Wednesday, July 12, 2017

interview: Blood and Thunder

This summer of 2017 the melodic extreme metal band Blood and Thunder has been jumping into the live action circuit in western Washington. This Friday, July 14th they will perform in Everett at Anchor Pub. The flyer for the show gives the following bill: For the Likes of You, Odyssian, Groundfeeder, Dead Lakes and Blood and Thunder. This publication sent questions to the band, and Ryan Yancey, who takes care of the drums and lead growls, answered them.
Please tell us about your band. Was it on hiatus for a few years? Did it recently become active again?
We started out in 2009 with a core of musicians we released two full-length albums and two demos and opened for a ton of national bills in Seattle while completing two West Coast tours. But like a lot of bands we had many minor line-up changes over the years. In 2015 all of the band basically was ready to go their separate ways which kind left me to rebuild the whole line up myself till one of our previous bass players Nick joined in to help me which took us about two years till we completed that new line-up and started playing shows in October 2016.
For those readers that do not know anything about the town of Arlington, WA, can you tell us what it’s like having a metal band there?
I grew up and still live and practice in rural Arlington, but the thing is we had the biggest school band in the state next to Marysville. There were tons of locals band around the area, and I would set up house shows, rent out grange halls, and Masonic temples between Mount Vernon and Marysville. I would describe where Blood And Thunder is located as Snohomish County to locals, and Seattle to people outside of Washington because of the volume of shows we played across greater Northwest.
Who are the current members?
Ryan Yancey- drums/lead vocals (2009)
Cam Sheil-guitar (2015)
Hazard Kirk-guitar (2015)
Nick Hughes-bass (2009-12)(2015)
Damian Boger-keyboards (2017)
Do you have any new music?
Right now about 75% of our set is older material, however live we have been playing new songs we wrote with Cam, Hazard and myself. Damian is the newest guy so we haven't pulled from all his input yet, but he has great potential to add to us musically (not that he isn't already with his crazy stage antics.) We are still learning old material and working on new stuff to hopefully go record in the fall or winter.
When I saw the band live I felt like Blood and Thunder plays symphonic extreme metal in general. Was it different back when the band began? Did you always have a keyboard player? I saw that you keyboard player has a keytar and now he roams the stage and bangs his head all over the place.
I wouldn't say that's a wrong description, but I would say our genre is melodic death metal similar to artists such as Children of Bodom, Mors Principium Est and Norther on the melodeath end; Kalmah and Wintersun for our folk metal aspects. The Black Dahlia Murder was a big influence for our American metal sound. I can say that from the beginning that those were the sounds we were shooting for and we continue to produce today. Keyboard was integral to our sound from the beginning and a trademark of the Scandinavian sound we are influenced by. But the keytar is a new dynamic that Damian has cooked up changing our stage presences from our old line up.
Your drummer also does lead vocals. How many years of practice did you have before you could do that?
So when we started it wasn't my intention to do lead vocals, we simply couldn't find a singer that could sing in time or the style we were aiming for. My experience from my previous band was just doing token backup lines on the kit, so I wasn't completely new to singing and drumming. We put out our first demo out within a few months of existing so I ended up taking the job, it just didn't seem too difficult for me to do, honestly. It was like adding another drum beat with my voice and I found a love for doing it which is why we never ended up changing that dynamic.
Do you plan to play more shows in the area?
The first half of 2017 is over, what's next for Blood and Thunder in the second half of 2017? Absolutely we have a lot of fresh members in the band so we love to go out and grind shows and get ourselves out there for love of participating in the local scene, while meeting new bands and people. Plus, it's a great chance to test the waters with new songs.
Right now we got
July 14th at The Anchor, Everett
July 16th w/ Starkill at El Corazón, Seattle
August 26th at Black Zia Cantina, Burien
And in September we got plans to tour a bit with L.A. and Tijuana booked already at the end of the month.
What is your plan to conquer the world with your metal music?
We got some really great ideas on ice we plan on unleashing in the next year or so along with new recordings, videos, and tours.

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