1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
We are Fisthammer, an extreme death metal band based out of Downingtown, PA. We started out in 2008, and after a lot of tours and line-up changes, we released our debut album, Devour All You See in January of 2012.
2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Fisthammer has always attempted to write music that would appeal both metal fans, and people who aren't as familiar with the genre. As musicians, we've always have the passion to write challenging riffs that push our abilities further At the same time, we strive to write songs with unique melodies. Our goal is to create a sound that pushes our limitations as musicians that will also get stuck in your head. I feel we've done that with Devour All You See
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Devour All You See branches out into some different sub topics at times, but the general theme of the album focuses on apocalyptic themes. For us, we've always tried to keep the lyrical content brutal and graphic, matching the sound of the riffs. We definitely have some pretty fucked up lyrical content as heard in songs Bullet Raped and Harvest. A lot of the album focuses on destruction on a larger scale, which to me, is a much more realistic and powerful subject.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
The name was invented by a former member and Max Svalgard. As the band was just starting out, I was asked to join in the winter of 08. I hadn't even heard the music yet, but I was so attracted to the name, so I joined on the spot hahaha. That, and Max was wearing an Amon Amarth shirt.That helped.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance? We've had a lot of killer shows out 2011 summer tour. It was the first tour with guitarist Kevin Welch, and the reception from the crowds were killer. Cities such as New Orleans and Savannah have given us some of our most memorable shows. We try to make a Fisthammer show a different experience than your average death metal concert. Bringing as much visual aid to the show as possible is something I strive to do. Stage banners, 3 man vocals, etc. We also focus very hard on executing our hardest parts on the CD as accurately as possible live. As for me, my goal behind the drumset is to keep the energy as relentless as possible for start to finish.
6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?
We have a few bigger shows coming up in Philly within the next couple months. We are currently in the process of booking a 5 week entire US tour, which will be our longest to date. The tour will be late July into August, from PA to California. As for the fall, we play for a shorter tour, and then hopefully we'll be in the process of recording our 2nd album.
7. On a worldwide level how has your music been recieved by extreme metal fans?
So far, we've heard nothing by great things from overseas. Everyday online, its more and more fans from, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, etc, which is very exciting. I think the secret for Fisthammer is our communication skills within the band. Each of us has our own unique music taste, but when it comes to Fisthammer music, nothing gets created unless we are agree on the sound. Sometimes, that means feelings getting hurt in the process but ultimately the fans can tell when the band is in love with their own music. Thats what counts.
8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line-up?
I play in a Rock band called On Top who released their debut album in Fall of 2011. Max is also involved in a few different projects as well. I personally love the experience I gain from playing all styles of music. Although metal is my passion, becoming the best drummer I can be is a never ending goal for me, and to do that, I feel I must learn all styles of music the best I can. Fisthammer is always my main focus though. I'm very lucky to have so many people in my life that are willing to see that, and still work with me.
9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
About three months prior to going into the studio for Devour All You See, we felt we we're writing some of our best music yet. Razorwaves and Doom of the Gods were our last two songs we wrote for the album, and I feel are two of the strongest. After the release, we've been cranking out so many new songs, its getting hard to keep up haha. What's most important to me, is that we keep variety throughout the next album. We will obviously have the fast shit in there, as well as the groove parts, melodic parts, and the classic ballad track.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Amon Amarth has always been a band favorite throughout the years. Music that makes you wanna charge into a battle. Bands like Nile, Behemoth, Decapitated, and Gojira really inspire us. For me, I've always been drawn to dark/evil music. Metal or not. For me to get excited, it has to be more than just a blistering fast riff. I want to feel the power and darkness a band can deliver. Nowadays, I've been excited with all the new metal albums coming out. Ritual by Black Dahlia Murder was fantastic. Entity by Origin is also one of my favorite death metal albums lately. New Psycroptic rules. Some much good shit.
11. What role does Occultism or Mythology play in the music?
A large amount of our lyrical content is based around satanic and norse "mythology" and the reasoning is that Satanism is about freedom and power and rebelling against what you have been taught and choosing for yourself, and odinism is about understanding that fate is inevitable and living and dying with honor.
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
For me, there isn't too much in my life that is not in some way connected to music. I teach drums/music 6 days a week, the 7th being an all band practice day. I enjoy traveling, although when I have the time, staying at home relaxing by myself is something I can't see every getting old. Other than that, video games and reading.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the interview! If you haven't heard Fisthammer's Devour All You See, you can youtube us, facebook us, or purchase our album via Itunes or at http://hpgd.comoj.com/store/hpgd038.html
Keep an eye out for tour dates near you, we will most likely be in your state this summer!