Thursday 8 November 2012

Interview with Demonic Death Judge

Today on Sludgelord it is my pleasure to be interviewing Jaakko Heinonen vocalist from one of Finland's best Sludge/Stoner Metal exports – Demonic Death Judge.

Demonic Death Judge have been causing unwanted mayhem and destruction with their music since 2009. And they are back with their best release to date – SkyGods.

Their blend of hard-hitting Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs and sublime distorted vocals has rewarded them with critical praise and a loyal following.

Now lets get down with the mighty – DEMONIC DEATH JUDGE

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today..

Thing are going great! Although it's monday and i'm not feeling that well after spending most of last weekend down at the pub.

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Well we all played together in our other band Total Devastation and thought it would be cool to do other stuff too than just play brutal death metal. So back in 2004 or something we decided that we should get together just the four of us and jam out something slower and more groovier stuff. But then it took years to actually happen, so from about 2008 we've been doing this with more focused mind set.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. 

I think it's just simply heavy, it sounds real. It's thick, it's raw and it sounds like it's been done by fat bearded men with tattoos.

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

The guitar and bass playing Hakuli twins do most of the writing and I think it's quite easy to spot the obvious influences like the almighty Black Sabbath. And I think it's mainly the classic rock from the 70s that they tend to listen. Of course there are infl uences from some of the more modern stuff like Sleep and Iron monkey and that sort of bands

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills. 

With this sort of music I think it's not a big surprise that we do have regular jobs. You don't really make money doing this, although you get rich with good experiences and memories. I actually just came home from driving a forklift, opened a beer and started doing this.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music. 

My parents don't really understand this music, my dad's always saying we should be doing more Pink Floyd based stuff. And most of our friends are involved with the band or the music so they are really supportive.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual. 

Usually the Hakuli brothers do some sort of demo version of a song and send it out to us on mp3. Then me and the drummer Lauri try to absorb all the riffs and stuff they've made and just go to a rehearsal room and start jamming it out. We might change a thing or two, or add some stuff to it, but the twins really do most of it. 

Q8 – SkyGods is your newest album. I think it's your best work yet. Was it an easy album to write and record for.

Yea it was almost too easy, the songs came out really fast and we hadn't thought that we'd be releasing a new album so soon after the Descent, but then we just thought that why hold it back if you have good bunch of songs on your hands. So in we went to record it and it went smoothly too. No problems whatsoever, it was a good summer for us.

Q9 – You must be pleased with the reception you have been receiving from fans and critics alike. You have seem to struck a chord with us all with your excellent music.

Yea the feedback has been good and it's definitely been a joy to see people like it. Gives you confidence and motivation to do more and try harder to create the best riffs around!

Q10 – Is there a scene for Sludge/Doom/Stoner bands to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

We don't play that much in our home town because there's not many people around who'd really turn up that often. But there are lots of towns and clubs around the country where there is more like minded people. So yea we do tend to drive a round Finland to get some good gigs and we like it, nothing beats a good road trip up north in the middle of the winter.

Q11 – What has the reception been like to the Demonic Death Judge live experience.

Also very positive feedback from that too. I don't mean to brag but I think we do have a great live sound and we can make the club a very intimidating place to be in. And I think we attract all sorts of people to our shows, from your typical headbangers to the mellow stoners and they all seem to enjoy it.

Q12 – Do you have any interesting and exciting stories from tour. Have you toured with anyone famous. If so who have been your fave band to perform for/with.

We've been lucky to have a chance to play with many of our favourite bands like Ufomammut, Truckfighters, Entombed and etc. Have had a chance to drink with Wino and that sort of fanboy stuff. And there are too many stories to pick one out but it's all good times with loads of drink, partying with locals and passing out.

Q13 –I rate each of your albums as better than the last one. SkyGods is your best work to date. But before that I felt The Descent was your best album to date. Do you feel that way yourselves. Or do you all rate them the same. 

Well I think the latest album is always the best at the moment as it feels so fresh to us, but I also think that Skygods is the best one yet in musical and writing terms. I feel it works just the way we wanted it to. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't want to do even better record in the future, it still left us hungry for more.

Q14 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal.

We listen to all sorts of music, but my favourite albums from the recent are the new Graveyard and Witchcraft albums, those two are seriously great records. Other stuff i've been listening to lately are Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. You just can't beat classics, you know.

Q15 – What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

With Skygods we've had a bit of coverage in mainstream mags, but then again I don't read much of those mags and I don't think that people who listen to this stuff do either, so I definitely prefer these more underground releases like Sludgelord. I often visit sites like these to discover new bands and to see what likeminded people are saying about these new bands and records.

Q16 - What are your future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

Nothing too major being planned, except that we're releasing Skygods on vinyl if everything goes to plan, it might even hit the christmas market! Other than that we're just going to keep doing gigs and perhaps try to even get outside of Finland to do some shows.

Q17 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Doing good gigs is definitely the best thing about it, full house with people sweating their ass off. And I can't really say anything negative about it. Maybe sometimes you might feel that you'd rather stay at home for a weekend and have a bit of a rest rather than driving 400 miles to a gig, but that always goes out of the window instantly when you get in the car with the boys and start the journey to unknown.

Q18 – Does it surprise you that people buy merchandise from you guys.

I don't know if it surprises me that they buy stuff from us but it warms my heart that people want to support us and wear our shirts and listen to our music, I really do appreciate every single person who comes to our show and supports our band in anyway.

Q19 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Well, thanks for everyone whose purchased the albums or shirts and came to the shows. Hope to see you all soon, in the meantime drink beer and support you local football team! Cheers! 

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best from ourselves at Sludgelord. Am a massive fan of your music. Long may it continue. Cheers. Steve. 

Thanks for letting us do this!

There you have it folks. The brilliant Demonic Death Judge.

Check This Great Band Below:

Official Blog