Hail The Night
Thorn Arwood and Lvke Arwood, of Hail The Night, my band of the month shares with us their views on the new album “No God We Trust”, politics, religion, and more.
Kali’s Wrath: How have things in the studio been going? Anything you want your fans to know as far as update on the situation is?
Lvke Arwood: Things have gone great so far in the studio. Everything was recorded at Thorn’s apartment except for the drums which were recorded at a separate facility. We are very pleased with the outcome so far!
Thorn Arwood: The entire studio process has been absolutely amazing. We have not yet signed with a record company, so, for financial reasons, I have had to take on a lot more work than I normally would do. In addition to being the singer, I also produce, engineer, mix, and play the keyboards on all of our music. We started off doing pre production for a month in our rehearsal space and it was really a pleasure to work with a group of guys who all have a vision and give input to the songs. One of the key differences between what you hear on our “Demonology EP” and what you are hearing now is that the “Demonology” era was strictly a studio project but now with the addition of Danny and Pecador, we have become a complete band and the chemistry when we all get together and start playing is undeniable.
We had our 6 original tracks from “Demonology” and in a matter of weeks with our new line up, we had 5 brand new ones. We wanted to show with these 5 new songs the evololution that had taken place in the band and the power and purity of what happens when this band focuses its musical energy and I think we accomplished that. As I said earlier, our studio time and financial budget was extremely tight so at this point we are not sure if we will be releasing a full length album or another limited edition EP. Our goal is to have our Myspace page completely re done over the next month so we can have all our music as well as our merchandise available for everyone to check out so the best way to stay informed is to visit www.myspace.com/hailthenight
Kali: What do you hope fans will take away from listening to the new album aside from enjoying it?
Lvke: Our intent is to make music we enjoy that makes us feel something genuine and pure. If we can portray that feeling to a listener, than that’s just icing on the cake.
Thorn: I hope the fans will hear the purity and honesty in our music. I think everyone in this band is an accomplished musician but we try to focus on a little something extra in addition to shredding our instruments and that is our songwriting. For so many bands these days it seems to be all about how many notes they can fit into a solo or riff or how many drum fills can i put in this 1 section and you listen to it and its like fuck…uh ok you guys all obviously went to the musicians institute and can jerk off your instruments and that’s just great, now learn how to write a fucking song!
As a group, we really do vibe with each other. We all have our common influences of metal but each member kind of brings in their own unique set of influences. At its inner core, Hail The Night is a black metal band but we draw influences from thrash, punk, old ambient gothic music, industrial, death metal, Viking metal, and classical. For us, there are no boundaries, no laws, and no limits. We blend together whatever we want and just go with it naturally. I think when you take a pure approach to songwriting like that; everything else basically takes care of itself.
Kali: You recently put a live show case on for record executives. When will see live footage of that?
Lvke: We recently put together some footage from that show in conjunction with a new song (and title of our new upcoming album) called “No God We Trust”. The video itself is very raw but it gives the people who don’t live in Los Angeles a chance to see what we’re all about on stage.
Kali: About that gig. How did it go?
Lvke: I felt the show went very well. We just went up there and did what we do, ya know? Those type of shows are awkward because you are just playing for a few industry people scrutinizing every move you make but everything was cool and I want to thank those that came out.
Kali: What would you propose would fix the music industry issues?
Lvke: This is a good question and I would be a millionaire if I could answer it indefinitely but I think that labels need to start signing better bands and STOP signing flavor of the week bands (I am talking all labels in general) I think a lot of these bands are trying to “out riff” or “be more brutal” than the next band and are neglecting the overall song in the process.
Thorn: First of all, the record companies have got to change their entire philosophy and the way they do business. Record companies don’t even sign bands based on talent or the integrity of the songs anymore. It is all about numbers and money and when you start treating bands like a product on an assembly line you stop getting pure music with integrity and I belief that this is single handedly killing the entire industry.
Look at all the amazing metal bands that were signed in the 70’s and 80’s and then look at what we have today. It is a joke! The difference is back then, people at record companies signed bands based on talent and vision. They saw something in the bands of those days and believed in them and signed them based on that belief and they let the artists be artists and do what they do and the results were several decades of ground breaking music and guess what… everybody made money!!!. In today’s music industry it’s all about money, numbers, and greed. The record companies new business philosophy is to make the bands put up all their own money and do all the work and then they want to come in after everything is done and take all the credit and sign you to a deal where the band will have no chance of making any money for themselves. Or if your band happens to be rich, they will let some bands buy their way into a deal with their own money. It doesn’t really matter to the record companies if the band is talented or can even write a song because they will just stick you with a producer who will make even the shittiest band sound amazing. Now, what does that say about the current state of the music industry?
The producers are also to blame. In the 70’s and 80’s a producer’s job was to take the sound, integrity, and vision of the bands and help them to realize this vision in the studio. In today’s industry, record companies use the same 5 or 6 producers to produce and mix every single metal album that comes out. These producers do not care about bringing out the integrity of the bands vision they are working with. Instead, they try and make all the bands they work with sound the same by using the same instrument settings, the same plug in template settings in pro tools and it’s just generic as fuck. The end result is you get an assembly line of crappy, talentless, well polished bands that were signed because of their numbers, not because of their talent or song writing abilities and that is the industry we presently live in.
So what is the solution? Well artists need to go back to being artists again. Record company executives need to go back to signing bands based on talent and vision and stop worrying about whether or not they are going to get fired for believing in a band. Producers need to stop imposing their wills on bands and help bring out the artists vision instead of their own. And fans need to wake up and educate themselves as to what is going on and absolutely refuse to buy or support any more bands or record companies that go down this road.
Kali: Talk to me of your major musical influences. Do you remember when you found metal and how it has progressed?
Lvke: I have quite a wide variety of influences, but if I had to pick one band that has led me down the path I am on now, it would have to be Slayer.
Thorn: Well, I started off with bands from the late 70’s like Kiss, Queen, Black Sabbath and Motorhead. Then I started listening to King Diamond, Candlemass, Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Testament, Metallica, Exumer, Black Fate, Dio, and Grave Digger. I was also heavily influenced by a lot of obscure dark wave, Goth, and industrial music. Bands like Skinny Puppy, Cabaret Voltaire, Ministry, Christian Death, Joy Division, Lycia, and even some of the early Nine Inch Nails work. But the biggest band of them all for me has got to be hands down, Slayer. Those guys are just simply the best at what they do!
Kali: How did the name Hail The Night come about?
Lvke: This is a name that Thorn came up with about 6 or 7 years ago. We are all creatures of the night that thrive off the energy and power it brings us.
Thorn: Just before the band, Devildriver was about to come out, I was working as a producer for Dez Fafara and me, Dez, and LCF were sitting up in this loft lounge area of Romba Recording Studios out in the valley smoking this lime green pot that kind of looked like kryptonite from the Superman movies. We were also passing around a bottle of Patron silver and I can’t remember much from this afternoon but the only semi clear memory I had was Dez was talking about we should start a 70’s Black Sabbath gone doom rock type of band and call it Hail The Night and I was like ya but I think that would be a better name for our new black metal band and we all agreed and then presumed to pass out… Ha ha ha that is a true story! It’s really the perfect name for us because it pretty much symbolizes everything that we are about.
Kali: If you were president of the U.S what would you change, and why?
Lvke: This is a tough question for me to answer because I despise politics and politicians or any form of outside control that does not have my best interest at heart. For starters, I wouldn’t say a certain thing and do the opposite or just not do ANYTHING!
Thorn: I really enjoyed the episode of Metalocalypse where Nathan Explosion was elected the governor of Florida and the state turned into total chaos, murder, and anarchy so i would probably try to achieve a similar goal on a national level. There is only one thing I despise worse than the cops and that is politicians so I would definitely bring back the firing squads.
Kali: May go into religion a bit, what are your religious convictions?
Lvke: I don’t believe in any form of religion. I think that religion is holding us back as a species. It’s very hard to evolve when most of us are stuck in the mindset that all we are living for is to die and float around in the sky for eternity. Muslims get 72 virgins when they die, I might look into that. Ha ha!
Thorn: Well the funny thing about religion is if you believe in duality and you acknowledge there is a devil, then you must also acknowledge that there is a God and I don’t subscribe to either one of them. First and foremost, I believe in myself and I believe that we create our own destiny and future and we should not let anyone or anything stand in the way of that, especially organized religions. I love being outside, especially at night and I feel most alive in tune with the world when I am in the presence of nature so i guess that makes me some kind of LeVayan Paganistic Anarchist.
Kali: Have you recently seen any good metal related documentaries that you want to share your thoughts on?
Lvke: No, not at the moment… I’m still waiting to see “Until the Light Takes Us”.
Thorn: I really enjoyed the one about Ian Curtis from Joy Division but that obviously isn’t metal. Somebody told me they are making a movie about Varg Vikernes starring one of the guys from Twilight and I really hope that is a film that never gets made. Black metal is the last true pure form of evil music left and it kind of holds a sacred quality about it. If this movie comes out, I fear that all the teeny boppers at Hot Topic will all of a sudden become Burzum fans over night and start trying to turn Varg into some kind of a pin up guy like they have done with the whole Twilight movies and that is just the gayest shit ever!
Kali: Have you recently heard any good or bad albums you would like to speak your mind on?
Lvke: I haven’t been listening to much new stuff lately, although I really like the newest Toxic Holocaust album ”An Overdose of Death”.
Thorn: I have been listening to a lot of Viking metal and classical music recently so I’m not really sure if anything new has come out that is worth picking up or not. I really enjoyed the last Watain album as well as Amon Amarth… Those guys are awesome.
We are excited for our friends in Sothis who have a new album that just came out on Candlelight. Hopefully, after Sothis, people will see that something good can actually come out of LA besides pollution, smog, and 80’s Butt rock. We really hope those guys do well because they are basically waving the symphonic black metal flag for southern California. Also we hope people like the new Chthonic album since we are both managed by the same guy and of course, our drummer Alexei played drums on the album, (that’s supposed to be a secret but I am letting the cat out of the bag… Ha ha ha) we hope it does well and they have our support.
Kali: Might you have any good jokes you would like to share with us?
Lvke: I heard a pretty funny Michael Jackson joke a couple of weeks ago but I forgot it. Ha ha! Must not have been that great!
Thorn: Uh, the music industry as a whole is a pretty good joke but nah. I’m a musician not a comedian.
Kali: Anything you would like to say in closing?
Lvke: I want to thank everyone who has taken time to check us out on Myspace, and everyone who has stuck with us through the years. It’s been a long journey, but the war has just begun! Hail the Night!
Thorn: Thank you Kali, thanks BTDH, and thanks to all our friends and fans. You guys all rule!