Serpent’s Curse by Ralf Hauber & Jonny Pettersson
Heads For The Dead was born from Jonny and Ralf’s shared passion for extreme music and horror films. Right from the start, the aim was to create dark, extreme music that crosses boundaries of a multitude of genres, all draped in a cloak of horror.
HMA: What can you tell us about your latest release ‘Serpent’s Curse’?
Jonny Pettersson: Thank you! It’s an extreme metal album that takes inspiration from not only death metal but also grind, crust, black and even cinematic scores. And with a dynamic range, and soundscapes that takes the album beyond your normal cookie cutter metal.
Ralf Hauber: Our debut album is entitled “Serpent’s curse” and we’ve worked on that creation over 2 years in different sessions and with a sort of file sharing songwriting since we are both located in different countries. Jonny is currently living in the UK and I’m from down south of Germany. We both are deeply rooted in the Death Metal scenery, but the general idea about Heads For The Dead is breaking with the boundaries of the genre. It’s about going into the extremes of all directions to form a unique and especially dark yet atmospheric album. It’s more about feeling than technical issues. Overall the whole concept reflects our passion for horror movies, too.
HMA: Discuss your writing process?
JP: We started off with some influences from different bands from very different genres, and throughout the process, I tried to melt the different elements together. I worked very hard to build a strong feeling of unsettling horror with the use of ambient soundscapes. For me, the high lights were hearing the final version of the song. You know, you put so much time, effort and passion into something, and to finally be able to hear it in its final form blows my mind to this day.
RH: When doing my vocal arrangements, I’ve worked hard on keeping a certain variation in my range of possibilities. The voice needs to transfer emotions in an extreme way. Working for the first time with Jonny as the main songwriter was really inspiring and helped me to progress in my possibilities as a studio vocalist, too.
Highlights? Hm, before the public announcement of Heads For The Dead only 3 or 4 people from my inner circle of friends and contacts have known about it. I’ve kept it secret till the very last moments the debut album is still a “spine chilling” experience in its complete atmosphere. We both put a lot of passion into this one and I feel that we have even more to say with the new song material coming up soon.
HMA: Inspirations that have made it to record; perhaps music, art or book worth mentioning?
JP: As mentioned before, horror films, especially ones from the 60s and 70s played a huge role for us creating the album, so when it came to the music, the feeling of those old film scores was important. James Bernard who wrote a lot of the scores for Hammer House of Horror was a big inspiration for me personally.
RH: For the lyrics, I’ve got a lot of inspiration rushing through old horror movie arts & posters. I’ve checked a lot about Hammer Horror classics and expanded some own weird ideas for the lyrics. It’s actually more about the horror feeling than about the gore & brutal stuff. Music-wise I’ve drawn a lot of inspirations from Pentagram, Saint Vitus, old Cathedral, Winter, Autopsy, Repulsion, Hooded Menace, old Immolation, Black Sabbath…many influences that work better with Heads For The Dead than with the other band I contribute, too.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2019 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.