Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
All answers by Ron Merz (BLOODRED/Guitar, Bass, Vocals), 21 April 2022
PD: What type of artist are you?
Ron: BLOODRED is a solo project in which I do both the songwriting and the writing of the lyrics. I also play guitar and bass and also do the vocals. I would put the project in the “Extreme Metal” genre, as it has influences from Black and Death Metal, among other things.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Ron: I started composing music under the name BLOODRED in 2009 and writing my first songs. I first contacted Alexander Krull in 2013 to record a first demo in his studio. We were able to realize this in 2014 and recorded the EP “The Lost Ones”. Two years later we continued this cooperation and recorded the first album “Nemesis”. Its successor “The Raven’s Shadow” was also created in Mastersound and released in 2020. The current album “AD ASTRA” is also a production of this established team. In the studio I’m supported on the drums by Joris Nijenhuis.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Ron: There are some very early influences that are kind of hardwired into my musical brain. These range from late 1980s thrash to 90s death metal and black metal. Bands would be Metallica and Slayer, Morbid Angel, Amorphis, Emperor and Immortal. But I still try to listen to a new band every day and thus broaden my horizons. These don’t necessarily have to come from metal, but could also be jazz or fusion, for example. Of course there are also many influences from outside of music. This can be a specific event, a message or a look at the sparkling starry sky. Anything that triggers something in me is potentially an influence on my music.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Ron: Musically, I’ve been able to fulfill many of my dreams: I’ve released several albums, signed a record deal with a label and even have a vinyl version of the current album in my hands. In the next step, I would love to bring my music to the stage and play it live. Maybe even on a tour? In addition, I hope to keep my creativity and to be able to constantly develop BLOODRED.
Personally, I would love to have the opportunity to go into space. This old human dream has been following me since my childhood.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Ron: I write all the songs and lyrics. On the new album, I’m picking up topics that have kept me busy, especially in the last two years of the pandemic. The immediate effects of Covid on those affected, their families but also the medical staff. The fact that in the two years more and more boundaries seem to fall and many people let their hatred and anger run free. That it is becoming increasingly difficult to agree on socially important issues. And that the climate catastrophe seems inevitable. On the other hand, there is also the hope for improvement, which I symbolize by reaching for the stars. “Per aspera, ad astra” – Through hardship to the stars…
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Ron: This is mainly done through their own channels, primarily social media, and through the outstanding work of many metal enthusiasts running blogs and websites. You have my big thanks!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Ron: Downloading and streaming are the death of especially the medium and small artists! Due to the business models of the big streaming/download providers, hardly any money ends up with these artists and is mainly distributed to the big artists. So if you listen to a BLOODRED song on Spotify today, there’s a good chance Ed Sheeran is making some money off it and I’m only getting a fraction of a cent. That’s why I can only encourage you to buy CDs and Vinyls, if possible directly from the bands.
There are undeniably advantages, because it’s convenient and you can discover a lot of new music. At the same time, I have the feeling that music has become a by-product and no longer has the necessary status for many.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Ron: That is hard. It may come as a surprise, but I would go for Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Even if I have nothing to do with religion at all, this song somehow touches me. Especially when performed with the support of a choir. If it’s supposed to be Metal, then Emperor’s “With Strength I Burn”. This song also touches me deep inside with it’s fury and epicness.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Ron: I don’t like superficiality. And hate sneakiness. I no longer have time to pretend to be nice if the other person is only interested in themselves. And yes, I am very tidy and can even stand it when pure chaos reigns around me.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Ron: There are so many. Recording the first Demo. Releasing the first album. Getting so much positive feedback. The last moment was maybe the point where I was allowed to hold my own album in my hands as a real vinyl record. This is something I didn’t expect for many years.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Ron: We recently shot a video for the song “Shatterer Of Worlds” in an old, abandoned NATO bunker. I hope we can release this video within the next few weeks. But I’m also already writing new music. Let’s see what the future hold for BLOODRED …