Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Three Hour Ceasefire Interview

Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
M.M: We're a death/thrash band from Limerick City, Ireland and we like to play fast (laughs). We've been on the go since late 2008 and been through a few lineup changes, but it was really only last year when a couple of us found ourselves unemployed that we decided to take things more seriously and to put some effort into a release that we could be proud of, which we've done with our debut EP Cry Havoc. People can check out our stuff at www.threehourceasefire.net.

How would you describe your musical sound?
M.M: I'd say it's a blend of influences from the late 80s and early 90s Death and Thrash scenes. We try to incorporate the speed and aggression of darker Thrash bands like Slayer, Sepultura and Kreator with the filthy groove of Swedish Death Metal bands like Entombed and Unleashed.

A:L: Yeah, the thing that I personally feel is missing most from a lot of modern metal is a genuine sense of rage, which is something that a lot of Crust and Hardcore bands seem to capture best. We've tried to work some of that Hardcore spirit into our own sound and hopefully listeners can hear the venom we've distilled into songs like Trial of Wounds. Dark, filthy Thrash played with a certain Hardcore sensibility sums up what we're going for.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
M.M: Most of our stuff focuses on power and conflict, but always from the perspective of ordinary people; the kind of people that history tends to forget. It's all about human solidarity really.

What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
A.L: Well, our first lineup came together in the winter of 2008 and it took us about three months to actually decide on a name. At the end of that year the Israeli military invaded Gaza as part of what they called "Operation Cast Lead" and initiated a three week conflict that would become known as the Gaza War or the Battle of al-Furqan, depending on where you're from. It was a particularly savage conflict in that most of the fighting took place in densely populated cities like Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah, meaning that civilian casualties were high and atrocities, such as the use of human shields, were committed by both sides. As a result Israel came under a lot of international pressure to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Gaza. So, on January 7th, 2009 the Israel military opened a humanitarian corridor through Gaza and both they and Hamas agreed to stop fighting for three hours to allow the safe delivery of aid. The two sides went on to repeat this three hour ceasefire nearly every day for the remainder of the conflict.

It was during this ceasefire that people would leave the safety of their homes to get food and supplies and conduct the ordinary business of everyday life, and so for us the ceasefire came to represent the disconnect between the leaders of the warring factions, squabbling over land and pride and pseudo religious ideals, and the ordinary people they claim to represent who, for the most part, just want to live in peace and carry on with their lives the same as everyone else. The daily ceasefires came to represent for us the absurd and truly inglorious nature of most conflict and so we named our band in solidarity with the people who found themselves trapped between Hamas and the Israeli military and for whom the three hour ceasefires meant a brief respite from the violence.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
M.M: We're gonna have to plug our hometown Metal fest and say the Siege Of Limerick. It's a biannual all-dayer that takes place in Limerick every April and October and they're usually the most fun of any of the gigs we play. The lineup is always great and we've got to play with bands like Altar Of Plagues, Darkest Era, Mael Mordha and loads more.

As for our stage performance, it's pretty standard stuff. All our favourite bands are the kind that just get up and play and that's what we do too.

Do you have any touring plans for the future?
A.L: We've been playing all over Ireland the past few months, but we're finally gigging abroad in October. We'll be playing in Eindhoven (Saturday 6th of October) and Utrecht (Sunday 7th of October) soon. After that it's back to Ireland to support Decapitated in Dublin (Sunday 14th of October) and to play the Siege of Limerick (Sunday 28th of October) with Abaddon Incarnate and Wodensthrone. We'll be taking a break after that as our drummer K.C. and his partner have a new baby due in November.

Currently you are signed to Savour Your Scene Records, how did you get in contact with this label a how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?
M.M: Currie, the guy that runs Savour Your Scene is the drummer with a band called Gacys Threads from Belfast. We got to know them through gigging and specifically through a gig we promoted for them in our home town when they brought a German band called Killtribe over to tour Ireland. Currie heard a song that we uploaded prior to the release of our Cry Havoc EP, liked it and offered to help us promote and distribute it. Their support has been great so far and it's been really heartening to have the support of a third party that is into our stuff and wants to help us spread the word.

What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
A.L: Well, we have three songs written for our next release, which will probably be another EP out next year. The new material is similar to the stuff you can hear on Cry Havoc in that the songs are short and violent, but differs somewhat in that we've injected some Napalm Death-style groove into the songs as well as the manic ferocity we love about their music. We're also working on a song that has a much more morbid sound, inspired by the likes of Dead Congregation and blended with the speed and aggression of our own sound.

What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
M.M: For me personally, my playing and writing style is influenced to a huge extent by old Slayer and Sepultura. There's a big AC/DC influence in the way we structure and deliver our music too. By that I mean that we have zero progressive tendencies and like to keep the songs simple and to project a feeling of urgency. 

A.L: Yeah, and there's a fairly obvious Swedish influence running through our stuff too. These days we're listening to a lot of morbid Death Metal bands like Dead Congregation and Necros Christos. The newest Napalm Death album is amazing as well, one of their best.

Outside of music what are some of your interests?
M.M: People have interests other than music? (laughs)

Are there any other musical projects besides this band or is this a full time line?
M.M: No, we've no other projects. Between work and girlfriends and children we've little enough time to dedicate to this band let alone any side projects.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and thrash metal?
M.M: I can't say we've had much feedback from listeners outside of Ireland to be honest, apart from reviewers that is. We've had CD orders from places like Finland, Germany, Brazil and the U.S. and hopefully those people are enjoying the music. On the home front, the feedback has been really positive and the number of people anticipating us and turning up to hear us play is definitely on the increase, which is making for some really enjoyable gigs. Hopefully we can convert a few people when we go to play in the Netherlands soon.

Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
M.M: Check out our music at www.threehourceasefire.net and thanks for reading. Also, keep an ear out for our mates Shardborne, Dark Matter and Zealot Cult; three great bands from our hometown, Limerick. Cheers.

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