Hello Eric Kruger how are you doing? Very well, thank you for having me! How did you, your family and bandmates survived this whole Covid Situation so far? We’ve been hanging in there! Everyone is healthy and safe. Throughout 2020 we were recording and preparing for the release of “Embrace the Unknown” while most of the world was shut down. Can you tell us something about the local, Cleveland/USA Metal scene? We have a great local scene here in Cleveland! Many types of metal are represented and everyone knows everyone in a way. I’m proud to be part of one of the many awesome bands representing this city. Shoutout to some friends! Druparia, Trephine, Terranoct, Curse the Gods, EGO, Fake Muslims, Olathia Please tell us how the band got started and how did you guys came up with the bandname Lower 13? In middle school, our 8th grade class was small at the time and there weren’t many people to connect with. Up to that point I had been a drummer about 2 years. I wanted to be in a band since I had never really played music with anyone else other than my father (who plays guitar). Luckily, I knew Pat played guitar and Sean played bass. I invited them over to jam and the rest is history! That same year we were trying to come up with a name. A good friend of ours pitched few ideas. Lower 13 stuck out to us out of the batch of names, and we went for it! You guys just released via Pure Steel Records a new album called: Embrace the Unknown, please tell us about the writing process, time in the studio etc? “Embrace the Unknown” was written over a 2 year period. Our last record “Restore the Order,” came together quick because many of the songs were reworked from older ideas, however “Embrace the Unknown” was written from the ground up. With this one (in comparison to the last), we wanted to push the boundaries of what we can do performance wise, and ensure that the songs were made for the stage. We started recording the beginning of January 2020 at Mercinary Studios with our longtime producer Noah Buchanan. We worked with Noah on our last 2 records, and he outdid himself this time around! Mercinary is like our second home so it’s always great to be back there. When the pandemic hit, that delayed the recording process and release a bit, but we are thankful that the album is out there for people to hear! How is the album received so far by Fans and the Press? So far the response has been awesome! The press has compared our sound to some of our favorite bands which is truly humbling. Fans have said that the album is their favorite of our catalog yet, so that means the world to us. We’re always striving to step things up each time we put out a new record Are there any live shows planned? We had an album release party back in September which was a great time! We have something TBA for November. After that we will likely take the rest of the year off from shows to plan out 2022, and get back to writing. The combination on this album with the really agressive vocals and soaring harmonies are really my cup of tea. A really good combination fitting perfactly in the music? please tell us about the mix you create? Thank you! Our music style is an amalgam of the bands we like. We’ve experimented with our sound a bit over the years (and always will), but we write what comes naturally. Melodic vocals and harmonies are at the core of our band, and the harsh vocals are put in if we feel the part in the song calls for them. Can you tell us about the lyrics of the album? what is the inspiration to write the lyrics? Both Pat and Sean write lyrics for the band. The lyrics are most often inspired by things in their personal lives. When did you start to play the drums and how did you find out about Heavy Metal music? I started drumming in 2004 when I was 12 years old. My parents are metal fans, and were in a band called “Sacred Few” (Shadow Kingdom Records) before I was born, so I was always around it growing up. I will say I didn’t get into it until I found it on my own. When I was 8 years old, my best friend exposed me to a bunch of bands which jump started my passion for the genre and for heavy music. I’m eternally grateful. What are some of your own favorite bands? For me, I’m all across the board! Slipknot, Trivium, Children of Bodom, Spiritbox, Eluveitie, Sylosis, Rammstein, System of a Down, Veil of Maya, Maximum the Hormone, Sum 41 What is your profession and hobby’s beside playing in a metal band? In stark contrast to playing in a metal band, I have a mild mannered office job haha Outside of the band and work, I’m a big nerd. I love superheroes, dragon ball z, horror movies, and other fandom type stuff. I also enjoy checking out new restaurants/bars and long walks on the beach. Do you have a last word to the readers of Bonavox.nl? Thank you for having us! Check out our brand new album “Embrace the Unknown” via Pure Steel Records on streaming, CD and download.