Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Ryan Clark of Seattle-based Christian metallers DEMON HUNTER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
SkullsNBones.com: You’ve already released the tracks “Someone To Hate” and “My Destiny” to the world and the songs are absolutely incredible. Do these songs best represent what we can expect from [“True Defiance”]?
Ryan: I think these songs are a very solid representation of the new record. They display an element of the classic DEMON HUNTER blueprint, but also show how far we’ve evolved in recent years. They’re like DEMON HUNTER on steroids. With that said, the record is just as varied as any DEMON HUNTER record… there are relentlessly heavy songs with little to no vocal melody, there are songs with a good mix of heaviness and melody, and slower songs that really showcase the diversity of the band. It’s always been a priority for us to explore a wide range of styles on each record, as long as the album flows well as a whole. I think it’s important for records to have peaks and valleys.
SkullsNBones.com: One thing that DEMON HUNTER is known for is your sick album artwork and the “True Defiance” cover is just awesome! Some bands seem to care less and less about the artwork, so why is it still important to you?
Ryan: Well, I’m as much a visual artist as I am a musician. I’ve been a professional graphic designer for over 11 years, and I’ve been heavily involved in some form of visual arts as far back as I can remember. From day one, the aesthetic element of the band has been an absolute priority- it’s a priority in anything I do, but the band is a great platform for it. I think image is an important counterpart to any piece of music, whether that’s through a music video, album package, photo shoot, stage performance, etc. It helps to expand the story. I will never understand musicians that care about the music alone and neglect every other opportunity to be artistic.
SkullsNBones.com: The deluxe edition of “True Defiance” includes several bonuses for the fans. I’m especially excited to hear the live acoustic songs! Do you have any plans of doing an acoustic tour in the future or throwing some acoustic songs in upcoming tours to change it up a bit?
Ryan: We’ve kicked around the idea of doing a full acoustic tour, and at this point we have enough mellow songs to fill out a nice set, but there are no plans to do so yet. We have done a number of acoustic performances in the past, usually at places like record stores. They’re actually really fun because the atmosphere is so much different. It’s very candid and intimate. We’re hoping to line up a couple acoustic performances for the new record, just after it’s released.
SkullsNBones.com: You recently stated that the new record will “turn the heads of those who have ignored us for the past decade.” I’ve always felt that DEMON HUNTER was a well known and relevant metal band, so who’s been ignoring you guys? Do you still feel you have something to prove after all these years?
Ryan: I think most bands feel the need to prove themselves. Everyone wants to make a record that will appeal to a certain type of person… and depending on the band, that could be a very specific, tight-knit group of like-minded individuals, and for others, the desired demographic is anyone and everyone. We fall somewhere in the middle. I definitely don’t expect everyone to understand and appreciate what DEMON HUNTER does… but I think there are a lot of people that would really love the band if they gave it an honest chance. I guess what I’m talking about specifically is metal fans that have pre-conceived ideas about bands you might consider “Christian.” But I also think most of these people will make an exception if the band is extraordinary. Think of how Johnny Cash has completely transcended the stigma of “Christian artist.” Now maybe shrink that down into the metal world, specifically. I think it’s a healthy challenge to think this way as an artist. It’s the drive that makes you want to do something amazing.
Read the entire interview from SkullsNBones.com.
“My Destiny” lyric video: