Interview with Maté “Balrogh” Balogh (Drums)
Interview by Rossy Maguire
You’re a fairly new band and only began in 2018. How did you guys all meet?
Hi Rossy! It’s a funny story. Jan and Mathias had plans for starting a new band for years, but they weren’t able to find a drummer. In 2017 I moved to Bremen, where the band is located, and shortly after I started to look for a new band to join. I posted a few announcements via Facebook and Mathias replied to join his new project Soul Grinder. It turned out that we have known each other for years because his band Ctulu and my other band Asenblut had played together at a few shows several times before. This is a quick roundup, but that’s how we met.
What is the meaning behind the band name?
Nothing special, Jan (guitar) had the idea and we liked it.
Have you been in bands previously?
I still play in the German Viking melodic death metal band Asenblut from my hometown Göttingen, Mathias (bass and vocals) plays guitar in his black metal band Ctulu and Jan was involved in Neversun, Galskap, Gut Absorber, and many solo projects.
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?
I started to get into drums pretty early, at the age of five. A few years later I started to play guitar as well. Since then I wanted to play in a rock band and I was in several bands as a drummer or a guitarist, even as a bassist. I joined Asenblut by the age of 19.
You’re about to release your album “Chronicles of Decay” in July this year. What is the concept behind the album?
It’s about our passion to play Death Metal: We wanted to write songs we would enjoy listening to. The lyrics are much more diverse, but most of them are pointing out the downfall of our social life and the self-destructive way of humanity. That’s why the album is titled “Chronicles of Decay”.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Fast, angry, and old school with some modern elements. We’re not trying to re-invent the whole genre. It’s a Death Metal album from Death Metal fans for Death Metal fans 😉
What is the procedure of producing a new album/EP? Do you have a set way of doing things?
Not really. Jan and I are the main songwriters. If we have a bunch of new songs, we will eventually decide to record them and put them on a new release. It depends on our family life and time management. We try to have a goal (such as putting out an album or an EP) and try to work for it to get it done. But as I said it depends on the circumstances we’re currently in, so there is no greater concept.
What has been your favourite gig to date and why? Also, do you have any plans to do a future tour after Covid-19?
I think my favourite gig was at the Burning Q Festival in July 2019 so far. And, of course, we’re planning a bunch of shows in the future. But it strongly depends on the virus, so we have to make plans very carefully.
Do you have a favourite track or tracks from “Chronicles of Decay”?
No, they’re all great! 😉
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music/lyrics?
Mostly I listen to my favourite bands and try to extract my favourite elements of their music and combine them with my ideas. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I have to restart the working process. It’s a lot of trial and error.
What is the music scene like where you are based in ‘Bremen’ or even in Germany for that matter?
In Germany the Metal scene is quite active and lively, so we’re very blessed. The scene in Bremen, in particular, has a lot of great metal fans too, but sometimes I think, that the scene is very selfish. There are a lot of so-called “Metal elitists”, but it’s just my point of view.
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
Nowadays it is very important, so yes. We’re still quite a new Band, so we can work on our image to our taste I guess.
What has it been like touring in the past?
Very easy, because we’re only three members, so the organization happens quite quickly.
Is there anyone or anywhere you would like to play and haven’t yet?
Sure, Wacken for example. Or many clubs we haven’t been to yet.
How do you think the music industry has changed over the years?
That’s a complex question. Nowadays it’s more like single-based music listening, rather than an album-based if you know what I mean. In a nutshell, you have to put out smaller amounts of content regularly rather than releasing an album every 2-3 years.
Do you think it’s important for a band to be signed to a label to be recognised in today’s society?
No, it’s not that important anymore. You have all the tools you need to bring your music to the fans at home on the laptop, PC, or whatever. It’s just way more work. And I’m talking about a lot of work 😀
What is your writing/recording procedure like? Do you have a preferred way of doing things?
I can only speak for myself, but I like to write and record my songs at home first, to make them as close as possible to the “final” CD version. It’s more work than writing songs together in the rehearsal room, but this way you have a more distinct idea of the final product.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?
Of course a lot of death metal, but I like to listen to blues-rock as well. So it’s quite diverse. Lately, I started listening to Misery Index. I know they’re not new, but somehow I never got really in touch with their music, I don’t know why, because they’re really good!
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band?
Put a lot of work into your social media stuff! This will help you a lot in the long run.
What are the pro’s/cons of being in a band?
The same pros and cons you have in your if you’re working alone by yourself or in a team, I guess…
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?
I like to play a lot of video games, League Of Legends for example 😉
What are your plans for the rest of the year once Covid-19 has settled?
We try to play as many live shows as we can and work on some new material.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
It has been a pleasure! Yes! Support the underground scene and your local bands, and go to every Metal show in your area! Cheers!