EMQ’s with FROM HELL
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Oakland, California based Horror Concept Metal band From Hell. Huge thanks to vocalist/lead guitarist Aleister Sinn 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?
We are called FROM HELL. I am Aleister Sinn when I play guitar and sing in this band. FROM HELL is from Oakland, CA. I created the band back in 2007 after my last band Down Factor disbanded. I was tired of repeating the same old lyrical lines that have become cliché, like Fuck the Government, fuck religion, fuck this fuck that. Really, those are more punk roots, but a lot of metal has tuned social issues and the injustices in the world. Which is great. I guess someone needs to say it. I did already and it wasn’t fulfilling. That’s what Down Factor was all about. After two albums and seeing that there was no change in the lyrical content for politics and social injustices, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I thought about what I could do, and my favourite musician is King Diamond. I always loved the idea of concept albums. Loved every King Diamond album (almost) and Queensrÿche’s “Operation Mindcrime”. I thought, I would rather write music that when people listen to it, it takes them out of the thoughts of politics and social injustices and religion and puts them in a world that is all about this story and nothing more. The idea is to have some sort of escape when you hear the music and listen to the stories on our albums. And that is where the first album came from, “Ascent From Hell”.
How did you come up with your band name?
I came up with the name back in 2007. I ripped it from the movie, From Hell. I thought it might be a good idea to use something somewhat familiar. That has made my career quite challenging to say the least. Also, From Hell is a graphic novel about Jack the Ripper. I liked the idea of telling horror stories over the music just like King Diamond. On one level, one could say that is what metal lyrics usually are, but I wanted to write one complete story and have one complete thought behind the album. It’s never about any one song, but the whole album.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are based in Oakland, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco. The metal scene in Oakland is very much alive! Lots and lots of metal bands and a big, scene where everyone is family. Weirdly everything is on hold due to the virus. I used to run a giant rehearsal studio in West Oakland too with 160+ studios. So, that also made it pretty easy to know all of the bands.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Actually, we have a few. Our latest album released is called “Rats & Ravens”. It is a full-length concept album about a witch who steals children, kills them and reanimates their corpses with rats. She calls them ‘Lilium’. Then we have three videos that we have released, one lyric video for ‘Lilium’, the third track and two full production videos for ‘They Come at Night’ and ‘The Witch’.
The Witch (Official Video)
They Come At Night (Official Video)
Lilium (Official Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
King Diamond, Slayer, Coroner, At the Gates, Death, Behemoth, Testament.
What first got you into music?
The sound of a distorted guitar rockin’ out on the radio. I loved it! Then my sister started listening to Kiss and she bought their second live album Kiss Alive II and the image inside and the sound of the music was just great to me. Hard rockin’ guitar and Ace’s solos. Then I found Dio and Iron Maiden and then it just progressed to Slayer and Metallica at that point.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
One of those happened already and it was kickass! I worked on the first album with Paul Bostaph. That was super cool! It wasn’t so much a collaboration as it was, he came in to learn my songs and put his drum godliness behind it. After that, I would love to collaborate with Mikkey Dee, King Diamond’s old drummer and the current drummer for Scorpions. That dude is amazing!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Of course, the festival to play is Wacken. The penultimate of heavy metal festivals!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t know. I think I blocked it from my memory.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
No one truly fits in this world. You have to make a stand for yourself and make yourself fit. It may feel awkward at first, but eventually, people will fit in around you and then you are where you are supposed to be.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love playing music. I love playing music I’ve written and playing it with other people and finally feel it come to fruition. To have these concepts and ideas in your head and then to finally get them down and out to people where they can listen to it.
I hate scheduling. Scheduling sucks. It’s the worst part. Having to call everyone and figure out schedules of who can make it to rehearsals, this show that show, this tour that tour.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
MP3’s. I would have eliminate them or somehow require code to copy protect I think MP3s have killed the music industry. It has allowed for widespread distribution of artists music without consideration of what it took to produce. And it has led to the concept that music has very little value anymore and should be free to everyone. It has gutted artists ability to support themselves.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Them” by King Diamond. Huge impact on me.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Whatever player you have closest to you to listen to music is the best. I have a philosophy that those who listen to vinyl really love the experience of listening to music and because vinyl is somewhat delicate, a certain kind of ritual is performed when you listen to music. I think digital downloads are good for a quick reference, but you lose the whole ritual experience of really listening to the band. This can be said of cassettes and CD’s too. A friend of mine once said something of rolling joints. He said, “If I don’t have time for the ritual, then I don’t have time to smoke.” And I think that is true in music. You can’t fully appreciate an album, the musicianship, the lyrics, the art, if you don’t sit there and listen to it from start to finish without interruption. Something we used to do a long time ago hanging out with friends.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The Colosseum in Czech Republic. The fans in Eastern Europe are insane! That was when we toured with Possessed and Belphegor 2016. Many of those shows were great and off the hook! The ones that really stand out to me, France, Czech Republic, Poland, London, Scotland, Ingolstadt
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Probably making music for film or foley and sound production.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
King Diamond, Mikkey Dee, Kerry King, Zetro and either Bruce Dickinson or Steve Harris
What’s next for the band?
At the moment, we have to wait out this COVID-19 thing. In the meantime, I will start working on the ideas for the next album.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
For Digital Retailers
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
It’s a cookie.
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