Summon: How did the band get started?
Andrew: The band got started when I was in my final year of high school. Robbie was in the 10th grade and the band he was playing in broke up and I was looking for musicians to start a band so we decided to try jamming one day and we hit it off. We had the same desire to create an in your face, evil Heavy Metal band that had a great balance of technicality meets great song songwriting. It took us years before we found the right drummer for us. Most drummers in Newfoundland and Labrador are more so into playing Pop Punk, Metalcore or Hard Rock music and don’t really have the interest in playing Extreme Metal. Luckily after about three years we found Mike Small. Mike was doing the same recording arts program that I’ve graduated from a year prior and he really liked what we had written.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Andrew: I like to say we are just an Extreme Metal band but a lot of people who come watch our shows think we’re a Black Metal band that has a lot of influence form Death, Thrash and even NWOBHM influence.
Summon: How have the fan responses been?
Andrew: The fan responses have been surprisingly great! They’re are barely any local Heavy Metal acts in Newfoundland and very rarely there are Metal shows. We started playing random variety shows as well as a lot of punk rock shows. The punks fell in love with us and accepted having us involved in their scene as well which was great. We get a lot of different people from all sorts of different scenes come to our shows which is great that it’s not just a Metal only audience.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Andrew: Robbie actually came up with the band name. I was driving him home back to his apartment one night after practice. We were stuck on finding a name which was something I was never too picky on. As long as it sounded like a Metal band name I was happy. As I was driving him home a snow storm start to hit the island so I was driving really slow making sure I didn’t get off the road. Robbie just blurts out in the car “why don’t we call the band Winterhearth?”. I had no idea where he was coming from with the idea but once he explained it made sense for us to have that kind of name. Long story short it’s a metaphor for the dark cold side of life where all hope is gone and you’re just doomed, kinda like how our music sounds like. Just no hope.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Andrew: Well my name is Andrew Marsh. I’m the vocalist as well as the rhythm/lead guitarist in the band. We also have Robbie butler who is the bassist and backing vocals in the band and last but certainly not least we have Michael Small who is drums and percussion. Outside of our band roles I do the managing, promotion, booking and the financial aspects on the band. Robbie is in charge of doing the graphic art for the band and product design and Michael helps out a lot in stage and show design and planning.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Andrew: I write all the song structures as well as the lyrics. One I have the structure complete I take it to Robbie and Mike and show them the idea.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Andrew: My lyrics come from anything to reading books to going for walks and being absorbed by nature itself.
Summon: What are your views on Satanism and the Occult?
Andrew: Very rarely I express any of my religious views because I hate feeling like I’m a preacher of some sort. Satanism I always felt is extremely misunderstood because of being forced fed that anything that’s occult related is deemed as “evil” by religions like Christianity. I’m a big believer of it doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as you’re doing good for yourself and the people around you.
Summon: How many albums/CDs do you have?
Andrew: As of now we have recorded one demo which we done earlier this spring entitled “Beyond The Frosted Graves” and this summer we recorded our debut EP “Speak No Evil” which is set to be released in middle November. I’m aiming for next spring to start recording our debut LP.
Summon: Tell us about some songs on the latest CD?
Andrew: Our latest release is mainly pushing one of our songs which is the title track “Speak No Evil”. I was listening to a lot of King Diamond and Deicide at the time when I written it. The lyrical content behind “Speak No Evil” is base largely on how there are some areas of the world today who have foolish laws and policies that are based on morals they get from religions that have been outdated by hundreds or thousands of years. Besides the King Diamond and Deicide influence a lot of the song structures to “Speak No Evil” was greatly inspired by Testament and Carcass. Testament has always been a major influence on me when it comes to riff and songwriting structure. Another song on the EP is a re-recorded version of Tarot Cards which was on “Beyond The Frost Graves”. Again a lot of Testament influence for the rhythm structure as well as Megadeth and Children of Bodom. The song starts off very subtle and trying to create an Erie out of body out of mind feeling. The lyrics to “Tarot Cards” are largely based on when people rely on writings or superstitions to rule their way of living. For example a horoscope. I firmly believe that you are always in control of your life and where you plan to take yourself is completely up to you but, no matter what happens as the final line is in Tarot Cards, “The final card is always death”, you’re born with nothing and you will die with nothing.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Andrew: As of now I have no side projects but I have tons of ideas for side ideas when I get the time. I would either like to do something punk/grind on the lines of Deviated Instinct, Amebix and Napalm Death or something on the lines of Spiritual Beggars, Trouble or Cathedral. Lately I’ve been thinking on doing a Stoner/Doom Metal projects meets bands like Mercyful Fate and Hell.
Summon: Who are some of you musical influences?
Andrew: My list of musical influences is endless. My favorite guitarist will always be Dave Mustaine of Megadeth cause of his rhythms being as impressive as some guitar players leads. I’m also a huge Jeff Waters fan and Mille Petrozza of Kreator! I’m always listening to a 100 different bands at all times. I’m also a die hard for Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Mayhem, Dissection, Testament, Diamond Head, Hirax, Malevolent Creation, Savatage and Ghost to name a small few.
Summon: Which current bands?
Andrew: For more current bands, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ghost, Aeon, Skeletonwitch and Toxic Holocaust.
Summon: What is the band like live?
Andrew: Well thanks to Mike we have well coordinated live shows! We play a bunch of originals and we slip in a revamped Venom or Bathory cover! One song we have called “The Heretic Witch” people really enjoy moshing to that one. I like to try and be one of the most devious front man with a guitar around! Before I introduce songs I slip in these short horrific Newfoundland stories like the one of the lady who burnt her newborn to death and hid it in the closet.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Andrew: We haven’t yet but if people want us there, we got no problem packing our bags and playing a show! It’s not easy in Canada playing in a Metal band. So many I hear of not even selling albums in their own country but in European countries. It’s actually ridiculous!
Summon: How big of a crowd usually shows up at shows lately?
Andrew: It can be hit or miss at times really. Like if there’s a lack of promotion of a show then well I won’t expect a huge audience. But lately our shows have grown a lot more and when people show up they really enjoy what they see.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Andrew: They really love to mosh to our music which I enjoy most of all. They also love buying out the bar as well. I know for a fact at the end of every song they’re all just screaming and can’t wait to hear the next song. I remember this one show I was switching over guitars and Mike just randomly begins to play the back beat to Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden and everybody in the club just started singing!
Summon: What do you think of the US Black/Death Metal scene?
Andrew: I’m not overly familiar with a lot of Black Metal bands from the States. I know of Agalloch and I know some people would consider the band N.M.E. as an old school Black Metal band back in the 80s. Now the Death Metal scene on the other hand, it’s always been booming. Tons of great bands. A lot of them are my personal favorite bands and I take great influence from them. One of my favorite albums to listen to and get great influence from is the second Deicide album Legion. Such an intense album from start to finish and intricate riffs and structures. Another personal favorite album of mine would be Slowly We Rot by Obituary. I always viewed that album as like a Celtic Frost album on steroids. Such a similar feel to Morbid Tales or To Mega Therion. I mean they even cover Circle of the Tyrants on their 2nd album Cause of Death.
Summon: What do you think of overseas scenes?
Andrew: Well Europe has always been a major hotbed for Heavy Metal. I grew up on a lot and by a lot, easily a 9:1 ratio between how many European bands I listen to as oppose to North American Metal acts. Everything from the Scandinavian Black/Death Metal scenes to the German Thrash/Power Metal scenes. When I was a kid I would be constantly listening to tons of NWOBHM bands like Tygers of Pan Tang, Raven, Tank and Venom as well as bands like Hellhammer, Mercyful Fate and Krokus. Europe is unbelievably loyal to Heavy Metal music and every now and then I love checking album charts from European countries because most of the time there are a number of Heavy Metal albums in the top 10.
Summon: What are your new favorite Black Metal/Death Metal bands?
Andrew: Huge Skeletonwitch fan! I’m also big into Watain, Tsjuder. When it comes to newer Death Metal I’ve been listening to a lot of Spawn of Possession as well as Obscura! I feel those bands are putting in an old school feel as oppose to all these bands I’m seeing that call themselves Deathcore which I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it but I’m just not into breakdown after breakdown in songs. Though I do enjoy Job For A Cowboy which I feel came a long long way from their Doom EP. Their last two releases have been pretty solid!
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing new material?
Andrew: We’re aiming for later winter/early spring of 2014 to begin recording a full length! Hoping to have anywhere form 9 – 12 tracks on it. The albums is basically written now just got to finish up 2 – 3 more songs. But I’m always writing music. As soon as I get an idea in my head I quickly record it so I’ll have it to remember and work on it as soon as I get the free time and/or inspiration. A lot of the time I write all the music in my head at work and when I go home I just play it on guitar and fine tune the bugs.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band?
Andrew: By the way things are coming along, the future is looking pretty bright! We get tons and tons of shows booked and constant emails from fans to businessmen. I’m so happy that my years of handwork and dedication are beginning to pay off!
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