Norwegian hardcore quintet, Blood Command are most of the way through their second UK tour. With two albums and a handful of EPs, they’ve flown under the radar until now, but there’s a feeling that that’s about to change.
After playing a superb one-off show at the Old Blue Last in December 2012 (“Our manager told us to. We wanted to build up our English fanbase.” – Andersen), they’re back six months later for this tour and an appearance at Download Festival. It’s not been the easiest road to here, but it’s been a necessary one and now is the right time.
“If we would’ve toured that early on [2009-10], it would’ve been too early,” explains Tombre, sipping a beer backstage in Camden’s Barfly. “We had a really great night in Cardiff last night and there were a lot of fans who follow us on Facebook. Meeting up with them is really great – fans that are almost representing you in their country.”
“It was a floor show, first of all,” adds Andersen. “Which is always fun to play and our fans were there – people who have been fans since the first EPs and stuff. It’s awesome to meet those.”
They talk about how their last tour, supporting Protest The Hero and Long Distance Calling back in spring 2012 was easier due to having a ready-made crowd but it’s the festivals that they’re really focusing on this summer.
“We’ve done a lot [of festivals] in Norway,” says Andersen. “It’s awesome because that’s where people come to check out your music. Festivals are really good for us because you’re playing for a new audience who probably wouldn’t check you out otherwise. You know, when you’re at a festival you can go see a band that you don’t really like or know.”
“It’s like you’re conquering new land,” adds Tombre with a chuckle.
That new land, however, is currently being conquered with a new guitarist.
“It’s always natural reasons why we get a new guitar player,” she explains. “Everyone has another band and they start to give that one more attention and then we have to get a new guitarist.”
“We always have a line-up change. Every year. It’s always been the three of us – me, her and Siggi [Haakaas, drummer],” Andersen adds. “Most of our guitarists have been pretty shit and it’s been awful training them… And it’s hard to fit into Blood Command because we are really weird. The playing sounds easy but it’s really difficult and… I guess we’re kinda… weird people, the three of us.”
When asked to sum up the thought process behind Funeral Beach, Andersen is straight to the point: “To make a fucking good album.”
Digging into the messages within the album, however, achieves the kind of soundbite that sums up the short, sharp and memorable ethos of the band: “‘Cult of The New Beat’ is a fuck off to the punk rock police and ‘Pissed Off and Slightly Offended’ is a fuck off to everyone else.”
With more festivals outside of their homeland this summer including Roskilde (as well as seven in Norway), there’s definitely progress being made in the Blood Command camp and they’re looking further afield.
“We’re probably going to start doing some things in the US soon but we can’t say anything more,” says Andersen. While the band has released their music via Norwegian hardcore label, Fysisk Format thus far, there appear to be rumblings of a larger label in the mix. If that is the case, we can expect to see much more of Blood Command on the road.
“It’s just something you’ve got to do if you want to be a band,” Andersen says about life as a touring band. “If you don’t tour, you die.”
Blood Command play at 6.15pm Friday at Download Festival 2013 on The Red Bull Stage. Be there.