You may not know this, but as well as being a very beautiful city, Tallinn is also home to most of Skype’s development team. As a coincidence, one of the original developers in an Estonian with the surname Tallinn! Oh, and Horror Dance Squad are from there…
Most of us are from Tallinn, Estonia, but one of our singers, Ian, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
How did you meet?
The squad began taking formation when guitarists Indrek Ulp and Mikk Peetrimägi put their eagerness to keep the metalcore genre alive in Estonia together and began writing songs. They took on drummer Henri Kuusk and after about a year of practising and trying out vocalists, the first line-up was established.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We played our first show at the beginning of 2014. After a couple of years, we made a small line-up change adding vocalist Karl Mesipuu and synth and sample wizard Margus Tammela to our squad. This new line-up took us on a path that has definitively shaped and evolved our music into our own signature style.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
When we formed the band, we knew we wanted to make heavy music, but we wanted to go in a different direction than the “doom and gloom” most people think of when they think about this genre. And, of course, with any good band name, we wanted something that really represented the core of the band and us as individuals: Horror for the heavy influence, Dance to highlight the more fun and positive angle we wanted to approach our music with, and Squad to represent the unity we feel as a band, including the unity we feel with our fans and the many awesome people we’ve had the pleasure to work with while creating and sharing our music.
What are your influences?
As a six-piece – each with our own long, personal music history – it shouldn’t be a surprise when we say that we have been influenced by more artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, activists and policymakers than can properly be named. However, we can trim it down to a few for you. Musically, we have been largely inspired by bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, Parkway Drive, and Sikth. Non-musically, writers Stephen Pinker, Graham Hancock, Allan Watts and H.P. Lovecraft have inspired us in different ways. And, without a doubt, general curiosity and a drive to grow and learn will continue to influence us until the end of our days.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
What makes us unique is our unapologetic blend of metalcore and punk with vibrant electronics which we deliver to our audiences with unforgettable ferocity.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Horror Dance Squad is all about tackling the things that are critical to the development of humanity. Social and personal issues, justice and injustice, philosophy and spirituality–questions and topics that are pressing for us as individuals, but which we feel are common issues for humanity in general. We hope that if someone is struggling with an issue in their lives this album will have a song that will speak to them and help them find a positive way to deal with it–or at least a few minutes to mosh it out.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve played more shows than we can remember. And our shows are like a fiery ball of energy. If you come, you won’t be able to stand still.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Just the other week we had a fan doing some crazy gymnastics in the mosh pit. Backflips and back handsprings – very wild.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Our drummer, Henri uses a Mapex Black Panther kit in the studio and an old, pimped Pearl Export kit live accompanied by Matt Halpern signature snare and all Sabian cymbals. Our guitarists, Indrek and Mikk use Kemper profilers and a variety of different baritone and multiscale guitars, depending on their mood.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
To promote our new album No Flag Will Fly Forever which is out now! You can have a listen on any major streaming platform. We have a few shows already lined up here in Estonia and hopefully, we can play elsewhere in Europe soon.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We’d love to open up for Fever 333. And we’d definitely take along our friends from the Estonian scene AEONS to open up for us. Now that would be a kick-ass show.