band business what do you like to do in your free time?
Yeah, I see. Hmm. Really, the last two - three years it's been "nonstop", it seems! I'm not sure I - actually - take breaks from the music/band? Relatively, I suppose. It's just that even when I'm trying to "relax", my mind tends to "space out" about Declared Dead! I'll watch a t.v. show or movie and I find myself drifting off on tangents related to Declared Dead concepts and things like that. So, I'll have to "rewind" the show multiple times to see/hear what I keep missing! Haha! About 90% of my focus tends to be about the band and related items.
Still. Things I gravitate towards besides working on Declared Dead would be hanging out with my cats, watching t.v. shows/movies (mostly t.v. shows, though). Uhhh...what else? Oh! I've really gotten into playing "first person shooters" on Playstation the last couple/few years! It started with a game called "Black" (for Playstation 2). That was the coolest game I played back then (before that I really enjoyed the more "cartoonish" type of stuff. "Spyro the Dragon". "Ape Escape". Stuff like that. "Pitfall" and "Destroy All Humans" were a blast, as well! I stopped playing video games for a little while, then got back into it. Lately, I'm a massive "fan" of the "FarCry" series! I even have "FarCry 5" pre-ordered! It's suppose to arrive next Tuesday! Hell yeah! I, recently, bought a Playstation 4 pretty much just for that game! Haha! I did order a couple other games, though, so I could test out the station unit to make sure it was fine, etc. I bought the recent "Wolfenstein" games. Those are turning out to be pretty fun, too! I - also - got "FarCry Primal" the other day (so, I have the entire collection, minus the very first computer based version). Other notable games have been "Body Count" and "Dead Island"!
Other general stuff would be: looking at hot chicks and shooting my load (speaking of "first person shooters" Haha). Actually, that's about it. There's not too many more extracurricular activities, I guess. Boring or what?
Oh! I'm trying to listen to more music, too! Kind of studying the craft in a more in-depth way, you know? I want to "expand my horizons" further, so I can keep bringing Declared Dead to new levels, if possible!
12. Thank you Anders for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
THANK YOU, Patrick, for taking the time to interview me! I appreciate it! There's not much more to say, really. Thanks to the readers, as well! Check out our stuff! If you like it - great! If you don't...okay, I guess. Haha. I think "Blood Bender" is our best thus far! Hopefully, we'll make that our new trend! I, personally, have the next three to four possible Declared Dead album titles/concepts in mind. So, no shortage of ideas, yet! We'll keep forging ahead! Thanks, again, and see ya soon!