On the first day of Summer Slaughter tour I had the good fortune to find Alex Hofmann of Fallujah and I managed to get time out of his busy day for some questions and answers. Check the conversation below.
Miikka Skaffari: It’s been about two years since we spoke last time. What has happened with Fallujah since?
Alex Hofmann: A lot. We got new guitar player. We have new album coming out. Tours. A lot of traveling, almost non-stop traveling. Since last time things really went into high gear and having the new album coming out now really accelerates things. Everything's really coming together for us.
MS: The new album has received a lot of great reviews everywhere. How would you say it is different than your previous albums?
AH: It’s more focused. It’s broader, but also more focused. We are taking more risks but everything feels like a cohesive package this time. I think the songs are just better written and it carries a lot more emotional impact. The last album was a bit more brutal whereas this is a bit more orchestrated and ethereal sounding. We made the exact album we wanted to make.
MS: The new album has more of a atmospheric buildup to the songs. Was this a conscious choice?
AH: We’ve had the tag of atmospheric death metal attached to us for a long time and we really just wanted to put a stamp on it finally. We had all those elements on previous albums. The last EP and the last full length would definitely be considered the same style. We really just put our own brand on it this time. This really is becoming Fallujah’s sound.
MS: This is the first day of the tour. What are your expectations for Summer Slaughter?
AH: Just keep things running like a machine. I handle all the communication and liaison stuff with the tour manager, our label, booking agent and manager. I’m on my phone the whole day. We are playing and loading in and out and I’m on the phone all day. The first few days are always stressful. I can’t wait to just have a beer and chill out tonight and the to tackle it all again tomorrow.
MS: You have long tours behind you as a band. How do you change during a tour? Does the music change during a tour?
AH: We just become a better band. It’s funny how you can practice endlessly in your garage or in your jam space but there is something about touring that just makes you so solid. Playing those songs and performing every night is just different than playing at home. There’s really nothing more conducive to become a better band that touring and playing live. Playing every night on the stage makes you to develop the chemistry and strengthens the enamel that you have with each others.
MS: What kind of a band are you off tour? Do you jam together often?
AH: We all hang out. We weren’t jamming that much when we wrote our first album because we write everything at home with computers and stuff. So we just really jam a lot just before a tour. I live a but far away but everybody just hangs out every week. Everyone is together all the time. We are now in the position where we operate on what tour we are on or what tour we are about to be doing. Everything is kind of focused around that. If we are not writing an album it’s touring or prepping for a tour.
MS: What’s in store for Fallujah after Summer Slaughter?
AH: We have a little West Coast run right before we go to Europe. We are going to be in Europe for six weeks with Dying Fetus, Goatwhore and Malevolence. We are really excited to go back. We had fun time last year.
MS: Where are you going to be playing in Europe?
AH: We are going to all kinds of new territory. We hit the typical route of UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, France last time. This time we are hitting all those places but we are also doing Spain, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and others. We are also excited to go to Norway and back to Finland. I f**king loved Helsinki. We had a day off last time and it was amazing.
MS: Is the work seasonal for you when you work in and around music?
AH: We are just now beginning our album cycle. We are probably not going to be even worried about writing a new album for a year and a half maybe even two years depending on how things go. Right now we are at the very beginning. We normally have a month or two months between tours and that is kind of us time. We all convene about a week before a tour to work on the set, get all our merch sorted out and shit like that.
MS: I know you also have a graphic design business. Do you design all your own merch?
AH: Yeah. All our merch and there are two other bands on this tour that have designs that I have done. It’s cool to see kids wear not only your own bands merch but also stuff you have designed for someone else. And it’s a good marketing opportunity being around so many other bands.
MS: Any special regards to readers?
AH: Come see us on this tour. Come buy the CD, buy some merch and support us any way you can. We’ll be going everywhere so you should be able to come to our show near you.