Battlecross were going to be a New Band of the Day, but as I’ve already posted news about them and the chance of a quick email interview came up I’ve dropped that and decided to post this instead. Alternatively, you’d have been waiting till mid-August to read it as I’ve got so many NBotD articles lined up already!
Huge thanks to Hiran Deraniyagala, one of the guitarists, for taking the time out while on tour to answer this handful of questions.
As I write these questions, you’re out on tour as part of the Rockstar Mayhem fest, so I’ll try to be brief. I know you’ll be busy!
New album out earlier this month – your second on a label, third overall. How’s the new material being received live?
The new material is being received really well. We’ve been playing “Force Fed Lies” and “Flesh and Bone” on Mayhem and on our off dates we’re also playing “Never Coming Back” and “Ghost Alive.” It’s great to see such an awesome response to the new songs. We’ve been playing the first album material for so long that we’re ready to play some new stuff for the fans!
I notice you’re selling copies at the gigs as well. Are you managing to shift quite a few (I hope so!)?
Yes! We actually sold out of our album a few days ago so it’s pretty awesome to see fans still wanting to buy physical copies of the album. We’re also at our merch booth everyday signing copies for the fans which is a good incentive to buy an album, hahaha! We’re so stoked this album is doing really well.
Although you’ve been together (allowing for personnel changes) for around ten years, your albums have all been in the last three or so. What do you think led to this sudden rush of attention? Good luck, right place / right time, hard work, praying to the dark lord?
I don’t like to think of it as luck because there was a lot of hard work that went into
where we got. We never compromised our music for anyone. Staying humble and hardworking is also important. When things go wrong or you hit bumps in the road you find a way around them and keep going. I think things have picked up quickly because of the use of social media and great marketing. Our manager has a lot of great ideas that are effective tools to really identify our audience and what they like. Fan interaction is also very important.
Engaging with fans on Facebook, Twitter and other sites really helps develop a strong supportive fan base. Not only engaging with fans online but being personable at shows is just as if not more important. We’re always at our merch booth after our set signing and taking photos with our fans and they truly appreciate it. It’s a great way to build a life long fan!
How different is it to be writing and recording with a label behind you compared to your self-financed album (Push Pull Destroy) in 2010?
There’s more pressure to show that you can survive in the industry. There’s pressure from the fans, the label and from yourself. The first record we had a lot of time to write and refine the songs. Once we started touring we were limited to the time in between to write and work on new material. The first album received a lot of praise from the fans so on the
next record you have the pressure from the fans to basically keep that same sound that they love but you don’t want to put out the same record. Under the pressure and short time period to finish writing and go into the studio we pushed ourselves to focus on the songs and make them the best we could without rushing or settling with what we had.
You’ve toured/played with some great names – Amon Amarth, Goat Whore, Decrepit Birth, In Flames… Oh, and that one with Lars whatsisface in ;) Any particular moments that really stand out in your memories? Good or bad!
Each tour has its own special moments but definitely the highlight of all moments was playing Orion Music and More with Metallica! Metallica is such a huge influence on us and to be hand picked by the band to play the festival was an honor and a dream come true! Hetfield came by before our set and hung out with us and then introduced the band before we played! It was an unreal moment that we’ll remember forever!
And one I have to ask almost every band… any plans for some UK dates, either headlining or supporting? By UK, I mean more than just one show in London!
No immediate plans yet! Thanks to interviews like this one and fan support we’re closer to building a stronger fan base to bring us over there! We can’t wait to come to Europe and thrash for all of you!
Again, thanks to Hiran for his time and to Andy at Napalm for sorting the interview for me.