BLUDGEOND - interview with George Erakleous, September 2008
Ingestible delicacies (souvlaki, halloumi etc) aside, Cyprus may just have another thing to offer to the world: quality brutal death metal. Impressed, firstly because an outfit belonging to this particular genre rose from Cypriot soil and secondly because of the band's apparent high calibre when it comes to instrumental dexterity and sheer aggression, I soon found myself in direct correspondence with the suspects in question to uncover the driving impetus behind this ear-drum ripping experience. Here's the inside report that ensued.
Hail Bludgeond. So give us a brief history of how it all started.
We formed the band in July 2005. It started out just a couple of guys jamming and eventually we started writing our own material. Next summer we released the demo. During that period we had a lot of member changes. After that our sound changed and basically it was like a different band.
How was the reception for your first demo? Is it still available?
The demo received pretty decent reviews and we got a lot of good feedback from people in the local scene that got the demo. You can find some of the reviews in our MySpace site. Most of the demos got sold but we might have some stashed somewhere hehe. Trades are welcome.
Your interesting metal rendition of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" featured on the aforementioned release came as a bit of surprise. How did this come about?
I’m not completely sure how that came about. But we liked the song and we thought it would be interesting to metalize it. We gave it a more aggressive feeling instead of its original slow and melancholic tones. It turned out pretty ok we think. Simple but to the point.
I understand you've upped the ante with your upcoming work. Where 'Bludgeond' was more Swedish in terms of melodic overtones and structure, your more recent songs seem to be much more technical and more prominently USDM in style. Care to comment on this stylistic shift?
After releasing the demo and changing members, at the period we were writing the new material we had a lot of ideas and a lot of influences. We kept an open mind about what we were writing. The new stuff is as you said more US death metal oriented but there are a lot of experimental elements in the new songs.
You mention 'experimental elements'. Could you expand on this?
The way the songs are structured and all the material itself is quite unorthodox. There’s a lot of variety in most of the songs. Every one of the songs has its own aura, its not just blasting all the way, it’s more rhythmic and we use a lot of off beats and uneven time signatures in the songs. You’ll get the idea when you listen to the EP.
From your song titles one can easily discern that you deal more with personal issues such as inner strife and tumultuous states of mind rather than the typical gore/splatter fare. What are the basic themes of your lyricism?
The songs talk about various moods and human behavior mostly. The gore/splatter theme just doesn’t seem appealing. We’d rather talk about something more realistic like all these fucked up thoughts we all have and what’s happening around us in everyday life rather than just blabber about senseless fictional violence.
There have been a lot of changes going on in the band with members coming and leaving. Have you finally settled with a solid line-up or are you still on the look-out?
As of September 2008 our line-up has been me on rhythm guitars, Dan on drums and Miguel on bass... Still looking for a lead guitarist. The guitarist not only needs to be skilled but has to put up with extreme filthy jamming room conditions, vile smells and hard drinking.
Do you feel satisfied with the state of affairs in Cyprus as far as metal is concerned? Any other bands who play extreme metal worthy of mention?
I don’t follow the Cypriot scene that much but I think there are some pretty decent bands here. There was a Terrorizer special on the Cypriot scene where Bludgeond and a couple of other bands got interviewed for those that might be interested in learning a bit more.
What are your main influences when it comes to music composition - bands, artists or otherwise?
Well a lot of bands have been an influence on Bludgeond but also our current working environment and routine, the drugs… But as far as bands go its bands like Immolation, Origin, Akercocke, Cryptopsy, Meshuggah and a lot of non extreme metal bands that have been a major influence on the band.
Have you played live in recent time? Any upcoming shows?
We haven’t played live since september 2006, a bit shortly after Stefanos left the band and after that it was mostly a time to experiment with new ideas and sound. We’re trying to find a suitable time in December.
So when should we expect your second EP to be released? What's the working title for it at the moment?
Most of the songs are all done, just some mixing and mastering work needed but it’s as good as done so anytime soon. There are 5 songs on the EP and its duration time is about 25 minutes. We haven’t decided on the title yet.
Any way of contacting the band - website, email or otherwise?
Our email is email@example.com. There’s also a MySpace site www.myspace.com/bludgeond and we’re currently working on an official site.
Right I guess that wraps it up. Any last comments?
Thanks for the interview.