Bloodshot Dawn – Godforsaken UniverseTuesday, 20th May 2014
As indicated by Kyle McGinn’s highly-informative Sifting Through Bandcamp monthly column, the music platform that is Bandcamp has developed into a valuable resource to engage in the lost art of finding diamonds in the rough. Sure, the “rough” could also be equated to the rash of releases released on smaller indies – they’re virtually on the same playing field, yet the number of bands taking advantage of this forum is a smart way to build a fanbase and generate legitimate interest. Case in point: The U.K.’s Bloodshot Dawn.
Formed in 2003, the band took their sweet time in releasing a proper album. Their 2012 self-titled (which was preceded by an EP and demo) debut quickly gained a significant amount of traction, cited for its proper adherence to the strong points of melodic death metal – sweeping guitar melodies, harsh, emphatic vocal lines, as well as a degree of songwriting depth generally not found among the denizens of the unsigned. Equal parts of prime-era Gothenburg and forward-thinking, Bloodshot Dawn’s debut emerged as the foundation for potentially even more exciting avenues, specifically their forthcoming sophomore full-length, which is in the works as we speak.
The as-yet-titled album (which is also being crowd-funded) is slated to have guest appearances from the likes of Chris Amott (ex-Arch Enemy), Sven de Caluwé (Aborted) and Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), thus giving the band all-too-necessary bump in the “name” category, but also the chance to work with men they’ve long admired. It’s a win-win situation for Bloodshot Dawn, something guitarist/vocalist Josh McMorran was quick to relay as he took time from his busy schedule to chat it up with DR…
Dead Rhetoric: To start, you’re an unsigned act, but have generated a following since the release of the self-titled album two years ago. In your humble estimation, what enables the band to connect with so many people without the benefit of a big label?
Josh McMorran: Honestly, a mix of relentless hard work and being as professional as possible on all fronts. We are still a new band to the scene so we have treated the last few years since the album’s release as if no one had ever heard of us. We never expect too much there for we are never disappointed and if we get a good deal or looked after we really do appreciate it. We are honest with our fans and open to what we do; this is the best way to connect with the small fan base you have, I think.
Dead Rhetoric: Obviously, the self-titled album did well for the band. Your recollections upon putting it together: What are they?
McMorran: It was a stressful ride. First album for all four of us and to be honest, we didn’t really know what we let ourselves into! It was a collection of many years of work between all the members so it was paramount we were happy with the end result. I would say we learned a lot about what it takes to be a band at this time and also the attitude we would have to take if we wanted to push the band up the ladder.
Dead Rhetoric: It’s rare for a young band to have such a good grip on melodic death metal like you. To you, what’s the key ingredient of writing melodic death metal that doesn’t sound derivative?
McMorran: Thank you for the kind words! Derivative is just an opinion really so I can’t really comment there. We write what we like and honestly, we don’t set out to be a melodic death metal band as such. We play extreme metal and let people try and work out what our influences are!
Dead Rhetoric: As for the new album in the works, you’re slowly starting to nail down some guest spots, in addition to the teaser videos you’ve released. The pressure is on to deliver, right?
McMorran: Believe me when I say that we put more pressure on ourselves than any fans/ industry folk/ promoters! It can be consuming at times how good we want the final product to be and honest I hope later in our careers we will be able to relax and enjoy the creation process a lot more than we do! That being said, fan expectation isn’t so much a pressure more a driving force to make us want to deliver the goods.
Dead Rhetoric: Of the guest spots you’ve snagged so far, who are you the most excited about? Amott? Per? All of them?
McMorran: To be honest the combination of all five is the exciting part for me! We are going to be putting these guys all in one song so it is going to be something quite special! Hoping it won’t be the main talking point of the album but honestly, I would not care if it was…. It’s going to be epic!
Dead Rhetoric: In terms of the album’s direction, how are the songs sounding?
McMorran: I would say we are going to be pretty similar to the first album just a bit more of all the separate elements. It is going to be a natural progression of the band as we are not taking any set direction in overall sound for the record! Expect lots of shredding and Blast beats, you can put your money on that!
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve done a fair amount of live shows in the last few years. Has playing live at all shaped the direction of the new jams?
McMorran: I would not say so directly. Playing live so much has made us a lot better practiced and I would say that helps us to write better music. Also taking influence from our peers has been massive for me personally. If you want to try and be the best you have to learn from the best (It’s a start anyway)!
Dead Rhetoric: Are you tempted to make a run at clean vocals? Or, will you stay true to the vocal direction on the debut?
McMorran: You will have to listen to the record to find out!
Dead Rhetoric: How much does real life (i.e. school, work, etc.) interfere with the creation of the new album? Is it as difficult as it was when doing the debut?
McMorran: This is kind of funny. I would say it is the album getting in the way of our real life… The commitment involved with making this record is of course extremely stressful! Once we get on stage all this is forgotten and we love what we do. This is why we do it all! We are still trying to adapt to the band’s extensive schedule and workload but I am sure we will get there in the end! To answer your question it makes life very difficult getting stuff together but it’s a choice we gladly take!
Dead Rhetoric: To ask the obvious: Will you seek a label to release the new album?
McMorran: We won’t seek a label for album #2, BUT we are open to offers, of course. Our interests are furthering the band’s name and getting out to the widest audience possible, so if a company comes by and would like to help us achieve this with our interests in mind then we will of course consider it!
Dead Rhetoric: Along those lines, you’re doing really well independently. Why not just stay independent if you can’t find a deal you like?
McMorran: We are doing great as an DIY band, but the work load is heavy for us, it’s not a case of just writing and recording an album the work hours put in to be independent successful are extremely high. At some point it would be nice to go back to worrying about just the music but nothing comes for free and we will continue to strive until the opportunity of a record deal comes to us. If there are still fans there then we should be writing records regardless of if we are snapped up by a label!
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on deck for the rest of 2014?
McMorran: We will be releasing our album at the end of autumn this year as well as appearances at Underwall Festival in Croatia and opening the main stage of Bloodstock in August! We also have tours in the October/ November covering the UK and Ireland with Seprevation and our second run in Japan with Gorguts and Krisiun! There is talk of hitting a new continent in early 2015 as well! We are really looking forward to playing on the road again after what feels like years off the road! No shows since September has made us extremely hungry for some live devastation!