HOODED MENACE interview Dark Recollections 2011

1. Dark Recollections zine: For those not familiar with the doomed entity known as Hooded Menace, introduce the band…(who does what, plays what instruments, etc)
< Hooded Menace is Oula (vocals), Antti (bass), Jori (drums) and me (Lasse) on guitar. We hail from Finland and we play death/doom or horror death/doom as some might say. Call it what you will… it´s pretty heavy and it oozes horror!

2. Dark Recollections zine: give us a brief band bio.
Hooded Menace: The band was formed in 2007 with an intent to play crushingly heavy mixture of death and doom metal heavily influenced by 80´s Candlemass, early Cathedral, Autopsy, Asphyx, old Paradise Lots and such. Lyrically the band is very much inspired by 70´s Euro horror movies, particulary the Spanish The Blind Dead series. We have released one demo, two full albums and a couple of 7 inches and played shows with such acts as Angel Witch, Necros Christos, Dead Congregation, Ghost, Revelation, Vulcano and so forth. Our latest album “Never Cross the Dead” was released on CD by Profound Lore and on 2LP by Doomentia.

3. Dark Recollections zine: who came up with the name Hooded Menace?
Hooded Menace: The head honcho of Razorback Records came up with it. He was very much involved with the band during its first steps. Not musically but for other things. Razorback also released our debut album “Fulfill the Curse” on CD. The band´s name refers to the Blind Dead films. Of course this Blind Dead and other Euro horror movie stuff is nothing new in this context, but I think it works expectionally well with Hooded Menace´s music. Pack it up with decent songmaterial and it can make a very impressive entirety. Anyway, I´d say Hooded Menace has become what it is today because of the music not because we have these themes that so many other bands have too, even tho I definitely see it all as a whole, as a well working concept. I know a lot of people who don´t even know those films but love our music… and I want to put aside that ridiculous elitist attitude that reigns among some of the horror fans (as well as among metalheads) but yeah, for a Hooded Menace fan checking these movies is recommendable of course because this way you might get even more out of the band.

4. Dark Recollections zine: what was the response like to your debut demo when it was released?(date?_) Hooded Menace: I don´t remember the exact date but it was released somewhere in 2007. People liked the demo a lot. I didn´t know what to expect really but I knew we had created something strong, so it was great to see people appreciating it.

5. Dark Recollections zine: talk about your latest Cd "never cross the dead"
Hooded Menace: It´s more diverse than the debut album. The extremities are stretched a bit. The debut was heavy and dark but the new album has even heavier and darker moments, the debut had some melodies but on the follow up there are more of them… Lead guitar work is a bit more on the map than before. Anyway, if you liked “Fulfill the Curse” you will probably like “Never Cross the Dead” as well. The steps of development aren´t giant steps after all. I´m totally happy how the album turned out and also the feedback has been really good.

6. Dark Recollections zine: what is the song “from their coffined slumber”about, what inspired its lyrics? Hooded Menace: The lyrics are written by Lucio Holocausto who´s like a walking horror dictionary! A film named The Vampyres inspired him to write these lyrics. The text is graceful and savage just like the movie itself. By the way it´s my fave track from the album as it combines pretty nicely a lot of different musical influences and ideas.

7. Dark Recollections zine: who did the artwork for “never cross the dead” Cd?
Hooded Menace: Putrid drew it and Adam Geyer colored it. Eric “Rot” Engelmann did the additional art. Everything turned out really great! I´d certainly like to work with Putrid-Geyer collaboration again.

8. Dark Recollections zine: back when you started Hooded Menace, did you ever think it would get as far as it has today?
Hooded Menace: No. The response have been taken me by surprise. I guess we have become relatively well known in the underground scene in quite a short time but I don´t know if that´s something people should make too much fuss about. Of course I was really excited about this music we were creating and if I had any secondary thoughts like “who will like us and who won´t “ at all I guess I would have thought this might appealed to a handful of freaks only. Seems like the “doom boom” has flourished to its full bloom since then and now we have a new “occult doom” band every other week… it´s getting a bit bore as most of the bands seem very pretentious and silly attempts but luckily there are some decent newer bands that we feel we have some kind of bond to like Druid Lord for example. They are great! But yeah, getting this far with Hooded Menace has already outreached all my wildest expections if I had any in the first place. As long as we have something decent to offer and have fun doing it we will stick around. Maybe people will get bored maybe not. That´s not something we worry about but rather keep the focus on creating good and honest music. We have lots of plans for the future so we aren´t going anywhere anytime soon.

9. Dark Recollections zine: Hooded Menace has played a lot of festivals and other shows… how does the crowd react to your music played live?
Hooded Menace: So far we have played only three shows. They all have been festivals: Black Mass Ritual (Helsinki, Finland), Live Evil (London, UK) and Dutch Doom Days (Rotterdam, Holland). The crowd has been great. Maybe London was the most enthusiastic but I´d say Helsinki show was our best performance. Maybe it was the extra pressure of the debut show that made us deliver the best of us. Well, of course that´s what we try to do in every show. I´m aware that we don´t sound live as layered and heavy as on the records because of the lack of a second guitar. The live is rawer and more stripped down performance. Some like it a lot, some are not so crazy for it. I can relate to both opinions really.

10. Dark Recollections zine: talk about shows you will be doing in usa, maryland deathfest would be awesome… did you ever think you will be on the same bill with bands like Coroner and Cathedral?
Hooded Menace: Yeah, we will play Maryland Deathfest which will be extremely exciting. The line up is huge and yes, playing the same festival with Cathedral and Coroner feels a bit unreal as I´ve been a fan of the both for such a long time. Really looking forward to make a good show and to see as many killer bands as I can. I will meet face to face some friends I´ve been in contact with a few years by e-mail so that´ll be cool and special too. After MDF we will play additional shows in Philly and NYC with Ilsa and Anhedonist. Negative Plane will join us for the NYC show and Oak will be playing with us in Philly. Should be quite crushing shows. Then we will head for Austin to play Chaos in Tejas. Cannot wait to see Autopsy there! After Chaos in Tejas we´ll fly to Las Vegas to play Doom in June with Solitude Aeturnus and others. Without a doubt the US trip will be something to remember. Before these gigs we will play Roadburn Festival in Holland. The line up there is beyond comprehension. In really positive way I mean… Candlemass, Godflesh, Voivod, Winter, Pentagram to name a few. We were stoked getting an invitation from Sunn o))) to play in the event they will be curating. Straight out of Roadburn we´ll be heading for Paris to play with Ramesses and Eibon. There will also be couple of shows in Finland in the summer but more about them later.

11. Dark Recollections zine: talk about other projekts you are involved with…
Hooded Menace: I´m best remembered from my old band Phlegethon (formed in ´88) which is more or less on hold now. I haven´t had much time for it and to be honest it´s not so much fun without the original line up. I haven´t even bothered to look out for members for the band because I know it would be extremely hard to find suitable people. So if something happens with Phlegethon someday the line up will be most likely just me teamed up with some drummer. DVD release “The Ashes Brought” (Doomentia Records) including footage from ´91 and ´92 is scheduled for 2011. So all nostalgia hungry fans of early Finnish death metal keep your eyes peeled for that! My solo project Claws have released “Funeral Barge” 7” and a full length “Absorbed in the Nethervoid”. I´d like to write more Claws material at some point. Right now I don´t have anything planned or lined up other than an appearance on Relapse´s 7” Death Metal Series which actually will be released on Cyclone Empire if at all. Vacant Coffin, a death/grind band that I formed before Hooded Menace, released “Sewer Skullpture” album and is now on hold. At the moment its return seems very unlikely but never say never… I also have a nasty and crusty death/grind project Swarming with Rogga Johansson. We released a split 7” with Zombie Ritual last year on Doomentia Records. Obviously our main bands are more important to us than any of the sideprojects, so Swarming is something we work on whenever we have time and feel like to. Recently I formed a band called Ruinebell with Dopi from Machetazo. Roughly said imagine Amebix, Axegrinder, Voivod and Godflesh mixed in a blender and you´ll get an idea about our sound. I play guitar, bass and keys and Dopi is handling the vocals and drums. We are currently recording a 7” for Doomentia Records. Looks like the title will be “Demise in Disgrace” and we are so thrilled about it! Even tho I still have these side-projects I have actually cut it down a bit because I´d rather concentrate on doing a few things really well than mess around with too many projects with average results. Quantity over quality -mentality makes me sick. Because it´s so easy and cheap to record and release stuff these days people should be even more self-critical than before. There´s too much crap out there already. I want people to know when they purchase a Hooded Menace release that it´s something we have really made an effort for. We are not milking on any current trends. Also the other guys in Hooded Menace are involved in other bands. Antti plays in a couple of local punk bands and used to be a guitarist of the true heavy metallers Cast Iron (R.I.P.), Oula and Jori are in grindcore maniacs Death Toll 80k, Jori is also a singer in Speedtrap (think of Diamond Head on 45rpm!) and plays drums in brutal, technical death metallers Scent of Flesh.

12. Dark Recollections zine: any merchandise available from the band?(list items and prices)
Hooded Menace: At the moment we have only a few “Templar” posters in stock. They are 9 euros + shipping. We recently had two different shirt designs and “Fulfill the Curse” digipak (Doomentia Records) in stock but they went fast. So unfortunately not much for sale directly from the band at the moment. For the Hooded Menace merch try Doomentia, Relapse, EveryDayHate, ElektoPlasma, Ahdistuksen Aihio… We are planning to print a bunch of new t-shirts to be available at the shows only.

13. Dark Recollections zine: any last words, comments? thanks for the interview Hooded Menace:Thanks for doing this interview with us! We really appreaciate it! Take care everyone! See you!!!


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