Interview with Donna Hurd (lead singer with Bloodyard)
The first time I saw you guys was at SOS festival in Radcliffe and couple of years ago. I remember you jumping off the stage and chasing me out of the hall. You scared the living daylights out of me!!! I believe that you are a teacher; do you chase your pupils out of the classroom when they are misbehaving?
My pleasure! I remember – you looked terrified, I felt really bad! I manage the exclusion unit in our school, so my job is to look after pupils that have done something particularly naughty….so more often than not I’m chasing them into my unit rather than out!
I believe you teach music. Do you teach your pupils how to sing like yourself?
I actually don’t teach music. No, but the pupils are always asking me to demonstrate what I do in Bloodyard!
I’ve tried to growl like you, but it makes my throat tickle. How do you actually sing like that? Is there a technique so you don’t hurt your vocal chords? I would love to be able to growl like that. Can you teach me so I can scare my Dad???
It took me a LOT of practice to be able to do it without hurting myself. The trick is to use your tummy muscles to push out the noise and that takes some of the stress away from your throat. Drinking lots of water to keep your vocal chords hydrated is very important, too – as much as you can!
You won through to play at Bloodstock last year. Wow, that must have been amazing! How did you guys feel about it? I bet you weren’t sober by the end of it!!!! Is this one of your best achievements as a band so far?
Ah, yes! That was so exciting for us as we are massive fans of the festival! We were absolutely made up to have been chosen to play, and even more so when Scuzz TV chose us to run a feature comparing our experience to that year’s headliners (Trivium).
Your last EP, Darker Rage, was released in March 2015. Are there any plans for a new EP anytime soon?
Absolutely! We have loads of new material written and on the drawing board, and we plan on slowing down the gigging schedule a bit and make time to get some of it recorded as soon as possible!
Who would you say your main influences are, and who do you like listening to in your spare time? Do you have any guilty pleasures such as being a secret Take That fan?
As a vocalist I’d probably say Randy Blythe is my biggest influence, but for the band as a whole we draw from a really wide variety of influences, which perhaps is what gives us such a diverse sound. I don’t have too much in the way of guilty pleasures really – I listen to all sorts of rock and metal and very little else! Probably the most surprising for people would be Pink, I enjoy quite a lot of her music.
Have you any favourite band that you like playing with?
We’re really spoiled for really good bands that are made up of great people in this area! I always love to gig with All Consumed, Deified, Footprints In The Custard, Triverse Massacre, Another Dead Hero, Impavidus….haha! So many bands!
Is there any venue that you would really like to perform at that you have never played before?
Aw, there’s loads still! I’m not sure there’s any one iconic venue as such that we want to play, we just want to keep reaching out to new areas of the country and spreading our noise around, really!
Is there anyone in the music world that you would like to put in the rubbish bin and why?
Gimmick bands! Not one’s who play good music, too – but the ones that are just a gimmick and mediocre (at best) musically. I just don’t get it and for some reason it bugs me! Haha!
What have you guys got planned for the future? Any big news that you would like to tell your fans about?
New music, more gigs – hopefully in new areas and touching base with places we haven’t been for a while! Biggest news I can share with you would be that we are playing the Hard Rock Hell show at Birmingham Academy in February! Super exciting for us to be on the same bill as Skindred, Sodom, Evile, Raging Speedhorn, Lawnmower Deth, Winterfylleth, HELL, Senser, Feed the Rhino, and so many more! We can’t wait!
Jovi Hacker (12)