INTERVIEW: Josh McMorran & Morgan Reid – Bloodshot Dawn

Back in 2014, it seemed that BLOODSHOT DAWN were on course to soar up the ranks of the British metal scene at explosive speed. The release of their sophomore effort Demons had built on the solid foundations of their self-titled debut and all was in place for the band to explode. Yet it was not to be. With a merry-go-round of personnel changes affecting the stability of the band, BLOODSHOT DAWN fell into the wilderness. Now, four years later, the band are back. Armed with a new lineup and a new record in tow, BLOODSHOT DAWN are back to reclaim their place in British metal. We spoke with sole original member Josh McMorran and new guitarist Morgan Reid to lift the lid on their upcoming new record and how the band are recharged and revitalised!

So, after four years, BLOODSHOT DAWN are back and ready to release your brand new record Reanimation. What can fans expect from the upcoming record?

Josh: We have worked hard to progress on the original vision and sound on the band, taking a more focused song writing approach instead of the normal solo efforts from the previous album.

As I mentioned just now, it’s been four years since BLOODSHOT DAWN’s last record Demons. How have you, as a musician, and the band developed in that time?

Josh: Personally I took a lot of time to focus on how I wanted to move forward with the band lyrically as well as musically. I have taken a organic route when it comes to the album instead of forcing the composition with the aim of enjoying the process. The band now has three new members in Morgan Reid, James Stewart and Giacomo Gastaldi all of which have added elements of their talent to the mix.

Since the release of Demons back in 2014, you’ve undergone a whole series of lineup changes. How did this affect the creative process for Reanimation and what do the new members bring to the sound of BLOODSHOT DAWN?

Josh: Honestly it gave the band new life with the fresh approach and ideas. Morgan is a very talented writer so it was honestly business as usual with the added ingredient of a completely open playing field. James is an incredible player solid and subtle, yet completely unrelenting. Giacomo finally has a intense knowledge of tone and frequency control as well as being a finger player allows him to bring a new feel to the sun of the band’s overall sound.

Can you describe the writing and recording process for the new album?

Josh: We started simply by writing riffs. LOTS of riffs then!! Then we got to together and tried to create a context for the songs and make a bit of a story out of the library we had created, at the same time getting lyrical ideas together. After this we refined the songs slowly whilst perfecting the rhythm section with the other guys. Finally we wrote the lyrics which tied all the structures together!

What sort of themes and lyrical topics are explored on Reanimation?

Josh: All the songs are generally sci-fi based but honestly they are ambiguous on the most part. General observations of human life and personal struggle are the main themes. Honestly it’s best for people to take what they want from the lyrics and portray them in whatever way suites them. It’s really open to interpretation!

You have a number of guest musicians on the record, with Jeff Loomis, Paul Wardingham, Ken Sorceron and Mendel Bij De Leij all appearing on Reanimation. What was it like working with these musicians and what do their guest spots bring to the record?

Morgan: These guys are some of the most talented musicians in metal today and we are excited for you all to hear the incredible contributions they have brought to Reanimation. Josh and I wrote Battle for the Omniverse with Jeff and Paul specifically in mind. The riffs for their solos were meant to bring out our favourite sides of their playing and we were totally blown away by the final result! Their back to back solos are definitely two of my favourite moments on the album. Ken’s addition on that track, gives us the opportunity to hear things from the Demon Alien’s perspective, he embodied the role perfectly and his vocals will literally reign terror down upon mankind’s eardrums. Mendel laid down a blistering solo on our most brutal track, in my opinion, Upon the Throne of Fear, the neoclassically infused, soul stealing shred brings a much needed respite from the 320 bpm brutality. Strap yourselves in!

With it being your third record, a vital point in your career with BLOODSHOT DAWN, what do you hope to achieve with Reanimation?

Morgan: Reanimation is a turning point for the band, a way to show that we aren’t just “back” with another album but with our new lineup, we are here to dominate! We want to reach as many people with this album as possible and tour to the a venue near you. That being said we have our sights set on our next album already, we have found our sound but we want to keep exploring and pushing the boundaries of extreme metal.

Since the release of Demons, progressive and technical metal has developed and exploded a lot; especially here in the UK. Returning to the scene with Reanimation, is the competition tougher to make a name for yourself or do you see the competition as healthy?

Morgan: We love seeing new bands, new music and the community grow. Music is not a competition and we will continue to make music we love and hope the fans do too. We are grateful for the support we get from our fans and a bigger interest in the genre can only be a good thing!

With Reanimation set for release incredibly soon, you will be hitting the road in the UK to support your new release. What can fans expect from the upcoming UK shows?

Morgan: Brutality – Technicality – Melody – Groove and if you come see us at the merch stand, some hangs.

You will also be performing at UK Tech-Fest in the summer. With Tech-Fest being a specialist festival dedicated to progressive and technical music, what are your expectations for performing at this festival?

Morgan: I really think people will dig the new material, I even managed to sneak in some odd time riffs [laughs]. Personally I can’t wait to hit up the festival, some of my favourite bands are playing and have played Tech-Fest regularly. Glad we can be part of the family.

To close, we will offer you the floor. Do you have anything to say to the readers of Distorted Sound?

Morgan: We just want to thank everyone for the support and hope to see you on the road!

Reanimation is set for release on January 12th via Hostile Media.

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