EMQ’s with HELLSCREAM
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with California based Metal band Hellscream! Huge thanks to vocalist Norman Skinner for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Norman Skinner and I am the vocalist for Hellscream. This band started as a musical collaboration between David Garcia and myself back in 2011-2012. We had known each other from our other bands (Cage & Imagika). We started demoing a few tracks and it was clear that there was some great chemistry. We released our debut album “Made Immortal” in 2013 and had since been asked time and again to record a follow-up album. Our second album “Hate Machine” releases July 26th 2019 through Pure Steel Records.
How did you come up with your band name?
One day Dave sent me a message asking what we were going to call this new beast of a band. I wanted something cool sounding and started putting words together. I checked and there was no band called Hellscream and learned as well it was a term for strange screaming sounds emitting from the ground that some people thought were tortured souls in Hell. I thought to myself “That is Metal!”. Dave loved it and here we are.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Hellscream are from the United States, specifically California. The Metal\Rock scene here is either definitely alive and well but very underground. Lots of local bands from every city some good and many not so much. Sadly, Metal is not a popular music genre in the United States compared to many countries unless it’s bands like Metallica or Slayer. Then people come out to see these bands.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
Our latest release is our full length album titled “Hate Machine” scheduled to drop on 07/26/19 worldwide.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Of course I cannot speak for the other band members but for me I would say Iced Earth, Primal Fear, Killswitch Engage, Evergrey, Halford, Savatage, Mystic Prophecy, Angel Dust, Testament, Kamelot, Symphony X and so many more…
What first got you into music?
I believe it was being a young kid watching videos on MTV. The bands were larger than life and always got the hottest women. HA HA!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Off the top of my head I would have to say perhaps Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) or Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot). I love the brooding yet beautiful sounds\songs they create. It’s a sound I am very into these days but have yet to dive into.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken Open Air! It’s known as the biggest and the best so that would be my choice.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Ha ha!! A “Tuggie”. It’s like a warm sock covering for your penis.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you so very much for all your ongoing support of myself and each and every one of my projects.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Hands down Ronnie James Dio! No explanation needed.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love creating songs with musicians. The lyrical story, the structure, demoing and ultimately recording. Adding the artwork, photos etc. Basically, creating something spectacular from nothing. Performing live is always a huge plus as well as meeting so many fantastic people while traveling. What I hate is the politics of the music business. It’s a hard business if you are trying to make it as a career or even part time.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Better payouts for streams and downloads of artist music.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Skid Row – “Slave To The Grind”. Such a heavy & melodic album plus Sebastian Bach sounds like a vocal God on it.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I’m partial to downloads as I listen to all my music electronically but CD’s is a close second because there is something awesome about having the booklet and lyrics etc. I like Vinyl only for the large album art.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
That’s a tough one. I would have to say The Thrash Against Cancer Benefit with my band Imagika for Chuck Billy of Testament. So many great Bay Area thrash bands.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I would probably be into graphic design or writing screenplays. Something creative for sure.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Josh Gates (Archeologist), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist), Zack Bagans (Paranormal Investigator), Giorgio A. Tsoukalos (Ancient Alien Theorist), Ben Kissel (Podcast Host)… the discussions going on would be mind-blowing!!
What’s next for the band?
Well, the new album is scheduled for release this month and we will most likely release a lyric video as well. Potentially a few live appearances. We haven’t really discussed plans as I have been busy with Niviane & Imagika and the rest of Hellscream busy with Cage & Three Tremors.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram & Twitter. Find us on all of them!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They are CAKES that just happen to be biscuit sized.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for the band spotlight and anyone interested in checking out the band’s debut release “Made Immortal” can find it on Spotify, YouTube etc. Our new album “Hate Machine” is released July 26th through Pure Steel Records. Thank you all!
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