Let there be Blood…
If Napalm Death have been flying the grind flag for the UK for the past 30 years, then Blood have been doing something very similar in Germany. Still going strong with a quality new album release last year, they’re also reissuing their underground cult classic O Agios Pethane. MR’s Paul Castles took their pulse for Midlands Rocks…
Hi guys, many thanks for talking with Midlands Rocks. I’m enjoying listening to the album O Agios Pethane. How do you all feel about it?
Yeah – we still love it and listen to it very often. In my opinion it’ the most brutal Blood output. It combines the perfect sound for us with the typical songs as a mixture of Death and Grind. Great to see it’s released again!
It’s a reissue of course, having first come out over 20 years ago. What was the thought process behind bringing it out again?
Well, this reissue is not the first of this album. Back in 2000 Leviathan Records in the Czech Republic did the first reissue and back in 2013 the French label Cryptic Vision Art did a vinyl re-release, but everything has been sold out a while. We got a few offers to do another repress and we chose the one from Dunkelheit Produktionen.
Does the sound differ much from the original recording?
I don’t think so, because the files are digital.
I know the reissue comes complete with an eight-page booklet, you’re obviously still proud of this record?
Absolutely – for a reissue we always try to give the people something new besides the music and so we worked hard for a new booklet, layout of the digipack and some other photos… also for the poster and the button, which is something special. Today it’s very easy for everyone get the music only of this, but to have something physically that is well done – that’s important for us and the label.
I guess you’re looking forward to making new fans who simply weren’t around 25 years ago?
Maybe this is also a reason for reissues. That also worked with other bands, that split up since a while, like Impetigo, but their music is worth to be transported into a new age and to spread around to the new, younger fans and that’ll also work for us…
How does the German underground scene today compare with that when you first formed in the late ’80s?
I don’t know much about the actual scene. There are so many bands and so many outputs, that you cannot check everything. It is so easy to record something and for the distribution you don’t need a label, only YouTube.
If I remember back in the late ’80s it was a real big thing for a band getting a contract and the chance to enter a studio, which was very expensive in that time. Also the CD wasn’t really there and vinyl was very hard to produce. It was a long time process. The bands couldn’t work the booklet or artwork out at the computer and nothing was very professional – especially in the Underground, but it was real work with enthusiasm and with heart!
Quite often when bands have been together for a number of years there’s a high turnover of members. That’s never really been the case with Blood and it seems you’ve all stuck together for a long time – You must have a strong bond?
That’s true – in Blood Satanic Taki, Ventilator and I have been together nearly since the beginning, which is a great thing, because we almost write all the songs. Sometimes we changed the singer and had/have a second guitar player, but with such a long time together, we are more than guys who play in the same band – we are good friends, that shares many things besides the band.
Do you think younger bands have it easier than when you started out in 1986?
No – I don’t think so. It might be easier to record and produce something, but it’s much harder to find your audience, because there are so many bands (and also many good ones) out there. So a new band needs to have something special to get noticed.
Is it more difficult for you all to commit to a band today when presumably there are things like families and jobs to consider that maybe weren’t there 20 years ago?
Oh yes – it is! A few months ago we made a plan for 2016 and we were shocked how few weekends there are, where everyone is free for the band. So much time is filled with different holidays and other activities. But it’s OK for us. We have no pressure what to do. If a date for a show is working for us we’ll do it.
Blood have never really stopped as an active band with a steady flow of releases across the past 25+ years. How have you managed to maintain that consistency and commitment?
To be friends with the others is a big reason. We had some hard times and problems with some line-up changes in the past, but we never really wanted to quit, so we have to continue on and on.
What tour plans have you for the new album? Any UK visits?
We hope to enter the studio in late 2016 to record a few new songs, as our last record was from 2003, so it’s really time to show the people, that we are still alive. Oh – we’ve never been in the UK for a show, so if we get a serious offer, we would love to do it!
This year you’re celebrating a 30-year anniversary. How much longer can Blood keep pumping?
I don’t know – we still have a great time, if we are together and as long as we could stand it physically, we would do it…. Grind til death…