THE BURNING / BLOOD LABEL – interview (English)


Interview with Alexander L Kjeldsen – guitarist of THE BURNING and BLOOD LABEL.



Hello Alexander! How are you doing?


Thanks Tomasz I’m good! Been busy finishing stuff for BLOOD LABEL’s new release called “Existence Expires”.


You are guitarist of THE BURNING since 2009. Earlier guitars in this band has been made by Rasmus Normand. How did you become the guitarist of THE BURNING?


Actually my first meeting with the lads of  THE BURNING was when I toured with DAWN OF DEMISE a while back. We did a tour together and just became good friends. When Rasmus decided to pull the plug they phoned me and asked me to come and try out.


Did you have to resign from playing in DAWN OF DEMISE because you wanted to play in THE BURNING or something different pushed you to this resignation?


Actually I stopped playing in DAWN OF DEMISE before I was asked to play guitar in THE BURNING. When I played in DAWN OF DEMISE I loved it, but because of my young age at that point (and lack of talent haha!) I didn’t really fit in. Musically they wanted a more death metal kinda guy, and they found that in Thomas “hotdogger” which is a real cool dude as well! Everything is good between us, and occasionally we drink till we drop, and listen to suffocation.


TheBurning_Storm_the_wallsI know that you didn’t record guitars for THE BURNING debut, called “Storm The Walls” but when I first listened to this CD I thought “Man! It’s so great and short at once!” This album resembles me SLAYER’s “Raining Blood”. You know – it’s short and really concrete! There’s no place for unnecessary tunes or something crappy. Short but succinctly! What do you think about such comparison


Hehe. I think it’s a good comparison. The style of that record was all about boiling all the songs down to a minimum and just make simple, pounding groovy metal. We’re still all about that, but nowadays we like to explore a bit more and play with dynamics and such. But on the live end, I personally love playing songs from “Storm The Walls” because they are so short and intense all the way, and somehow the audience feels it too.



THE BURNING new album called “Hail The Horde” is really outstanding! Powerful, tough, brutal, groovy – great job, man! Congratulations! Was working with this material different to work whilst “Rewakening”?


Thanks man! Pretty happy about it myself as well! Its been a hard birth but we made it hehe. Well, actually I wouldn’t really know because I just joined the band right after releasing that record. But I think the process has been a bit different. Mostly because I think Rasmus and I have different approach to the music riff wise as well as tone wise.


There are some really great guests appearances on “Hail The Horde”. Was it easy to employ Søren Nico Adamsen from ARTILLERY or brothers Scott and Bjørn Jensen from DAWN OF DEMISE to make some noise on your new album?

The Jensen brothers are really good friends of ours, and they already said that they wanted to appear on „Rewakening” but back then we sadly didn’t have the time for it. So I guess on “Hail the Horde” we kinda owed it to them hehe. Nah, we were really glad they wanted to do this, and the outcome was beyond cool!  As goes for Søren, it was actually Johnny’s idea to bring him since he has been a long time ARTILLERY fan. So Johnny just picked up the phone and gave him ring, and before we knew he was tearing it apart in the studio! It was really amazing seeing him work.


Few months ago Thue Møller Hylle left THE BURNING. What was the main reason of this turn and what do you think about your new bass player, Tobias Nefer, who is the youngest in THE BURNING? And who decided that his will join the band?


The truth is that he had been struggling with ear problems such as Tinnitus for a long time and recently it all just got too much, and his doctor advised him not too play music any more. As goes for Nefer, we were really lucky. When Thue first said he was leaving the band we all just thought of Nefer as the replacement. Luckily for us he contacted us first, and we got together jammed a bit and we felt confident that he was up for mastering the stuff, besides from his musical skills he is also a very cool dude to hang out with! And another reason we chose Nefer for the band was that he is actually 1 or 2 months younger than me, meaning I get to pick on him whenever I want! Cool! We all decided that his will join the band.




Are you going to write and record new album with THE BURNING within a year or so far you don’t think about it and you’re trying to promote “Hail The Horde” wherever it’s possible?


Both actually, we concentrate on getting our record out there, but also rehearse new songs etc. We got demos of half an album right now and so far it sound cool!


What are your main inspirations for music and lyrics?


Just about anything really musically. I know both Kenneth and Johnny writes about personal stuff or want, because that’s the easiest. And truth be told I kinda like when people got something to say.


Did you work collectively to record this material or one of you is the leader who makes the most of music / lyrics for album?


Kenneth writes all the lyrics, and I mainly write the riffs and come up with ideas for the songs but we’re actually all a big big part of the process.


Is working with THE BURNING different than working with your another band BLOOD LABEL?


A lot, which is why I do it. The whole concept is different and musically its two different things. Which I like. I like to be able to play rock stuff with THE BURNING if I want to and to play death metal with BLOOD LABEL if I want to.


What gear do you use in THE BURNING? (and is it different than gear in BLOOD LABEL?)


In THE BURNING I try to experiment a lot with my gear. Because of the fact that I am the lone Axeman, I got lots of soundspace to fill out. Currently I use a mix of the new Marshall JVM and a very old Mesa boogie dual rectifier. I use a boss delay pedal to slow down the signal about 20 ms between the amps so that I get a much thicker sound, kinda like when dubbing guitars in the studio. In BLOOD LABEL I use a more standard approach, like two cabs, the marshall and that’s it. In both bands I play Ibanez RGA 321 custom fitted emgs.




What lead you to form new band? When did you decide to form BLOOD LABEL? And who is the main founder of this band?


Along time ago when we didn’t want to play the song zombie, you know the one; “in your heeeead in your heeeaaad…..:” ish. God, I hate that song. Actually BLOOD LABEL is my first band, I’ve been playing with these guys for about as long as I have been playing music. Nikolaj (our Bassist) started playing together in a copy band and later on Kenneth and Morten joined in and the drummer position was taken by Bastian Thusgaard. We changed name about 2 years ago from AFSKUM to BLOOD LABEL.


BLOOD LABEL is the permanent band or rather just project where you can, let’s say, relax from THE BURNING?


I like to think of them as two self driven bands, and each band has its own life. I wouldn’t choose one over the other, I really enjoy both bands.


Are you planning to record new album signed by BLOOD LABEL?


Yeah we are currently in the writing process as well and really want to release a real full length album withing the next year and a half.


l_blood-label_existence-expiresI’ve just listened to your other band, BLOOD LABEL, debut album called „Existence Expires” and I think it’s really good material! What would you tell to polish listeners to encourage them to listen to this album?

If your into a mix of death and thrash metal (SLAYER, INVOCATOR, EXODUS, MORBID ANGEL, etc.) Head over to our myspace, and listen to the new song “into perpetual fire” and watch our brand new video for our record opener “Traitors beware” and go buy “Existence Expires” on itunes when it gets on there soon.


Are you going to tour with BLOOD LABEL around Europe and promote “Existence Expires”?


That’s definetly the plan for 2012, we are doing some german dates this fall and winter. But next year we really want to go exploring in Europe. I have personally played a lot of shows in Denmark and cant wait to get on the road and play concerts in places you’ve never heard of.


So, is it possible than you will make one tour with THE BURNING and BLOOD LABEL?


Im not quite sure, because, it would mean I couldn’t drink and party as much every night when I have to be up for playing 2 + hours every night. Hehe.


Are you going to visit Poland though? We are almost your neighbor by the sea but you haven’t visited us so far.


I would love to play Poland soon, we actually played in Greifswald in Germany not long from the polish border. So its actually not that far.


You hear: “Poland” – what do you think? Do you know our country or at least – metal bands from Poland?


Sure I like BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED, VADER and so on. Lots of great death metal bands. I actually had some friends that went to Poland on a holiday and they say you weren’t really up for drinking and partying that much hehe, but they did say you have good Vodka though.


What push you to play tough and brutal music?


Mmhm, I’ve listened to a lot of music, and just generally love all kinds of music. But when I was growing up I hit that nu metal wave of KORN, LIMP BIZKIT and stuff like that and when my ears got used to the filthy sound I started exploring metal a bit more and came to like the more brutal stuff.

What was your first guitar and when did you start to play?


It was black Yamaha which I bought because I thought It looked really cool! I actually went into the music store looking to buy drums, but ended up buying a guitar instead.

Have you got your personal inspirations or musical heroes?


Haha, mmhm… Not really, I love Dimebag and have always listened to a lot of metal. I always like the Danish metal scene and always thought about how underrated it have been. But im looking very much forward to seeing DECAPITATED on this years Aalborg Metal festival. I really like those guys.


The most inspiring and the most important heavy metal bands in music history are…?




Have you got your favourite bands from Scandinavia? Scandinavia is considered to be the mine of heavy music in Europe or even World! What do you think about metal scene in Denmark and other countries from the cold north of Europe?


I like ENTOMBED, SOILWORK, HATESPHERE, ILLDISPOSED, RAUNCHY, KVELERTAK, GRAVEYARD, NINE to name a few. But as I mentioned before I think its quite underrated because you never really see any Danish bands on tour except for maybe VOLBEAT. But I definetly think that both Norway, Sweden and denmark has their own sound. Which I think is cools.


Do you listen only to hard and brutal music or you do you like listening to light music from time to time as well?


I listen to a lot of music, everything from pop to rock to grindcore. But truth be told im a real sucker for good melodies. Haha.


Thank you for your time, Alex. Good luck with promoting “Hail The Horde” and “Existence Expires”. Last words are yours – what do you want to tell for polish fans, listeners and readers? Cheers from Poland!


Go check out my bands and leave some feedback! Hope to see you all very soon and we’ll all get hammered.


[Tomasz Kulig]


The Burning, 3rd Tsunami Agency, Vesterbrogade 26, 2nd floor DK – 1620 Copenhagen V, Denmark;;,

Blood Label,;,