Leanin' out of the window, Runnin' from the gun, Caught in webs of invention, It's the blood, it's the BLOOD OF THE SUN ...

By Earthdog

Blood of the Sun originated from Fort Worth, TX, USA and formed in 2004. For their third LP "Death Ride" they teamed up with one of rock's most legendary singers, Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent's band from the 70's. Since "Death Ride" the band have firmly cemented their position as one of the world leaders in authentic-sounding 70's hard rock. Sure, there are a lot of bands doing it but few have been as consistently great as Blood of the Sun. They are easily my favorite 70's sounding band so this interview with organist Dave Gryder was pure pleasure to put together.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  First up, thanks for the interview. Of course ,the band name comes from the Mountain song of the same name. Were there other Mountain song names you considered using as a band name?

DAVE GRYDER: Thank you, we appreciate it! No, just that one. In our opinion, it's such a great song from a great band that it fit perfectly for us.

WC: Blood of the Sun are one of my favorite bands being such a authentic 70's sounding band (I love that stuff). Does it require much effort to write songs in the 70's vein or does it come natural for you guys?

DG: Again, thank you! Well, writing material isn't exactly "easy" but we write this way 'cause it's where we come from. We are all children of the '70's so we grew up listening to that style. (And we still do) In my opinion, a musician is a product of his/her influences. We all listened to Deep Purple, Grand Funk, Mountain, etc… as kids so it provided us a foundation for what we like and play. To us, bands had so much more heart, soul and integrity back then. It was the age of the supergroup, you know? When bands were comprised of real musicians. I feel as time has gone by, some people have forgotten the sound and the bands that made rock and roll so great.

WC:  I have to ask how did you come to meet up with Derek St Holmes? I know when I first heard you were working with him, it seemed like a obscure choice because I hadn't heard anything about Derek for a long time.

DG: That is all credited to Henry. Henry saw Derek at a local guitar show. He struck up a conversation and noticed how laid back and easy going Derek  was. One thing led to another and since obviously he was such a big fan (like the rest of us), he asked him if he would be interested in working with us. Henry sent him a CD and apparently he dug it. The rest is history.

WC: On to the current album now. What was the recording process like for the album.? Was everything in the studio as seamless as it sounds on the CD?

DG: Tony Reed recorded the majority of the album at my studio. Actually, he recorded everything except the vocals and Rusty Burns' guitar. That was done by Sterling Winfield, who has recorded Pantera, Damage Plan, Hell Yeah, etc.. Also, Sterling mixed the album. So obviously, having to record at various studios with different people, wasn't a simple task but actually, it's become the process that we are used to.

WC: The production on the album is like the perfect meeting point between authentic 70's sounds and modern crunch. Were you looking for a certain feel with this album?

DG: Yes. We are a blues based rock and roll band and though we are not wanting to  convey a sound that is based purely on nostalgia, we are very influenced by bands from the '70's so we wanted to capture that vibe.

WC: Why do you think 70's sounding bands are so popular right now? Every second band you hear now has at least one foot in the 70's. Is there a reason people are drawing so much inspiration from the albums released in the 70's?

DG: To reiterate what I said earlier, bands from the '70's were comprised of real musicians and they played blues based rock and roll with a lot of passion and integrity. People can hear that and they respect it. That's why it's still popular today and probably always will be. It has stood the test of time and proven itself. It's something that you can't fake.

WC: One thing that is lacking from a lot of modern bands is of course, catchy songs. A lot of bands are impressive in their heaviness but they have songs that are not too memorable. Every song on the new album is infectious, melodic but they also have enough killer riffing to still kick your butt. Is there any sacrifices in the bands writing that have to be made to strike this kind of balance?

DG: Not to beat a dead horse but I think it just comes down to the fact that we are so heavily enamored with the sound and the bands from that era, it shows in our music. Again, you have to be real so that people can actually hear that you being genuine with what you are doing. If you are the real deal, they can tell.

WC: How do you personally rate the new album compared to say the excellent "Death Ride" album?

DG: For me personally, I feel that all our albums are comparable but "Burning On The Wings..." is the next logical step for us. It has more of the production and overall sound that we were going for where as "Death Ride" is heavier and has a different production. Both have their differences but they still do a good job of representing what we do.

WC:  One of the big features of the band is the classic organ sound. Is that really such a high maintenance instrument as people make it out to be and what is it like working with a organist compared with a guitar player?

DG: Well, since I am the organist in question, I don't know if I can give the insight or objectivity that you're looking for but I will try. Henry and I started this band with the idea of the organ being an integral part of the band's sound. Not only does it add a feeling of authenticity, it adds another dimension to the sound. As far as it being high maintenance, I used a real B3 on the record but we don't tour with one. That is where modern technology really shines. I use a Hammond SK-2 live and while it has a very comparable sound, you don't need 4 roadies to move it!

WC: I haven't heard much about the band and touring. Can you give the readers a brief history on where you have been playing all these years and tell us about some of the highlights.

DG: We have done 3 European tours and we have played the States fairly extensively. Of course that includes local shows which we have done for the last 10 years. We are planning another Euro tour this Summer.

WC: Have you received any praise from well-known musicians from the 70's?

DG: Just John O'Daniel and Rusty Burns, LOL!  We don't really have an affiliation with a lot of those kinda dudes. Although, on "Death Ride" we covered "Keep Goin" by Lucifer's Friend and the guitarist Peter wrote and told us how great we are. What a kick ass compliment!

WC:  You have been to Europe a few times. Do you think Europe has more of a fan base for retro rock or is it the USA?

DG: Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Europeans are more accepting of our style for some reason. They are also more into collecting vinyl then in the States. Hopefully, things will get better over here.

WC: Thanks for the interview, any last words?

DG: Thanks for the interview as well as your kind words! We really appreciate the exposure and hope everyone digs the new album. Soon we will be touring and hope everyone will come rock out with us and have a great time!