EMQ’s with BLACKHEARTH
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Durango, Basque Country based Heavy Metal band Blackhearth. Huge thanks to drummer Asier Larrea and guitarist Alex Hernández for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Alex: My name is Alex and I’m the guitar player and main composer of the band. Blackhearth is a Heavy Metal project formed in Durango (Basque Country, Spain) in 2010 and both of us have remained as Blackhearth’s primary driving force through the years.
Asier: In our music we combine influences from the best classic Heavy Metal bands, acoustic guitar passages and some atmospheric landscapes.
How did you come up with your band name?
Alex: We sought long and hard for a name that suited us. I came up with it while I was having a bath. We chose this name because it is very cool and because no other band in the world is using it.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Alex: We come from Basque Country and we practically live in a very remote area comparable to Mordor, you know rain, darkness, mountains, …but sometimes we also see the sunshine, hahaha. People sometimes have to make choices where to go to, with the result that the smaller bands often play only for a handful of people, even though there’s a lot of quality here. I notice that there are still a lot of people who are dedicated to the underground. So, I’m quite optimistic. Internet made the communication much easier, so that helped as well.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Asier: Last year we released our first studio album with the label “Sliptrick Records”. For us it has been a very special and expected album since we had been working for many years to be able to carry it out. We have also made a lyric video of our song ‘Face The Enemy’.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Alex: I listen to a lot of different stuff and I go through different phases. Some major ones are Black Sabbath, Savatage, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden. But I like a varied amount of things it’s not just all Rock or Metal stuff.
Asier: There are many bands, in my case bands from the German scene like Rage, Helloween, Blind Guardian. But also, other great bands like Iced Earth, Stratovarius…
What first got you into music?
Alex: In the first place I’m making this music because I’m a metal fan and I love to be creative with music.
Asier: I´ve been listening to music since I was a child, the paternal influence has had a lot to do with it. In my case, heavy metal and power metal are the styles that have marked me mainly over the years. I have been opening my mind to progressive, death and other styles.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Alex: Obviously, Iron Maiden would definitely be the top choice for me.
Asier: Helloween is my favourite band so it would be a dream to be able to play with them.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Alex: I would love to be able to play at a big festival like ‘Wacken’ or something like that. It would be nice!
Asier: There are many great festivals in Europe, it would be an honour to be able to play in some of them Wacken, Hellfest, RockFest…
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Asier: We haven’t received any weird gifts yet. Who knows in the future hahaha!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Alex: Well, first of all I would like to ask them to support the emerging metal bands of the world more. It’s okay to like old and legendary bands, but new bands also need an opportunity because they help the metal scene grow and evolve. The bands that today are great legends, in the past, they also went through this process of being little known and having to break through the community.
Asier: We are very grateful for the support of our fans, hopefully with the release of the album more people will follow the group and help us to grow.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Alex: Ronnie James Dio, his voice was so powerful.
Asier: Freddie Mercury: A great musician I never had the chance to watch live.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Alex: I love being on stage and seeing the audiences: there’s no better feeling than that. That feeling will never go away, there’s no better feeling than when you walk out onstage and you can play to the people who like your music. And you can see them enjoying it and we enjoy it, just an amazing feeling, there’s nothing better for me. The only downside for me in this business is the other side of it, all the other things can be hard.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Asier: I would ask them to give more opportunities to unknown musicians and bands, because they are the future. It’s good to have the classic references that are still active but without forgetting the people who start full of illusion.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Alex: That’s a very tough one. Favourite of all time? “Brave New World” by Iron Maiden! I love the energy, dual guitar solos and groove.
Asier: “The Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part 2” by Helloween is one of my favourite albums.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Alex: Vinyl, for sure!
Asier: CD´s and Vinyl, in my case.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Alex: Obviously, our last gig. It was a useful and cool experience for us. We learned a lot and had a great time being playing with In Thousand Lakes.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Alex: Who knows?
Asier It’s hard to imagine my life without music, but if I wasn’t a musician, I’d be practicing different types of sports.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Asier: Mike Terrana, Thomas Lang, Dani Loble, Nicko McBrain, Hannes Van Dahl. I would do a drummers meeting.
Alex: Randy Rhoads, Jake Lee, Andy LaRocque…
What’s next for the band?
Alex: Well, that’s the million-dollar question. Music wise we would certainly like to start writing again. We’ve got loads of stuff. I don’t know, I want some quiet to think about what we want to do.
Asier: There are many ideas to continue composing new songs, but we are doing things without pressure.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Asier: Through Facebook and Bandcamp everyone will be able to follow the news of the band or listen to our songs. You can also follow us on our youtube channel for watching all the videos the band has available. You can also acquire our album in both digital and physical edition.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Asier: They are a cake. I work in a chocolate factory and some years ago we produced a similar product. A cake with orange jam and dark chocolate, an incredible bite.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Alex: Thanks for supporting Blackhearth. To everyone out there…keep on watching for Blackhearth, now and in the future!
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