Bulldozing Bastard. It's all in the name, isn't it? The guys from Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia play a beautifully dirty mixture of the best of Rock’n’Roll, NWOBHM and first wave Black Metal. So what do you think you get from them? Right, Bastard Metal!
But even though their band name says it all, Irön Kommander (voc., bass) and Genözider (voc., git.), got something to say about the history of Bulldozing Bastard, and of course about their second album “Under the Ram“. Irön Kommander remembers how the two found together to form Bulldozing Bastard:
“Stefan and I were already playing together in Beer Pressure when Bulldozing Bastard was formed. The style of Beer Pressure was already changing at that time, but the image of a “crossover thrash band” still stuck to the name, and it felt like we were stagnating. So one fateful weekend in early 2012 I came over to Stefan's flat, and he came up with the whole concept, the name and a few riffs. I was hooked! From then on everything happened really fast, and already a few weeks later we recorded our demo EP.” Genözider adds: “It felt like there’d be no boundaries concerning Bulldozing Bastard, starting of as a completely new project. Musically, we continued where Beer Pressure had stopped in its last days, addin’ a lot more roughness and a shitload of attitude.” If you look at their personal hero list, you can easily see what kind of attitude it is we are talking about here: It's crystal clear that Motörhead, Venom, Hellhammer and the likes had a huge influence on these guys... but surely that's not all? Irön Kommander adds some other bands that helped to form the sound of Bulldozing Bastard: “When we started, Gehennah’s Hardrocker was a huge influence to our sound on 'Disco Destructors'. Their rawness and dirty sound was just what we were aiming for with Bulldozing Bastard.” Genözider, too, has something to add:
“When it comes to songwriting, we were inspired by bands like Venom, Voivod, Tank, Motörhead and maybe Warfare. Bulldozing Bastard was never about being another copy cat metalpunk band and for sure never will. It’s always a huge task to create something new and/or unique, but I think with 'Under the Ram', we really did.”
And yes, they did. “Under the Ram” sounds familiar in the best possible way: It's like downing an ice cold, freshly opened bottle of your one old favourite beer. The opener “Queen of the Night” sets in with some really heartfelt grunts and screams before a wild riff ride drags you along all through the album, where you will be spit out again, wasted and crushed, but very happy! One true highlight are the solo guitar parts and the 6/8 rhythm in “Alleys of the Underground” (Genözider agrees here: “ I really dig the triplet beats and riffs in “Alleys…”, adding another whole new element to our dirty sound.”), and “Once the Dust has Settled” is no less loveable, thanks to its great deal of original 80’s cheesiness. Now, which are the band's own favorite tracks, and what makes them special? Irön Kommander again: “That's a tough call. I think my favorites would be "Once the Dust has settled" and "Mayhem without Mercy". Since I'm a huge fan of classic Heavy Metal and of course Tank I always wanted to have a more heavy influenced, epic song like "Once ..." on an own album. "Mayhem ..." on the other side is maybe the most straight forward one which will stick with you for days.
As always with Bulldozing Bastard, the recording process was very concentrated and relaxed: “Again we recorded at a friends Studio where we pretty much locked us up for a weekend. We worked at daytime and kicked back with some drinks in the evening. Everyone was really focused and we made progress very fast but it was never stressful. After two and a half days the basics were finished. All we had to add were vocals and solos.”
While the songwriting on “Under the Ram” is mostly rather simplistic and raw, the sound is comparatively clear. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Hellforge Studio, which is run by Beer Pressure’s first bass player. Genözider and Irön Kommander give some more details about the conception of the album: “Before entering the studio, we already had a complete vision of how this album will have to sound like. No heavy distortion on the guitars, a bass drum that will rather hurt your stomach than pierce your ear with a nasty clicking noise. A snare that’ll give you headaches immediately, and a bass guitar that will run over you like, guess what, a Bulldozer…” Irön Kommander also reveals what kind of tricks the band used to give the songs the sound they need: “I played the bass through an guitar amp to give it a more defined and raspy tone, and the drums were recorded in an old wooden storage room with at least 4 different overhead-mics, adding a lot of natural reverb to the sound.”
Compared to “Bulldozing the Vatican”, the band's first album, “Under the Ram” is a step forward in every aspect. While the central idea is still the same, this time Bulldozing Bastard kills more precisely and with more style. Additionally, the two let a whole bunch of new ideas flow into the music and set a big focus on diversity rather than writing just another 10 up-tempo songs.
“Definitely. The musical range is really wide this time. We got Rock'n'Roll tracks like 'Tornado' oder 'Black Metal Slut', classical Heavy Metal hymns like 'Once the Dust Has Settled' and the usual Bulldozing Bastard face-breaking high speed songs ŕ la 'Full Speed Ahead' or 'Let The Bastard Roar'”.
The stunning, visually dynamic artwork was done by Italian artist Velio Josto: “He's a great artist and was, as you can see, the absolute perfect choice for us. He managed to fit all our ideas creating this image of a true Bulldozing Bastard.”
So far, Genözider and Irön Kommander are the only two stable members in the band. Live duties are usually taken over by comrade Barrage Beast, who had joined Bulldozing Bastard after the release of their EP; yet shortly after the release of the 7” split with Whipstriker, the band decided that Genözider should take over the drum duties for all upcoming recordings, keeping Barrage Beast as their live drummer.
Now that we've heard a lot abot the new album, we can leave it to Genözider to sum it all up in short: “Under The Ram features ten brand new Bulldozing Bastard tracks, coming straight from the dirtiest gutters of the German underground. Those ten tracks also appear to be the best songs we did so far. Watch out! This record is neither supposed for sissies, nor for weekend metalheads. This record is a boot to the guts of your stereo! So you better play it as loud as possible!”