We sat down with Andrew Rasmussen, vocalist of Astral Blood, to get the scoop on what the band is up to.
I’ll start off with a potentially loaded question. What genre would you describe your band as?
I would define Astral Blood as an atmospheric black metal band.
Damn. How did Astral Blood come to be? When was that. November of… what year was it… fuck. (grabs laptop) 2013! (laughs). I originally started it as a solo project for myself. With time it kind of just became more than that. We had an original line up that fell through after a couple of demos and a handful of shows.
What is the current line up?
Well there’s me on vocals. Joe Waller, who is seriously a badass, as our drummer. He’s such an amazing drummer, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist. Just an all around good addition. His main projects are Nuklear Frost and Amiensus . He even had Abigail Williams frontman Ken Sorceron mix one of Amiensus’s albums and do guest vocals on one of their songs. Tommy and Alex, the two guitar players, are from another band called Sept of Memnon. They fucking kill it, i’m a big fan of their work.
Okay cool, so you’ve got a line up. What’s next for you?
We’re about 40% done recording a 3 song ep. we’re going to finish this and put it out this Fall through Tridroid Records. Hopefully by late October / early November we can start booking shows.
How did it come about that you got signed by Tridroid?
With the original line up we played shows. We played with LockGnar last November and Andrew, the main dude of Tridroid records, happened to be at the show. He really dug what we did and he signed us on the spot. It was like our 3rd show haha.
Oh wow! haha that’s dope. You mentioned booking shows after the EP release?
We are definitely going to be playing shows after the EP is released. But the thing is, the two guitar players live in Illinois and the rest of us live in Minnesota. The guitar players play in a band out there and we all play in other bands here too. So that leaves us in a spot where we can only play like 6 or 7 shows a year. But it’s cool because they will travel up here to play shows, and then we will travel down there to play shows. And then some places in between where we can meet in the middle. BUT! since we’re only doing 6 or 7 shows a year, we will have a lot of time to focus on promoting those shows and make them as big as possible.
Can we talk about the recording process for you guys? How do you manage recording with members spread across two states?
The guitar players get together and write their parts and record them to a click track. They email them to Joe and he writes and records drums. From there it gets sent to Alec, where he adds keys and tweaks the drums. Then he sends the tracks to me and I lay down vocals. Joe Waller might be doing some vocals as well.
Sounds like a lot of work.
Yeah, it is.
So you already have the artwork done for the EP. Can you explain that process a little bit?
Yeah, we went through our friend from Italy Raoul Mazzero. He also designed our logo. He’s done artwork for some of the bands that I really enjoy, so i was already familiar with his work and thought it was badass. So I hit him up and got a quote and I was cool with his answer. He gave us a hell of a deal for some sick ass artwork.
Andrew thanks so much for your time. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap it up?
Just a big thanks to anyone who has supported us so far, and to keep your eyes out for the EP coming out this fall!