Q & A: HORROR DANCE SQUAD

We chat to metalcore band HDS about Slipknot, Wacken and their new album


#NEWMUSIC #METAL






HI THERE THANKS FOR ANSWERING SOME QUESTIONS FOR US.


Thank you for asking us the questions!


PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.


Horror Dance Squad has been blasting stages throughout the Baltics since 2014, unapologetically blending metalcore and punk with vibrant electronics and delivering it to our audiences with unforgettable ferocity. We hail from Estonia’s capital, Tallinn. Throughout our years together we have had the enormous pleasure of sharing the stage with international heavy hitters such as Siamese, Comeback Kid, Dead By April, Adept, Eskimo Callboy, We Butter The Bread With Butter, Deez Nuts, August Burns Red, One Morning Left and may others. We also represented Estonia at the 2016 Wacken Open Air Metal Battle.


TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?


Our new album, No Flag Will Fly Forever, is our most ambitious work by far. It is our deepest dive into the style we have crafted for ourselves and truly embodies the values and spirit of the band. We worked hard to challenge ourselves as musicians and songwriters to make sure we wrote the best songs we could. The album was recorded in Tallinn, Estonia and mixed by Cody Stewart (The Browning) in LA. And it comes out on September 25th!


WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?


True to our core, the album was inspired by topics we find essential to discuss: social and personal issues, justice and injustice, philosophy and spirituality. Questions and topics that are pressing for us as individuals, but which we feel are common issues for humanity in general. We hope that if someone is struggling with an issue in their lives this album will have a song that will speak to them and help them find a positive way to deal with it--or at least a few minutes to mosh it out.


CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?


Forty-four minutes of head-bopping, feet-tapping, scream-along mayhem!


WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?


Oh wow, that’s a tough one. As a six-piece band, you can imagine it’s tough to pick one between us, let alone for any of us as individuals to choose just one album…. However, there is a general consensus amongst the band that Slipknot's self-titled album from 1999 made a huge impact on all of us as youngsters and greatly influenced our journey into metal music.


DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?


We are actually just getting ready to shoot our most ambitious music video ever, including fire dancers, fire sculpture and fire cannons. Not surprisingly, the song is called Burn This Place Down and will be our next single. We are all very excited about this production and hope it will set a new bar for our videos. Otherwise, we are very proud of the video we made for our last single Callous Cage, which we shot in a single take.


WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?


We are very fortunate to be a band and good friends and we make sure to spend time together doing things other than working on our music in order to build and strengthen our relationship. We’ve organised movie nights together, go out for drinks on weekends and just have fun together whenever we can. Making sure that what we do is more than ‘working together’ is incredibly important in making sure that we have a bond that boosts our creative process and one that is also strong enough to help us get through the more challenging moments. As for day jobs, we’re quite an eclectic bunch. Horror Dance Squad is made up of a software fraud expert, service designer, elementary school teacher, audio recording technician and two software supply specialists. But all of these various roles feed into the music we make and the stories we want to tell.


DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?


Certainly! We get nervous because we are excited to do what we do and we want to make sure we do our very best. And we deal with it by being prepared: we practice hard and make sure we are truly ready before stepping on stage. But the nervousness immediately vanishes when we see the audience in front of us and when the first song kicks in and any anxiety becomes fuel for the performance.


HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?


The squad began taking formation when guitarists Indrek Ulp and Mikk Peetrimägi put their eagerness to keep the metalcore genre alive in Estonia together and began writing songs. They took on drummer Henri Kuusk and after about a year of practising and trying out vocalists (including Ian Karell who is originally from Pittsburgh, PA) the first line-up was established. We played our first show at the beginning of 2014. After a couple of years, we made a small line-up change adding vocalist Karl Mesipuu and synth and sample wizard Margus Tammela to our squad. This new line-up took us on a path that has definitively shaped and evolved our music into our own signature style.




HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?


Our songwriting process is a full-band effort and very collaborative. While we often start with guitars and drums before working on vocals and lyrics, the moment an idea is born the whole band is invested in making sure we are writing the best song we can. Karl has become quite a master of vocal melodies and Ian writes a majority of the lyrics for the band, although the topics are always those which all of us feel are important.


WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


Having fun doing something we all love doing and having an opportunity to have our collective voice heard. Our fans are also a huge inspiration to us--our most joyous moments are those when we bring smiles to their faces or get them dancing, moshing or singing along. It truly wouldn’t be the same without our Squad.


WHAT IS NEXT?


Right now the big project is the release of our album, No Flag Will Fly Forever. We’ve also got the music video for our next single Burn This Place Down and have a couple of others in the pipeline which will require a great deal of our time and attention. We are also working hard to make sure our album release show this October is the most intense and inspired one yet. And, of course, once these projects have come to an end, we will continue to work as hard as ever to keep this ball rolling. Hopefully, the situation in Europe will also allow us to tour the album starting next year.


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