There's a area in North Carolina called Transylvania County. A beautiful county with 250 waterfalls located throughout, rich forests, rivers and streams and with critters like golden eagles, white-tailed deer, and black bears roaming about.
With a name like 'Transylvania County' one may conjure darker scenes, however, anyone who's ever sauntered through a forest before knows that it can be just as enigmatic as it is lovely. And few people know that more than Bloody Hammers mastermind Anders Manga.
Although generally categorized as 'gothic rock,' Bloody Hammers actually has a much more unique sound tapping elements of doom metal, stoner metal and psychedelic rock. Their music will guide you through that forest and introduce you to the creatures that go bump, and much worse, in the night - and all with a hypnotic musical companionship.
Influenced by the likes of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, The Misfits, and many others, Manga concocts his own brew of horror rock flavored by a little H.P. Lovecraft, and judging by all of the critical acclaim he's received for it, the end result is delicious.
Due out on June 10 is Under Satan's Sun, the highly anticipated, third release for the band following 2013's Spiritual Relics, and Bloody Hammers' 2012 self-titled debut.
AXS.com: With the new album due out next month what are Manga's feelings and about the new material?
Anders Manga: I realize it's typical for artists to say their new album is 'the best thing they've ever done' but in my case, it really is. All 'new album' hype aside, this is truly my favorite collection of songs. I believe fans of the other albums will agree as well. Now it's time to get out there on the road and play them live.
AXS.com: Was there anything done differently with Under Satan's Sun that you maybe Bloody Hammers weren't able to do with the first two albums?
Anders Manga: Most all of the songs are inspired by western North Carolina and surrounding area folklore and spooky legends. I always wanted to make an album of songs based on these stories and on Under Satan's Sun I've done that. Technically I've learned a great deal more as a studio engineer and I think this one sounds much better than the other two, sonically. The fuzz tones on the album are much thicker from the guitars and bass, plus the drums are nice and punchy. Everything is slightly over driven but in a good way.
AXS.com: With Manga's vast array of influences how does it all become the Bloody Hammers sound?
Anders Manga: I just let whatever comes to me flow. The best stuff comes from the soul so you just have to keep your brain out of the way so it can get out. As far as other artists I like that have inspired me over the years I'd say Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, Roky Erickson, David Bowie, Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and of course Black Sabbath.
AXS.com: Bloody Hammers have got some shows scheduled in Europe over the next few months - any plans to tour here in the U.S. at all as well?
Anders Manga: Yes, I have a meeting about that in a couple of days, so yes we are planning to get something going here but I don't have details yet. We also have to go back to Europe and hit some of the areas we didn't get to on this run.
AXS.com: Some of Manga's music has appeared on television and in films, is the creative approach different for projects such as these than with Bloody Hammers?
Anders Manga: I haven't gotten to do a full score yet but several movies and shows have used pieces of my already produced music here and there. When I get the chance to do something truly unique and original, I would just try and capture with music whatever mood I'm feeling from the scenes.
AXS.com: Manga's wife and Blood Hammer keyboardist, Devallia, shot the photo used for the cover of the first Bloody Hammers album. Is this couple creative in any other ways aside from, obviously, music, and in Devallia's case - photography?
Anders Manga: Music is really all we have time for and that's ok because we love it. When not doing music we're usually haunting the forests somewhere. We live in Transylvania County, N.C. and have thousands of miles of trails to explore and there are over 250 waterfalls here; it's called 'The Land of Waterfalls.' The movie Hunger Games was shot not far from our cabin. Devallia loves Orchids and is usually trying to hunt them down and photograph them. She just found a Isotria verticillata yesterday that's she excited about.
AXS.com Manga has often been described as a musician genius - how does that make him feel?
Anders Manga: Oh hell, I don't pay attention to that stuff [laugher]. I'm just a hillbilly who likes music and writing songs. I appreciate compliments but I'm a little awkward with them as well. I don't know what to say a lot of times because I can be a bit of an introvert. I just hope while entertaining myself, writing songs I like, I can influence someone else to write so I'll have something good to listen to when I'm old and hanging around this mountain cabin.
To learn more about Bloody Hammers and to pre-order Under Satan's Sun, visit the band's website.