Spearhead

author EW date 13/05/08

Having recently reviewed the excellent new album \"Decrowning the Irenarch\" from Death Metallers Spearhead I took the opportunity to email the band with some questions, in which I enquired about their inspirations both lyrically and musically among much else. I soon heard back and this is what they had to say. Safe to say their opinions are pretty extreme on certain issues, some of which may not match everyone’s own, but they provide a solid base for the extremity of their music…

RF.net: Hi there, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself, the other band-members and what Spearhead is all about and stands for to the RF readers.
Barghest: Hello, Barghest (bass and oration) speaking. The rest of Spearhead comprises of Nephilim (lead guitars), Invictus (rhythm guitars), and Vortigern (drums). Spearhead, as an ideological force, stands for the return and reverence of the warrior tradition, encompassing all the hierarchies, ideals and beliefs that go along with it; the martial element being most lacking in modern civilisation.

RF.net: Through having recently developed an interest in the human sacrifices and glory of the Second World War, I find the lyrical concept of Spearhead to be very interesting, and importantly somewhat different to most other Extreme Metal bands of today. What inspired this interest that Spearhead has taken on so attentively in their fledgling career?
Barghest: The First and Second World Wars were verbalised more in the first album \"Deathless Steel Command\" than in our second opus \"Decrowning the Irenarch\" it has to be said. Though there is one track on \"Decrowning\" that explicitly refers to the sinking of the Bismarck, one of the greatest naval victories of the modern era. What I find most interesting about this period is the unity and concrescence of the various countries involved in these conflicts regardless of ideologies; a fact that reinforces the declaration, \"war brings unity\".

RF.net: How does the bands interest in the sociological and metaphysical side of war, as opposed to the more \'standard\' Metal view of go out and kill every fucker possible, affect your own personal outlook on life in the 21st Century? Is there anything that the world leaders of today could learn from your research of the past?
Barghest: It is a very personal belief of mine that war is a force for a civilisation\'s (principally Western civilisation\'s) ultimate well-being and that there is a deeply metaphysical, transcendental side to war, or there at least was. There are two answers to your last question really; One: modern leaders could learn a great deal from looking at past civilisations and leaders of course. Two: whether or not such lessons could be put into practice is a different thing altogether. We are living in an age in which there is a reciprocal stupidity between leaders and societies; a ‘radical’ leader would not last long in power.

RF.net: Moving away from politics and war to the relative safety of Metaldom, where do the musical influences of Spearhead lie? Some bands are clearly evident in the make-up of \"Decrowning the Irenarch\" yet I wouldn’t say any are plagiarised…
Barghest: There are a number of influences from the old school of classic Death Metal; like old Morbid Angel, Asphyx etc. I think that’s where most of the influences comes from. Yet most people say we sound similar to bands like Carcass and Angelcorpse in parts. There’s not really any one band we sound like.

RF.net: Does the Metal world of today influence you at all? I don\'t believe real Metal is dead or close to as many will say, however finding bands worthy of attention can be required some specialist archaeology skills…
Barghest: Yes, I agree. Metal isn\'t dead, in my opinion, yet it is very disheartening at times to see the amount of mediocre rubbish that clogs the modern metal scene. The mediocre stuff easily outweighs any decent interesting metal. It’s a shame, but we are living in a world of quantity, not quality.

RF.net: The sound on \"Decrowning the Irenarch\" compared to previous album \"Deathless Steel Command\" is noticeably fuller and closer to that of old-school Death Metal than the blackened feel of the aforementioned debut. I\'m curious whether this was a conscious decision on the bands\' part to move musical territories, and if the sound change can be solely attributed to recording at the Hertz Studio (Decapitated, Vader) in Poland? What was the reason for recording in Poland?
Barghest: The progression in style was definitely a conscious evolution that we were aware of. The newer material would have sounded different no matter where it was recorded. We used Hertz simply because it offered the quality of sound and production we were looking for, whilst being economically viable.

RF.net: Another commendable aspect to the new record is the fantastically detailed album cover, which I can imagine would look wonderful on the sleeve of an LP vinyl. Was this specially commissioned for the album and do you know if there any plans for its vinyl release in the future?
Barghest: Yes, the artist Manuel Tinnemans was commissioned to do the front cover for this release. There are hopes to release a vinyl version at some point. Something we’re currently looking into.

RF.net: What are the details surrounding its\' design? How important was it for the band to have a cover representative of the package\'s musical and lyrical contents?
Barghest: We had a couple of initial sketches of ideas for the front cover, centered around a seal for the Rhine Confederation (Napoleonic era). Manuel put this design together with a number of other images we\'d sent him based on other historical designs and motifs, significant to the album\'s ideological content. The aesthetic aspect of any release is very important to us of course.

RF.net: Touring so far has been sparse since the release of the album. Do you ever see Spearhead as a \'touring band\', constantly out on the road in support- and headlining-slots, and what do you have lined up in the near future tour-wise? Do festival slots interest the band?
Barghest: Organising a tour is a pretty lengthy process, and it was only something we started properly thinking after recording. There is a tour in the works across Europe with Impiety and Dawn of Azazel this coming September. Details can be found on our website and Myspace. Of course festival slots interest us; just unfortunate that we left it too late to get on any this year.

RF.net: Has Spearhead any ambitions at this stage for where it would like to be in 5, 10 years time, in regards to its\' sales, number of albums, influence on others…?
Barghest: We have ambitions to raise our status of course. Though, I’m not going to give any specifics. I don\'t want to speak too soon.

RF.net: Finally, thanks again for answering our questions. Do you have any parting message for Rockfreaks\' readers and fans?
Barghest: Thanks for the interview and for giving us the opportunity to spread the name. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

www.spearhead.ws - Myspace

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