The United Kingdom has always been a hotbed for amazing music, be it electronic or instrument-based. Death metal band Bloodshot Dawn doesn’t take the amazing roots of extreme metal that it is surrounded by for granted. However, the band does wish the cannabis laws in their home country were a little more forgiving. CULTURE chatted with Josh McMorran, guitarist and vocalist for Bloodshot Dawn, about music, cannabis and legalization.
How did you get started making music?
When I was 13 or 14 I was introduced to the Pantera home video VHS set . . . the rest is history.
How would you describe your sound?
We are a melodic extreme metal band with a sci-fi tinge. We love to write over-the-top guitar solos, too!
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Personally, my influences are vast. Pantera is definitely the band that made me want to choose this lifestyle. Musically, bands like Arch Enemy, Carcass, Decapitated, Nevermore and Scar Symmetry are all bands that have driven my composition.
Do you have anything you want to announce as far as releases or tours?
We will be heading to Canada for our first North American tour in April, as well as touring Japan in the summer! We also will be gracing the incredible stage at Hellfest Open Air alongside bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest!
“. . . Recent reports suggest the U.K. is the world’s biggest exporter, approximately 45 percent, of medicinal, legally grown marijuana products. Seems a bit rich, considering they stigmatize the drug, publicly claiming it has no medicinal value.”
How do you feel about your local and national music scenes?
The U.K. has a rich heritage of metal, and that still shines brightly throughout the scene here! Shows from all levels of bands are having great attendance, and the young talent coming through the ranks is as strong as ever.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
I wouldn’t say we have written songs directly about smoking and using drugs. Our name relates to smoking a little too much, and waking up still intoxicated! I have always used it as a muse to open my creative mind when writing lyrics and concepts. I would not say it is not the key component by any means, but it definitely breaks creative barriers which may be overlooked.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Should anything be done better or differently?
In the U.K., legalization is not something that’s on the coming horizon. There is a huge hypocrisy with outdated views with Parliament. In fact, recent reports suggest the U.K. is the world’s biggest exporter, approximately 45 percent, of medicinal, legally grown marijuana products. Seems a bit rich, considering they stigmatize the drug, publicly claiming it has no medicinal value. Honestly, [it is] a greedy and sad state of affairs over here.
How has cannabis influenced your life or your creative process?
I think it has always helped me be more open-minded with the creative process and helps to lubricate the boring side of the process. It also helps me on stage as a vocalist and guitar player. It will relax me, allowing me to up the focus on performing instead of worrying about if I played the right note or sung the correct line. I also suffer from pain quite often due to problems with my lower back, so it’s always helped that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just to thank you all for reading and to tell you check out our new album, Reanimation. See you on the road!
Band Name: Bloodshot Dawn
Genre: Melodic death metal
Location: United Kingdom
Most Recent Album: Reanimation