15 Mar
Interview with HAGRAVEN


Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about HAGRAVEN (Members, Starting Year etc).
We, HAGRAVEN are from Salt Lake City, Utah and consist of 2 members, myself (Trevor) and Martel. Martel plays drums and I play guitar and vocals for now. I’m also filling in on bass for our recordings. I think it’s fair to say I write the bulk of the material while Martel acts as a kind of filter for what’s good. We started jamming in early fall of 2021 after getting together that summer to play a show with a grind band we both were in by the name of GORO. Martel and I always gravitated more towards metal so I think it was inevitable that we started jamming. Both of us have previously played shows in different metal and punk bands in the Salt Lake area.

You have recently released your demo ''Demo 2023''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
We didn’t really anticipate any feedback having just released the demo in late February. As a fledgling project we are a band in the making and have yet to play live. That being said the response from our audience has been encouraging albeit close knit. So far this interview is about as much of a response as we’ve gotten from any press.

Label or DIY and why?
DIY for now. We’re really just playing bad ass shit because we enjoy doing it. It’s not like any labels have contacted us anyway.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
We both prefer the sound of vinyl over everything else. Unfortunately it’s expensive to press. CDs are an obvious choice for us in addition to digital download. We’re not opposed to tapes.

Your music style is Blackened Speed/Thrash Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
As far as influences go there’s the old tried and true bands like BATHORY, VENOM, HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST, JUDAS PRIEST, DIO, SCORPIONS, MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND, RAZOR, HOLY MOSES, DARKTHRONE and so on. I would also like to add FORGOTTEN WOODS. SABBAT, both from the UK and Japan are pretty sick. There’s also TRIBULATION and various Mexican/South American/Chicano thrash and black metal. Pretty much anything within the realm of thrash/speed/heavy/black metal we will consider influential to us.

Which things do you think a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your Band?
Naturally if you want to create anything of substance you have to hone your skills as a musician/artist. This takes time, discipline, and dedication. Money is always something you have to stay on top of. Personally I’ve sacrificed a considerable amount of time, money, and people who don’t give a shit in order to further bands/projects. We’ve both had to live in practice spaces at one time or another. It depends on the individual and what they’re willing to sacrifice.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
An ideal show for us would be playing some kind of outdoor festival with other black and thrash metal bands. Without a proper bass player we’re not prepared to play live yet. We’ve both experienced playing kick ass shows in the past, despite the fact neither of us have played any festivals. If the pit is moving and the band is tight then it’s a good show. It’s always a welcome thrill to see the desired reaction from the audience, regardless of the venue.

Which attributes, do you think, that a new Black/Thrash Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
We try and keep it raw an heavy. With speed/black/thrash metal the parameters have been pretty well established at this point in time. You won’t reinvent the wheel. Despite this you can still be clever in how you arrange your song structures. Play heavy mean gruff shit that forces people to move. Where we might differ in opinion from other band/artists is that you don’t necessarily need to make everything about satan or have your lyrics based in the judaeo-christian. paradigm. Keep it metallic and dark without any useless politics.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Black/Thrash Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Yes, of course digital platforms are helpful. We’ve undoubtedly benefitted from how quickly you can exchange information and get in touch with people. Digital platforms are definitely helpful in promoting shows. But playing shows and having physical merch is where it’s at. There’s no substitution for playing live to an audience.

Do you see any differences between the US Metal Market & EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc)?
We’re not really knowledgeable about the differences between US and EU labels, just that they exist. We don’t have any first hand experience dealing with labels.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Salt Lake City, Utah (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
There’s a handful of excellent metal bands in the area. For power/heavy metal you got VISIGOTH. If you want some death metal influenced thrash there’s DEATHBLOW. There’s YAOTL MICTLAN the pre-hispanic Mexican black metal band. Unfortunately they don’t really play shows here. A decent establishment to go to for local metal shows is ACES HIGH SALOON. There are other local venues that cater to larger shows but I don’t want to go into that. 

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
We’re familiar with a few bands. The more raw black metal stuff is always appreciated.

The last 3 years worldwide we have faced many dark, strange & new situations with our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Yes, the events were very negative. However it was a positive opportunity to cut the shit and focus on doing more important things. I can’t say either of us were all that phased by the pandemic. 

What are your future plans?
Our plans for the future include building a more complete band so we can play shows. We have a couple people interested in playing bass. I’m not that thrilled about being the vocalist but so far we haven’t found anyone else who wants to do it. It might be realistic to play a show sometime this summer or fall. In the meantime we will be working on a more complete demo and releasing it on tape.

Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Hail! And beware of the HAGRAVEN!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.




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