Shredhead – Righteous ThrashFriday, 6th February 2015
Sometimes, the best album isn’t the one that treads the most new ground or incorporates the most new influences, but the one that gives you exactly what you were looking for. Such is the case with Shredhead and their sophomore album (and first for Mighty Music), Death is Righteous. A massive adrenaline boost that brings monstrous grooves and breakneck thrash tempos around every corner with glee, Shredhead knows exactly what needs to be in a modern helping of death/thrash.
Starting out in their home country of Israel, the band released their first album independently, which gave them room for growth and opportunity. Two of which being that of representing Israel in the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle a few years back, and then the eventual signing with Mighty Music. We were able to discuss of these things and more with bassist Lee Lavy, who was able to give us the scoop.
Dead Rhetoric: How did the name Shredhead come to be?
Lee Lavy: Actually the band had two names before SHREDHEAD, the first one was G6PD, which represents an allergy to a common Israeli cuisine called “Ful” (Broad Beans) that the first drummer had. After Roee joined we changed the name to “The New Order” after the awesome Testament album, but then we realized “New Order” existed and they are a pretty huge (and also awesome by the way!) band so we had to change it again. So after a lot of discussion we thought about shredder, shredead, and then we got to shredhead. This name represents what we’re doing in the best way. We get on stage and our only goal is to make people bang their heads as hard as they can (And also it sounds like a villain name so it’s a win-win situation).
Dead Rhetoric: Human Nature was released independently; how’d you end up with Mighty Music for Death is Righteous?
Lavy: We sent the album to a lot of labels when it was done, and tried to get any label to hear us out. With the help of Tue Madsen, who mixed and mastered the album but also believed in us, we got to talk with Mighty Music. We are very pleased that they loved the music and that our album will get to the stores and music media worldwide, it’s a huge progress and one of many we hope!
Dead Rhetoric: What was it like representing Israel for the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle in 2012? Did you take home any new inspirations or thoughts after that?
Lavy: Playing Wacken was an awesome experience. It’s really hard to explain just by writing, but try to imagine yourself on a gigantic stage, people are handling your amplifiers and sound, you get to stand in front of thousands of people and deliver your music and energy with your best friends while Israeli flags swinging throughout the show and you can actually see four mosh pits going on in the same time! Our main experience from the show was to put aside any feeling of pressure and excitement and turn it to pure energy, so the only thing that we thought about was enjoying the show and the crowd. The fact is, that playing Wacken made us more mature and put in our minds the destination of coming back there, as a grown up band, and crush any crowd anywhere in the world.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel the sound of the band has changed in the years since Human Nature?
Lavy: Well we’ve matured a lot, we are open to more genres of music, and we let more of the different musical backgrounds each band member has come into play while writing this album, with the result being an album which is much more musically diverse but still very aggressive. We are very happy with our new sound and album and we feel it was a very natural evolution into our new sound.
Dead Rhetoric: What made the band pack up and move to Germany?
Lavy: The main reason for moving to Germany were the unlimited options and opportunities a band has when living in a place where this genre of music is a lot more common. We thought about getting a European booking company, explore new grounds, travel and do shows outside of Israel and releasing our album worldwide. We achieved a lot so far and we are planning to keep on doing that until the point we make every person we encounter to a Shredhead fan!
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve stated that Death is Righteous stems from your personal lives since Human Nature. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
Lavy: We had some emotional turmoil in the band since Human Nature; all four of us had some low points and a lot of that aggression and frustration went into the album. Aharon described it in a radio interview the best way possible when he said that each of us has low points and we all feel like fuck ups every now and then, but the moment it really hits you, and you feel like you deserve to die is the moment we mean to describe when we say Death Is Righteous, and that is the manifestation of the feelings had while working on and recording Death Is Righteous.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you explain some of the meaning behind the artwork of Death is Righteous?
Lavy: We worked with Klone and Zero Cents, two amazing graffiti artist from Tel Aviv, Israel, who made the artwork together. We told them about the album concept and asked them to try to convey the feelings and the darkness of the album and apart from that most of the artwork concepts were theirs, and they had a free hand to basically to do whatever they wanted to, and we feel they conveyed everything we asked for perfectly. At one point we were so shocked that what they have created was so good and we asked them how they came up with the artwork concepts and they replied that they just listened to Death Is Righteous, so right there we knew the album conveyed what we felt and now the artwork did too.
Klone and Zero Cents did six different amazing artworks for the album, used for the front and back cover, and also for the booklet design. All of them describing some kind of chaos, but with a certain order and detailed creatures designed with Asymmetrical madness. They worked together, moving between the pieces randomly, filling each of them with this crazy technique and mixture of their styles. If you look into the artwork, you can see the precision and surrealism of Klone, mixed with the madness and abstract of Zero Cents. Zero cents told us that he made all the ink smears by spilling ink on the canvas and blowing on it. We just loved their way of doing things, and the fun they had by doing it.
Dead Rhetoric: You have a lyric video for “Death is Righteous;” do you plan on doing any official videos or is it better to use other methods of promotion in this day and age?
Lavy: We are planning a few things, but right now we are working on a new video even as we speak! Either way we believe that any method of promotion that can get a band any new fans and audiences is viable, regarding the effectiveness of any promotional tool we feel it depends on a lot of variables like the quality of the product and others, so something that works for one band won’t necessarily work another band. It’s really important that no matter what you do, you’ll try to deliver something that is really you, and you are not trying to be someone else. That way you can use any promotional tool without becoming something you don’t like.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you want people to come away with after listening to Death is Righteous?
Lavy: We hope people will see the music for what it is, and if they really get into the album then we hope people will connect with the feelings we tried to convey through the album. Basically we’d love for people to feel the album means something or symbolizes something to them, as it means to us. Each song in Death Is Righteous is made to deliver a different low point in life but under the same concept of knowing the fundamental weaknesses each of us has. It’s not there to make people feel like they want to die, but how to overcome it as we did. We talk about betrayal, surrendering to irrationality, or living a life with a set path you didn’t choose while putting your dreams aside. All the things we fought to make it to the point we’re at, and our ideology for the future, as a band and as human beings.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the Israeli metal scene?
Lavy: We love it. There are so much great bands in the scene, and so much good music and people in the scene that it is always fun playing with your friends’ bands when you love the people and the music, and since Israel is a very small country you get to do that very often. We would like to take this chance for a small shout out to our friends in Betzefer, Hammercult, Matricide, Ferium, Prey for Nothing, Spawn Of Evil, The Fading, and the rest of the scene, if you haven’t heard these bands go check them out! They are all awesome!
Dead Rhetoric: What will 2015 bring for Shredhead?
Lavy: Fame and fortune beyond our wildest dreams!!!! Just kidding, but we do believe it is going to be a big year for SHREDHEAD and we really hope we’ll be able to get to new fans as much as possible. We’re planning on going out there, with new music, new videos, new shows, and conquer any destination we have in mind. We hope people will enjoy Death Is Righteous, and most of all we hope everyone keeps the heavy music scene alive! Never stop doing or listening to music, because it’s obviously the best product made by the human race!