Wacken Metal Battle 2016...
1. It was your first visit on Wacken Open Air (not with band)?
Yes, this was our first visit to Wacken. In fact, this was the biggest show any of us as musicians have had the opportunity to play. And it was amazing. The crowd was so supportive, the crew extremely positive, and the mud perfectly muddy. It was more than we could have hoped for.
2. Can you introduce yourself, Estonian Metal battle winners for 2016?
Hi, we are Horror Dance Squad. We love making positive, catchy, in-your-face, danceable metal music. Five of us are from Estonia (Karl – Vocals, Indrek – Guitars, Mikk – Guitars, Henri – Drums, Sander – Electronics and Bass) and one of us is an American with Estonian roots (Ian – Vocals). We first hit the stage in early 2014, so in a sense we’re still a young band. However, all of us have been making music most of our lives and we each joined the squad with a good bit of experience.
3. What about your position in Estonian music bussiness?
This past year has been very cool for us. We started last July by opening for Comeback Kid, released our first single to get us radio play, HEART--which featured local singing legend, Robin Juhkental—in November, opened for Dead By April this past April, and won the Estonian Metal Battle and released our first EP, Game Changer, in May.
4. „Game Changer“?
Game Changer is both the title of our debut EP and the first single from that EP. At first it was just the name for the song, but we realized that the idea of being a „game changer,“ working towards positive and progressive change in ourselves and the world, was the backbone of all of the songs on the EP. We recorded the guitars ourselves and the drums with the help of Karl Sirelpuu in Tallinn. We wanted the EP to sound as powerful as it possibly could so we sent the tracks over to Kris Crummet (Issues, Dance Gavin Dance) in the US to mix and master. With the addition of Sander’s electronics and dedication to production, we created something we are really happy with.
5. Do you plan european tour this year?
We will finish off the Summer at the EDGE: Nordic Festival in Helsinki on the 10th of September. After that our schedule is pretty open to work on new music and we’ll see what comes!
6. Why did you start with this kind of music?
All of us were drawn to Horror Dance Squad from our desire to make some form of heavy, aggressive music. Indrek and Mikk got the ball rolling after their previous band split, taking on Henri as the drummer for the new project. Eventually, Ian, Karl and Sander joined in the respective roles and the rest has been magic!
Supporting Dead by April...
7. Who is your idol?
What allows us to make Horror Dance Squad the type of band we are is because we don’t have one specific idol. As musicians we are all influenced by so many different styles and sounds and want to explore even further what can be done by mixing these different influences into our style of metal. However, the one band we have all agreed influences us to some extent is Bring Me The Horizon. Their evolution as a band and their willingness to push the boundaries of their music is a inspiration.
8. Did you try to sing in your own language?
Ian: „Actually, I am always singing in my own language.“
Since Ian is from the United States, and writes most of the lyrics, it made sense to sing in English. Although he is learning Estonian, so maybe one day we will try a song in Estonian as well.
9. How big success is that you have been on Wacken stage, what is your next goal?
Wacken was a huge success for us. Overwhelming really. To be recognized for doing something you enjoy doing so much, to see the progress as a band and the reactions of the fans is extremely rewarding. And the experience of playing on such a big stage with such a tight schedule, watching the crew in action, the way the whole festival was setup and carried out—this was a very important chance to learn what it’s like to be in the big leagues and an experience we can share with next year’s Estonian Wacken Metal Battle winner. Our next big plans are to write new music. Releasing Game Changer was an opportunity for us to take that first step, to lay down the foundation, not only of what we are as a band, but we can become. We feel this is just the beginning of our exploration into our potential together.
10. Do you know any Czech band?
We had to do a little bit of research for this question, but we discovered two Czech bands that we like: Between The Planets and Modern Day Babylon both strike us as bands with great sounds.