by Janet Willis
The reason that I got into this whole writing shit is because of bands like Bloodsoaked. You know the ones, the ones that work the hardest and stay true to metal but as a result they never get much press because they don’t have the $ and luck to get everyone’s attention in the arena these days. In any case, Bloodsoaked is one of the great U.S. secrets and has been tearing off heads with the strength and aggression of solid and BRUTAL death metal for quite some years now and has had three solid slabs of putridity with exceptional ratings in the press that has been given him. Yes, HIM….Peter Hasslebrack, Bloodsoaked up until this year was a one-man hit assassin and even as such he could rip open 80% or more of the full band “brutal” feces that drops in the bowl.
So if you’re into a no frills down tuned juggernaut riff assault that still comes up with new twists and rhythms for each song like a sadist does with each new torture and kill such as Malignancy, Pathology,and Immolation without losing their unique M.O. then check out Bloodsoaked!!!! With the new addition of Joe Byron (Malebolgia) and the incredible tissue severing ability of 2011’s The Death of Hope, it’s an adrenalizing surge to anticipate what this duo will try to murder us with next.
FYI: Peter also did vocals for the amazing act Archaic Winter on their The Psychology of Death release a few years back. Definitely check out AW while your at it, seriously GREAT SHIT!!!! One of the U.S. many great death metal skeletons in the closet.
J.W. : Hey Peter, I’m so glad to get to do this with you, I’ve been a fan for a few years now and respect what you do not only because it’s killer, but it’s only you which is a Hell of a thing to pull off!!! Anyway, how,when,why did Bloodsoaked get started and can you tell me some of the history of the project so far?
Peter: Bloodsoaked the band (or just me) started in 2006, I had played in a Thrash band (Deslok) in Boston, MA back in the late 80′s and wanted to start another band. The name Bloodsoaked actually comes from a web site I ran for about 10 years (1995 to 2005) called Bloodsoaked Promotions, it was first called The Intense Sound of Death Metal but I expanded to cover all forms of extreme music. The Bloodsoaked Promotions web site was a precursor to sites such as Blabbermouth, Metal Sucks, Metal Injection and so on. I had a huge following and worked with every label under the sun promoting their new releases but the majority of promoting was for the small underground bands. It was a huge passion of my (the web site), I lived and breathed it. To this day I receive emails from people asking if I am the same person that ran the site and people ask at shows as well. Back to the band… As I said I started the band in 2006, tried out a few people but nothing was working out so I decided to write a album worth of music, record and released it myself, it was 100% DIY. I had 100 copies pressed and sent them to labels, zines, collage radio and sold a few via MySpace. I was slowly building a following (online) and a few small labels were interested in releasing the album, I knew Steve from Comatose Music a bit from my days running the web site, knew what he did for his release and decided to release the album with Comatose.
J.W. : That’s really amazing!!!!! It’s always great to meet and/or correspond with guys like you that’ve been there before we even really had a “there”. So with that aside: What’s it like doing something as skillful as death metal solo? Your stuff is better than a lot out there and yet it’s only one man!!! That’s a Hell of a thing to pull off!!!!
Peter: Thank you for the compliments, I don’t know how much better it is than the trillion other Death Metal bands but I believe it’s good. I’m not a musician, I’m a guitar player, I can’t read music, don’t know theory but I do know what sounds good. I try to write good, solid songs and not just take 10 riffs and slam them together and call it a song. Nothing wrong with making a catchy song, something people will be humming long after they hear it. I keep things simple, maybe that’s because I’m not a technical guitarist but I have my own style that I’ve have for about 25 year now. I have recently added a second guitarist/vocalist (Joe Darling -he also plays in the band Malebolgia -also signed to Comatose Music). I have done everything myself for many years and now with the addition of Joe I’m hoping to write even better songs having someone to work with on a consistent basis.
J.W. : Speaking of the addition of Joe, I also know that you did a mini tour recently. How’d the tour go overall and how was it to have an extra man for the live gigs?
Peter: The three day mini tour was great, we played in Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. All the shows were good, got to meet some new bands, make a few new fans and that’s what it’s all about. Joe had played 3 shows with me before this mini tour, a small warm-up show and then we went to Portugal and played the SWR Festival and then we played a killer local show here in Raleigh. Playing with someone else is great and it add a lot more to the live show, Joe is also doing about 40%-50% of the vocals now as well so it adds a whole new dimension. It now has that Dying Fetus, Misery Index or Nile thing going on with us trading vocals back and forth.
J.W. : I’d love to catch you live in the flesh!!! That sounds great!!! I’ve only seen a few videos of your live sets (pre-Joe) and they are seriously intense and really showcase your ability, could you walk me through how you pulled off a show as a single man shredding like you do?
Peter: With it being only me on stage the last 6 years I had to try to be bigger than life as I am competing with full bands for the audience’s attention. I give 100% and try to make the audience remember the performance and not even miss the other members. Now that I have added Joe the live show is even better with both of us playing guitar the sound is fuller and Joe is taking over 50% of the vocal duties the show is crushing. With the dual vocals going and the energy we give the never question it, they go along for the ride. The technical side of things, its Joe and I both playing guitar and performing vocals with the drum tracks played via iPod through the PA system, nothing but the drums are on the play back.
J.W.: Damn!!!!! That’s a lot of work, but again, from the reviews and video footage, you really seem to put on a massive live show!!!! In regards to your studio work now, how does one man go about creating a classic ripping Bloodsoaked track?
Peter: When I’m jamming and write a riff that I like I usually will record it so not to forget the riff. I usually start with a chorus or a intro riff, something that jumps out at me like “Fuck yeah, I love this riff” and then I try to build around that riff. I take forever to write a song, as simple as they are you would think they are put together in 15 minutes but for me it takes forever. In the end its paid off with three great Bloodsoaked albums.. At this time Joe and I are working on a new song, our first together and I think I have been messing with this song for about a month now, just for this one damn song, again it’s a simple song but I am loving it and it might be one of the best I have written so far, in the top 3-5 I would say.
J.W. : Most times simple is best, especially in terms of classic and solid riffs, and song structure. When you look at the entire history of hard rock and metal, much of them relied on simple riffs and construction that just ripped and Bloodsoaked is definitely solid and memorable even without hooks so your method works well to my taste and judging from your continued success I’m not alone in that regard.
So now that you have that second man, how do you feel about the process now and aside from that song is there any idea of when the fourth Bloodsoaked might come into completion?
Peter: The writing process for the most part will remain the same but not Joe will be contributing as well. Obviously I know what I want Bloodsoaked to sound like and how I like songs to flow but having Joe add his ideas and open my mind to new ones will only help. The same thing as when I wrote most of the last album (The Death of Hope) with Brent Williams (Drummer for Atrocious Abnormality). We would through idea off each other and in the end the album is much better than only having my ideas. As far as a 4th album I’m not sure, I’m under no time limits to write another album. I am looking at possibly releasing a DVD as I have so much behind the scene footage from tours, festivals, studio and other crap. Maybe a DVD that includes a couple of new songs.
J.W.: I’ll keep an eye and ear out for new Bloodsoaked material but in the meantime, it’s been great to give you the chance to do an interview, it’s obvious when someone puts their blood and spirit into something versus going through the motions by creating something flat that only lasts a few moments versus a lifetime. With that final gesture of gratitude is there anything that you’d like to add in closing?
Peter: Thank you for the great interview and support, I appreciate it very much. Thanks to all the fans that have been supporting Bloodsoaked without you this would mean nothing.