Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ragehammer Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Hi there , yeah, sure. Ragehammer came into being for the first time around 2009 when I decided to gather a handful of good friends of mine and jam some aggressive Thrash mixed with Punk the old way. The plans were ambitious, there were 3 guitarists in the band at one point (I can boast that at the time I had people connected with bans such as Excidium, Medico Peste or Mgła back then, haha), but besides playing Korrozia Metalla and Razor covers all over and again there was not much we have done and soon enough the whole project dissolved, as I went down the path of self-destruction and substance abuse. Fast forward to late 2011, I got my ass up from the ground, got clean and re-organized, so to speak and by accident I met the drummer Mortar, with whom we played in early incarnation of Ragehammer, at my friend’s house party. Having not spoken for quite a long time we decided we need to meet up again and talk of the older days. Just a few days before the meeting I called upon Bestial Avenger, another guy and guitarist of the original line-up, with whom I maintained remote contact every now and then, so there were three of us sitting, blasting music on my stereo and talking about the good ol’ days, slowly getting to the idea of trying to play together again. Few weeks later we went on and jammed for the first time in almost 3 years. Man, it went like magic, the first track was done that very day. The only thing that was missing was the bassist. After thinking of many options the fate was lucky for us again, as on some gig I accidentally met…. Corpsebutcher who also played with us in the early days. Since then we work as a unit with tight vision and zealous goal to bring the raw and negative feeling back into the Blackened Thrash Metal, spoiled by tons of copycats and followers. Started out with a “War Hawks” demo from 2012, now we are about to unleash our first full-length material “The Hammer Doctrine” via Pagan Records on April 8.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
It’s raw, it’s dirty, it’s aggressive and it wants to hurt you. It ain’t the high peak of originality, it does not “transcend” the Metal sound into Noise Rock or ‘70s psychedelia, it does not require hoods, incense, chalices and skulls, there is not a single sigillum used, we are not among the occult legions bastardizing the Hidden Art these days. What we do is Metal the way we envisioned it to be. Hateful, furious and raw. The main aim of the music in combination with lyrics is to tear down listener’s comfort zone and show him there is not a single thing to trust and take for granted these days. I will dwell into that more later.

3.In 2012 you had released a demo but waited 4 more years to release more music, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap?
The gap was caused by the very simple reason: after the pretty much well-received demo we decided to take our time and prepare a worthy successor not to spoil the good feedback with rushed material. For that time we were intensely working on new tracks and looking for the direction into which we could take a step forward with our music. Of course what I mean is rather evolution than revolution, no unexpected radical turns, rather a few aces up the sleeve in what I consider logical continuation of our demo.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I would say it is focused mainly on the militant viewpoint; everyday and overall war one needs to struggle, an “anatomy of the conflict”, so to speak. I try to write lyrics that offend and attack everything a potential listener would consider a “safe harbour”, be it home and family values, peace, feeling that today’s world insanity is happening somewhere far far away. The main goal is to make the listener reconsider the viewpoint on his own place in life, to move him away from benumbing certainty that evil is not something that would ever occur to him. Into this I would throw a handful of Nietzsche-inspired reflections, a few thoughts on survival of the fittest and the usual bitching about the decline of modern culture. A nice mix to make everyone hate me, hahah!

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ragehammer'?
The combination of these two words would describe what we do best: raging fury combined with mortal pounding heaviness. I would like to give some eloquent philosophical background to it, but we’re still just a Metal band with a mean Metal name on our banner.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Well, playing live is something we collectively agree that is the best part of being in a band. We are presenting rather stripped down, no F/X approach to stage presence (although in the initial stage we used corpsepaint, but this idea was discarded after just two gigs), focusing rather on energy than the so-called “atmosphere”. There’s a lot of headbanging and decibels. I guess our main mark here is the authenticity. As for the best shows, we had an undeniable pleasure to share the stage with such Metal stalwarts, as Christ Agony, Stillborn, Arkona (the Polish one of course), Blaze of Perdition, Bestial Raids, Kat, Chilean Thornafire or Swedish Intestinal. We treat all the shows we play as a separate event, so there is no real possibility of distinguishing which one of these was the best; although the Warsaw mayhem along Arkona, Diabolicon and Porta Infrenum and obliteration of Rzeszów with Ulcer, Excidium, Deivos, Necrosadist and Striking Beast stand out as the most violent for sure.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Yes, there are a few moves on that matter, but these are still in the working phase, so I am not sure I can discuss them any deeper. For the confirmed dates one can for sure see us at this year’s DarkFest Open Air in Byczyna, Poland in June and in July we will have an honour of opening for Toxic Holocaust in Wrocław, Poland.

8.Early this year you where a part of a split with 'Turbocharged', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
It is without a doubt both a pleasure and an honour to share a split with Ronnie and the gang. I have been in touch with the guy for about 10 years now, initially as a devoted fan of his previous band, Gehennah, then somewhere along the way we became comrades sharing close viewpoints on Metal and the underground lifestyle in general. That is why when the initial plan of sharing this split with the Italian act Necromessiah failed, the first thing I thought was to get in touch with Turbocharged. I consider it the right decision, as the guys delivered a SMASHER of a track with “Bloodletting”, presenting a slightly different, yet still fitting, approach to Metal than Ragehammer to nicely balance the shot we came up with. Overall, the thing is out on March 31, done to celebrate the underground raw Metal we all live and breathe. Get it or get killed!

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?
It’s been mainly good. We got satisfying reviews in most cases both when it comes to the live performance as well as the record reviews. We feel that the worldwide underground paid attention to us, as our album leaked out on the Russian torrent sites a few weeks ago (note for the hipsters: that, my dears, was an irony). As we are still a fresh band we are rather careful with giving statements, but so far there was not much change in the attitude towards us once the album is out.

10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Yes, they are. Mainly myself, currently working simultaneously on a few projects ranging from blackened Death/Doom (Exmortum), through to Black Metal (Outre as a session live vocalist) up to… Death Country/Dark Folk (Them Pulp Criminals). All of these acts are currently working on releasing their respective materials this year. Apart from myself, Corpsebutcher used to help our friends Offence, taking the duties of a live bassist. He had also a shot-term stint with Black Metal ensemble Cień at the same position. The remaining two are so far inactive apart from Ragehammer, at least to my knowledge.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I guess we will keep on moving forward with the path taken on “The Hammer Doctrine” and I cannot see neither any foreseeable revolution in, nor compromising the attitude. Of course, I see the points of potential development for us, but no drastic turns ahead. We will simply try to be the best band we can be, making music that we ourselves would like to listen to, remaining first and foremost Metal FANS, only then a band.

12.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?
Hah, Legion is their name! We take inspiration from literally every genre of Metal we listen to, without boxes and labels. Of course, the influence of Venom, early Bathory, Destroyer 666, Impaled Nazarene, Root, Nifelheim or Tormentor describe us loud and clear in what we do, but we take a whole lot from classic Heavy Metal, Speed/Power (bow before first Helloween and Trojan’s “Chasing the Storm” or die in torment!), Crust Punk, early Death Metal scene and of course Black Metal of the Second Wave. We are, as I said, first and foremost practicing Metal fanatics, trying to catch up with what is going on under the surface and in addition to making the music we are all collecting and discovering it. I am also running my own cut’n’paste zine, Dejekta Infinitus (issue #2 is in the works since forever though, hahah). As for the things spinning in my blaster recently, the latest Stillborn “Testimonio de Bautismo” is a fucking barbaric hammer, also Mgła’s latest opus, “Exercises in Futility”, StarGazer’s “A Merging to the Boundless”, Destoryer 666 “Wildfire”, Peste Noire “Le Chaise-Dyable”, Toxic Holocaust “Chemistry of Conscoiusness”, Gehennah “Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die”, Mysticum “Planet Satan” and recently I came back to the entire Angelcorpse back catalogue and it still EXTERMINATES!

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Never take your life for granted, keep your guards up. The paradox is that we are at the top of the food chain and a cancer of this world.

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