Meet The Band: League Of Distortion

Timo Ehlert

This week’s Meet The Band artist is League Of Distortion, whose lineup includes members of Exit Eden and Kissin’ Dynamite. Their self-titled debut was just released. Vocalist Anna Brunner introduces us to her band.

Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of League Of Distortion.
Anna Brunner: I had been planning to form a band with a strong statement, together with friends who share my vision for quite a long time. The stagnation that came with Covid in 2020 suddenly shifted my focus, highlighting what I had had in mind all these years. Getting together with Jim (Arro) who has been a friend since I got to know Kissin’ Dynamite wasn’t far to seek. We used the time of uncertainty to create this powerful union with a strong message. I had been friends with Ax (bassist Felix Rehmann) and playing music and gigs with him for over 10 years and I knew Aeon (drummer Tino Calmbach) since my music study in Mannheim. So we got together to create tremendously powerful music and lay the cornerstone of a band representing community, solidarity, esperance and strength.

Describe the songwriting process for your self-titled debut.
The real songwriting for League Of Distortion started in 2020, trying to process what was going on in the world. I put down first drafts of songs and lyrics, we teamed up with Hannes Braun from Kissin’ Dynamite who helped us create this unique album. We also got together with Julian Breucker and Christoph Wieczorek from Sawdust Recordings and Annisokay to set the musical foundation. The production was split between the three of them. Together with this strong team we worked on the song ideas which were inspired by either personal experience, or simply topics that interest us and really need to be talked about.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
I think this will be the vocal recordings. Some vocal sessions were very intense – I put all the emotions and power in my voice that I had and was overwhelmed by the emotions being set free. Singing with so much intensity, distortion, strength and aggression really does something with your body and mind, also unleashing emotions I had veiled before. Letting these feelings out was partly so exhausting at times, that I had to sleep for the rest of the day after recording certain songs. “My Revenge,” “It’s A Sin and “The Bitter End” were songs where I did struggle during the recordings, pushing myself to the limits and giving my all until it was finished. I really think this is something you can hear when you listen to the the record.

How would you describe the album’s style/genre?
This album is full of different shades and varieties of metal. It’s modern metalcore but also has some old school nu metal influences and even symphonic metal or pop vibes. The melodies are strong and catchy and the topics are very personal, honest and provocative at times but with an overall feeling that is uplifting and empowering. We love the modern metalcore sound, low and evil riffs and even also have some pop influences going on. We didn’t follow any rules and might have taken a risk by doing that, but it’s authentic, real and raw and I’m sure people will relate to this and value our album.

What lyrical topics do you cover?
Trying to process the cruel and capricious reality made me deal with dark topics that are hard to digest. There are lots of personal emotions, anger or disappointment from the past that I had pushed aside for years. Really having the time due to the Covid stagnation made me reprocess some personal topics but always wanting to have an empowering message and strengthening vibe. I also devoted myself to topics that were very hard for me, like sin. But with this song I am trying to be an a example for others to talk about painful experiences and seek help if needed. I want the listeners to know that they are not alone with their feelings and past, hoping to be able to encourage them to speak their minds and fight for justice.

How did Annisokay’s Christoph Wieczorek’s guest appearance come about?
We were working with Christoph Wieczorek as one of the producers in the very beginning. This established a connection and getting together for the recordings intensified this connection. Asking him to feature this song wasn’t planned from the very beginning, but his voice strongly enriches the song “It Hurts So Good,” being an unconventional duet. (laughs) Christoph isn’t only featured on the song but also co-wrote it with us and soon we will get together again on our tour in November and December with Annisokay, Caliban and Resolve. This is what we have been waiting for – to finally be on the road and play our music live.

How did you come to sign with Napalm Records?
Having this strong vision for League of Distortion, we were aiming to work with a big metal label from the very beginning. I knew Napalm Records from my time with Exit Eden and there was also the connection through Kissin’ Dynamite. We convinced them with our first songs and ideas and that’s when we started the collaboration and were supported by this great metal label.

What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Since we started this band without any pressure or guideline from anyone, this just let us create what we truly wanted to. We are simply curious to see how people will react to the album. We lay the cornerstone and foundation of a powerful union, welcoming everyone to be a part of this. Yes, we created something different or unconventional with this album, but followed our own guts and vision and we are here to stay.

What are your upcoming tour plans?
We are releasing our debut album on November 25th with a big celebration with our fans,bfriends and families. The following weeks we will be on tour with Caliban, Annisokay and Resolve and for after that we are planing something that is still a secret. So stay tuned for more proclamations.

How did you get started in music?
I started to sing at a young age and though my parents didn’t really have anything to do with music I went my way from then on, singing in choirs and starting my first rock bands as a teenager and playing any gig we could. During my last years of school it was clear to me that I really wanted to aim for music and that’s what I did.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
I remember getting my first Halestorm CD from my second band’s guitar player, being introduced to Lzzy Hale for the first time. From then on she was my teenage role model. I still admire her for the way she screams, sings and plays her guitar. In my opinion she is one of the greatest rock and metal singers of our time. An influence that came a bit later was Chester Bennington. Though never having the chance to see him live, his voice and music touched me so deeply and delivered his emotions
directly to my heart. Being a huge inspiration for me, with the way Chester sang, screamed and shared his feelings and emotions through his lyrics, I felt sincere sadness when he passed away on July 20th, 2017.

What was the first metal concert you attended?
I think this must have been Arch Enemy. I still remember how impressed I was by Angela Gossow, her growling technique and power on stage.

What are some of your non musical interests and hobbies?
I love to go for long walks, being in nature and just observe everything around me. But there is not always time for that. (laughs)

Will there be another Exit Eden album?
There is nothing concrete I can share with you yet. But to reveal this much: Good things come to those who wait.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
League of Distortion is a band representing community, solidarity, esperance. We are a powerful union, welcoming everyone to be a part of this. We’ve released some really great music videos – check them out definitely! And get our debut album, released on November 25th 2022. It is strong and modern and shows different shades and varieties of metal music. Also it has a very positive vibe dealing with heavy topics but giving you power and strength to hold on and go for it. Join the League, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and come see us on tour. We hope to be able to tour the US too some day. Stay tuned!

(interview published November 26, 2022)

Watch League Of Distortion – “My Revenge” Video


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