As many of you know by now, Huntress is taking the metal world by storm, one show at a time. They play hard, they play fast, and were easily one of the three best bands I saw on Mayhem Fest. And I am far from alone in my assessment. Ask around, you’ll see. I managed to get a few minutes with guitarist Blake Meahl about an hour after they finshed rockin’ the balls off of a pretty rabid crowd at 1:30 in the afternoon. We talked past, present, future, and uh…salt stains. Read what he had to say about it all:
Amps: What’s been the coolest fan experience of the tour so far?
Blake: Well, it was pretty funny watching a Battlecross fan get plowed under some trees in Tampa, FL, just totally wasted. But for us, it’s been a completely mind-blowing experience to see so many people out there singing the words to our songs. For a record that’s brand new, to have that kind of response, and people already having it down pat just blew our minds completely, you know?
Amps: What song (s) have the crowds been going the most nuts to?
Blake: Zenith. Just the speed of it. That’s what the kids out here wanna see and hear at 1:30 in the afternoon in a hundred bajillion fucking degrees (laughs), to get their ass beat and that’s the song that brings it for ‘em.
Amps: I know the plan is for another album next year. Can you tell me anything more about the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone?
Blake: It’s all still real infantile. The work kind of does itself. This last record for instance, we just blocked out some time and just did it, which was a crazy new experience for us. The first record we had different line-ups, and we worked on it a really long time, demoed it, etc. This one we just said, “Ok. Next record. Let’s do it!” Three months of writing and kicking ass, and it turned out to be a way more organic record, more natural sounding. I think this next one will be more like that, but it’s gonna be a little angrier.
Amps: There’s a real evolution from Spell Eater to Starbound Beast, and I think this record sounds more streamlined. Tell me about that.
Blake: A lot of that is a credit to our new guitar player, Ant Crocamo and also our producer Zeus. He’s a guru man, he’s just so awesome! He came in and knew our vision. He had done a lot of metalcore and hardcore bands. We were like, “We hear great things about you, and your experience is not necessarily where our hearts are at”, and he’s like, “No man, I’m all about old school Riot, Scorpions, and that stuff”, so we really jibed with him and it all came together, he totally got it. So this next one, hopefully we’ll do with him again. We learned the ropes, so now we can really kick some ass.
Amps: So up next is the Danzig tour. I’m sure you guys are real stoked for that one, and then you’re out with Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, and Testament. Do you guys EVER stop? What’s after that?
Blake: (Laughing) we’ve got something coming, just as big but I can’t say it yet. In another two weeks they’re gonna announce that we’ll be in Europe on a monster of a tour. This year has just been incredible for us.
Amps: So you’re gonna spend pretty much the remainder of this year and a good part of next year on the road, then?
Blake: Yeah. We’ll see what the future holds. I think January and February we’re gonna be gone a lot, and then hopefully we’ll get some time to catch our sanity (laughs) and work on the next record. Certainly no sitting at home twiddling our thumbs.
Amps: You, and Battlecross, and Butcher Babies, you all support each other so much on social media. In addition to that, you’re also three of the most talked about and praised bands on this tour, more so than some of the headliners. How does that feel?
Blake: It’s awesome, man. The attention that we’ve been getting has just been incredible. And when it comes to supporting each other it’s just the most important thing. You know, we don’t do the same thing, Butcher babies and us, I think we’re light years apart in what we’re trying to accomplish, but I think everybody’s out there, and we’re all busting our asses, and we’re all working really hard, everybody’s so cool, and there’s room for all of us. There’s no competition, we’re all in this together, and everybody’s so cool to each other, and we work as a team. As far as support goes, one of the most incredible things has been hanging out with all these headliners and bigger bands that we’ve looked up to for a long time, like Amon Amarth and Machine Head, and they come up to us and say, “we love what you’re doing. We really like your band!” Amon Amarth have been so supportive and sweet to us. They really wanted to take us out on their European tour, but it didn’t pan out because of the Lamb of God tour. Yesterday I heard Robb Flynn soundchecking with the riff from “Spell Eater”, and I’m thinking, “Why is Ant up onstage soundchecking?!? This doesn’t make sense!”, so I went around the corner and it’s Robb. That was just so cool.
On another level that plays a big part in getting these tours, these incredible tours that are coming up. People think, “Oh, tits, or somebody blew somebody”, which is unfortunately how some people think, but what’s so cool is that a lot of the reason that we’re on these tours is support directly from these artists, you know? Danzig has wanted us to do this tour for a long time. This was the third shot at this opportunity. Chris Adler from Lamb of God reached out to us back when Spell Eater came out and told us how much he loved the record. Jill and he kept in touch. Granted no one’s met each other yet, but he pushed for us, and that support from the community has just been unreal.
Amps: Ok. Last show of the tour. What have you learned, and/or will you take away from this?
Blake: It’s just been the most insane boot camp and summer camp all wrapped up into one. You get your ass kicked into shape, you know? Learning the routine, learning how to get your merch game in order, and we get to play the same stage every day with the same sound guys. At our level, that’s so rare. You’re used to dealing with whatever idiot house guy is at whatever venue who doesn’t give a shit about you or what you’re trying to do. “Oh, another fuckin’ opening band!” So to have that opportunity to be with an awesome crew and people that really are good, you have no more excuses. If you fuck up it’s you because your surroundings are perfect. I think that level of professionalism has conditioned us a lot.
Amps: Years from now, what will you remember?
Blake: Oh wow. Sweating more than I’ve ever sweated in my entire life. Just yesterday, sitting at the merch tent, I’ll never forget it being sunset at like, 8pm, not doing any work, just hoping to sell another t-shirt, and just being drenched! I’ve never seen salt stains like that ever. Made me wanna hurl, it’s disgusting, yuck (laughing)!
Amps: Blake, thanks for spending a couple minutes with us, I know you’re hot and tired. Can’t wait to see you back here in November.
Blake: Right on, brother. Thanks!
Such a humble young guy. From hanging with him, you’d have no idea he’s in one of the hottest bands around right now. But something tells me, after speaking with him, and singer Jill Janus last month, that everyone in the band is that way, and will always be that way.