Interview With Justin Hagberg of Ritual Dictates
By Keith Clement
Hey Justin, How are you doing, I’m Keith?
Hey man, how is it going, do you know what, this is the first time I’ve ever done a Skype Interview, I know a lot of band do Interview through Skype, But for me its first, so please bear with me
How has your day been so far?
The day is good, We released our single today, so it was nice to see our music out and we are ready to release our record in April. Exciting times man.
Given to Despair is scheduled to be released on April 3rd, tell me about the writing process?
Yeah, I wrote the music for the record and Ash wrote majority of the lyrics, basically its been a little while in the making as there was conflicting schedules, Ash work full time drummer in Revocation. I kind of send demos to Ash, and he will perfect it. We work when both our schedules work out. It’s been awesome, It did take longer than i expected, I have a lot of time, and I have already started writing for the next record.
Ritual Dictates is a great mix of amazing genres of metal, you have Black, Grind, Death and classic rock, how did you come up with this mixed blend of idea into music?
It took a while writing riffs, Its just weird it turned out this way, I guess we didn’t have an album, no solid foundation of anything, so we put it up like this, lots of inspiration involved in this, and I love music and I always listen to music different styles, we didn’t have any rules, so that’s it I would say
Is this is one time project or a full time Band?
For me it’s the only band, I’m basically kind of like you know in a sense of managing the band, Ash is pretty busy with Revocation, I’ve been doing all the social media for the band, And it started to become a fulltime band, which is great.
Do you have plan to expand the band with the other members into the band?
We have a couple of new guys on the band, they are good friends from Vancouver, they are great musicians, they will be with us on the live shows, It’s always going to be Ash and Me. It will be a two piece band. I do like being in a band, where we have everyone, Ash and I really work very well. We have a great work ethic.
Vancouver and Victoria are the confirmed dates for April, do you have any other tour coming up, as most of the dates are cancelled due to Covid-19?
Yeah we had the tour cancelled, Record store day is postponed to sometime in June, haha, its gonna be a good time.
After disbanding 3 Inches of Blood you and Ash Pearson started this new band, so how did it all happen?
It was formed as a side project when we were with 3 Inches of Blood, We wanted to play some heavy stuff something different from Death metal. After the band broke up, it gave me a little more freedom and time to write materials more on my own.
Given to Despair is going to be huge for you guys, I listened and its fuckin amazing Justin, what do you think about this album?
I’m really really happy and really pleased with the whole thing, I like writing with Ash, we are a great team, great friends, I can never ask for a better partner in crime, everyone worked in the record is amazing, my wife produced the record and one of my friend did the art work, engineers are amazing, yeah the whole thing was a possible experience. I’m very proud of it.
Do you have a full time Job?
I’m a cremator, actually that’s my job, My Job more like a death metal, my job is my passion, We’ll see what happens next, Life could be better.
How did you come up with the name Ritual Dictates?
Ash and I were in a conversation, Ash was saying some Ritual Dictates blah blah blah, and I said that’s the name of the band, “Ritual Dictates” I will come up with something better though in the future hahaha
What is your favorite song from the album?
“Given To Despair” that is the first song we released from this album, I’m a screamy singer, that was very challenging when it comes to the softer rock break part in the song, its so abnormal in a death metal song you will hear.
What is the best moment for you ?
One of the most cherished moments would be touring with Type O Negative in the States, They are one of my all time favorite band, touring with them couple of months was amazing, they are awesome guys, they are the band that I watch every single night of my life.
I was really sad about the passing of Pete Steele, When i heard i know that’s the end of Type, no one can replace Pete, I like carnivore too, He is simply amazing, the last Type O Negative album is amazing, the world needs more Type O Negative albums, I can talk about it all day long, I met so many heroes, It’s definitely need another conversation hahaha
What would be another band that you would love to tour with?
It could be either Behemoth or Goatwhore, they both are such good bands, they are just excellent death metal bands, they are true to what they are and genuine to their style. I love to tour with them again, and their fans are really nice people, so it would definitely be a nice time.
Message for the Fans?
Given to despair hahaha
Thanks Justin for your time, its a pleasure to talk to you today?
Pleasure man, and this is the first Skype experience that I’m going to remember man.
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement