Good day HEAT OF DAMAGE! How are you guys doing these days?
David: We’re rad! We have a new album out, we just had a badass album release show in our hometown… Life is good!
Nick: Great! We just finished a tour this last spring, and the release of our new album has been so exciting! We’re really looking forward to see what the future has in store for us.
Julian: Beyond stoked on the new Record!
First of all, please introduce your band and band members to our readers.
We are Heat Of Damage – a metal band from Sacramento, California.
Julian Bohland – Drums / Backing Vocals
Jared Easter – Bass / Hardcore Vocals
David Haug – Lead Vocals
Nick Lassalette – Lead Guitar
I’d like to know about the formation of the band. How did you guys meet and all. Also, is there any special story behind the band title?
David: Julian and I began playing music together in the 8th grade. We met at school, realized we were both into the same kinds of music, and started jamming out in his garage. We met Nick, our guitarist, during our freshman year of high school, and actually played our first gigs as “Heat Of Damage” as a trio without a bass player until Jared joined us with bass and screams in 2014. Our lineup has been constant since.
Nick: Julian, David and I met really early on in middle school and high school and grew a mutual bond together because of the music we all enjoyed. From the beginning we found common ground in all of our creative visions. Once we met Jared later on during our high school years, we have continued to grow together as musicians and we strive to continue to do so. At this point, we are family.
Julian: David, Nick and I have been playing music together mostly since high school. We were grateful to meet Jared who was older than us at the time and had the Hardcore/ Metal style vocal chops. He was also the only one who could drive us when we started!
I expect a long reply to this one. Can you please tell us about the concept and lyrical themes of all your previous releases?
Nick: We have always gathered a lot of influence from the world around us. Whether it is the political climate of the time, current events, historical events, sheer human emotion, we’ve always tried to provide a great amount of variety in our lyrics.
Julian: The general concept of our previous releases have always aimed to portray various themes in our music. We started this band with just a few highschool friends in a garage, we had a plentiful collection of experiences from our everyday lives to reflect on in our music. All lot of that was expressed in our first album, ‘Open Fire.’ We were really young at that time so we had a lot to draw inspiration from musically and lyrically. Fast forward a few years and you’ll see how our stand alone single ‘The Gift.’ has a more mature, philosophical theme of lyrics. This was kind of the pivotal step for us as a young band to dive deeper into what we were creating. We go beyond both of those projects in our new album, ‘Cataclysm.’
With songs like the WWI epic, ‘Siegfried’s Last Bow,’ and the more politically charged, ‘Thoughts & Prayers,’ the one and only ballad on the record, ‘Guardian Angel,’ is a deep moving song that I wrote following the passing of my Mother. The destruction of life and nature are constant lyrical themes in our new album, including the song, ‘Mind Over Matter,” which address the overall damage and pollution that we as a human race have been committing on our planets ozone layer, ecosystems and resources.
We even have a song that tells the terrifying tale of a killer bear! ‘Nightgrowler,’ is a monument to the California Grizzlie which unfortunately only lives with us on our flag after they were officially considered extinct in the State. Whichever song, our album is bound to put you through an emotional ride with awe-inspiring lyrical themes in various subject matter.
Is there any special reason for choosing your music conception?
David: It’s a combination of both how things are around us and what we choose to immerse ourselves in. Like Nick said, things such as the current political climate or current events will shape our creative directions because there is no escaping them. The same goes with emotion, so many songs are a manifestation of what goes on in our heads or the minds of those we know and love. On the other hand, for example, we are huge history nerds, so we enjoy reading and learning about historical things, which we want to then turn into something with our own artistic vision.
Julian: Because HEAVY!!!
How do you guys manage to create music at all? What challenges do you face while writing and recording an album?
Nick: The challenges of an up and coming metal band are extensive. Trying to balance our daily lives with our band can be quite difficult at times. However we always find the time to get together to fulfill our vision of the art that we are trying to create. We’ve been through so many bumps in the road as a band that I feel like we can accomplish anything at this point in our careers.
David: We all want to bring something to the table when we write, so getting together and blending things cohesively is pretty easy for us, and has gotten more and more fluid the longer we’ve been a band. An obstacle we face is that we’re at a point in our careers where we need to maintain a high and engaging level of activity to reach the next level, but we don’t have any of the bigger financial backings that come with reaching said next level. It’s nothing we can’t handle – we have the passion, energy, and drive to keep doing what we do – but that’s the reality of the industry.
Julian: We often find ourselves consuming a lot of cannabis, with the exception of David who doesn’t smoke but is always bringing his perspective of creativity to the table. Hell… there’s a ten minute toker friendly instrumental titled, “Voyage to the Highlands.” We like to write what we like to play and we like to play what we like to write. It’s a simple as four best friends creating together and enjoying it.
“Cataclysm” was released on April 2. How was the experience working on the studio? Any funny or even sad happenings during the studio work?
David: The studio experience was awesome, and also relaxed. Our producer, Hunter, brought his gear to our rehearsal studio, so we recorded in a location we’re used to playing in meaning there was no sense of pressure. Everything happened smoothly and we knocked the album out just the way we wanted to.
Nick: We had a very laid back and satisfying experience creating this album. Our producer, Hunter Driscoll, acted as the 5th member of the band to help us realize the full potential of this album’s sound.
We took our time in making sure that we were satisfied with how this record sounds.
You guys are still underground/underrated, although your music has been appreciated by the critics worldwide. What, according to you, is the reason behind it?
Nick: I think it is a simple case of the music speaking for itself. All we strive to do is to create art through rock and metal music. We take considerable time and effort in crafting every second of sound in our discography. We are always humbled to see other people share the same emotions that we feel when we hear our own music.
David: First things first, we appreciate all praise and all criticism. It helps us grow as musicians and encourages us to keep making better and better music. I attribute our worldwide reach to two things:
first, the internet has made us easily accessible to just about anyone, which is a major part of being a band in today’s day and age. Second, we have shared our music with some awesome people who share it with others simply because they like it. It makes my day every day when people are moved enough by our music to make others want to hear it too.
Can you throw some light on your past as musicians?
David: I was given my first guitar by my grandparents for Christmas shortly before I turned 12 years old.
I’d always dreamed of playing music professionally but I didn’t think I could do it until my guys came along and Heat Of Damage became a real thing. Vocally, I trained with my community college’s choir a few years after I started singing for HOD because I wanted to elevate my abilities, techniques, etc. beyond what I learned from teaching myself. Since then it’s just been about practicing and staying cohesive with my bandmates.
Tell us about your favorite bands, from whom you gain inspiration. Are you having any favorite artist/band that has emerged from metal/rock soil?
Nick: I grew up with the greats playing around my household. From The Beatles, to Stevie Ray Vaughan, to Anthrax. Music as always been my main passion in life since age 7.
David: I owe my mom just about everything as far as immersion goes. She bought me my first Metallica and Iron Maiden albums when I was a kid and I’ve been hooked on metal ever since. (I have two Eddie tattoos on my right arm. Try to guess my favorite band, right?). As a vocalist I look up to Trivium’s Matt
Heafy a lot. The dude’s a legend.
How is the metal scene going in your country?
David: I feel like metal is making a resurgence in the United States, but it’s not even close to what it is in Europe, particularly countries like Sweden or Germany. However, American bands have been putting out sick music lately so we’ll see what the year and future have in store!
Tell us, if you have played abroad.
David: Not yet… I’m looking at you, Germany!
Nick: So far we have only been able to tour within a few thousand miles of our hometown. But hopefully we can make it over to Europe in the near future!
Are you working on any music videos, might it be videoclip or lyric video?
David: We’re kicking some ideas around. As for now check out our lyric video for “Siegfried’s Last Bow.”
The World War One imagery is incredible.
Nick: We have some very creative ideas floating around right now in regards to video content for the band. More media will be released soon to spread the word of our new album! Keep an eye out!
Rapid fire section. Just for fun. So just chill, and just type the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear:
* Religion – Nick: That’s gonna be a no from me dawg / David: No /
* Death – Nick: It depends / David: The Sound of Perseverance /
* USA – Nick: Make America Metal Again / David: Help /
* Drugs – Nick: Where? / David: Something tells me the Red Ribbon Week campaigns in American schools didn’t work /
* Damage for… – David: … Heat? Lol /
Thanks a lot for your time! It’s really nice to know more about you. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?
David: What we do can’t happen without you guys. Thanks! Also go buy something from your local record store.
Nick: Death to all but metal!
Check out Cataclysm at heatofdamage.com/Cataclysm