Interview with Deathblow

Interview with Deathblow

- in Written interviews

Hi! What’s the significance of the “Rotten Trajectory” title in relation to the album’s themes and sound?
The title ‘Rotten Trajectory’ was chosen as it is loosely about the disastrous trajectory we are heading towards politically, socially and ecologically in the current moment in the world specifically do to the policies of western governments.

What themes and explorations can fans anticipate on your upcoming full-length album, following “Rotten Trajectory”?
There’s a lot to vent about at the current moment so it’s hard to say. Part of me wants to use the album to vent about the horrors unfolding in Gaza and our government’s complicity in that. The other part of me wants to use the next album as a bit of an escape from the horrors of all of that and maybe do something completely unrelated and inject something more fun back into the themes. Standby.

Can you discuss the significance of the EP cover art and how it complements the themes of “Rotten Trajectory”?
The cover art was done by Nicky Rat. It features a simple drawing of a winged grim reaper hovering over a gridded planet. Honestly I just told him what the theme was and he threw this back at us. We wanted something a little more greasy and crude for this release as the music was a little more simplified and straight to the point than Insect Politics. I think it compliments the sound pretty well.

Can you share a standout moment from your journey as a thrash metal band that deeply impacted you and your music?
Getting to open for Kreator/Accept back in 2012 here in SLC was a big show for us. That was one of our first big shows that was a step up and showed us we are capable of playing with some of our idles.

Could you recount a memorable interaction with a fan that left a lasting impression on you?
Yes, years ago a young fan fresh out of high school greeted us and asked for our autographs and pictures. He said he was starting a thrash band himself and named us as a major influence. Since that time his band has taken off locally and put out some great music and we play shows together regularly. They are called Necrowolf and are a great old style thrash band here in SLC as well as good friends of ours.

If you could collaborate with any musician or band, alive or deceased, on a thrash metal project, who would it be and why?
Damn, that’s a tough one. I always wanted to know what it would sound like to hear Ronnie James Dio singing along to some faster thrashy music. Might not work as well since Sabbath is already damn near perfect but would be a fun experiment.

What’s the toughest part about being in a thrash metal band, and how do you navigate those challenges?
Honestly, the persistence. It’s extremely hard to keep all the pieces together all these years without a major label support and to keep us feeling fresh and motivated to keep writing new music. I think taking small breaks here and there is helpful because it allows you to get a fresh perspective and come back itching to jam new material with your band.

Can you share a memorable story from your time on stage?
Hmmm, maybe not the craziest moment but off the top of my head I remember playing a place called ‘the Burnt Ramen’ in the Bay Area years ago. It was a partially dilapidated punk squat venue in a seedy part of town. I guess they had been stealing power for years from a big business nearby but had been discovered so we had to set up in the near dark and wait until the show was ready so they could run a crude generator to power the entire show.
All the bands were rushed through quickly so everyone could get time to play before the juice ran out. We had finished our set and as soon as the next band set up everything went black. Guess the generator lasted just long enough to power our set. We spent the rest of the evening in a homemade speakeasy they made getting drunk to candlelight while someone played horror music on an old piano.

How does the process of writing songs with Deathblow unfold, and have you noticed any changes in your approach over time?
Good question, it’s very sporadic. A lot of times I will have riffs and arrangements that I struggle with for years and other times I can bust out a song in a couple hours. For instance the song ‘Rotten Trajectory’ came out of nowhere shortly before recording the EP. I had come up with the melody of the main riff in my head weeks prior.. Needing more material I tried transcribing the melody in my head to guitar and the whole song ended up writing itself in an hour.
I usually have banks of riffs and arrangements stored up from the years and will try to combine stuff before adding a theme and lyrics. Lately I’ve been trying to arrange songs in the reverse order where I write a short synopsis or poem around a title and try to add riffs to fulfill the feeling of the lyrics. It’s always a changing process.

As a band, what do you hope your listeners glean from your music?
At the end of the day I just want to make people headbang.

How do you envision the genre evolving in response to current social and political issues, and where do you see Deathblow fitting into that narrative? Thank you for your time!
I hope that thrash continues using its punk roots to keep talking about the crazy shit going on in our current reality and use the aggressive style to vent about these things instead of trying to rehash ideas that have been done to death since the 80’s. I’m hoping we can continue to play our part of not letting the genre get stale or become meaningless.

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