Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Currently, we are getting into shape to start playing gigs after a long 3 months in the studio. It's nice to get back into rehearsal mode after such a long break. We haven't played outside the studio in quite a bit, so when the opportunity presents itself, we should be ready. Falling apart onstage is losing an erection.
You have your first full length coming out in May, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
You will hear more or less the same galloping riffs, drums, and drunk with power vocals for a lot of this album, but you will notice our other influences creeping in a lot more. A few of the songs are a lot more melodic, and we tried to use slower stints in the songs to offset faster choruses and verses, and build them into plateaus. It’s a different approach to our immediate explosive entrances, but I feel if that kind of thing is done with every song, its like double bass and blasts for an entire album, it can get a bit old when it’s done exclusively, and I usually reach for some Evoken or Skepticism when I get blasted out. I like a little multiplicity on full lengths, because they seem to hang in my stereo a bit longer.
The lyrics on the new album cover Greek Mythology and tales of war, can you tell us a little bit more about how you got interested in these topics?
I've had an interest in Greek mythology for quite some time, and it took less effort for me to ascertain then to paint a new world, when too many of the same exist already. There's more murder, rape, war, sabotage, and cannibalism then any metal album could trump. The entire story of the House of Atreus stretches into many sub-stories, and there is a plethora of material to manipulate and retell. Of course, I don't follow just the accounts of these cursed few, but other events from the Oresteia, Homer's Odyssey, Iliad, etc. I appreciate the fact I can be as graphic as desired in depicting the abuse of humanity without the pesky consequences of cleaning up any blood when I’m finished.
Originally the band was known as 'Ashened', what as the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'House Of Atreus'?
A lot of the material for Ashened ended up as our first HoA demo. At the time I needed something to get me started doing self recordings at home with pro-tools and recording devices. I had this huge over sized PA and mixer in my basement I had planned on using for some projects with friends, but I used it to fuck my ears up and piss my neighbors off on occasion instead. When I had gotten enough material together I decided at the time I just wasn't getting the sound right, so I asked help from a friend. We decided to record this material and write a couple more songs together. When we started tossing around lyrical idea’s we landed on House of Atreus do to our interests in the literature.
The beginning the band was a solo project, what was the decision behind hiring a full time lineup?
We had friends come in to do some solos, leads and things of that nature for our recordings. It wasn’t until we were asked about doing some one off shows that I started thinking about getting a band going. I had been in so many at that point, I was used to the idea of never doing one again because of experiences I've had. I was pretty elated when the friends I had in successful bands expressed interest in pursuing the project. Playing live isn't for everyone, and since the original intent behind the project was studio only, I went through a change of incumbents.
Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We will be ready to play shows by mid spring, so we've had to turn down a couple shows while we get warmed up again. As far as touring, there would have to be a significant desire from those who enjoy our music to consider anything like that, as there are too many variables that can affect our personal lives if it isn't planned adequately. I imagine it could be exciting, and I think we have plans to do one at some point. We’re always available for weekend shows for the most part. It really comes down to the support. That’s not to say we wouldn't lose money to play with bands like Speedwolf, Midnight, Ares Kingdom.
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?
We were surprised at first about our light connection with fans in Ireland, but it made sense after thinking about our association with Into the Void records. Anthony McGee who writes for the Metal Ireland site turned me on to some great music after we had done an interview a couple years ago. It is cool that people from another world who appreciate the same music you do, are curious about HoA, and it’s humbling. Aside from that, we haven’t had much interaction on a global level thus far.
I know that some of the other band members are involved with some black metal bands, do any of the band members have any interest in some of the more satanic and occult stuff that some of those bands are into?
Of course, we all support satanism in music. Satanism is a practice like any other, and comes in all levels of seriousness. I have seen Maledicere’s rituals on stage, as well as Masshu and Hohl lose the pupils of their eyes during their sets. I think we all have a healthy respect for its value in music, and it can really add a great vibe on stage when it’s done correctly. I should also add that the world of satanism is pretty ambiguous, in that there’s an awful lot of bullshit out there. When you reach a certain amount of experience, it’s pretty easy to detect authenticity when it’s exposed. I personally don’t hold anything (un)sacred in that regard, but the respect between myself and those I know in that community is very mutual.
Where do you see the band heading to musically during the future?
I suppose it’s important to have a trajectory, but I can’t really map the course without more data. If you’re going to play the most demanding music for the most authentic of fans, you have to expect half the people out there might hate you. In that light, it’s hard to generate plans aside from the things that are within your control. That’s a reality in all forms of entertainment, I suppose. We will certainly keep writing, and we will probably do another demo or EP later this year.
What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Right now I’m listening to the 25 albums I bought from DDR and ITV over the last couple weeks. I got all sorts of new stuff (and old), of course I grabbed some current roster from DDR; Horrendous, Emptiness, Swallowed, Crypt Sermon. But I snagged some other gems, Mega Slaughter, The chasm, Absu, Symphony of Grief, Question, Spearhead, and an airport backpack-splitting load more.
What are some of your non musical interests?
I travel the country in my work, so occasionally I’ll ask a band I like to crash a practice or drink a few beers with a label owner. If I have time, I’ll see a show or drop by record stores and get a look at their wares. Honestly, for people like me, it would be fucking cool to have an archive site for metal shows, even basement shit going on, so when I get finished with work and sighing at Applebee’s patrons, well, you get it. I also enjoy trying new breweries in different states; I’m surprised I can get back to my hotel sometimes, especially when I visit Colorado.