It started first as a subtle rumble, a ripple in a glass of water left on a desk. Now as the dust settles we can see the monstrosity that blocks out the sun before us – it’s a brand new album from Blood Command, who have been spending the last little while drawing up their plans for us, plans concerned with World Domination.
As all good villians do, Blood Command monologued us through their plans.
With an expected collision date of Friday, 29th September, Blood Command’s schemes will hatch fairly soon, and if lead singles Losing Faith, Decades and title track World Domination are to go by – we simply cannot fathom what the band has in store for us. The tracks we’ve heard so far are woozier than we’re used to, more appropriate for the bedroom on a sleepless night at 3am than the thumping, electrified festival anthems the band has released in the past.
What’s more, the three singles frame a scene of loss, and the inability to handle it set to the backdrop of breathless, defeated acceptance … what possibly could that have to do with World Domination?
As BLUNT would learn speaking with vocalist Nikki Brumen, it’s not on us to understand or question the whims of Blood Command, but merely to let our new global titans simply enact them upon us.
I wouldn’t be so bold as to presume the general vibe of a 20-track album after hearing just three singles, but off the rip – Is this going to be a heartbreak album?
Nikki Brumen: It’s a difficult one because I don’t want to give too much away. What I will say is this record is the most Blood Command record in every way, shape, and form in terms of pushing the boundaries completely to the extreme. That might give people a hint as to what the record could entail.
Blood Command’s entire mantra has always been to do what people don’t want us to do. We’ve done this because we’ve just really wanted to write these songs, and we just really wanted them to sound like this. Yngve Andersen and I have written all of the lyrics together, and it felt really natural to go in this direction.
I hate to say this, it’s the least punk thing to talk about punk, but it is the most punk thing to do something against the grain. I think it’s so pointless doing heavy music just for the sake of doing it, when you can still get the same aggression or passion or emotion out in a country ballad. Blood Command at its essence is going against the grain, so I think, for the true, diehard Blood Command fans, they realise exactly what we’re doing, I think..
…Or they’ll think we’ve just gone insane.
It’s great, in theory, to plan an album that does what you’ve just said – purposefully against the grain. But when you sit down to actually do that thing, how do you go about actually doing it?
Nikki: Up until this point, Yngve had written all of the lyrics for all of the previous Blood Command records. I am somebody who needs to use my voice and I need to write lyrics. I’m a songwriter, and I love doing it. We sat down, and the first night we started writing lyrics together. It was either a make-or-break situation. It was either going to be, “Nikki is going to write lyrics with me,” or, “I’m going to continue to write lyrics alone.”
We sat down and we just started riffing ideas. We both love a sad boy lyric or a sad girl lyric, and we both also love a lyric about being really pissed off and angry at the world. I was going through a lot of emotions. I’d had a lot of stuff happen in my life, from both of my parents passing away quite recently to a breakup I’d gone through, and Yngve had some things that had evoked similar feelings. We were both exactly on the same page.
I’ve never been happier with lyrics. He and I had never written with anybody else before, and we both said it’s the best work we’ve ever done. We needed each other to do it, and then we needed these songs to complete the puzzle.
You’ve only released a specific type of song from the new album, and ones that happen to be at the very end of it no less, I feel like there’s some plan being this, are you scheming something with the rest of the album roll out?
Nikki: Oh, yeah. This is strategy, complete strategy. What we’ve done so far has been completely on purpose, intentional, in line with thematically what the album’s about, in line with the sound of it, in line with what people are going to expect and aren’t going to expect. Once that record drops, it will either make complete sense or make absolutely no sense. To us, it makes complete sense, so that’s what matters.
Your output has always been exciting, but there has been that scaffold of heavy music, or at least heavy instrumentals. Knowing that you wouldn’t have distorted guitar and big drums to hide behind, did it change how you wrote?
Nikki: It didn’t change it at all for me because everything I write and everything I’ve written in the past, even in my days when I was only a screaming vocalist, I always wrote every word with a purpose of it being there. I never want to cut corners. I don’t want to put a cop-out line in there. Yngve and I, when we were writing, we would push ourselves so hard and say, “No, this isn’t a good enough line.” Even if it was a really good line. Working together has enhanced both of us, made us both better writers, then being able to do these pop songs, where you can hear the lyrics so clearly, shows that it is really good songwriting.
Even if there was to be a screaming song [on World Domination], maybe there will, maybe there won’t, the lyrics are still equally as thought out and equally as good and I’m equally as proud of them. I hope that people can get the same things out of all of our songs that they have from these songs. Because the most positive thing that I’ve experienced is people have said, “I can relate so much to Losing Faith. I can relate so much to Decades.” That’s what I love about the song, and that for me is pure, good songwriting, when the fans and the audience can get something out of it. They’re my favourite songs, so I want to do that for other people.
We’re talking about all this vulnerability, and heartbreak and sadness, but the album is called World Dominaton, so there’s obviously a lot of fucking confidence about this thing …
Nikki: Oh, no. Again, as I said, everything is completely intentional and everything has an idea behind it. As a very Blood Command theme, we always reference some religious movements, in particular the Heaven’s Gate movement, which a cult.
The song ‘Decades’, is actually because they were wearing Nike Decades. Everything is completely intentional. We, as a band, have our fan base, which we call the Awake Team, which is a play on Heaven’s Gate’s followers, which was called The Away Team.
We want to create this exclusive club for our fans and have this world domination one day. So it’s a little bit of a play on that side of the cult thing, but also a lot of the lyrics go hand in hand with the title as well. I can’t say too much about it because some of the songs will explain it when you hear them, when you hear the rest of the, what, 18 other songs you haven’t heard yet. As you said, it’s a 20-song record.
Which is insane.
Right. It sounds as though it’s world domination, as metaphorically to do with the lyrics but then also just literally, because of the lyrics.