Interviews: Hammerdrone

We have had the opportunity to interview the Death Metal band Hammerdrone from Canada. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or come out just like that? 

Totally unplanned! We just really needed a name – we’d been playing for months without agreeing on a band name, but we had our first gig looming, and needed to choose something. We literally had over 200 names on a whiteboard, and every time we found a name we all liked we checked it against the Encyclopedia Metallum, only to find someone else had got there first, and we really wanted something that was one word, and was unique. Eventually, Curtis just threw out “how about Hammerdrone”? And no-one else had it, and it sounded kinda cool, and was avoiding the clichés of using words like ‘death’ or ‘war’, so we all said “yeah, let’s do it”. It turns out it was probably in his sub-consciousness because Iron Man II had not long been released and later on we realized that the Hammer Drones are the main enemy Iron Man faces in that movie – but this was not deliberate!

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

I wouldn’t say we wanted to – it’s just what we gravitated to, what naturally happened when we got together. We play the kind of music we all enjoy and all listen to – the combination of aggressive heaviness, raging vocals, technical musicianship and melodic guitar is what gets in your blood and makes you feel like the music is alive. I can’t really imagine playing anything other than extreme metal of one form or another.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

Yes – Vinnie, Teran and I had played together and recorded two albums in Reverend Kill. When I left Reverend Kill I was keen to get a new band going and as soon as I found out Vinnie was available I got in touch with him, as I always respected his skill and professionalism as a drummer. Our lead guitarist is Vinnie’s big brother, Rick - they’d been playing music together since they were kids and Rick’s song-writing has an unusual sound, so it started with the three of us jamming some of Rick’s tunes. We didn’t have a particular agenda, we just wanted to create music together. We quickly had our first three tracks pulled together, so started looking for other band members - Curtis and I knew each other as friends, and as he wasn’t in a project at the time, it was a logical move to include him next.

4. Each band member favourite band? 

Graham – Be’lakor

Vinnie – Death

Rick – Quo Vadis

Teran – Rachmaninov

Curtis - Rachmaninov

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I’m really drawn to making up and telling stories. Often they will be inspired by the sound of the music and what that triggers in my imagination, but our forthcoming EP is a concept recording that deals with death, grief, faith and vengeance and the story idea came before the music. In this case the trigger for the story was sitting through a funeral, listening to a minister try to justify early death by saying that it was part of a plan that we could never understand but just had to accept. This gradually morphed into the story told through the EP and the short story which accompanies it, which is a tale of vengeance that is based around a fictional Second book of Revelations, in which is foretold the threat of Heaven’s destruction at the hands of Eversor, The Destroyer.

6. Where was your last gig? 

Our last show was at Loud As Hell 9 festival, just outside Drumheller, which is in Alberta’s badlands and is dinosaur central. We were in the middle of the “heat dome” this summer and it was about 38 degrees C and dry as a dust bowl. The show was outdoors. We were second last on, so even though it was summer, it was fully dark by the time we hit the stage. As we started playing, every insect in a couple of square miles must have invaded the stage, attracted by the lights. It was like that scene in Batman Begins when he’s surrounded by a swarm of bats! Vinnie’s drumsticks became an instrument of murder as he was pounding flies into skins and cymbals - and I ended up accidentally eating several as I was growling!

7. Where would you like to act? 

I grew up in Scotland and the first show I ever went to was at the Glasgow Barrowlands, which is a fantastic venue. It always has terrific energy… I haven’t been there in a couple of decades but it would be amazing to go back to Scotland and play a show there.

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Amon Amarth. Those guys rule and I feel that our music would go down well with Amon Amarth fans. Johan Hegg is a great frontman and someone I admire greatly as a vocalist!

9. Whom not?

Honestly, this question doesn’t really make sense to me… unless someone is a total dick or completely incompetent – both of which are rare, thankfully – I’m happy to share the stage with anyone.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

For sure, when I was first playing I would get nervous. I remember doing our very first show and thinking “ohhhhh…shhhhhit” when I looked out from the stage and saw everyone watching us before we started playing. Once my vocals started I felt like I might puke, and as soon as my verse was done I just started headbanging like crazy so I didn’t have to watch all these people watch me! Afterwards people came up to say they really enjoyed my energy. They hadn’t noticed my nerves at all. So I guess I’d just say for beginners it is more important to project confidence than it is to actually feel confident. Remember you’re the one with the guts to put yourself out there and perform; most people won’t ever even take that step so you have nothing to fear. 

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Iron Maiden have always been a big inspiration for me – although we don’t share that much in common with them in terms of our music. I love the way they meld music and lyrics to take you on a journey – Hallowed Be Thy Name or the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for example, classic songs that tell a story and are crammed full of awesome riffs and melodies – and live, they have terrific energy and are always engaging the crowd.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

I have been asked to sign various body parts over the years, and it escalated. The first time it was an arm, which is not really a big deal. The second time it was a girl’s belly and she had me write “Hammerdrone” in huge letters above her belly button. The last time a girl asked me to sign her boob! It turns out a boob is surprisingly difficult to write on...I mean, you can’t exactly hold a girl’s boob steady without the whole exercise morphing from something funny into something creepy, right?

13. What do you think of your fans?

Awesome… amazing… I am always humbled that people enjoy our music and our live performances enough to spend money on them. We have a core of fans in our hometown of Calgary who come to see us again and again.

14. What do you think of our site?

Keep up the great work. I love that you do a feature on the artwork – metal artwork is a big part of the scene and I often check out bands just because I love the cover, but it’s great to read about the ideas and concepts behind the cover, as it's usually been chosen with care by the band. This makes the whole experience of music even more engaging.

15. Something to add?

Thank you for your time. And remember, kids… free downloading is the devil’s work… if you like a band, please buy their music.

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