Bloodred – Interview
Interview with Ron Merz of Bloodred and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Ron (BLOODRED): BLOODRED itself is a one-man project in which I am responsible for the songwriting and lyrics, all the instruments with the exception of the drums and I also do most of the band’s other activities on my own. I am very happy that I have found a drummer in Joris Nijenhuis from Atrocity and Leaves ’Eyes who performs my programmed drum tracks perfectly for the recordings in the studio. Since I do not perform live, I work most of the time in my own home studio and for the recordings with Alexander Krull in his professional Mastersound Studios.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Ron: I‘ve been making music for many years now but only started to write music under the name of BLOODRED in 2009. In the beginning I was looking for fellow musicians in my area but was not successful and so BLOODRED is a one-man-project to this day. In 2013 I first contacted Alex Krull about recording an EP and the recordings of „THE LOST ONES“ subsequently took place in the Mastersound Studios of Alex in 2014. Right from the start Joris Nijenhuis was on the drums since this is the only thing, I can‘t do myself. After the all around positive experiences with the recording for the EP I started working on the first full-length album which was again recorded with Alex and Joris. „NEMESIS“ was released in April 2016 and receives high praise from international critics. Shortly after the release I started working on new songs but it took until the end of 2019 until everything was recorded, mixed and mastered. The new album „THE RAVEN’S SHADOW“ will be available on May 18 2020.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Ron: If I should name a person, it would definitely be James Hetfield. At the end of the 1980s he inspired me to start playing the guitar myself, and over time my artistic work developed from there. I am also very happy that I have been able to meet him twice in person and talk to him. Of course there are also many bands and their music that have influenced me. It starts with Metallica and Slayer, then goes on to Morbid Angel and Amorphis to various Black Metal bands like Emperor or Immortal. All bands inspired me a lot in my youth. In the last few years, bands like Skalmöld or Saor have surely been added, which have expanded the musical spectrum for me again. There are also influences from outside of metal, e.g. classical composers like Dmitri Shostakovich. Apart from the music, certain situations or circumstances also inspire me. It can be something from the news or a walk in the forest. I think that as an artist you should always go through the world with open senses and be open to everything.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Ron: The goals in my artistic work are quickly described: I want to continue making music that is interesting and relevant and that people like. As far as dreams go, I have two: an unrealistic dream and maybe a realistic one. The unrealistic dream is to be able to live from music. That would be nice, but it won’t happen again in this life. The more realistic dream is finally to find fellow musicians and to bring BLOODRED to the stage. That would be great …
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Ron: I write all the songs and lyrics for BLOODRED myself. Very often the lyrics are about the dark side of life like negative emotions, depression and death. In addition, I also write about social or political issues, such as “Collateral Murder” on the last album or “Immense Hall Of Agony” about the attack on the Bataclan in Paris on the current record. And then I’m always on the lookout for older poems or the like, in which I am fascinated by the language. “The Northstar Whispers (To The Blacksmiths Son)” on the new album is a good example of this.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Ron: Since BLOODRED is only a one-man-project unfortunately I do not play live. Promoting the band is the usual I guess: Social Media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, YouTube and most important (to me at least) the website at www.bloodredband.com. It´s also very important for me to spread the word via magazines and blogs to reach new audiences that otherwise never would have heard from the band. Today with a gazillion of bands all fighting for some attention it is very hard to be heard and get some traction with the listeners and fans.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Ron: It‘s convenient but ultimately it‘s the death of small, independent artists (at least streaming music is). Music has lost it´s worth over the last couple of years, because it`s always available at your finger tip and most people have forgotten that music is worth something and therefore costs something. Bands can only make a living from music today if they sell tickets for live shows and a lot of merchandising. The days when you could live from album sales are long gone. In my situation, this is of course a major disadvantage.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Ron: Wow, that’s a really hard question … After a long, long thought, the answer may surprise you: I would have loved to have written “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. Of all the songs, this one moves me deep within me the most. I love the melancholy and the subtle dynamics (I don’t even care about the text that much). And when “Hallelujah” is sung by a big choir, I just have goose bumps.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Ron: There are two things I can really get upset about: clutter and unreliability! If you look at my home studio, for example, you will always find everything tidy. Everything has its place and is put back there after use. I just need to start a new work day with a decent desk. Another example: There are no files on the desktop of my Mac, everything is stored in a clean folder structure. The second point is unreliability. Regardless of whether it is a matter of not adhering to agreements or being unpunctual, I get upset because I myself try to really keep things. In my opinion, this is due to respect and also because you just want to get the best out of things. Many people don‘t care if they are late or „just did not get to do what was agreed upon“.
Now, in times of the coronavirus, I also noticed how much I hate it when people are completely selfish. Everyone has heard of “flatten the curve” and yet people go out and meet as if nothing had happened. In fact, it seems that younger people in particular run to older, especially vulnerable people, cough up and then make fun of them. What the hell is wrong with you ?? Everyone needs a certain amount of selfishness, but in the current situation this literally can mean the loss of life. And if you don’t want to get it, you’re just an asshole!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Ron: I think most of all I am proud of the release of the first album because it was a big thing for me. Initially, this was the first step of a little village musician into the world of professionals (it is very impressive to be able to work with people who have traveled the world with their music several times) and actually cost a little effort to overcome a certain nervousness at the very beginning. The predominantly positive reactions to the album then confirmed me in this decision and made the whole just great moments in my life. And in the end it was these experiences that gave the impetus to the new album.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Ron: Obviously my main focus at the moment is on the release of the new album „The Raven’s Shadow“ with everything that goes along with it. But I‘m also working on new music right now, I‘m always working on new music. I don’t know yet if and when this new songs will see the light of the day though.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Ron: Despite what Ive said regarding downloads etc. earlier, my music is available on all relevant download and streaming-platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and so on. I would really appreciate if the listeners would consider buying the album instead of streaming it. And if you really want to support my, please go to Bandcamp and buy the album there! Here are some links: