Joseph Dillon – Drums // Daniel Finn – Guitar // Peter Rozsa – Bass // Daniel Sanchez – Guitar




“Remember His Hero Is Gone? BALACLAVA do, and while their Shame 7” (Forcefield Records) doesn’t approach HHIG levels of glory, it’s musically similar, and it’s pretty damn good. The production is suitably lo-fi and the shit hits hard, regardless of whether it’s whipping along double-time or sludging itself down to a slow crawl. Opening cut “To Those Who Glorify War” (we’re guessing the next line isn’t “we salute you”) is an excellent slab of post-HHIG worship for people who like hardcore/crust/grind 7”s in theory, but don’t have a record player. Which is everyone I know. Recommended.”  – Greg Pratt // metal maniacs

“The name is in reference to the ski mask worn by guerilla warriors – specifically the Zapatistas, who were/are a huge influence on me ideologically,” reveals Balaclava guitarist Daniel Sanchez regarding the origins of his group’s left-of-centre choice of names. “The band  started when I demoed some down-tuned, down-tempo songs I had been tinkering with in late 2005. Actually, the first recorded song was a heavy, doom-influenced cover of Conflict’s  ‘From Protest to Resistance,’ which I think sums up our sound in a nutshell. I showed the songs to Pete, Joe and Danny, who were in a band called Fred Gable at the time, and they agreed to start up the band with me in 2006. We’ve been messing around since then, finally getting some recorded material out. Now we are all active in the writing process. People think our band is called Baklava. The jokes never get old.”
Balaclava’s sound is NO joke, however: a fiery ‘n furious amalgamation of the crustiest of ‘cores and most malevolent metals, all coming together in one big Fight Club-styled fracas. In other words: it kinda rules. “Swedish and Japanese hardcore and metal are huge influences on our sound,” agrees Dan, “as well as elements of crust, doom, and all sorts of other genres that people would never guess. I think it’s kind of fruitless to try to describe what we sound like – the music should speak for itself – but I have always considered us a punk band that didn’t need to adhere to rigid standards of song writing. It’s sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, always heavy and always genuine.”
“Richmond is great,” adds Dan on the hometown love the Virginian quartet receives at gigs. “There’s a ton of really cool punk and metal bands, great record labels and record stores. If anything it’s a small town that suffers from too many shows, which really isn’t a bad thing. We don’t really fit in with any of the particular niches, and people who are looking for Verbal Abuse, Weedeater, Darkthrone, or Totalitar clones will get bored of us pretty quickly, but I love all of those bands and we end up with a pretty diverse crowd.”
Though Balaclava only has the ripping Shame EP to their credit thus far, this piece of vinyl is a severe barnburner, indeed, offering more aggro per inch than most other bands include in their whole discographies. “We’re really happy with how it turned out,” says Dan. “Tim at Forcefield Records did a great job with it, and Noel Danger—from a Baltimore, MD band called Triac, also on Forcefield—did most of the art for it, and it came out fantastic. When we write songs, one or two of us have made a basic draft for the jam, and that party brings it to the other guitarist(s) to flesh it out, and finally we get with Joe who makes it disgusting. This was our first 7″ and we wanted it to sound really crusty and punk as shit; Dan had three pieces in that vein, and I went with that and came up with the shortest song I’ve ever written. We definitely take into account a great variety of influences, and we like being able to go from a fast, d-beat riff to a slow drone in the same song and make it sound coherent.”
He continues, “Our newer stuff is slower and longer. There are a lot less d-beat parts and much more fleshing out of our metal influences, but I still feel like they’re a punk band’s songs. We’ve got a bunch of new ones, and we’re actually going into the studio in a week to record a good 30 minutes worth of stuff. We should have a new release by the summer, and are doing a 16-day southern/mid-west tour in July. We’re in the process of booking those dates, and things are coming along nicely. We will also be doing several long weekend dates along the east coast and surrounding areas leading up to that. If anyone wants to see us play in their home town we can be reached at” – George Pacheco / Cape Cod Rock Music Examiner