Sunday, February 3, 2019

catching up with Hate Storm Annihilation

DoC friends Hate Storm Annihilation had an eventful 2018. Not only did they get to tour with Morbid Angel and Origin, but they released their sophomore album Following The Path To Eternal Fire. It's been a few years since I interviewed them, so I fired off an e-mail to guitarist/vocalist Craig Schmuhl to get the lowdown on everything they've been up to since we last spoke.

Dreams of Consciousness: Hey Craig, it's been over three years since I interviewed you. What have you been up to since then?

Hey Adrian! Much has happened in that 3 years. Fist and foremost, we’ve added a bass player! We’ve had Spencer Metela on “Big Guitar” the last 2 1/2 years now, and it’s been a genuinely enjoyable experience having a third guy in the band. Gives us just an over-all bigger sound live, and when I go to take a solo or melody or whatever, it doesn’t feel like all the bottom end falls out.

We were fortunate enough to play with Morbid Angel, Origin, Misery Index, and Dreaming Dead on the “Kingdoms Disdained” 2018 tour. Just a wonderful time being able to play in front of (technically) thousands of people in tons and tons of amazing venues.

In the summer of 2018 we also did a tour run with Boston-based theatrical metal band Seven Spires. That was a really fun experience. Great band.

Aside from that, we recently put out a new record through Knife Fight Media called Following The Path To Eternal Fire.

DoC: Since we last spoke, HSA released its second album, Following The Path To Eternal Fire. What can you tell me about the album's creation and recording? What were your intentions with this release? 

Yes! So FTPTEF was definitely a fun/different process for sure. A lot has happened to both myself and Konstantin in regards to over-all musical practice. I’ve been studying music the last 4 1/2 years so when I started pre-production on the new record I just had a new/better perspective on composition in general.

The process was significantly more focused on really writing songs that had flow and felt natural as opposed to just kind of throwing together a bunch of riffs like I pretty much did on the first record hahaha. I didn’t really have much of an over-all intention for the record other than the fact that I wanted to write something that we could still be proud of 15 years from now.

DoC: How would you describe the album in 5 words?

I’ll raise you 4 words!

“If early 70’s Genesis Wrote A Death Metal Album”

DoC: The new album seems to place an emphasis on longer songs and more dynamic arrangements. What led to these changes? How would you compare the new songs to the ones on your debut?

Like I said above, I really just wanted to make music that felt natural. Like a journey or a story. Something that you could sit and listen to with the intention of just allowing yourself to be completely present during the listening experience and just listen through, front to back, like you would any movie, tv show, or whatnot. I think having the intention to make an album like that requires more dynamic contrast to allow for the listener to be actively engaged for the full listen through. And like, we LOVE blast-beats. But there NO WAY anyone could just sit and listen to 250 BPM blasts for an hour straight and not get tired of it.

We love the first album, but there’s no doubting the fact that it was just a different time in our lives and the music was very reflective of where we were at the time. We’re always trying to push ourselves in one way or another and the music in FTPTEF just felt like a natural evolution for us. No betters or worse. Just different. And chances are that’s just how it’s always going to be for us.

DoC: In addition to a new album, you also have a new bassist. Who is the new member of HSA and how did he end up joining the band?

Yeah! Spencer Metela joined the band in the summer of 2016. I actually met Spencer at music school. He’s a great guy who’s really adapted well to the over-all sound of the band. Really just one of my best friends.

DoC: What does 2019 have in store for Hate Storm Annihilation?

As of right now, we don’t have anything officially on the books for 2019. Just working on putting together music for album #3 and staying well rehearsed so that once the shit hits the fan and we’re back on the road again, we’re prepared.

HSA on Facebook

HSA on Bandcamp

Post Story Synchronization:

an interview with
Hate Storm Annihilation (2015)