BLOODRED – A One Man Extreme Metal Machine from Germany
Hailing from a small, rural town just north of Stuttgart, Germany, BLOODRED came about in the Fall of 2009 when Ron Merz began writing songs under the pen name BLOODRED. Having played in other bands, but finding that his tastes in music were too extreme for his fellow musicians in his home scene Merz set out to create a one man extreme metal band. Over the course of the next three years Merz took a great deal of inspiration from film scores and black, death, and gothic metal bands such as Emperor, Moonsorrow, Amorphis, and My Dying Bride. In time, he crafted a unique approach to extreme metal, which he refers to as “Epic Blackened Death”
While being the sole member of a band can have its disadvantages, such as not being able to play live, which is the case for BLOODRED for the time being, Merz cites numerous advantages as well.
“Since I´m the only member of the project, there have been no lineup changes so far. That´s one of the advantages of being alone in the band; there never is an argument about the music or other stuff. Having full control over everything concerning the band is a luxury.”
Another advantage of not having to deal with other opinions regarding the direction of the band is the name, which can often be a tough decision that’s hard to agree upon.
“Although it´s becoming increasingly difficult to choose a band name these days I went for BLOODRED since I think this represents the music very well. But there´s also kind of a deeper meaning to it, because since I´m the only member and everything I do in terms of creativity, the music of BLOODRED is like my own blood, like me – hence the name.”
As hinted above, Merz does not plan to keep BLOODRED off the stage forever. And though he has had some success in finding some session members to jam with, a solid lineup has yet to materialize due to a number of factors.
“When you´re playing this kind of music with all its demands for speed and stamina it’s difficult to find suitable musicians, especially drummers,” says Merz, though he has had a bit of luck in finding himself a drummer to practice with, but even that is temporary. “Unfortunately, Joris lives in the Netherlands, which is too far away for regular practice sessions and there are not too many musicians in my area.”
Despite his shortcomings in the way of bringing together a full band, Merz has been busying himself these last seven years writing music. So far he’s released an extended play ‘The Lost Ones’ and mostly recently, BLOODRED’s debut full length ‘Nemesis.’ Regarding his writing process, both musically and lyrically, Merz is an open minded individual giving him much inspiration.
“Inspiration is everywhere. Most of the time I write about the darker parts of the human mind: extreme emotions like fear, anger, sorrow or loneliness and the situations one can get in if those emotions gain the upper hand,” says Merz. “When writing the lyrics I try to encode the original source of inspiration. The song ‘The Lost Ones,’ for example, on the surface is about sailors who get lost on sea and eventually die. For me this is a perfect image for the dark hours of depression when you can´t see a way out of this really difficult situation.”
“What I also try to do is come up with a topic for the song before I start writing music, because I want the music to fit the lyrical content and vice versa. I think there are some advantages of doing it this way in contrast of writing the lyrics only when the music is already finished. There always should be a connection between the music and the lyrics throughout the whole creative process.”
While writing lyrics can be a struggle without inspiration, writing music is a whole different beast, but Merz has that process down just as well as his lyrics. It’s with recording, however, that the real struggle arises.
“Writing music for me is quite a natural process. I´m always recording ideas and try to develop them into full songs. It also has happened that I wrote a whole song in just a few hours,” he says proudly. “Recording the music in the studio is more challenging since I have to do everything by myself, except the drum recordings of course. This means that you have to be very, very well prepared, which takes a lot of time, but it´s time well spent.”
By far the biggest challenge facing BLOODRED is getting music to the people. As a relatively new independent artist without a strong backing, BLOODRED has had some trouble getting heard, even in today’s instant access society.
“The technical aspects of distribution are not the problem anymore, but the marketing possibilities and the connections within the industry of the labels are difficult to compensate for. Dealing with this is very time-consuming, but I also do enjoy this part of BLOODRED.”
Being a one man independent band is certainly a struggle in and of itself, but Ron Merz is doing everything he can to build the project’s recognition and share his talent with the world. One way he’ll be doing it soon is by releasing a lyric video from the new album. As well, the entire ‘Nemesis’ album is available to stream and purchase via the band’s bandcamp – https://bloodredband.bandcamp.com/