Bolt Thrower: The IVth crusade – Reply

17/09/06  ||  Lord K Philipson

Jo Bench of Bolt Thrower

Global Domination: We at Global Domination saw fit to add your release, “The IVth crusade”, to our esteemed Class 6(66) hall of fame. Do you feel this album is worthy of such an honor?

Jo Bench: I’ll try not to sound a total arrogant asshole, but yeah, I do think it’s worthy. It’s a great album.

GD: What was the ultimate goal for you while recording this album?

Jo Bench: I think this was the first album where we nailed the Bolt Thrower sound. Not necessarily the production, but the style of songwriting we were hoping to achieve. The whole power chord and overlaying melody parts we still use today, it’s such a killer combination…

GD: Name something of interest that you remember from the recording sessions.

Jo Bench: I don’t really have any totally memorable stories to tell, the recording was pretty straightforward. If I remember right, this was the first album where I laid my bass tracks down after the guitars, usually I did it just after the drums. So for me, it was more inspiring to record to a fuller sound. The tempos were pretty key for us at this time too, I remember Baz being adamant that “This time it’s war” was recorded at exactly the same tempo as the demo. It just didn’t work at any other speed. We also tried out a few things we hadn’t done before; the extended version of “Spearhead” with all the drum stuff, the outro “Through the ages” with the spoken words, even the vibe of “Celestial Sanctuary’”… That was quite radical for us!! I also remember the mix, it was at some studio that specialised in dance stuff, so not the most appropriate environment. Also, Colin roped in his wannabe mate Steve Harris (no, not that one) to help out, a kind of “on the job training” situation. We could’ve done without it, he didn’t have a clue…

GD: If you could change any one thing about this album, what would you change?

Jo Bench: I’d have my bass-sound from “Those Once Loyal” and crank it! And maybe re-write “Embers”, it didn’t work quite as well as we were hoping…

GD: Why do you think this album means so much to those who consider it a classic?

Jo Bench: It’s just a gem of an album with an abundance of killer riffs. Riffs that stick in your head. I think it stood the test of time, moreso than some of our earlier albums…

GD: Finally, as an artist and musician, what special place does this album hold in your heart?

Jo Bench: I still feel privileged to be part of this band, and have my name on this album. “IVth Crusade” in particular was when we finally found what we were looking for, a lot of bands are still looking. I still love playing tracks from this album live, I still get goosebumps when we kick into the title track, that’s quite something 14 years on…

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2014 by in Class6(66), Interviews and tagged , , , .
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