Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
📸 – Timo Ehlert
League of Distortion releases their debut self-titled album, and this is one you don’t want to miss! 10 tracks at just under 40 minutes is filled with a fresh, modern take on metal, with a wide variety of influences including metal, hard rock, EDM and more! With melodic rhythms, strong instrumentals and deep lyricism, this is a must-hear album!
Exit Eden’s Anna Brunner and Kissin’ Dynamite’s Jim Müller have come together to form a new, fresh and modern metal band that’s got to be one of the strongest metal upstarts this year! Combining the sounds that these two are known for has created an unbelievably dynamic, powerful and emotional soundscape that you won’t want to miss.
The first single released from the album dropped back on July 26th and is called “Wolf or Lamb”, which sees an exciting, fresh track with an explosive, modern metal edge, including great melodies and intense instrumentals. Felix and Tino really add so much talent to this already talented group, with edge-of-your seat bass lines and drums!
Mixing the anthemic feel of songs like “L.O.D”, the pure heaviness of tracks like “The Bitter End” and emotional songs that turn sadness into strength, originally veiled by the pandemic, this has got to be one of the strongest albums of the year!
Tackling subjects such as mental health during the pandemic, changing the conversation and speaking out against racism and hatred and turning sadness and darkness into strength, this album delivers a fresh, pure and raw energy that is unmistakable!
I had the chance to email with Anna for an interview, and we had a great discussion on how the pandemic fueled the strength behind the debut album, some inspirations behind the music and some behind the scenes about the creative process for the videos! Interview below.
Ryan – “Hi Anna! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat! How are you, your family and friends doing after almost three years of a global pandemic?”
Anna – “Hey! Thank you! Yes it’s been a tough time but we’re doing alright here! It seems like the world is going crazy now again and this is so hard for me to accept. The pandemic did push me quite a bit off track, but it also made me use this feeling of uncertainty to create League of Distortion, a powerful union with a strong message inviting everyone who is open-minded to be a part of this.”
Ryan – “I’m glad you’re all doing well! It has been going crazy here and there, and it’s been difficult to adjust to and accept, so I can totally understand the stress from that! Having originally started with Exit Eden in 2017, 2020 then saw a very bleak and dire time for musicians globally. The global pandemic cast a huge shadow on everything, plunging everyone into a great unknown. Using what was for most a very dark time in a positive way, League of Distortion was born. Can you tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind the start of the band and was this a project that you’ve always wanted to start?”
Anna – “Yes. I had been planing to form a band with a strong statement, together with friends who share my vision for quite a long time now. It’s a vision that is made up of what I truly feel and a style that is different from what is already out there. Between the stagnation that came with Covid and this feeling of powerlessness, I suddenly shifted my focus, highlighting what I had in mind all these years and finally gave everything I could to bring it to life.”
Ryan – “It’s always great not only to have a vision, but to have the support of those you trust around you to encourage you and to be there in support to make it happen! League of Distortion has some incredible talent behind it. Anna, having always loved your vocals that have shown incredible tone and power on Exit Eden’s “Rhapsodies in Black”, it was hard to imagine being able to enjoy them more. On League of Distortion’s debut self-titled album however, we hear absolutely amazing vocals that give an even more aggressive and powerful edge now, which sounds incredible in addition to the powerful, beefy guitars, exciting bass lines and great beats. Do you feel that you are still growing into your identity as a vocalist?”
Anna – “Thank you so much! This means a lot to me. Yes, getting older and more mature, getting to know who I am and what I’m not. Yes, I’m definitely still growing vocally. I’ve always loved to sing raspy and with power and distortion but the soft vocals are a part of me, too. League of Distortion allows me to show exactly who I am, who I want to be and I don’t feel confined by any limits. The songs and also vocal sounds are very different but all ‘metal’ in their own way! Above that, it’s honest, bold and sincere. We are so happy and proud of what we created and even more happy to see that the people like it as well and that they appreciate our bravery.”
Ryan – “It’s obvious that not only do you love what you do, but that you pour all of yourself into it! With you having teamed up with guitarist Jim Müller of Kissin’ Dynamite, this has formed one of the most powerful upstarts in recent history. Infused with a more modern, contemporary and heavy sound, juxtaposed with EDM components at times, League of Distortion is heading for the stratosphere quickly! How did it all go down with getting Jim on board?”
Anna – “Jim and I have been friends since we got to work together through Kissin’ Dynamite. I had been on tour with them in 2019 and when you’re together on tour for a long period of time, you know who you truly get along with 😉 We even started songwriting just for fun in 2019, but not having in mind to create a band together at this point. When I put my first ideas down on paper and told Jim about this, he was thrilled and so we just gave it a shot. I didn’t know if he was willing and able to join another band with Kissin’ Dynamite being so successful, but he did! This is a different approach and style of music and I don’t think he would have wanted to miss this ;-)”
Ryan – “It’s great that you get to work so closely with someone that you’re obviously very compatible with! Earlier this year it was announced that you and Napalm had signed a deal, a move even further solidifying the amazing talent this band showcases. How does it feel to be with Napalm?”
Anna – “It’s great!!! 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 is when we started the collaboration and were supported by this great metal label!”
Ryan – “That’s great it worked out so well! Prior to the album release, we got our first taste of League of Distortion with three singles that dropped. The first of which, “Wolf or Lamb”, which dropped on July 26th, sees an exciting, fresh track with an explosive, modern metal edge, including great melodies and intense instrumentals. The video was intense, not only showcasing the band’s sonic capability, but your visual arts as well. Can you tell us a little more about the creative process behind the video?”
Anna – “Oh yes, this was super exciting! We had many ideas and got together with Mirko Witzki, a great video producer. I still remember his call when he said that we were able to work with real wolves on set! This had been a wish of ours, but I didn’t really think that it would happen. Of course, I was a little nervous when it came to the scenes with the wolves, but I treated them with respect, appreciating their presence, and after a while, I got more and more brave and enjoyed the scenes with Lupa and Ludwig a lot. Working with Mirko, his make-up artist Kami Zero and the whole team is incredible. They are so creative, professional and down to earth. Beforehand we had worked on ideas, outfits and the look – and bringing this all together was simply amazing. The red dress was designed extra for me in this video by Kami, a great guy and wonderful outfit and make-up artist. The band shots were super fun, too (although it was pretty cold and my feet nearly froze off in those light sandals! 🥶) but the energy among us was strong and we were incredibly happy to finally get started with this new band!”
Ryan – “I’m so glad the video shooting process and planning process went so well with such a great team! So sorry about your feet! Glad you were okay! The second single, “My Revenge” starts out with an EDM vibe, but quickly transitions into beefy and crunchy guitars, with massive amounts of energy. The video for this track sees an incredible visual, telling a story about breaking past our lack of action and not taking anymore crap from anyone. It’s about breaking free, being your true self and shining bright without fear. How did the concept for this video come into existence?”
Anna – “Thank you! I love the way you put this into words 🙂 We worked with Mirko Witzki for all the videos – as I said he and his team are amazing and full of great ideas. We did a lot of brainstorming with him and Kami and being on the same page, the concept of this video simply was created in a blink of an eye. The special look with make up and outfits, empowering message and strong band performance underlines the whole topic without being over the top, yet still leaving room for the song and message.”
Ryan – “The video truly is great and leaves a lot of space for self interpretation and meaning, all the while carrying the message you’ve intended! Another powerful track, “I’m A Bitch”, titled quite provocatively, is a strong track that breaks out of the conventional box that metal is known for, and honestly couldn’t be any better! Social injustice, hate, racism is another cancer, spreading around this world more and more with each passing moment. This song, seemingly about educating on these topics in hopes of getting people to change their patterns of thinking, is bound to get people talking! Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this track?”
Anna – “Yes, this is exactly what we had in mind for this song! Again, I love the words you summed it up with! There is so much injustice, pain and horror going on in this world, starting in the minds of individual people. Being musicians, I think we can reach many different people and hopefully make them think about what they do and say. You know, this can be something that isn’t actively thought but in the back of the mind, just by the influences they’ve had and continue to have. With “I’m A Bitch”, we want to provoke them to break out of these thinking patterns. At first glance the topic seems to be an emancipational topic: men and women being treated with different measures but this is just the tip of the iceberg – it’s actually about more than that, like you said it’s about: social injustice, hate and racism.”
Ryan – “It’s so incredibly important to talk about these social issues, and I’m so glad you’re able to use your platform this way! Changing gears a bit, with the band currently on tour in support of Caliban, how has the response been overall with the album now being released?”
Anna – “The response to our debut album has been really good in fact! Since we created it without any pressure or guidelines from anyone, this just lets us do what we truly want to do. Of course we were curious about how people would like it, but we followed our own vision without fear – it’s authentic, real and raw, and I’m sure there are more people that will appreciate this and value our album because of that.”
Ryan – “It’s great to be able to follow your heart as an artist without restriction! I’m so glad you’re able to! Are there any plans for a headlining tour now with the album having been unleashed on the world, and do you see yourselves making it out here to the US?”
Anna – “Touring the US some time soon would be a personal goal, because there are so many people on social media asking me about it and I would love to play for them! It’s hard for a German band to tour the US, but I am not giving up this thought! We want to tour as much as possible, and play as much as we can. We’ve been on tour with Caliban, Ghost Kid and Resolve in December, and next will be a tour with Kissin’ Dynamite, Dynazty and Formosa in Germany. Then in March 2023 we will be on the road through Europe with Kamelot, Myrath and Eleine. We can’t wait to be out there, get to meet new people, finally rock the stages, feel the energy of live shows and share our music with future Leaguists :-)”
Ryan – “Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Anna! For those that haven’t heard League of Distortion’s debut self-titled album, it’s out now on all streaming platforms, so please go stream it, you don’t want to miss it! Thanks again, Anna!”
Anna – “My pleasure! Thank you!”