Check out an e-mail interview with Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter. We discuss the latest release, upcoming plans, and their partnership with Artist Series Guitar.
Last time you checked in with us you were preparing to release The World Is A Thorn. Now that the album is out, are you pleased with the reception that it got?
We’ve been very pleased with the response to the new record. For us, there was no question that this the best DH record to date, so I think it would’ve been easy to ignore bad reviews and such, but luckily the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Will you guys be releasing another video any time soon?
We planned on doing 2 videos with Endeavor in one weekend, but due to weather issues, we were only able to do the video for “Collapsing.” We’ve talked since about filming another video for this record, but we haven’t decided on that quite yet.
You guys recently returned from your first ever European tour. How was that experience?
The European tour was incredible. Most of us had never been to Europe at all, so it was a really great experience to be able to take the band over there and get to see some fans that we don’t usually get the chance to see. We had a few days off to explore some really cool cities- Vienna, London, Olso. All of those places were incredible.
How were the crowds? Did you feel that there is a difference between touring in the US and through Europe?
The shows were either very modest or huge, but no matter what the case, we had a killer time playing. I would say on average the crowds were a little more chill (aside from Germany, which was very rowdy), but the biggest difference was how polite the European fans are. They’re careful not to bother you or ask too much. Not that American fans are all rude, but there was a noticeable difference in politeness and hospitality.
It was a pleasant surprise to see you guys included on Happy Christmas Vol. 5 since that normally doesn’t have heavier bands. Did you guys go into the studio specifically to write and record the song or did you already have it?
We did record that song specifically for the compilation. I’ve never been into the idea of writing a Christmas song, but I told the label I would do it if the song could be an original, and hint at the Christmas season, rather than sing blatantly about jingle bells and Santa. I’m pleased with how the song came out.
You guys recently got involved with Artist Series Guitar and released a limited edition guitar. How did all that come about?
My good friend Dave Peters (from Throwdown) hit me up and proposed the idea. ASG was doing a Throwdown guitar, Dave was friends with Vijay who heads the whole thing up… and I knew if Dave vouched for the company and the guitars, it was a good idea. It was kind of a no-brainer. To be able to offer sick looking, well playing, custom guitars as affordable merch items sounds too good to be true. But alas, it is.
How involved were you in the process of designing the guitar itself?
ASG guitars have a killer body style, which all of their current guitars share, but I did design the body graphics and the 12th fret marker.
Have you been able to physically check out and play the guitar? What can you tell us about it?
Honestly I can’t believe they’re able to sell them for so cheap. It plays wonderfully, and looks amazing. I love the black hardware, the matte finish, the look of the neck with only a 12th fret marker. It feels substantial to hold as well… heavy duty. The way a metal guitar should be! I plan on writing and recording the next DH record with it.
What kind of feedback have you heard from your fans about the opportunity to own one of these guitars?
A lot of the fans that have purchased the guitar are extremely proud to be playing on it. We’ve received photos of our fans playing it.
Demon Hunter has always been at the forefront of establishing and maintaining a special relationship between the band and fans. You’ve done this through special edition packages of your albums, your fan club, and now a guitar. Do you feel that the former distance between bands and fans will continue to change over the next decade? What would you like to see happen?
I’m not sure if the majority of bands will ever really take advantage of that close relationship with their fans, but for us it’s meant everything.
We set a precedent when we started this band- give the fans all the cool stuff that we would want to see from our favorite bands. That’s why we’ve never skimped on album packaging, we release new merch regularly, etc. We jump on the opportunity to bring our fans cool stuff.
It’s about creating… not just music, but other pieces that coincide with the music. We’re collectors. We like cool stuff… so the band is an outlet for us to create cool, collectable stuff, so that’s what we do.
Now for the future of DH. What are your plans for 2011? Are you working on lining up tours?
We played more shows in 2010 than we ever had in years past, so 2011 will be a bit of a break, but we do plan on writing later in the year for the next record. I’ve already put a few ideas down that I’m very excited about.
We are playing a couple of festivals this summer- Ichthus and Sonshine, which should be a blast.
Last question, what albums are on your current playlist?
White Lies “Ritual,” Becoming The Archetype “Celestial Completion,” The Joy Formidable “The Big Roar,” Hurts “Happiness”
Thanks to Ryan for taking the time out to do this interview!