Deathhammer could have been spawned back in 1985, their fast aggressive version of thrash is a breath of fresh in a sometimes complacent wider appealing thrash genre. What sets these guys apart is their ease of delivery; their music is an adrenaline rush from start to finish. ‘Onward to the Pits’ is Deathhammer’s second full length album, aside from numerous demo’s and compilation releases, and boy is it good! Sadomancer spoke to Ave Noctum to his view on Deathhammer
AN: ‘Onward to the Pits’, is a perfect description for you album, especially the mosh pit! It all sounds very natural, are you pleased with the response so far?
Sadomancer: Argh, I hoped everyone understood that it is definitely NOT about mosh pits (AN: we did, but it could have other connotations too), but the pits of hell when they looked at the cover, hehe. Onward to the pits as in onward to the the pits of hell is a perfect description in my eyes anyway. The response have been good but I don’t really care what people think about the album as long as some close friends with good music taste doesn’t think it sucks I’m satisfied.
AN: What is the major inspiration to take this particular branch of thrash metal further?
Sadomancer: I don’t know because we don’t think much about how things MUST sound or taking things further, when we make music things just happen. Can’t say I think we have taken thrash that much “further” anyway, but we try to keep the violence and aggression there since that’s what I think many thrash metal bands lack in general.
AN: Have you done anything differently on ‘Onward to the Pits’ to that of ‘Phantom Knights’? I hear a few more NWOBHM influences in this release but the speed is still immense.
Sadomancer: Hmm people have mentioned those heavy metal-influences but I don’t think it’s THAT much more of them than on ‘Phantom knights’. Its rather just small hints (as the Seduced by the flames-intro) and some parts in ‘Army of death’ and the title-track just like on PK with the Gates of hades-outro and the Plague mass-intro etc. But we recorded one track for the album which was a bit too heavy/speed metal-influenced so it ended up on the split 12” with NOSFERATU, a bit inspired by Agent Steel and Satan.
AN: Where did you record this album?
Sadomancer: In my basement-studio like with PK. Fast and easy, although it took a whole year to record. Definitely not something you can hear in the performance or anything anyway, hehe. Sounds like it was recorded during two drunken nights.
AN: Did you have all 10 tracks written before you went into the studio, or did you demo them and develop them further in the studio?
Sadomancer: We had all the tracks written already. Some tracks Salsten showed me I never even heard before and we rehearsed them only a couple of times before recording.
AN: What set up do you use for the guitars?
Sadomancer: MyMarshallamp with the gain on max and as much noise as possible.
AN: You record as a duo, is there a reason you remain as a duo rather than have more members involved in the studio?
Sadmancer: We do things “perfectly” good on our own so why bring in more people? We also have a very similar approach to the song-making so we don’t need more “influences” or other riffmakers either. Always thought of it as really boring when you are a guitarist who only plays on the albums and live shows but without never making any music yourself.
AN: who are the added musicians for your live shows?
Sadomancer: A sleazy old guy named Chris from the filthy deathpunk-band Lobotomized abuse the axe and a handsome fellow from Nekromantheon named Kick lay waste to the drums.
AN: Why do you think your unholy, faster version of thrash appears to have much more staying power in the music scene than the bay area sound which had risen again and has once again been diluted and died once more?
Sadomancer: More guts, more glory. Things that you can digest and “see through” right ahead like boring generic Bay Area-influenced nu-thrash isn’t music which will last in the long run. Play it safe and you loose.
AN: What do you think of England, well London, you have played here in recent times?
Sadomancer: I like London a lot. Only cool people and everytime we play the Live Evil pre-show it’s as violent as an atomic bomb.
AN: Do the fans do anything different in their reaction to Deathhammer? The first Live Evil show was carnage!
Sadomancer: The last times we have played the audience have completely gone wild. That’s always great. The first Live Evil show was maybe not as wild as I hoped for since we played VERY early and sober. It was like wake up, brush your teeth and go on stage, not very raging mode so early but at least we played a tight and good show I think. The pre-show was totally mad!
AN: Speaking of the first Live Evil festival, you are often cited as having Vulcano as an influence, how did you feel playing on the same stage as those guys over the course of the weekend?
Sadomancer: Vulcano did a great concert, that’s all I can say. We both are big fans of Vulcano specially the ‘Bloody Vengeance’ album, but I don’t think we have any specific Vulcano-inspired riffs. Maybe the South American aggression can be traced somewhere in our music, hehe.
AN: Are you planning to make another pilgrimage to London for Live Evil III in 2012?
Sadomancer: Yeah I’m going even if we are playing or not. Total support!
AN: Do you have any further touring plans to support ‘Onward to the Pits’, perhaps the USA?
Sadomancer: Everyone asks that but I don’t think so because Salsten have had some trouble with the law. European rules anyway.
AN: Apart from the other bands you are involved with, what occupies your time outside of Deathhammer? Do you have any non-musical hobbies or interests?
Sadomancer: Not much hobbies as music, drinking and travelling takes up most of my time. Less is more!
Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing more from Deathhammer very soon and hopefully see you on tour again soon.
Interviewed by Paul Maddison