Crucified Barbara – Blackened Hearts ReignTuesday, 7th October 2014
Critics, let alone history, have never been kind to female-fronted, or all-female hard rock and metal bands. The amount of “shade” (there’s your hip word of the day) thrown toward the likes of Butcher Babies, In This Moment, Lacuna Coil, and even Nightwish has permanently rendered these bands divisive lightning rods. Granted, some are most deserving of such voluminous dislike from the throngs of metallers across the globe, yet there are a scant few who have earned respect by way of not taking the side-show/cosmetic bait, and churning out unfiltered, convincing hard(er) rock, like Sweden’s Crucified Barbara.
Formed in 1998, the Swedes have enjoyed a steady career built upon years of working through the shoots and ladders of a male-dominated field. In the span of four full-lengths, the band has become the go-to band for hardened, biker rock of the female variety. Thanks to their previous deal with Nuclear Blast, Crucified Barbara were able to enjoy the spoils of global touring reach and critical acceptance, something that should remain in place for their newest platter, and first for Despotz Records, In the Red. Here to chat about the new album and the band’s unique place in the underground metal annals, is bassist Ida Evileye. Onward we go:
Dead Rhetoric: Was it a natural move to sign with Despotz? They seem like a good home for the band being that they’re Swedish, you’re Swedish, etc. etc.
Ida Evileye: Yes; I think it was. We’ve released three records with GMR (the band’s label in Sweden – ed.) and we wanted to try something new. Despotz focus a lot on the digital market, which feels good since that’s where the future lies. They are also very excited about the album and want to work hard and that’s the most important thing. So I think we have a great thing going on.
Dead Rhetoric: When you signed with Nuclear Blast, you were still somewhat of a cult/underground band, but now, your profile is much higher. Did signing with NB prove to be beneficial in the long run?
Evileye: I think that’s hard to tell. Maybe it was better on the paper than in actual life. I have all respect for NB and what they do and we definitely gained some things from working together. Although I think it can be hard to be one of the smaller bands on a label. And also that type of label that is more metal oriented.
Dead Rhetoric: As time wears on, are you finding people becoming more interested in the band because of your music as opposed to your looks/appearance?
Evileye: Maybe that could be the case. I think that thought is very depressing in itself so I don’t spend my energy going around thinking about stuff like that. But yes, I think people have more respect for us now since we’ve released four records.
Dead Rhetoric: You celebrated 15 years as a band – did you ever think you’d last this long when you started?
Evileye: The only thing I knew growing up was that I love rock music and it has to be a part of my life somehow. Then I found Klara and a bass guitar and the rest is history!
Dead Rhetoric: What are some of your most fond memories of starting out as a band?
Evileye: It was maybe when we did our first big festival gig at Sweden Rock festival many years ago. We played quite early in the day on one of the main stages. We didn’t think anybody would show up but the place was packed with people and they had more people than ever before at that time on that stage. It was a memorable and amazing gig in every way, besides the fact that we were extremely nervous!
Dead Rhetoric: As for In the Red, it does everything The Midnight Chase did, but on a better scale. What was the goal when writing the album?
Evileye: The goal was to do exactly what you’ve just mentioned. We were really happy with The Midnight Chase album but we felt that we had just scratched the surface of something even better. We wanted to make the melodies and the songs even clearer and more “in your face.” Take away all the unnecessary parts and focus on doing the catchiest vocal melodies combined with the best guitar riffs and heavy rhythm. And I think we managed to achieve what we wanted and we’re really happy with the result!
Dead Rhetoric: I love the choice of “To Kill a Man” as first single for the album. For a song with such strong subject matter, are you already starting to receive some positive reaction to it?
Evileye: Absolutely! It’s been a lot of great reactions and a lot of support and media attention, more than we expected. So we’re really happy about that since that was the goal of writing this song. To bring awareness to people about the systematical abuse of women that’s going on in the world every day.
Dead Rhetoric: In America, womens rights are an ongoing debate and certainly a difficult one, specifically for those who still think backwards. Do you pay much attention to what’s going on over here in regard to that topic?
Evileye: I think that’s kind of typical and in comparison to Sweden I guess you might be some years behind. There’s always gonna be people who are afraid of change and people who think backwards, unfortunately. But if you really take one minute to think about what kind of society you wanna live in, I find it very strange to come to any other conclusion than equal right for all human beings. Men, women, black, white, gay, straight and so on.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve done your fair-share of touring over the years, with a wide range of bands. You do well with metal and rock bands, so, is there a type of band you prefer to play with?
Evileye: We prefer to tour with nice people that we can hang out with and have a good time together with. So no divas or big egos, haha! Besides that, it’s always fun to be the “heavier” band on the tour.
Dead Rhetoric: Will the band take on a heavier touring schedule for the new album?
Evileye: Yes, we have a European tour coming up in the fall and a lot of plans for 2015 as well.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2014?
Evileye: Playing, playing and playing music! And that’s what we love the most so we’re really happy about that!