Battlecross thrives on the pure energy from the latter

Battlecross formed four years ago out of the murder capital of Detriot which is also home of the automotive industry and the hapless Detriot Lions. Without a prospect of a real and the ecomonic situation getting worse and worse. Hiran and his partner in crime decided to form Battlecross. Battlecross combine modern thrash with classical old school metal. With their debut "In Pursuit Of Honor" which will be released aug.2nd on Metal Blade Records.

Hellish greetings from Texas so how's things in Detroit these days?
Devilish salutations to you from Detroit! It is HOT HOT HOT! From the weather, of course. Not from recent arsons or riots or such. At least, none that we know of.. The heat doesn’t stop the heavy metal from happening, though!

Congratulations on getting signed to Metal Blade how many albums the band signed for?
Thanks!! Metal Blade signed us for six, the first one hitting here in the States on August 2nd.

August 2nd will be the release date of your first album "In Pursuit Of Honor", how anxious are you now that you know that you’re coming out soon?
We’re INCREDIBLY anxious, and beyond excited! It’s almost surreal.. Our first album on a renowned label such as Metal Blade. This feeling will probably wear off around album #3, but to be honest – we hope the feeling never goes away!

Being from the same town Black Dahlia Murder from you guys have the opportunity to play any shows together?
Try as we might, we haven’t shared the stage with TBDM.. yet! They’re quite a few rungs above us on the ladder of heavy metal infamy, but we’re gonna keep pushing up that ladder as hard as we can. Hopefully we catch up to ‘em quick!

How well you know the guys from Black Dahlia and how supportive are they towards other bands?
Wonderful guys, they are! We’ve had the most contact with Shannon Lucas, and he’s as cool as a guy can get. They love hearing new music as much as they love making it. Any fan of TBDM on Twitter and Facebook will see them constantly posting music by bands that you or anyone else may not have heard before. At least they were before their slew of tours. Utilizing their ever-growing fan base to broaden horizons – you can’t ask for any more than that! I mean, you can.. but then you’re just pushing your luck.

Can you tell us about your vocalist Kyle, how he got the nickname Gumby?
Kyle is a tall, lanky, bendy-looking fellow – much like the clay-mation classic Gumby! Apparently, he was given the name by his basketball team mates in high school. And like many nicknames, it just stuck!

How would describe the Battlecross sound ?
Blue Collar Thrash!  Think Melodic Death Metal stylings meshed with the influence and rawness from the good ol’ days of thrash. We love the technicality of the former, but thrive on the pure energy from the latter. The reasoning behind the “Blue Collar” being that we bust ass and work hard on our music and our stage efforts, but we also respect the paths our metal fore-fathers have paved for us, to be able to do what we love most: METAL!

The band been together for 4 years, are you taken by surprise of progress the made within that time frame?
Yes and no. We knew we had the drive to get ourselves noticed by dominate labels, and it was only a matter of time. Our fans here knew that too, and has shown us undying support. What we didn’t expect was how quickly everything moves after the signing. It’s exhilarating, to say the least!

Battlecross opened for Gwar, Devil Driver, Vital Remains and The Faceles. Tell me what you learned from these experiences?
We learned that humility and a good helping of humble pie is your best asset in a metal band. DD, Vital Remains, and the Faceless were all stand-up guys, and weren’t wrought with ego like you’d expect from more popular styles of music. GWAR was our biggest crowd to date. To them, we’re thankful for that!

How long you guys been thrash fans which thrash bands influenced you when you started Battlecross?
TONY: As far as thrash goes, we’ve been fans since our young teenage years but our earliest influences started with the big guns; Metallica, GWAR, Slayer, Pantera, and Sepultura are at the top of the list but there are so many others. Well, actually, I’d like to add Testament, Meshuggah, and Nevermore. And just for the record we are fans of all forms of metal, not just thrash.
HIRAN: To be honest, I was sort of a late bloomer. Around 18 or 19 is when thrash really started to influence me. Bands like Slayer, Metallica, Testament were main influences but they also opened doors to more extreme music for me (like Death and Grind) which also has an influence on my playing.

I see you guys got some shows lined up is there show you got lined up in the Dallas area?
None yet! That is going to change in the near future, though. Our Manager is having conversations with some really good booking agents and other artist managers about some upcoming tours that are taking shape, so that “yet” may happen a lot sooner than any of us think!

Hiran and Tony name some of the guitar players that influenced you the most and why?
HIRAN: I really don’t like to single out guitar players as an influence because I find myself influenced more by a band as a whole rather than a particular player. Bands like Pantera, Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, and Judas Priest are some my old-school influences, but I’m also influenced by bands like Meshuggah, Death, Cephalic Carnage,  Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, etc. I love bands that have a unique writing style but also have songs that are memorable and timeless. But I truly want to acknowledge the Michigan Metal scene as being a strong influence on not only my playing, but my dedication and passion for music. Bands like Summer Dying, Enkephalin, Gutrot, and Destructive Mindset were bands that motivated me to stay dedicated and opened my eyes to different types of music I hadn’t heard before.
TONY: I’d have to say James Hetfield, Tony Iommi, and Glen Tipton. When their music came into my life, they opened up a whole new world of possibilities and ultimately inspired me to pick up the guitar and play (and listen!). Such killer riffs, amazing compositions, lead sections, and harmonies… they opened my eyes and gave me life.

I notice that you guys have some of the Overkill and Exodus type riffing in your guitar playing?
Thanks man! What we love most about thrash is how prominent and integral the guitars are to the music. Especially the “busy” riffs!  A good riff can lead to a great song!

How supportive Metal Blade been in promoting the band seem like they always been loyal to their artist?
Metal Blade has been incredibly supportive! They have so many outlets to tap than we could ever imagine having on our own, any they use them to the fullest! The whole crew there is great. Supportive is an understatement when Metal Blade is concerned, especially when you consider the depth of their roster. We’re thankful for every lead they give us, big or small!

You think that the success Black Dahlia Murder had with Metal Blade was a factor in your decision to go with Metal Blade?
Absolutely, but there’s also our personal desires in the decision as well. Many of our favorite bands have had the opportunity to work with Metal Blade. As a label, they’ve proven themselves time after time as being hard-working with their bands, so long as those bands work hard themselves. Having our Mitten brothers seeing success with Metal Blade just made the deal that much sweeter!

You think the Detroit lions are going to have a winning season this year?
HA! You would ask that.. Winning Season? YES. Play Offs? Mmmmmmmmaybe. Super Bowl? Fat chance! Well, it WILL be 2012. If the world is supposed to end as predicted, leave it to the good ol’ Honolulu Blue and Silver to take the last championship EVER. Seriously though, no.. No Superbowl for the Lions, sadly. Doesn’t mean we won’t support our crappy team ‘til the end! GO LIONS!

Thanks you for the interview I wish your band the best.
Pleasure’s been all ours! Thank you!
Interviewer: Paul Lewis
Aug 2, 2011

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