Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourselves. What style to do play and who would you liken yourselves to?
The main influences musically for this project has been the atmospherics of The Gathering, the walls of sound of Devin Townsend and pace and heaviness of bands like Machine Head and Killswitch Engage. I really love the emotional music but I don’t want to get too dragged down into a dark hole so a lot of my songs have down moments but then pick up again, a kind of ‘c’mon get up! Be strong!’ type moments. The closest genre to our sound would be ‘Cinematic Prog Metal’…!
Who’s in the band and how did you all meet?
Technically, Heart Through Sacrifice is a solo project. All instruments and production duties on the record were carried out by myself. For the live performance I have some good friends from other bands on guitars and the singer from the album, Corinne Cooper, to bring the songs to life.
Your latest single – Pride and Honour/Him was released on the 16th January. Is this a hint at more new music on the way?
‘Pride and Honour / Him’ is track 4 from a 10 track record that is out now, but only available as a physical CD direct from the band via facebook or at future shows. We may release it digitally in the near future. Currently there are 50 copies left from a limited edition 100 copy run.
Who produced and mixed this music? Have you worked with them before, and if not how was it working together?
I produced the album but final mixing and mastering duties were carried out by Matt Bew at the Whitehouse Studios in Reading. I’ve worked with Matt a number of times before on various projects and he is a patient man I can tell you that now! We had quite strict time and budget constraints and he still managed to work magic with my tracks.
What is your songwriting and recording process? Where do you look for inspiration?
Although I’ve recorded many times now with my previous bands, Voodoo Diamond, the Superhelix, Hold the Dawn and also my current band, Emma and the Fragments, this is the first time I’ve done it all on my own. The experience gained from working with guys including Scott Atkins (Cradle of Filth…) and Justin Hill (SikTh, Heart of a Coward…) really helped get me started with the basics of recording and some ‘tricks of the trade’ techniques. New software from companies like Neural DSP and Line 6 allowed me to track all guitars at home, but for drums, I had to do those live in the studio as I still feel you can’t replace live drums. For vocals, I took Corinne to London Road Studios in Baldock and we worked with their engineer, Max Hopwood, who did a great job on getting clean vocal takes to bring to the mix.
Who made the album art, and is there any sort of hidden meanings to it?
Bec Dennison from Bullet on a String designed all the cover art and logos. The album itself is a concept album written around a 10 chapter story, a kind of dark fantasy tale inspired by Greek mythology, Game of Thrones, Anime and even God of War! Bec took elements of the tale and my own half Japanese heritage and assembled the beautiful cover art you see now.
Where do you think you will be, this time next year?
I would love to be writing the sequel to the album and story, Heart Through Sacrifice II …! Hopefully I can come up with a better name…
Where can we find out more about you?
Facebook and Instagram are great places to follow the band, but for the music, check us out on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon etc as you get the current singles and the instrumental versions of each one.
Anything else you would like to tell us?
2020 has just begun and with it, rehearsals as well. Hopefully we will get some shows on the road and play outside of London. It’s quite hard for a small unsigned and relatively unknown band like us to find gigs and venues that suit our music. Most places say we are too heavy and then heavy places find us not quite heavy enough… So lets see, fingers crossed we can find some venues and other great bands to share the stage with this year.
I’d like to thank Doug for taking the time to chat to us and wish him the best with all the new music.