"By most logical measures, SPITANGER probably shouldn’t even be. The idea itself, that 4 people, in their mid-lifes,
is brushing all aside, starting over from scratch, aiming to become a serious player in the world of international metal music,
is for most people a ridiculous notion and destined to fail …
– Quite honestly, we don’t give a
Music is in our veins, it fills our hearts, it’s our life and we play because we must! Not because of money, not because of fame or any other secondary bullshit."
What can you expect from a band that has these words prominently on it's homepage? Well, it made us curious. So we decided to sit down for a talk with former Metalheads Forever competition band SpitAnger. Not long after this interview they released an amazing new album, that's available as a free download on their website (link at the end of this article).
Thank you guys for taking time to talk to us. You play a variety of genres, melted into something new. I'll call it Hardcore Metal. What can you tell us about the genre select?
Well, it's basically just something that happened naturally I would say, gradually evolving as we wrote more and more songs. From the beginning, we all agreed, that we wouldn't let anything dictate what kind of genre or style we played, except that we wanted it to be metal as fuck, groovy..and most of all some really great tunes! To our ears at least. And obviously we all bring different inspiration to the table, so eventually it ended up with bits and pieces from here and there and I guess that's what you'll hear on our upcoming album. But then again, we do agree on a lot of stuff musically, and there is just some bands we all swear to, like Pantera and Metallica obviously, but also bands like Testament, Slayer, Machine Head and Slipknot.
And to be honest, it's not like we are any kind of trailblazers or trying to sell ourselves as inventors of a totally new genre or something, none of that really. Honestly we just wanna play music we enjoy ourselves! But we did put a lot of emphasis on creating a specific SPITANGER sound, and finding ourselves in all our accumulated inspiration. And frankly we are quite pleased with the result...we'll see if the people generally agrees, but the feedback we have gotten so far, has only confirmed this, as you yourself also hints at.
I guess we would prefer the term Groove-metal or Thrash-metal ourselves, but it's definitely some hard core metal tracks, that has been printed on that record, ha ha!
Let's talk about the band members. What can you tell us about them?
Spitanger in parts evolved from another band, Sammy and I used to play in back in the late 90's – a band called Fury. The old drummer from Fury actually plays in Pretty Maids today, and the second vocalist we had in Fury ended up doing a couple of albums with Artillery, after they re-united. But anyway, I guess Sammy and I finally decided to get our shit together as well, after Fury ended in 2005, and after a year or so of looking around for the right drummer, I ran into Niels, actually at a Pretty Maids show in Copenhagen.
We knew we wanted a really heavy kick-ass hard hitting power drummer, and I knew he was exactly all that. We had known each other quite a few years at that point, but it turned out he now was actually looking for a new gig. Niels was playing in a band called Pilgrimz at the time, also a Danish metal band, but more in the punk-hardcore genre, still some groovy tunes though, and they were working on their second album, enjoying quite a bit of success too, they even toured with Gojira for while. But I guess things had become a little stressed, when it came to the more social part of the band, and musically they wanted to go in different directions.
Eventually they split up, 3 or 4 months after Niels hooked up with us, and we started to focus on taking our ideas to the next level. Again it took a while before we found a singer we believed had potential to handle the different vocal styles we were looking for, first we got a Swedish guy from Gothenburg, David Segerå, but after a while it just proved too unrealistic to work and rehearse at the level we wanted, with one guy in Sweden, and the rest of the band in Copenhagen. So after we released the Mini-EP in 2014, and did a few gigs, we had to let David go, and look for another vocalist. The only problem was, at the time we had a small DK tour coming up, the dates where already booked, so we had to act fast.
On the other hand, we didn't want to compromise with the person who would be fronting our band and who where a vital part of our connection to the audience. Luckily Sammy remembered a guy he used to play with way back, way before Fury, Mario Giovagnoli, who he considered quite talented at the time – only problem was, he had basically quit any idea of doing something serious out of his music career. Mario had the whole family thing going at that point and had just become a dad for the second time, so we kind of expected him to pass on the opportunity. And in fact he did start out with saying no straight up, but I had warned Sammy that he'd probably do that, and said that he should encourage Mario to at least give it a listen before deciding. And wouldn't you know, then 20 minutes later he phoned back, and said that he changed his mind and that he would really, really like to join the band, ha ha!
You've released "EP" in 2014, and then "SPITANGER" in 2015. What will we find inside the album?
As I mentioned earlier, you will find that we changed vocalist from the Ep to the Album. Mario's singing is somewhat more brutal and versatile on the Album, than what you will hear on the previous material. I personally really dig this, as I enjoy it including the more Thrash/Death-metal approach as well. We still have a lot of clean parts though, in fact there is not one, but two whole ballads on this album, and generally I feel there is a great diversity overall in the songs. From up-tempo blasting parts, to really dirty heavy grooves, to even some rock moments a la Alice In Chains or Stonesour – but mostly is centred around Thrash-Metal. And Mario does a kick-ass job with his vocals on it, if you ask me, going from brutal growl to some really mellow harmonies, really covering the variation of the songs!
Let's discuss about your release party. You even managed to make your own beer! What can you tell us about the release party of your album?
We're trying to do it a bit old school I guess. Today it's not uncommon for an upcoming band to have a release as part of a show, I suppose as a way to get more people to the show, and have them pay to get in. We want it to be about the album coming out, not about a live show, so we decided to not only let people in for free, but also give away the physical CD to who ever showed up. About the beer thing...well, you often see people give away some free beer for the first hour at a release party, so we thought; how can we go one step further? Well, the answer was of course to brew our own Spitanger Beer, and give that away for free, ha ha! BTW, I've already tasted a sample, and it's great – but to be honest we did also have some professional assistance, from a very talented master brewer we know – beer is just to important to risk fucking up!
What are your plans for the future? Where are you planning to head?
Tour, tour & tour. And when we're done touring...we hope to tour some more, ha ha! The point is that, more than anything else, we love playing live shows in Spitanger. And despite the fact, that I truly believe we have done an amazing first album, all of us in the band will always agree that Spitanger is first and foremost a live band, before anything else!
What is your most iconic moment as a band?
It's still early days for Spitanger, I believe and hope the adventure has just begun. Also the way we musicians are wired, we're always chasing that next iconic moment, to top the last one, ha ha. We'll see how people will react to this album, we won't be going anywhere unless some of the metal-heads out there in the cracks and corners picks us up. Things has already begun to move though, ever so steadily, and the album isn't even out yet. But we've already had amazing response from fans and first movers out there, especially on our vids, and for that we are truly grateful! As I said, without peoples support, we won't be going anywhere.
Please recommend some music for the readers.
In Spitanger we all bring a lot of different inspiration to the table, but as I mentioned earlier, there are some bands we all swear to. But besides the ones already mentioned, I would encourage everybody, who hasn't already, to check out “lesser” known Swedish bands like Soilwork, The Haunted and Entombed – all amazing! Personally I have a big thing for Job For A Cowboy at the moment, Old school Death-metal, but with a modern approach to my ear. We also have some pretty slamming Danish metal bands, some might have heard of them already, but for one Raunchy is definitely worth checking out if you're also are into In Flames like me. And then of course the mighty death&rollers Illdisposed and the hardcore thrashers from Hatesphere. All Danish bands we have worked and played with over the years and consider our friends. Also we are playing a show next month with another cool Danish thrash band named The Arcane Order – just released their first album in 7 years, really talented guys too!
Any last words for the fans?
You guys all stay metal out there, 'cause as you all hopefully always will remember, nothing is more satisfying than going ape shit to the new Slayer album, banging your head to Meshuggah or discovering a new favourite metal band, you've never even heard about before, but just kicks ass! We in Spitanger see it as our duty to serve that experience to all of you awesome metal-heads, that never stops supporting the bands and their music - and we hope you will give us the opportunity to prove that to you all! Rock on!
Thank you very much for this interview!
Metal On Loud!