By Ryan Meehan
Down Among The Dead Men is a new musical project from the minds of Dave Ingram and Rogga Johansson. Dave is well known from his time as vocalist for two of England’s mightiest metal legends, Bolt Thrower and Benediction, along with his Danish band Downlord and his current online radio shows: Metal Breakfast Radio and Lambert’s Baement. Rogga is equally legendary with multiple bands under his belt including: Paganizer, Ribspreader, Fondlecorpse, Humanity Delete and The Grotesquery, just to name but a few. Joining them is Rogga’s fellow PAganizer and Ribspreader member, Dennis Blomberg. Session drums on the album were performed by Erik R. Bevenrud and future live shows will have Matte Fiebig on drums. Down Among The Dead Men’s musical style has been described as crust-riddled punk with a definite death metal edge. The self-titled, full length debut was released on Cyclone Empire Records on November 22nd 2013, was released on Metal Blade Records back in February. Legendary death metal vocalist Dave Ingram was cool enough to be our guest in 7 questions.
RM: When did the idea of doing the project Down Among the Dead Men first come to fruition and when did the first writing sessions actually occur?
DI: Rogga got in touch with me first and asked me if I would like to work on one track from the Megascavenger album he was making. While I was working on the lyrics I began thinking about creating a full length album with him, so I asked about it. After only a few days of emailing back and forth, Down Among The Dead Men was born. The first writing sessions came soon after. In truth, Rogga and I have never met, the entire process was done via the internet (as a lot of bands are these days) but we are planning on playing live shows in the future. We all live in Scandinavia and it’s a geographical stone’s throw in distance really. We’re writing new material so there will be more releases on their way.
RM: How have you managed to go all these years without seriously blowing out your voice? Was that ever a serious concern of yours considering all of the work you were doing?
DI: It was never a concern, I took care of it during tours and at home. I used a special foul-tasting/smelling disinfectant that I gargled with. It worked perfectly. The only time I had problems were when I over-indulged in alcohol and, obviously, when I smoked cigarettes. I quit those foul things a couple of years ago and I can hear the difference already. There was one time that I got a minor scare when I found a lump in my neck but it was just a benign cyst.
RM: Let’s talk about the new record…What type of sound were the three of the three of you focused on creating with this project and how was it different from the work you’ve done with your previous bands? What’s the basis of the distinctively thrash-based track “Draconian Rage” that opens up the disc?
DI: You know, a lot of bands would go into great and lengthy detail about how they spent many hours into the night discussing what their style ought to be, how avant garde, how, the structures should connect and flow etc etc and I call that utter bollocks and bullshit. Here’s what happens: Bands form, there’s a couple of suggestions made (in our case the “Punk meets Death Metal”) and the overall sound evolves out of what each individual brings to the table. That’s it, and that’s how we did it. I had wanted a certain style, but knew from experience not to pressure for it. Rogga and Dennis knew what I was asking and interpreted it exactly as I desired. A perfect match? You bet!
Again, there was no big ‘plan’ for “Draconian Rage” – The other guys wrote the music, I loved the intense rage it had, so wanted to use that in the title. I was the one who chose the album playlist and just HAD to place that as the opening number. A punch in the face, a kick in the gut, and a dagger up the clitoris/urethra……all in the first couple of minutes.
RM: Are there going to be any tour dates ahead to promote the record? If so, will (studio session drummer) Erik Bevenrud be playing with the band on those dates?
DI: As of now, there are no live shows planned for the next few months BUT we will be getting out and playing live at future dates. We were planning on doing something this summer, but my wife was diagnosed with cancer so all plans were dropped for now. Family first. She’s doing good and responding well to treatment. The Doctors are extremely positive.
As I said earlier, we may well record and release more material before then. I mean, who wouldn’t want another slice of ass-kicking DATDM?
RM: What similar mentalities and thought processes do you share with Rogga Johansson and Dennis Blomberg when it comes to the actual recording of the tracks? How long did the record take to complete from inception to the final mastering session?
DI: It’s hard to say, since we’ve never met in real life. We’re all experienced and we all have done things in different ways in the past, which could cause problems yet since we work separately there is zero trouble. Everyone trusts each other due to our own individual experience. I remember that from the day we decided to make the album to the day we held the finished product it was 9 months, give or take a day. Proud parents.
RM: What’s the most significant difference bewteen “Metal Breakfast Radio” and “Lambert’s Basement”? When you were younger, did you ever see yourself as a guy who would end up doing radio even though the internet didn’t even exist back then?
DI: As a teen I listened to a show called “The Friday Rock Show” with the late Tommy Vance hosting. I was always fascinated with it and wanted to try it myself. With today’s technology that was easily achieved. There were in fact several radio shows I listened to as a youth, most of which I can’t remember, but the style of the shows stuck in my mind and I use similar in mine. The differences between my two online shows are many. Besides the fact that one is a Metal show and the other is for Big Band Jazz, the Metal show is more comedy orientated. It’s basically me and my best friend Donovan listening to some new music for the first time, while drinking a few beers, and giving a critique and commentary over it. We’re brutal about it, but why shouldn’t we be? There’s a fuck-ton of music coming out and if we let the bad ones slide we’re going to be inundated with shit. Hell, there’s enough rubbish out there already.
“Lambert’s Basement” is all about Big Band Jazz, something I have been into for a good many years. The show is named after my Dad – Lambert was his middle name – as he got me into this lovely genre. I like to think that old music can make one time travel, so I utilize that nostalgia in the show. I also have a co-host called Igor. He’s a zombie goldfish. I’ll just leave it there.
RM: When you look back on your time in Bolt Thrower, what is your most significant memory from that band? If you could do it all over, what (if anything) would you do differently?
DI: I certainly wouldn’t do anything in the band differently, every memory of Bolt Thrower was a good one. I will take those memories with me, with pride, all through my life. A great band, great people to work with, and some of the best music to bang your head to. Significant memories? Well, all of them…but there’s one that sticks out in my mind. In 2000 we were booked to play the With Full Force festival in Germany. A few days before we left to go my sister committed suicide. I didn’t want to cancel the show so we went on and did it. I remember standing on stage at the end of our set, in front of over 100,000 people, crying my eyes out. Not one fan berated me that day. That’s testament the unity of this genre.
RM: What’s up next for Down Among the Dead Men in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
DI: There’ll be more releases coming, that’s for certain. I’ve got a couple of new tracks on the go, though due to my wife’s illness I haven’t worked on them for a while, though things are looking positive in that respect so I’ll get back to writing shortly. We’re going to be looking for some shows and tours to get out on as well, but I have a feeling we’ll do another album for that. Plus we need to sort out the drummer situation once and for all. I know 2 people who could fill that spot easily. Just how much is a plane ticket from Scotland?
Here’s my current top 5 albums and a few links of possible interest:
Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal
Paganizer – On A Gurney To Hell
Bonesaw – The Illicit Revue
Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
Links of interest:
DOWNLORD back-catalogue, free download:
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.