We all grew up hearing a lot of music from the UK of many Metal subgenres, so when you have the privilege to talk with a tireless inspiration of Death Metal like DAVID INGRAM is, you want to know everything about him: currently musical projects, lockdown effects, some personal issues. And these are just a few aspects, now we invite you to discover the person behind the stage, if you´re not a fan of David & BENEDICTION yet, after reading this interview, YOU WILL.
How were you to grow in Birmingham, the hometown of some huge metal bands?
I was born in a small place called Bloxwich. It was several miles/kilometers away from Birmingham. My family moved around a lot, but we eventually settled in Birmingham in the late ’70s. But I’d been listening to Black Sabbath – from Birmingham! – since I was 6 years old, so the metal bands weren’t alien to me by any means.
When and how did you get involved in metal music?
Back when I was 6 I heard Black Sabbath for the first time. That was a crystallization moment for me. I knew where my musical path lay – and it was the left-hand one. I’d always wanted to be in a band and playing music myself – in fact, I began as a bass player in a few bands…but they weren’t as fulfilling as I wanted, though they were certainly fun, and helped give me needed experience in the music business.
When did you know that you want to be a metal singer?
The band I was in prior to Benediction was called PLAGUE HDC, and I was playing bass. When the singer temporarily left to go traveling I took over the vocals and found I was a better singer than I was a bass player, so a change was definitely coming for me. That came soon after with BENEDICTION.
Which bands are your inspirations or influence?
There are many, but the bands would be BLACK SABBATH, CELTIC FROST and HELLHAMMER, VENOM, and of course…early SLAYER. Vocally I was influenced by both Tom G Warrior and Kam Lee, as I wanted to sound so much like them. I think I got that sorted. Lyrically (in both subjects and structure) I’d say the aforementioned bands and vocalists, as well as Ian Anderson (JETHRO TULL), Nick Blinko (RUDIMENTARY PENI), Steve Ignorant (CRASS), and – of course – Lemmy!
How did you get into the band right after Barney Greenway?
I was out in Birmingham city with some friends (the guys from my old band PLAGUE HDC) as the singer was again going traveling. I bumped into the guys from BENEDICTION looking somewhat down and asked what the problem was. They told me Barney had quit for NAPALM DEATH full-time and they needed a replacement. I asked if I could audition and the rest is, as they say, history.
How did you develop your vocal technique?
Mostly from emulating Tom G Warrior and Kam Lee. Plus I would often roar along to songs on a cassette tape while I was at work. (They had a basement that no one used, so I could go down there and practice as much as I needed. It helped for my audition.)
Where does your inspiration come from to write the lyrics?
A lot comes from everyday life and things I experience. There is also, of course, a lot of fiction that I am interested in, whether it’s sci-fi, horror, or even Shakespeare. It’s a wide slice of pretty much everything.
How were the feelings to get into the band after more than 20 years?
It feels so good to be back in the band, and as soon as the pandemic eases restrictions we can all get back to playing live shows. We obviously played a few before all this madness began, and they were incredibly well-received. I can’t wait to get out and play some of the new tracks too.
How is your creative process? Who writes the music and the lyrics?
The rest of the guys write the music – usually, Darren and Rew working together – and they send demo tracks for me to work on, maybe adding or removing parts as necessary to make the songs as perfect for us as we can. It’s a very cool process and I am most comfortable working that way.
Some new blood comes into the band in 2019, what do you think DAN and GIO gave to BENEDICTION?
They’ve known each other and have worked together before, for some time too, so there was an instant gelling for them. They are quite a pair of characters, and that in itself brings a lot to opt strength to the band, as well as their solid performance.
Are you conscious that your loyal fans worldwide feel that “Scriptures” it´s one of your best albums and looks like you return to old-style?
We are, and we are very happy to hear that our fans, old and new, have such positive thoughts and feelings for us. Any band who doesn’t say their latest album is their best work needs to throw in the towel and quit. BUT we actually DO think this is our best! And the fans agree with us.
If somebody never heard about BENEDICTION, which album do you recommend hearing first and why?
I would usually tell folks to listen to the band from the beginning to hear the natural progression of the band. That way they could make up their own mind. This would work if a band only had a handful of releases, but with BENEDICTION, I would say try “Transcend The Rubicon” first, then move to the new album. If you’re still interested after those two then you’ll definitely want to go back and hear all the others.
Living in different countries, how can the band keep in contact with new musical ideas?
The internet. We transfer music, add our parts to it, change and edit what is necessary, then make it a demo track we are happy with. Then we can say it is ready to be professionally recorded.
About streaming concerts: What do you think about this kind of business? Do you like the idea to make any in the future?
I think it’s an excellent idea! For example, the ASPHYX album release stream was a great success. For BENEDICTION, it’s a problem since we have members in different countries and with all the restrictions we cannot get together. Live gigs will commence again once this virus madness is over.
How much do you miss playing music alive? When was the last gig?
I very much want to get out again and tread the boards. We have shows lined up for Europe this year that were moved from last year. Hopefully, we will be out again for the summertime. The last gig was in Italy, in December 2019!
Any update on when the band will be back out on the road touring?
After the pandemic is over. No one can do anything until then.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got the debut album by my one project HELLFROST AND FIRE coming out this year on Transcending Obscurity Records. It’s completely finished and getting ready for release (There’s a track available on the band page over on Facebook) I’m also working on several other projects at once, though right now it’s the newest one called STYGIAN DARK. I’ll also be doing something new called FORMALDEHYDIST, also new albums from DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, ECHELON, and URSINNE. There’s also the TROIKADON album to complete! As well as maybe working on some ideas for newer BENEDICTION tracks – but nothing set in stone for that just yet. As you see, I have a lot of things going on.
How was the experience as a singer of another Death-Metal legend, as BOLT THROWER is?
I was a fan of the band from when they began, so it was a chance of a lifetime to be asked to join them as a vocalist. It is something I treasure greatly and will take with me forever.
How many musical projects are you involved in these days? How do you work on each one?
Including Benediction, there are 8 bands. If you count the times I work with JUST BEFORE DAWN then 9, but that will only be for certain tracks in the future. I like to be busy and have difficulty in saying ‘no” to bands. (By the way, if anyone wants vocals on their release, then my rates are very good!) 😉
What do you do, besides the music business?
I do like craft beers, but only certain types of IPA. I’m not a beer snob, I just know what I like and what I don’t. My favorite type of IPA is a fruity one, sometimes sour too. I have a couple of favorites I drink on weekends that I look forward to during the week. I never drink Sunday to Thursday because of my job (unless I’m playing a gig!) and I work at the Danish Cancer Research Foundation. That’s my day-job. The radio show isn’t as often as I want, but it’s due to both time restraints and Covid restrictions. Hopefully, there will be more episodes soon. I also have 2 dogs – Bella and Clara – that I am crazy in love with. Of course, there is also my wife and son too. It’s a good life here in Denmark!
Which bands are your latest discovery?
It’s quite rare I listen to newer music, besides those that appear on my show Metal Breakfast Radio (link below) but I can say that I do quite like the new HEADS FOR THE DEAD album. Plus the latest by UNDERGANG is AMAZING!!! I’m quite a big fan of theirs! In truth, I prefer listening to older death metal bands, or non-death metal stuff. Some of my favorites bands are QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DESERT SESSIONS, THEM CROOKED VULTURES, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, and KYUSS (Yes, they all feature Joshua Homme. I am a HUGE fan of that guy’s musical art!)
Can you give me your favorites new metal album releases of 2020?
I can certainly say that UNDERGANG’s “Aldrig I Livet” is number one on my list, followed closely by TRIPTYKON (with the Metropol Orchestra), DARKENED “Kingdom of Decay”, HEADS FOR THE DEAD “Into The Red”, INCANTATION “Sect Of Vile Divinities” and GODEN “Beyond Darkness”
How have you handled the last year?
I have had 2 hip replacement operations, so the year really focused on those for me, and healing. It was probably the best time to get them done so that I will be fit and ready for the gigs when Covid finally gets vaccinated away.
How do you see the metal scene nowadays?
In these present times, it’s hibernating when it comes to live shows, but there is a MASSIVE amount of great music being produced by bands. More than I could ever listen to! This is a great thing because it shows how we can come together and be creative when that unity is needed.
How do you sense about this year and all the projects that you planned are going to work?
I am optimistic that there will be festivals this summer. I’m not a pessimist in that respect, and I am listening to the scientists and experts – I’m not getting my information from a YouTube video!! – so I suggest everyone keeps wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing for the time being. That way we can have gigs again!
Time to express my gratitude to you for all the themes you answer us about, now please can you give any advice to the upcoming bands?
Stay true to yourselves, your style of music, and don’t make any compromises to your art. That way the scene will stay true to you. Keep at it and never lose faith in what you are doing. If what you’ve written feels ‘wrong’ then get rid of it and start again. Never be downhearted if that happens.
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