Horror Dance Squad

How & When did Horror Dance Squad form?

Horror Dance Squad hails from Estonia’s capital, Tallinn. The squad began taking formation when guitarists Indrek Ulp and Mikk Peetrimägi put their eagerness to keep the metalcore genre alive in Estonia together and began writing songs. They took on drummer Henri Kuusk and after about a year of practising and trying out vocalists (including Ian Karell who is originally from Pittsburgh, PA) the first line-up was established.

We played our first show at the beginning of 2014. After a couple of years, we made a small line-up change adding vocalist Karl Mesipuu and synth and sample wizard Margus Tammela to our squad. This new line-up took us on a path that has definitively shaped and evolved our music into our own signature style. Throughout our years together we have had the enormous pleasure of sharing the stage with international heavy hitters such as Siamese, Comeback Kid, Dead By April, Adept, Eskimo Callboy, We Butter The Bread With Butter, Deez Nuts, August Burns Red, One Morning Left and may others. We also represented Estonia at the 2016 Wacken Open Air Metal Battle.

What inspired each of you to start music?
For all of us, music is part of who we are and we couldn’t imagine living without it. Although we all found our passion for making music in our own individual ways, we all started playing music quite young, inspired by the bands and artists who were role models in either the way they played or in what they had to say with their music. Being young, we also wanted to be cool, so we started bands and just never looked back.

What inspired you to put together a new album & what it is all about?
No Flag Will Fly Forever is a collection of songs exploring essential topics both eternal and specific to this era of humanity’s evolution. From the things that affect us all: climate change, racism, overt nationalism, the dangerous rise of the new fascist movements all around the world, injustice in our social and political systems; to the intensely personal experiences of spiritual and psychological growth and relationship health, this album is a voyage through the human condition as we experience it in our day and age.

As humans, we are more genetically and mentally similar than any of the apparent physical differences that have historically separated us. Where we are born is a lottery and the definitions of nationality and race are fleeting and transparent compared to the things that make us essentially human.
Borders change, money changes, languages change, rules change, religions change, flags change--but we remain human. And as humans, we are more the same on the inside than what we see on the outside.

Will you be touring to support the new album? If so, when?
We are also gearing up for our No Flag Will Fly Forever album release show on 31 October at Von Krahl Theatre. We have a few other shows lined up in Tallinn and Tartu until the end of the year, we just have to hope that restrictions don’t get too tight and things have to be postponed. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What is your song writing process?
Our song writing process is a full-band effort and very collaborative. While we often start with guitars and drums before working on vocals and lyrics, the moment an idea is born the whole band is invested in making sure we are writing the best song we can.

Ian writes a majority of the lyrics for the band, but the topics are always those which all of us feel are important. We sing a lot about social and personal issues, justice and injustice, philosophy and spirituality. Questions and topics that are pressing for us as individuals, but which we feel are common issues for mankind in general. We hope that if someone is struggling with an issue in their lives we will have a song that will speak to them and help them find positive ways to deal with that issue.

What is your first thought when you get up on stage?
This is going to be the best show ever.

Describe the atmosphere when you’re performing
An explosive ball of energy. If you come, you won’t be able to stand still.

Where was the first venue you played?
Our first gig was at Tapper in Tallinn, one of the cities most legendary metal venues. That was back at the beginning of 2014. And just last month we were invited to co-headline their 2020 season-opening party alongside one of the bigger names in Estonian metal: Goresored. It was an honour to be in that position after just six short years.

What is your most memorable moment from any live performances?
It’s hard to pick a “most memorable moment” as we have had some really kickass gigs, but we all agree that our performance at the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle in 2016 was one of the most significant shows we have ever played. Everything there was bigger: the stage, the crew, the pressure and, by far, the crowd size. It was an awesome experience and one we will never forget. But any show where we get to do what we love for those who come to see us is a great show.

What band would you like to perform with the most?
Tough question. There are so many bands that have inspired us throughout the years, but if we had to choose from the list it’d have to be either Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive or Fever 333.

Will you be touring in the United Kingdom any time soon?
Once things lighten up, we will most certainly be on our way over. There’s a strong scene for our style and we think it’d be a blast to tour the UK. Let’s hope for the best!