Broken Hope: Death Metal Is Love
Jeremy Wagner on the death metallers' 20+ year career
Formed 27 years ago in Chicago, Illinois, Broken Hope may not have the status of peers like Cannibal Corpse or Obituary, but their impact on death metal's evolution has been massive and enduring. Purveyors of a uniquely aggressive and groove-driven strain of extremity that has undoubtedly been integral to the emergence of the so-called "slam" scene, not to mention the entire deathcore movement, these brutal diehards are rightly revered as underground legends. This week, they perform in the UK for the first time in their history: a massive result for fans of guttural savagery and a career milestone for the band themselves. We spoke with founder member and guitarist Jeremy Wagner about Broken Hope's life, times and unerringly terrifying sonic assault.
Hey Jeremy! How does it feel to finally be playing to the UK?
"It’s an incredible feeling! We’ve released six albums over the years, all of which have been released in the UK via Music For Nations, Metal Blade, and Century Media. All our albums have garnered Broken Hope lots of exposure in the UK via numerous metal and rock media entities, and even the old MTV Europe version of Headbanger’s Ball gave our music videos lots of rotation back in the day. The UK press has always smiled on us since our demo days and through our entire recording career – with mostly favourable reviews and features, and Metal Hammer has always being a great champion to Broken Hope.
"Most importantly, we’ve earned love and loyalty from many UK fans who’ve never stopped writing to us and sending us fan photos and whatnot. To that point, our UK fans have literally been begging us to tour the UK for over 20 years… and we’ve been dying to tour here more than you can imagine!"
So what took you so long?
"It really comes down to a couple things... First, there always seemed to be some type of bad timing for Broken Hope making it to the UK in the ‘90s. Like, we had tentative tour itineraries in the past that included UK dates, but then, those tours ended up falling through. We've had various booking agents bringing us to Europe for decades – and never made the UK part of any tour – it’s been fucking ridiculous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve _begged _agents to get us into the UK. I’ve pleaded and pointed out how important it is to our UK fans and to Broken Hope. My requests have always been denied with excuses like: 'Next time' or 'The UK market is all scene bands and don’t care about death metal,' and shite like that. We’ve managed to tour and perform worldwide except for the UK – until now! I give credit to our agents at Flaming Arts for getting us these UK dates. They were the first agency to grant our wishes and book Broken Hope in the UK, and for that, I’m thankful."
What can people expect from your live show?
"Attendees can expect an extremely intense, slamming live concert from Broken Hope that will include choice picks from all of our albums spanning 20+ years. Moreover, our production elements and brand of 'Chicago death metal' will leave fans very happen and talking about our show for a while. Bottom line for us: always give the people their money’s worth.
"We give away free shit at our shows after we play… so watch for us at the merch booth to do meet-and-greets with everyone."