Interview: Kerrigan

If you like fresh classic metal, you can’t miss Kerrigan this year. Of course, we talked to the guys about their full-length debut Bloodmoon and all kinds of other topics.

Jonas: Hey! Thank you, we’re fine and excited for our upcoming release!

Bruno. Doing fine, thanks for the opportunity!

Bruno: Sorcerer – Sorcerer (1995).

Jonas: She Past Away – Belirdi Gece.

Jonas: I joined Bruno’s funeral doom band Lone Wanderer in 2017 and during rehearsals we’d soon get to the point where we would jam. As we listened to a lot of NWOBHM in 2018 we came up with heavy metal riffs we would play along to. We had our first jam session in late 2018 and wrote most of “Intruders” in less than 2 hours. Since 2019 we live in different places, so we had fewer sessions, but we both started recording heavy metal stuff at home and shared our riffs digitally. Combining our riffs still worked well so when we finished “Force and Will” and “Heavy Metal 2020” we decided to record a demo. We got the chance to release it on tape and vinyl by FUCKING KILL Records and would’ve never expected that many reactions and selling all copies that quickly. As we already had more songs in the bank, we started the recordings for Bloodmoon in early 2021. In summer 2022 we got in touch with High Roller Records and decided to release our first album on their label. They’ve been a great support for our final recordings and helped to bring the album on track.

Bruno: I’d like to add that no neighbours were seriously harmed during the inception of Kerrigan.

Bruno: When we were finished with the demo, we thought it was a great, fun little record which would find a few fans but we didn’t expect it to be so well received, especially selling out in multiple formats right from the get go. The positive feedback from the real heavy metal maniacs out there is what changed Kerrigan from a fun side project to a serious musical endeavor.

Jonas: To be honest we are not too sure about where most of our fans come from. Good to know where the homebases are.

Bruno: Great to see an alive scene in Greece that I wasn’t aware of until now. We hope to play there one day.

Bruno: Jonas and I have many slightly different backgrounds which all adds up when it comes to writing new Kerrigan material. In metal, for me it’s definitely the old NWOBHM stuff, from more obscure (QuartzWolf,Witchfinder General) to legendary (Tygers of Pan TangMaidenPriest). Apart from that, I listen to a lot of 80s post-punk and my greatest inspiration overall would be The Who, which started my love for music.

Jonas: When it comes to heavy metal I have to say Priest, but as Bruno mentioned there are a lot of other influences. I feel besides the inevitable metal bands there’s a general mix of beautiful 80’s melodies (Sue SaadUltravoxChameleons, just to name a few) affecting our songwriting.

Jonas: We already had finished parts back in 2020 and continued the writing right after Heavy Metal 2020 was released.

Bruno: The oldest riff that landed on the record is one of the very first jams that Jonas and I had, even before Kerrigan existed. We are glad that it ended up in “Pull the Trigger“ after all the years, so that the first ‘Kerrigan moment’ is now conserved in time. It’s your guess which one it is though…

Bruno: For me it’s the title track “Bloodmoon“ which has a very special catchy nature to it. It’s also a bit mysterious in hindsight because I can’t really recall how the riffs were written. But in the end, it all fit so naturally. I think it’s a very well-balanced song.

Jonas: For me it would be “Mesmerizer“. It combines all the things I like about Kerrigan: A lot of harmonic vocals, variety in the song’s structure, complementing guitars and everything’s led by a cool story. I also remember playing the bridge and the solo in a one-hour-loop by night, which was a special moment for me.

Jonas: As we live in different places with fulltime jobs our jam sessions are limited, so our songwriting mostly happens in a shared digital project. We can always add further riffs to an idea and if things work out, we got a new song. But to be honest, nothing beats sitting down in the same room with a beer, playing around to each other’s ideas, singing random hooks, and having fun. That’s when we write our best songs.

Bruno: What Jonas said. One of us has an initial spark, and it’s either written largely by that person and refined together, or we take it into a co-writing stage and figure out what works best within the band’s context. The best moments are usually when an already great idea is reviewed by the other and the final missing bits are then figured. Feels like magic sometimes!

Bruno: Kerrigan started as a 2-piece studio project. However, we are currently working on putting together a live band, but this is taking some time. We want it to be good and a full live experience, not something rushed. So have a little patience, before the blood moon will rise over Europe’s heavy metal stages.

Jonas: Despite the fact that nowadays underground fans are still true to their scene we don’t see a lot of young fans joining the game. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for every sub-genre as “gen-Z”, or whatever you wanna call it, doesn’t care for music too much anymore. People will rather listen to a band online than seeing it live so there are fewer and fewer underground shows putting private organizers at financial risk.

Bruno: The big problem is the lack of new blood in the scene. I feel that the underground scene hasn’t taken that serious enough. Without a constant stream of young fans and talent, in ten years there will be no incentive for a young kid to enter the underground scene, only to feel isolated amongst old traditionalists who themselves have trouble connecting to a younger generation. It’s sort of a dilemma because it requires a lot of tolerance from a naturally ‘elitist’ scene, but also I feel that young kids are now so easily offended and repelled by any kind of gatekeeping. I really think there’s a great danger of an ending lifespan for our scene here.

Bruno: Steve Grimmet, Peter Steele, Keith Moon.

Jonas: Please let me see Ozzy…

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