- Hello, Dennis! Before we start talking about your newest release, let's get back in time to the very beginning. Could you remember the first days of the band? What was the original line-up? Who came up with the title?
- Hello! First off, we'd like to thank Tough Riffs for the support and this killer interview! We originally formed in 1990 which was a long long time ago, haha. It makes us feel old going back so far! Dave (vocals), John (drums), and myself (guitar) started the band together as teenagers. We practiced in John's bedroom playing Metallica, Slayer, and Sodom covers and wrote our first couple of songs there. It took a while to settle on a name but when Dave came up with Eldritch Horror, we all knew it was the right choice. We were all into H.P. Lovecraft and played games like Warhammer so we thought it would be cool to make music with these same themes. We've had three different bass players through the years. Our current bassist, Bo was one of our originals along with Dave's brother, John, and friend Jeff. When we came back together this time Bo was instrumental in getting the ball rolling. We've also had three other guitarists. At first Dave played and did vocals. but then we recruited Scott, and later Robbie. We currently have a brand new second guitarist, Graham, who is much younger and was not part of the original incarnation of the band.
- Tell us about your first Demo, "Dwelling Beneath". Where did you record it? How long did it take? How did you like the result?
- About a year after forming we had enough material to record our first demo. "Dwelling Beneath" had five songs and we recorded it at a small local studio called Musicord. We were young and didn't really know much about the recording process (we were also very poor!!) so we just went in and recorded it as quickly as possible. We let the engineer who worked at the studio produce it and we would bring him albums that we liked (i.e. Death - Leprosy, Kreator - Extreme Aggression, Sepultura - Beneath The Remains, etc). The whole process probably took a week or two (3 or 4 sessions) to complete. To this day I love that demo because it's so raw and a perfect representation of our roots. It's such a great reminder of where we came from!
- Being young and independent band, how did you manage to get enough money to record this demo and then to distribute it? Was it challenging?
- As previously mentioned, we were very poor so we had to really save every penny for that recording. Luckily, the studio gave us a great deal and we were able to record it quickly enough that it didn't cost so much. Not having computers or Internet back then, unsigned bands had to really hustle and work extra hard to make a name for themselves. First, we sold a lot of copies locally at our shows and then for distribution outside of our local area, we became heavily involved with underground tape trading and zines. We created ads and sent piles of them to every zine we could find. It wasn't long before we started receiving demo orders from all over the world! It was a very exciting time for us to receive so much fan mail and we made some great friends and connections with other bands doing the same thing! Three of the songs on this demo, "Breeding Pits", "The Eternal Champion", and "Despair" have all been re-recorded and appear on the album.
- 2 years later you released another Demo, "Untouched by the Sun". I couldn't find any proper information about this release, so could you please recall the process of its creation?
- Haha! I'm not surprised you couldn't find any information! This demo was never "officially" released. We did make some copies of it for friends and were shopping it to labels but we broke up before doing anything with it. It didn't even have a proper cover! The version of "Remission Of Desperation" was originally recorded for and featured on King Fowley's first "Midnight Offerings" compilation CD. There were a bunch of other great bands on that CD. That one is hard to find now. We then recorded two more songs, "To Serve" and "Unknown Graves" at ITM studios in Cary, NC. We were friends with the owners of the studio and actually helped them build the studio in exchange for studio time! That was huge since we probably couldn't have afforded such a nice studio. As it turns out, all three of these songs were re-recorded for the album.
- And that was your last release till the single 2014. What was the reason for such a long silence? What have you been doing during that period of time?
- Yeah, so in 1994, I felt like I needed a change of pace so I left the band and relocated to Florida. The rest of the band continued on for a couple of months but decided to finally call it quits. During the long break, a few of us went to college and now have professional careers and families. John has been tearing up drums in other bands the entire time! He drummed for hardcore band "Negative State", traditional metal band "Widow", and more recently "Man Will Destroy Himself". Bo ended up touring all over the world playing guitar for the punk band "Brodie".
- "The Vomit Hounds" single is available in digital format only. How did you decide to re-unite and to record this track? How was it to compose new music for Eldritch Horror again, so many years later?
- In 2006, we got back together for a reunion show to play a benefit for a friend and it was crazy how many people remembered us and were excited to see us play. There was also an entirely new generation of kids who had heard of us but never got to see us play. Despite this, the time just wasn't right for us to be back together for the long term so we played just two shows and went back on hiatus. It wasn't until late 2013 that Bo and I got together and started talking about getting back together for real. We met at a coffee shop with Dave and convinced him to give it a try. We played together for almost 6 months before we convinced John to come back on board and once he did, everything just clicked perfectly. We had ideas to record a full length album but for the short-term wanted at least one song that was recorded properly and captured what we were about. I've been collecting recording gear over the years and have learned a lot about recording so between our practice space at Bo's house and my house we recorded "The Vomit Hounds" and released it as a "promo" track.
- Finally, we can talk about your recent release, debut full-length "Untouched by the Sun". What can you say about this album? Is that basically a compilation of your previous tracks?
- All of the songs on the album were written between 1989 - 1993 but they have all been fully re-recorded with modern recording techniques and production. The idea was to clear the slate and finally get all of these songs out there before moving on to new material. This album is the equivalent of purging all of the old material so we can move on.
- Tell us a bit about the production part of "Untouched by the Sun". Where did you record it? How did the recording sessions go? Who is the producer?
- For the album, I engineered, produced, and mastered it. It was a huge undertaking and I spent so much time on it! At the time we practiced at Bo's house where he had a full recording studio built into the basement, so we tracked all of the drums there. Once that was complete, we tracked the guitars and bass at my house. I must have recorded hundreds of guitar tracks and used many different amps and guitars before deciding on the sound. Finally the vocals were laid down at our practice space and the final mix and mastering were done at my house. Whew!
- How could you describe your lyrics? Are they closely linked with Lovecraft's themes?
- Our lyrics (and name) are definitely heavily influenced by Lovecraft. But, we also love other writers like Tolkien and fantasy games like Warhammer. We all grew up on that kind of stuff and are inspired by the imagery and themes.
- Who is the cover's artist? Was it your concept?
- A local artist and friend, Sam Guin painted the cover. He is also an accomplished tattoo artist and bass player for the band Datura. We told him the name of the album and gave him all the lyrics and he created it from there. We wanted to give him full creative license to express himself and he delivered a beautifully dark and interesting work!
- Originally, the album was in digital format only. Now you prepared some physical copies of it. Tell us a bit about the edition itself. Are you looking for any label support with possibility of the future official release?
- Because we are unsigned, we started with a digital release since we can get on all of the digital outlets fairly easily. Aside from Bandcamp, the album is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and many others. As for label support, we would definitely be interested in having that especially for distribution and the opportunity to get the album in catalogs, magazines, and some more reviews.
- How do you support your CD? How often do you play live and what are your plans for this year?
- We have an album release show coming up on August 22 at a local venue and another in late October. We usually play only a few local shows each year. Now that the album is done, we are planning on playing more shows outside of our local area. We would love to get on some upcoming festivals!
- Thank you, Dennis. In the end, would you like to say a few words to your fans and our readers?
- I would just like to say thank you for supporting us! It's been such a long road to finally have a full release available and we are not planning on stopping! If we ever play your area, please stop one of us (or all of us!) and talk. We love talking metal and we play metal because we love it and wouldn't have it any other way! Thank you Dima and Tough Riffs!
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