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Monthly Archives: March 1998

Interview with Dann Saladin and Dave Ingram of Blood Coven, Mar. 27, 1998
Interview for TMU/Deadly Embrace/Necrosis Magazine(s)
Questions by “Smectaga” Kieron Yates and Melanie; interview taken by Melanie

 

When did the band form and how? (excerpted from 1997 Necrosis interview)

DS: I started Blood Coven in late 1993, because my old band (Sin-Eater) broke up. I’d found a bunch of musicians and had a bunch of music left over. I wrote some new music and just started jamming. We’ve just gotten a permanent bassist after like three years,and we’ve had a lot of line-up changes, but everything is going really well now and so far.

How well, do you find, Blood Coven as a band has matured and evolved since the begining?

DS: A lot. How well? I don’t know – we’ve all become better musicians, I guess. Since we’ve got the more solid string line-up now with a permanent bass player. Dave and I have been jamming for a while. Probably with the future material – the material we are working on right now that will be released in the future – will be a lot better because we’ll have more input than just myself. A lot more of a group effort on writing the material, anyway. More collaboration. Hopefully we’ll find someone who can kick ass on drums for us.

What’s the situation with Rick? (Alleshouse, session drummer – ed.) He can’t travel or something?

DI: Rick’s not a death metal or black metal drummer by trade. He’s a jazz drummer basically. He’s an “everything but death metal” drummer. He just happens to be really talented. He hasn’t been playing double-bass really long, and he’s just picking it up right on the spot.

DS: He works at the same place as Jason (Woolard, bassist -ed.), too, so it would be hard for him or them both to get off of work.

DI: We don’t mind getting Jason fired from work but we don’t want to fuck (up) Rick.

<laughs>

Do you feel that Blood Coven has a relatively large fanbase, that there is pressure on you to impress and keep it interesting?

DS: The only pressure as far as that goes is from ourselves, I think. I mean, I don’t care if other people aren’t impressed with us as long as I can out-do myself each time. That’s my goal.

DI: We’re perfectionists.

DS: Keep your standards high and everything else will follow.

If you could tour with with any 4 other bands, who would they be?

DI: Marduk. DS: Yeah…

DI: I could come up with more than four bands.

DS: A million, really…we’ll tour with anybody. It depends on what the tour was like, too. If it was like ten guys stuck in a Winnebago, then it would be really rough.

DI: It would be like ten guys stuck in your van.

<laughs>

DS: Yeah, obviously it would have to be people we really got along with then. Which there are not a lot of – people have a tendency to not like us a whole lot. A lot of people have an attitude about us because we do thigns our own way…We’ve invested a lot of time, money, and effort into what we do, so we want things to go our way.

Darkmoon?

DS: Yeah, Darkmoon. They are really cool with us like that. Darkmoon would be a killer band to tour with! I can totally see touring with them. We had so much fun up in Michigan, we played with them there and hung out and shit. They’re a lot like we are – drug free and don’t really drink and shit…They’re professional people. I don’t like people that fuck around.

What is your opinion on the present death metal scene?

DS: It’s what you make of it. People keep saying it’s dying – that’s because they’re not supporting it anymore. Fuck them, you know? I’ve always supported death metal and the death metal scene, and I always will. It’s like – it’s my life. So, if people sit around and whine that it’s dying, they need to do something about it. I do everything I can – I go to as many shows as I can and I play as many shows as I can. What else can one person do?

You could write a ‘zine…<snickering>

DS: Where am I going to find the time to do that? I could like…not sleep ever, and do that; quit my job and have no money to do any of this stuff. I mean, shit.

What are some of your personal influences and favorite bands?

DI: Personal influences? I like basketweaving.

<laughs>

DS: That’s a hobby, not an influence. Me? Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden. Sodom, Destruction. Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath taught me how to play guitar. I had a christian guitar teacher and he was really cool, having to teach me all these Black Sabbath songs…<smiles>…He didn’t preach or anything so it was cool. Super nice guy. He taught me what I wanted to learn, and that’s what it came down to. I’d go in <excitedly> “dude…I’ve got to learn to play this!” and he’d go “uh, okay…”

DI: Musical part’s easy. I started playing guitar because of Venom, Slayer, and Rush, if that combination makes any sense. Early Death, Possessed, Forbidden (first couple of releases were cool)…Kreator, all that kind of shit.

I heard you were in a rock band before you were in Blood Coven…<teasing>

DI: <smiles> Yeah, it was something wierd. Something to do. Something to learn what NOT to do from. It ended up evolving into something worse than a garage band.

Is that blood in your hair?

DI: I have blood everywhere…all over me…

How long have you been (actively) in the scene?

DS: Playing out? Since ’88…’87 maybe?

DI: I’ve been playing with this band since the spring of ’94. Before that, I saw a lot of the older (regional) bands; I just barely missed Sin-Eater…

DS: And you’re better for it!

DI: I knew about half these bands but I never had a driver’s license to go and see them. I was like, “god damnit! I have to stop taking the fucking bus!”

Do you find it hard coming up with original material seeing how the scene seems to be flooded with a lot of bands just ripping each other off and just regurgitating the same material?

DS: Nope. Not at all.

DI: Don’t ask me, I don’t write any of it!

DS: You write a little of it.

DI: Um…bits and pieces…I can’t write shit.

<*tisk* – no low-self-esteeming allowed!>

DI: Okay, not like I’m completely incapable, but if something’s not broken, why fix it, you know?

DS: Nobody’s completely original. One of the best quotes I’ve heard in my life was actually Elvis Costello, who said ‘every musician is a thief and a magpie’. It’s completely true to a certain extent. You have to have heard something similar most likely (if you come up with this killer riff…). It’s probably safe to say.

Do you guys want to portray a certain image? The reason why I ask is because you don’t seem to dress and act the way a lot of death metal bands tend to dress and act….(excuse my generalization)?

DS: We want to give people something to see, something to look at, you know? The visual impact.

DI: To co-incide with the music. It’s like…an extension of our personalities. It’s a number of things.

DS: I mean, we would. If we were professional musicians, insofar as that is what we did to make a living, then we would pretty much be like this most of the time. The fact is, we’ve got to go out into the real world though, work real jobs…I mean, I can’t wear my 230$ leather pants into a machine shop where I get all fucking dirty and greasy and stuff.

DI: I have sliced myself up pretty good at work before though.

DS: Basically, we do this (dress in leather and spikes, etc. – ed.) because it’s an image thing. We DON’T do this in the real everyday world. The stage image is just another part of us – it should be equally as important as the music. Obviously, the music has to come first, but image has to be part of the whole thing. It’s a package deal.

DI: Also when we go onstage, it is like the sight of our personalities. Stuff you cannot express by speaking or writing. That’s why I cut myself – it’s a “brain” thing…As far as communicating something – you cannot simply speak or write about it.

DS: Yes, it has to be seen to be understood. (It must be experienced. – ed.) It’s just like the music – you can’t sit here and accurately describe what we sound like. It’s really hard for me to do that objectively. It’s also hard for other people to understand because they have never heard or seen it.

(So go and see them live! They kick ass! – ed.)

Which show was your favorite show? Now you get to pick through your last 100 or so…and come up with one.

DS: Morbid Angel, probably. 2 years ago. It was packed, we did really well, and it was just really good exposure for us.

DI: World Series of Metal 1996 was good.

DS: That was pretty kickass. I’m hoping this year will be better than last year.

Do you guys have any tour plans or upcoming shows?

DS: As far as tours go, the money thing is fucking ridiculous.

DI: I know. We have a 7″ about ready to come out, a CD to finish, and more of this, more that…action figures, toilet paper…

<laughter>

DS: Our lingerie line is coming out later this year.

<more laughter>

DS: Maybe – in the fall, I’d like to. You don’t want to go on tour in the wintertime, but – it probably won’t happen, because of time and money and shit. If we get all our releases out and make some money off that, then if we find a permanent drummer…(no offense Rick, you fuckin’ rip and you rule and everything, but…) We’re not going to get him fired from his job just to drag him across the country.

What do you think the future holds for Blood Coven?

DI: Hopefully a permanent drummer. Note the recurring theme here.

<laughs>

DS: Oh, it’s (the CD – ed.) coming out soon. That, and we plan to eventually destroy all of humanity. Everyone wil die soon.

<evil grin>

Have you had any offers from any record labels?

DS: Not yet. We haven’t shopped anything. We’ve never been happy with anything we recorded, so…This CD will definetly go out to everybody once it’s done. Hopefully, maybe – it will generate some interest.

Are you guys just looking for distribution?

DS: We’re looking for anybody that will help us.

<snicker>

DS: Anything. I mean, we have friends that are offering and we have talked to some smaller labels. Stuff that will help us get it around. It’s all consignment bullshit, really…they get your product out and hopefully you get the money eventually. Provided that nobody rips you off.

Do you have any final comments?

DS: I hope we’re not this sick (cold, virus – ed.) next week.

DI: I hope my arms don’t get infected. (from the night’s onstage heinous act of bleeding! – ed.)

What is your current line-up?

Line-up (current):

Dann Saladin – guitars, guitar synth, vocals
Dave Ingram – guitars, vocals
Jason Woolard – bass guitar
Rick Alleshouse – drummer (session)

How has the response to the demo and the live tape been so far?

DS: People seem to dig it…We hate it because it’s so old. We have a problem with it because it’s just outdated.

DI: Of course, it’s all like a bilion years old. Wait until you hear the 7″, it’s coming in it’s finest form.

DS: It’s weak on a lot of things. We cut a lot of corners on the demo.We rearranged a lot of vocal tracks and did a lot of crazy stuff. We kind of got screwed – it was supposed to be 32 tracks and it ended up being only 16…it was one thing after another with that demo. *sigh*

I thought you guys did it in 13 hours or something?

DS: We did it in two 13 hour days. It was ridiculous. No food, no sleep, killing ourselves, ear fatigue… Went back and played it the second day and we were like “what the fuck were we thinking !?!” It was too late to change anything by then, shit like that. Whatever. It was effective at the time, I guess.

DI: Live tape is a different story. It came out kind-of decent. We thought it was cool. For all the times we’d been trading bootlegs of other bands, we figured it was high time we bootlegged some of our own crap. It’s kind of where the idea for the (live) 7″ came from, too.

DS: We just did it to kind-of tide people over. You can’t hear the bass guitar on it though. (the live tape – ed.)

What about lyrical inspirations? By whom are lyrics written and what themes are enveloped within?

DS: Thus far, I’ve written al the lyrics. I don’t know, all kinds of stuff…I just write whatever comes to mind. Whatever I’m feeling that day. It’s just mostly personal stuff; I write them metaphorically. You have to read them and make up your own mind as to what you think they mean.

Didn’t you say it was supposed to be a story? Someone said it was a story…

DS: The CD reads like a story. It’s kind-of like a concept album. There’s a hidden meaning to it kind-of. People who know me might understand it more, but then again – they might not. A lot of it is personal stuff I don’t even talk about. It’s up to the listener because not everyone knows who I am, and they won’t relate to who I am, what I do…We don’t just write stupid stuff like “I love you” bullshit lyrics, and none of this fucking rhyming stuff. I hate shit that rhymes.

DI: Not a lot of simplistic gore. We don’t sit around and steal lyrics from Cannibal Corpse like a lot of bands seem to do.

DS: A lot of bands’ lyrics just suck. Political lyrics are gay as hell.

You describe yourselves as a “hate metal” band. What exactly do you hate?

DI: For starters, that was a tagline we came up with for a flyer years ago, for lack of any better term. For lack of a better definition. We were trying to cut it down to “_x_” words to fit it on a flyer.

DS: It’s something we invented because we didn’t want to tag ourselves as a “brutal death metal band!” or an “evil black metal band!” There’s so many faggy (generic and abused ad nauseum terms – ed.) labels that people want to call their music. We don’t feel that justifies what we do. We’re not death metal, we’re not black metal.

DI: What do I hate? About anything that breathes. Humans.

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