Monday, January 11, 2016

Hooded Eagle Interview

1.For those that have never heard from you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Lynn: Hooded Eagle is a doom metal band that embraces elements of every extreme metal genre. We will happily throw black metal, death metal, sludge, hardcore punk, or whatever else we want into any song, as long as we can make it work.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Lynn: The album consists of songs stretching from the very beginning of the band up through the beginning of 2013. Our former guitarist envisioned the band as a chill, post-metal outfit, and his performance of the songs reflected that. Bobby's style generally has an air of evil to it, and you can definitely hear that in these recordings.

Mark: The opening track, ‘There is No Goodness Left in this World’, was the first song Hooded Eagle wrote and the last track of the album was written with all four standing members, if that helps put it into perspective.

3.Originally the band played more of a post metal style but the current music is more rooted in doom and doom metal, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?

Lynn: It was definitely a conscious decision. When I joined the band, "slow it down" kind of became my mantra, and after years of referring to us as a doom band, even when we weren't, it kind of rubbed off on the attitude of the other members.

Bobby: Way before I joined I was asked to write lyrics/vocals for a few parts in their, then, newest song (‘I Have Dreams…’). Having played with Lynn and Wolfe in a death metal band years ago, I knew they were taking Hooded Eagle in a more metal direction after I heard it. After I joined, they had already written most of the record; but once I added my style of playing and vocals into the mix everything just fell into place.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Lynn: We generally take really rough, personal, emotional songs about loss, loneliness, and sadness, and add a filter of science fiction and horror to them.

Bobby: I feed off of Lynn’s, more personal, introspective lyrics in the respect that my writing comes from a third person perspective and different interpretations of his words. I could be speaking as him or as an omnipotent narrator at any given point.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hooded Eagle'?

Lynn: "Hooded Eagle" is the name of a song by a band called Jerusalem. They put out one album, produced by Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, in the early 70s.

Bobby: We actually thought about changing it a few months after I was in the band but it stuck regardless. The name can mean whatever you want it to mean. To us, it’s just a title for the music we play.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Lynn: Charleston has always had an issue keeping DIY venues open, so through several periods in the band's history, we've focused on playing house shows. They're always brutally intense--to the point where anymore, I have to face Mark's kit. Otherwise, the crowd would be blocking me from touching my fretboard.

Bobby: We use lights and fog on stage (or anywhere, really) to build atmosphere while also playing at extremely high volumes. We want the crowd to be immersed in the music. There have definitely been issues with playing certain venues because of how terribly loud we are, but it’s an integral part of our live performance. We are regularly called the loudest band in Charleston.

Mark: Opening up for Eyehategod at The Oasis (deceased) was awesome.  Our latest show opening up for High on Fire and Crowbar at the Music Farm was kickass for us and we are really looking forward to opening for Jucifer at The Tin Roof in West Ashley later this month. The performance, I was told once, is described by one word; "Monstrous”.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Lynn: We don't have any tours planned, yet. We're almost done writing our second album, and we'll probably hit the studio before we spend any substantial amount of time of the road.

Bobby: We will be be playing shows regionally, but like Lynn said, we have most of the next album written so we’re going back into the studio in the spring to record the follow-up.

8.Can you tell us a little bit more about 'Swamp Metal Records'?

Lynn: Swamp Metal Records is a new label started by an acquaintance of ours, Jack Flanders. As far as I can tell, he just saw the number of quality metal bands around the southeast U.S., and decided to start putting out sludge and doom records. We're really stoked to have his support.

Bobby: Jack has also been a fan of the band for years, so it’s super cool having one of your fans put out your music for you because they love it so much.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black, doom, and sludge metal?

Lynn: Well, this is our debut album, so hopefully it finds an audience with some of those people. I guess we'll just have to wait.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Mark: The sound is definitely getting darker and heavier.

Lynn: We already have our second album almost done, and there's definitely a noticeable shift with it. It's the first time Bobby's been 100% involved in the writing process, so his love of black metal and Slayer definitely peeks through. We've also recently added more death metal elements to our sound. Generally, I can only imagine us growing more viscous and more complex as time passes.

Bobby: The new material is more aggressive, dissonant and evil sounding than anything the band has done before. I won’t go into detail, but I think the next record will make ‘Nightscapes’ look tame in comparison.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Lynn: I heard Type-O Negative when I was 12, and immediately knew that slow, gloomy metal was what I wanted to play.
We're all pretty open to different types of music, and drawing influences from all over the place. If you can imagine it working in the context of a slow, heavy song, we're willing to explore it--whether it's something expected (USBM, funeral doom), or entirely out of left field (slam death metal, hardcore, or even grunge).

Mark: Hearing and seeing the Black Sabbath reunion tour with Pantera is what did it for me.

Bobby: I grew up at the altar of Slayer. Evoken, Thou, early Cradle of Filth and Deathspell Omega are among my main influences as well. ‘Monotheist’ (Celtic Frost) has been in heavy rotation lately along with the numerous collaborations between Thou and The Body. ‘Gateways to Annihilation’ (Morbid Angel) is also in there somewhere. Perpetually listening to ‘Reign in Blood’ and ‘Master of Puppets’.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Lynn: Satan.

Bobby: Satan.

Mark: Time and space… the forces of nature.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Bobby: We have a busy year ahead of us.

Mark: Thank you and we look forward to coming to your town or city to give you the Hooded Eagle experience when that time comes!

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