Metal Pride
CoC chats with Dave Ingram of Bolt Thrower
by: Adrian Bromley
While the new Bolt Thrower album _Honour, Valour, Pride_ [reviewed in this issue] may not be my favourite Bolt Thrower album (I just can't get into some of the material), it still does have the strength and stamina that can been found within their classic releases, like 1992's _The IVth Crusade_ and 1994's intense _...For Victory_. The music, while taking in some new ideas, pretty much stays true to the Bolt Thrower form and allows the war machine to roll on.

One new addition to the band that is bringing some changes to the sounds of Bolt Thrower is ex-Benediction singer Dave Ingram, who replaced singer Karl Willets after the recording of 1998's _Mercenary_. No doubt Ingram knew that him joining Bolt Thrower was a big deal and put a bit of pressure on him and how things would work out with fellow band members Gavin Ward and Baz Thomson (guitarists), drummer Martin Kearns and bassist Jo Bench. He isn't complaining. He's been a fan of the band for years and was excited to be a part of this monstrous musical force.

As the call comes in from Dave Ingram from his home in Denmark, I reveal to him that it had been a long time since we had last spoken. The last time I had spoken to him was for CoC #2 (a long fucking time ago, folks!!!) during the summer of 1995 and he was doing press for his old band Benediction and their Nuclear Blast release _The Dreams You Dread_.

"Oh", Ingram says. "You know I am in another band now, right?"

We both laugh.

The topic quickly turns to Bolt Thrower's new album, _Honour, Valour, Pride_, the first with Ingram on vocals. "I am very proud of the end results. I am very happy with the new record, as is everyone else in the band. If we weren't happy with the end result of _Honour, Valour, Pride_, we wouldn't have left the studio", says Ingram. "If we were completely unsatisfied, we would have wiped it all clean and started again. We are of that mind. We do take a lot of pride in our work; it is hard work, but it was a lot of fun. We all worked hard and we all did our part."

"We had a much bigger range with what we could do as a band this time around. This was my first recording with the band, but I have had loads of experience in the studio with my previous band, so all of that helped make the recording experience a bit different this time out."

Any first time jitters when starting off the recording with a new band?

"No", states Ingram. "It felt really, really comfortable. There was never any tension at all or any trepidation or holding back. Regardless of me being in the band or someone else, Bolt Thrower is a war machine that keeps rolling on and I am just glad to be a part of it on this record and for future recordings with the band. The band just rolled with what they had. There weren't any false starts when I came aboard. It was all still pretty much in motion. It was totally smooth."

What did you bring to the recording of _Honour, Valour, Pride_?

"We tried a lot of things in the studio with this album", says Ingram. "I personally used three different type of microphones. I used ambient ones, handheld ones and even sang in the control room to get certain sounds. We tried different ways to get the parts down. Some didn't work out, but others did sound awesome. What we did was take parts of songs, lines or even words that held up and put it together. So in fact, we recorded all the vocals like four times, but just took from each technique."

He adds, "Even though new things are implemented into the sound and direction of the band, it still remains Bolt Thrower. I have always been a fan of the band, well before I joined, and I knew what their ideology was and what they always set out to do with each of their albums. I knew that they always strived to keep this theme running throughout. When I was in Benediction we toured with Bolt Thrower, so I knew everyone, and that made it an even easier move into the band when I joined."

And what songs on _Honour, Valour, Pride_ do you think best represent Bolt Thrower currently?

"I'd have to say all of them", says Ingram in typical musician fashion. "Really, I think all are a great representation of where we are now as a band. But on a personal level, I'd have to say the song "Suspect Hostile" because of the lyrics. For me, some of the lyrics in the song, I haven't seen before. I wrote that song with Gavin. We tossed around a lot of ideas for that song, back and forth, and the end result is superb. I love the way the lyrics ended up. I actually got a huge buzz when we recorded that track in the studio."

So music really affects you?

"Yes, it does. It really gives me a high", exclaims the singer. "I have been a huge fan of heavy metal since I got into Black Sabbath when I was seven years old. I have followed music through many genres growing up, and I always wanted to do be in a band and record albums and tour. I got to do this, and it just makes me feel so good inside knowing that I accomplished something I always dreamed of doing. Being in a band is great. I don't care if this band gets good news, bad news or just gossip talked about us. It is showing that people know who we are and it makes me feel good. The whole band is proud to have been doing this for so long and still be part of the scene."

You'd think after years of playing in Benediction and non-stop recording and touring that Ingram would have grown tired at this point in his career of making music and everything else that comes with it. That isn't the case -- more like the opposite of how he feels.

"It kind of feels like home", says Ingram exuberantly about being in Bolt Thrower. "I don't want to use the word "comfortable" again, but it just does feel that way for me. It just fits like a jigsaw puzzle, really. I am glad that this is all working out and that I know what to expect with Bolt Thrower. Bolt Thrower has never taken any outside influence from anybody. Bolt Thrower has always been Bolt Thrower and that is the way things are continuing for the band into 2002."

He ends, "Bolt Thrower isn't arrogant at all, but we see Bolt Thrower's music as one of a kind. There is nothing out there like this and there never will be. Our crusade continues and we invite our fans to come along for the ride."

(article submitted 14/1/2002)


CHATS
10/31/2005 J Smit Bolt Thrower: Armageddon's Just a Matter of Time
1/16/1999 P Schwarz Bolt Thrower: Mercenaries; Battling For Victory
ALBUMS
10/10/2005 J Smit 9 Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
1/14/2002 D Rocher 7 Bolt Thrower - Honour, Valour, Pride
10/1/1998 A Bromley 7 Bolt Thrower - Mercenary
GIGS
3/14/1999 M Noll Bolt Thrower / Crowbar / Totenmond Zeus Himself Would've Been Proud
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