Interview with Madeleine Liljestam of ELEINE

Interview with Madeleine Liljestam of ELEINE
By Dark Juan

Hello, dear friends. It is I, Dark Juan. I trust I find you well and all preparing yourself for the festival of the birth of the False God’s equally false son? Anyway, I have been a good little soldier and behaved myself in my past few reviews, so our Lord and Master, mighty smiter, metal king and surprisingly tolerant editor (when faced with my rantings he is never less than gracious and understanding, notwithstanding just how many times I use the word fuck. Which is a lot) Sir Richard Tilley has taken off my leash and allowed me to emerge, blinking and shellshocked from his basement into the drab and reedy light of a gloomy British winter day. After several fortifying cups of Yorkshire’s finest brew, I immediately have cast about for devilry to commit, preferably indoors because this Hellpriest doesn’t like the cold, and I have been permitted to (in flagrant disregard of the panic and fear I caused myself the last time I spoke to somebody famous and popular – I am famously misanthropic and awkward around people. Clearly Rick and I have learned NOTHING from the previous experience) interview Swedish symphonic metal stalwarts Eleine, who have recently released an absolute STONKER of an album in “Dancing In Hell”. Add the fact it appears that I am suffering from puppy paralysis as the Dread Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover (no, there WON’T be more of that later) has settled happily next to me and is snoring gently and emitting the kind of smells that should be banned under the Geneva Convention and you will understand that this has made me utterly unable to move and has led to a period of lightheaded, bonehead confidence due to oxygen starvation (but pleasingly NOT paradoxical undressing)  which has led in turn to this collection of questions, of which the fabulous Madeleine Liljestam from the Scandinavian symphonic superstars is now obliged to answer.

Shall we dive in? After you…

Dark Juan: Greetings and salutations. I am Dark Juan, incumbent enfant terrible of Ever-Metal.com. Please do tell whom I have the pleasure of addressing today?

Madeleine: You are talking to Madeleine, the vocalist and one of the founders of ELEINE.

DJ: Thank you for consenting to be part of the nonsense I write and congratulations on a spectacular and wide-ranging record. Could you please tell me about the process of writing and recording the album? Who writes the lyrics and does the music come fully formed from the mind of one person or is it all a group effort? Also, even though it is a bit clichéd and overdone, who are your influences and musical heroes?

M: Thank you, and thank you for reaching out, it’s a pleasure. I’m glad to hear you enjoy our new album. I am very proud of its early success. You can never really know what to expect when releasing something new. But what you can do is create what feels true to you, and that’s the important part We write what we know, what we see and what we feel. There’s a huge piece of ourselves in this album, so it really warms our hearts hearing how appreciated it is.

Rikard and I write all the music/lyrics and we’re influenced by many various things. Games, movies, life. We get this question a lot and never seem to be able to give something short like naming a band or two. There are many bands that inspire us. I feel that good music is good music….and we listen to good music.

DJ: When I listen to Eleine’s music, although it is in keeping with the gothic/symphonic metal genre, I find it much more exciting because it appears to have a much harder edge (Rikard’s guitar work and vocals especially) than Nightwish, Within Temptation, After Forever and the like. Is this a conscious decision of the band or are there members who harbour a (possibly not so) secret love of extreme music?

M: Who said that symphonic metal can’t be heavy or even extreme sometimes? As I mentioned before, we only write and create what feels true to us. We’re going with the vibe we have during the time of writing, you know? I’m glad you like it, thank you very much. Yes, there is a heavier sound on “Dancing In Hell”, and it’s really not a surprise since we like heavier music. I mean, it’s certainly no secret that I myself enjoy listening to black and death metal. I would also like to add that although many seem to believe so, we don’t listen to other bands in our genre and try to write like them. That would be redundant and pointless since they have their sound and we have our own sound.

DJ: It appears to be becoming more and more difficult for bands to draw attention to themselves, especially during this current COVID unpleasantness, and to make a living from their music. What does Eleine do differently, in your opinion, which makes you stand out from the crowd?

M: I don’t think we’re the ones to answer that question, the fans and you should, right? We continue to work the way we’ve always done and I take it as a compliment that you actually ask that!

DJ: As I write this, I am watching Eleine videos, which are richly filmed and produced in a very lush fashion. How important is the visual aesthetic to Eleine, and who comes up with the concepts for videos, and does this transcribe easily to your live shows?

M: Very nice, thank you! We produce, direct, film and edit all of our music videos on our own. Rikard does most of the camera work and when he needs to be in frame it’s often I who film him. In editing it’s all Rikard with cutting things together and creating that extra depth with his mad editing skills. I of course also help out when he gets stuck and needs a second pair of eyes. The visual aspects are very important for ELEINE. I, myself, visualize so much in both stills and moving pictures when creating music. This extends into live performance and also music videos. Everything you see with ELEINE, is an extension of ELEINE and what we do. Choosing to have the sunset behind us in ‘Ava Of Death’ wasn’t a coincidence. Choosing to have the fire and some subtle facial expressions in ”Dancing In Hell” wasn’t either. there’s so much thought behind it all and I’m glad you like them.

DJ: Madeleine, obviously, you are a woman fronting a heavy metal band and the visual focal point of Eleine. You may not be aware that there has been something of a scandal involving a British produced heavy metal magazine recently displaying outrageous levels of misogyny regarding female musicians and using language and terms which a lot of others, myself and the ENTIRE staff of Ever-Metal.com included, found totally unacceptable. What are your experiences of reading or hearing about yourself in the wider press and have you found anything unacceptable or outright sexist? Have there been occasions where you have not been treated with the same respect as a male musician? How did you deal with them and what can us writers, reviewers and interviewers do to improve our coverage of women in metal?

M: That’s terrible! I am aware that idiots rage the earth, but I haven’t heard of that specific idiot. Well, since you bring it up – I do not appreciate reading that ELEINE is a ”female fronted metal” band. What the hell is that? It’s not like every band with men as fronts are called “male fronted metal” bands, right? “female fronted” isn’t a genre. I FULLY get the idea why you’d want to empower women. There is a lot of shit going on. But we are all humans. Sure, we can’t claim other than it’s a mainly man dominated world of metal, but at the same time it is so incredibly wrong to hear that some festivals book 5 bands with female front figures just because they need to hit their quota of equality. Bands should be booked because of their music and delivery when performing, not because of what’s between their legs.

A band is a band. Metal is metal. No matter sex, skin colour or whatever. Don’t judge a band before you’ve actually listened to their music. I can’t count the times I’ve recently heard: ”I usually don’t listen to bands with a female vocalist but hey, I was recommended to listen to ELEINE and now you have a new fan”. It’s GREAT that people go out of their comfort zone and listen to new music. It’s like I’ve said before…good music is good music, and crap music is crap music.

I stand up for humans and animal rights. Regardless of gender. We need to be equals in this. It really pisses me off to be put in a box that says ”Female fronted metal” and not even being given a chance to show what we got. Don’t get me wrong, you can of course call a man a man and a woman a woman etc. But instead of “outing” it with labels such as “female fronted”, just call them metal bands and add the actual genre.

But, as always, I know what we have, I know what we do and I am proud of it. Instead of seeing myself as a victim I’ve always chosen to switch it up a gear instead and make sure I make myself and our fans happy.

DJ: What news are you receiving about the reception of your latest album? I personally rated it as 9/10 and “Sumptuous, richly produced, expansively written and an essential purchase if you enjoy the beauty of female vocals offsetting metal power.” Are you getting many positive reviews?

M: What a great rating, thank you very much. The reception has been absolutely fantastic. I am deeply grateful for this. As I mentioned earlier, this album is a huge part of ourselves. I can’t thank everyone enough for buying it, appreciating it and sharing it <3

DJ: What do we have to look forward to from Eleine in 2021, assuming all the COVID restrictions are done with? This year has truly, truly sucked for live music and surely it has affected Eleine as well as everyone else involved with live music. Are you going to tour sooner rather than later or are you going to wait a bit longer for the sake of increased safety?

M: TOURING! My unholy Satan, I’m starving here. 2020 was rough for everyone and we need to work together to get through it. Even though the year was dark, there were shimmers of light. One very good thing was the release of “Dancing In Hell”, both for us and for our fans. It has been an absolutely devastating year in so many ways, but we will make it. From everything there’s something to learn. I’ve learned to have way more patience than I’ve ever had.

We will tour when it’s safe and allowed, of course. We care about our fans

DJ: Do you have anything to say to your fans and people just discovering Eleine? This is your chance to say whatever you wish about whatever you like!

M: We are aware that we wouldn’t be anything without the beautiful fans we have. We are grateful for each and every one. We have a really close contact with our patrons and our Patreon has also helped us out tremendously. Thank you all so very much, keep on buying music from your favourite artists and we’ll see you soon.

DJ: Please allow me to thank you very much for agreeing to spend your time answering these questions, and may I wish you every success for the future. I truly hope your new record brings you an outrageous amount of success. The only reason this wasn’t done through Zoom was because I am far too much of a coward, having scared myself rigid the last time I did that! Tack så mycket för din tid, jag hoppas att vi snart ses på en brittisk turné och lycka till och framgång för er alla. God Jul!

LINKS:

Read Dark Juan’s album review here:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH FACED

INTERVIEW WITH FACED
Coming in strong with II COMING
By Stephanie Stevens

A Solid and strong band coming out of NY has just graced my earholes, FACED is turning up the volume with their newest album entitled “II COMING”.

The band is made up of founding members Jordan Simpson on guitar, Paul Burk on bass, Jay Matthews on drums who came together in 2017 and then quickly made Phil Loupin the energy induced singer of the band.

FACED is creating intense and driving elements with “II COMING” and were able to work with masterminds Howie Weinberg (mastering) and Sterling Winfield (mixing) who brought the vision of the band alive and that not only know their craft but have worked with many heavy hitters like Metallica, Pantera. Damage Plan and King Diamond.

‘POWER AND STRENGTH’ is the platform single off the disc and the guys just did a live performance video to display the hard-hitting synergy and fire the track has.

I had a chance to chat with Jordan about the band’s formation, working with people who have worked with his inspirations and much more.

Q: Tell me how FACED came together back in 2017 and how would you define your sound?

A: Me and Jason the drummer was writing and jamming and recording for years. We needed a front man to hold down vocal duties and that’s when we came across Phil. We met him years ago but at that time he was in another band. We crossed paths again and I showed him some stuff we worked on and he put some vocal tracks on some demo and instantly we knew he was the dude. He recruited his friend Steve to play bass on our first CD. On the 2nd one we recruited Paul for bass duties.

Q: From looking at your influences, it ranges from hardcore and punk to hard rock and metal. Two different lifestyles that also fit together. What have you learnt from each other musically when you have a broad sense of music influences in one band?

A: I learned having a frontman allows you to do more. Not just musically but live as well. Stage presence is huge. With Phil he just commands the audience. He entertains the audience which is amazing. We all have so many different types of music that influence us, so we just create this melting pot of metal. As long as we all like it we go for it. We don’t follow trends or what’s popular. We just play music that makes us feel good.

Q: “II COMING” is your newest release and I see you have posted it in entirety to youtube. Was there a reasoning for this and have you guys made actual discs for purchase or are you sticking with the digital age?

A: We just wanted to get it out there. In the middle of the pandemic people are broke and hurting financially wise. Including us. It’s a tough time because usually we play out a lot and sell merch. We truly miss it. But if it was about the money, we would have hung it up a long time ago. Faced is totally about the love of the music. We just want the music to be heard and fly the flag of metal. Carry the torch so to speak. But if someone wants to help out funding the next album, they can buy the album on any major streaming services.

Q: How do you feel your band has grown from your first release to this one and what surprised you about the growth when you all began writing?

A: I feel we have some more groove hardcore elements to the band. Also, there is a ballad on there as well which is new for us The 2nd album was pretty much already writing by me and Jason. Just as the first record. So, coming into the 3rd album we are getting all the guys to throw it into the mix and really get all 4 cylinders moving and we can already see the results and we are very excited about that.

Q: A cool thing with this album is for mixing and mastering you worked with people who have worked with your metal role models. Was that something that was focused on when looking for people or did it just happen by chance?

A: Well, I record all our band’s music at our studio. I tried to mix and master it but me being the perfectionist I am was never happy with my own mixes. The other guys were like yeah it sounds great but sometimes you have to be the bigger man and admit someone can do better. So, I reached out to Sterling Winfield who we have been friends with for a few years and he decided to take us on because I knew he was the dude who could make it come to life. He’s one of the best in the business. He’s worked with everyone from Pantera, Damageplan, Hellyeah to King Diamond. I tried not to fan boy too hard about it and just keep it real, ya know. Cause I’m sure everyone out there drives him nuts with that stuff. So, when we got the final mixes in, we needed to find someone to master it. I decided to call Howie Weinberg and I thought he would just blow me off because he has worked with some of the greatest artists in the world. But to my surprise he was very down to earth and so cool to me. We had some great conversation and decided to make it happen. Yes, this whole experience was a dream come true. But I try to stay humble and not let it get to my head. We are very lucky to have the right people at the right time making us sound the best we can be.

Q: Each studio time are you the type of band that really looks at it as another way to learn something to increase growth? If so, this time around, what do you feel you walked away from after “II COMING” was done?

A: Every day we try to grow in the studio and in the jam room. Always trying to push further ahead. This time when II coming mixed and mastered we felt very proud of this album.

Q: I loved the tracks ‘POWER AND STRENGTH’ and ‘CITIZEN ZERO’. Can you give us a small insight on how these songs came to life and what they mean to you?

A: ‘Power And Strength’ is like the anthem song. Kinda like our version of ‘Eye Of The Tiger’. I could see a boxer or even a wrestler using that song as an entry into the ring. LOL!

As for ‘Citizen Zero’ that was a total experimental song that just grew and grew. Me and Jay just jammed the riffs in the studio and Phil slapped some lyrics on it and Paul added bottom sick low end and boom it was alive.

Q: I heard you guys are dropping a new video. For which song and what kind of video can we look for conceptually with live shots etc and who shot the video for you?

A: The new video, being our first one, is for the song ‘Power And Strength’. It’s a live action shot video of us throwing down on the stage. It’s a mirror of what you would see at a live show, is the best description. It will be on our YouTube channel and our band Facebook page on Dec 1st. It was created by our awesome friend and supporter Nick Dicocco. He reached out to us to do a video and we were all onboard. He is very talented and a great guy.

Q: Back in summer you guys did a really cool livestream for CHROME tell us what that is and why it was important to raise money for it?

A: The Chrome is a great venue here in upstate New York that have treated us like family. So, when we heard they were being put up for sale we asked if there was anything we could do to help. So, a few bands started live-streaming there to help raise money to save the venue.

Q: Being from NY and seeing what kind of chaos has ensued in 2020 especially with the music industry and the community, where do you see this crucial piece of life, that is music, headed in your opinion and if fans can do anything, what would you tell them to do for the community?

A: The music industry is hurting so bad here right now. If people dont start donating to these venues to keep them open it will head to less places for everyone to play out. I know it’s a tough time but please donate to your favourite venues. The Government isn’t doing anything to help them.

Q: What made you decide a life of being a musician was what you wanted to do and has your decision on this changed through the years?

A: We all do this for the Love of the music. No regrets at all. We all eat, breathe and sleep music.

Q: When and if live shows come back to play where is the first place you wanna play and what three bands would you want to play with?

A: At this point anywhere. Just to get back out there and do our thing. We really miss it.

Q: What do you hope people walk away with after getting to know your band and your music?

A: We hope that people will enjoy the music and know we work our ass off to bring you fresh new tunes and albums. We hope they will come out and party with us when we come to town and bring their friends to check us out.

Q: Empower another artist and tell us why they inspire you?

A: To many to count. There are so many artists out there that inspire the whole band. The spectrum of music we all listen to is so wide and varies so many genres. I can speak- for myself (JORDAN) My greatest inspiration on guitar was DIMEBAG!!!! He will inspire me forever. (HAIL THE KING).

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

Power And Strength (Official Video)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with SCARS

Video Interview with SCARS
Interview, Recording, and Editing by Victor Augusto

Hi Everyone

In September 2020, Victor travelled to São Paulo to meet and interview Legendary Brazilian Thrash Metal band, SCARS. Ever Metal are beyond proud to Premiere that interview.

They talk about their history and incredible 2020 comeback album, “Predatory”, as well as depression, suicide, faith, and their loyal fanbase. They also allow us a glimpse into a SCARS rehearsal.

I would like to send my sincerest gratitude to the band for their time/passion, and to Victor, who has spent MANY hours and days, over the past few weeks, putting this video together.

SCARS Video interview by Victor Augusto

I would also like to thank DJ Jet (Gimme Metal/Sick Drummer Magazine) and
DJ Joker (Metal Messiah Radio) for their contributions.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Rick
Owner/Editor

SCARS LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Ryuko

Interview with Ryuko
By: Alun Jones

“Grandpa, what’s a gig?”

“Well son, a gig was what we used to call a band playing live music, in front of an audience.”

“What, people watching musicians play their instruments? Crazy!”

“I know it seems like a strange idea to you youngsters, but it used to be a fantastic experience. Actually being able to gather with friends and strangers to enjoy hearing music. It was another world.”

That’s what the situation seems like right now: no gigs, no gatherings for entertainment – the old days sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. At least it seemed a whole different world back in February 2020, before the pandemic, when I caught up with Chester based band Ryuko at Pentre Fest.

The three piece – comprising The Bobfather (guitars/vocals), Captain Andy (bass) and MattMan (drums) were something of an anomaly at the metal-centric Pentre Fest.  Not that Ryuko don’t rock out, but their brand of punky, alternative rock was a little different from the other bands on show. I found their style of honest, yet far from pretentious rock’n’roll refreshing and it added a vital tone to the proceedings.

Post gig, I caught up with the band to pose some questions and contemplate the meaning of life.

Alun: First off, the cliched yet crucial discussion on influences:

Bob: It’s weird, ‘cos we’ve got influences from all over. If you listen to one of our sets, it has stages: it starts off punky, then it goes alternative rock. Then it goes a little metal/grungy, then back to punk at the end.

Matt: Drop D then back to punk! I’m a huge fan of Motorhead and Metallica, the list goes on, so me being the drummer, I was always doing these thrash beats. To go from that to stepping into this, this was more fun to me. I really enjoy myself when I’m behind the kit with these guys.

Bob: When I write the songs, I listen to quite a broad variety of music, so I think that becomes apparent in my songs. I don’t like to write the same song twice. As far as when I started out, I would say when I was a teenager, I first started listening to Nirvana, Carter USM. I also drew influences from a lot of electro – The Prodigy and stuff like that – so sometimes I’d try and work out how to play dance songs on a guitar. And then that would give me the influence to write more interesting songs. I like to try and fuse a bunch of different genres together, make it more interesting.

Andy: I listen to a lot of Neil Young; I think he’s a very diverse artist. He’s done folk, he’s also done electric stuff.

Alun: How do you promote yourselves?

Matt: I’m more into social media than these guys are. We’re promoting ourselves on Facebook, we’re gonna make a new YouTube account. That’s kind of going up and down at the moment…

Bob: We don’t know how to work it!

Alun: Where does the name Ryuko come from?

Bob: I’m really into anime and all things Japanese, Japanese music…At the time I was watching an anime called Kill la Kill. The main character is called Ryuko Matoi and I just thought it was a really cool name. Some really fun facts: Ryuko is one of the least popular names in Japan. It basically means “rebirth”, start over. So, I thought, we’re starting again, it’s a really cool name.

Andy: Well, it’s not a cool name in Japan, is it?

Bob: It’s cool to me! I think it’s cool!

Andy: I do wish we’d chosen a name that’s easier to spell and pronounce.

Bob: People can never say it.

Alun: Your cover of the Madness classic ‘Baggy Trousers’ tonight was a surprising choice, but great!

Matt: We decided to spruce that up to make it ours. The original is completely different to how I play it, I add extra little bits just to make it more funky.

Alun: Do you feel you’ve got the right band dynamic between the three of you?

Bob: We’re pretty good as we are. More people add more complications cos you’ve got to think – are they free; do they drive, are they going to be available…

Matt: I’ve got a son, he’s 9, we discuss upcoming gigs before we agree to it. If I’ve got my son and he comes along with us, if he’s allowed in the venue we play – he’s got his little ear defenders, he just sits in the corner and watches us or plays his game.

Bob: I’ve got three jobs…

Alun: Sounds like a positive environment to work in.

All: It’s got to be positive, if it’s not it just doesn’t work. If no-one’s happy, nothing gets done.

Alun: So, what’s next? What are your plans?

Bob: World domination!  One step at a time…

Andy: We’ve been working on re-doing our EP, we’ve been recording on and off. Recording, playing as many gigs as we can.

And there you have it: an enjoyable chat with the gentlemen of Ryuko. Make sure you check them out live, as and when we can return to the experience of live music. If grungy, punky alt rock with some metallic crunch is your thing, then Ryuko will be just the antidote you need in these dreary times.

With apologies to Ryuko, who have waited months for this interview to see the light of day.

Check the band out here:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH BELLHEAD

INTERVIEW WITH BELLHEAD
THE RISING DARK POST PUNK DUO
By Stephanie Stevens

The Chicago based band BELLHEAD Consist of High Bass/Lead Vocalist Ivan Russia, formerly of the infamous Ahab Rex, Mr. Russia, and Sheriff Scabs; partnering with Low Bass/Vocalist Karen Righeimer – who has been a member of bands such as Fashion Bomb, Team Cybergeist, W.O.R.M, Bethany Thomas, and Pigface and are creating a unique, dark and punk quirky ambiance with the music they are making.

With the fire of male and female vocals intertwining with industrial esque music it becomes a unity of beauty and the beast.

‘UNICORN BONES’, the song on the duos newest EP entitled the same, ultimately drew me into the band. It just had a hard and haunting vibe to it that sucked me into the art that is BELLHEAD.

The band just recently did a cover of Bauhaus song SANITY ASSASSIN with a fascinating visual for it also.

Ivan and Karen are no strangers to the Chicago music scene but are making magic together as BELLHEAD.

I recently had a chance to ask them about the newest cover song, remixes and how Chicago has moulded them as performers/artists.

Q: When and how did BELLHEAD come into existence?

Karen: Ivan and I tossed around the idea of doing a project together for quite a few years – but it never stuck because we were both in pretty successful projects and didn’t have time for something new. In 2018 I left my music projects, and Ivan’s band mate moved to the east coast, so it was time to join forces.

Ivan: We had both played in the same band at separate times and got to know each other at shows and the like. I got the bright idea to propose a brand-new project to Karen outside of the bands we were in at the time. Progress was delayed by Karen being in a hit and run.

Q: Being a duo and having worked in other bands, how is it just having two people to throw ideas around versus a full band of different mindsets?

Karen: For me, it’s actually better than being in a multi-person band. When you’re working with up to six different members it can be frustrating coordinating everything from writing a song, scheduling rehearsals, or booking shows. With Ivan, we have similar work ethics and drive so it’s much easier to get things done.

Ivan: it’s a lot like throwing a medicine ball back and forth.

Q: How do you feel Chicago has moulded and sculpted your career as an artist and musician?

Ivan: Chicago has been a historically fickle mistress. Every show you go to there’s a handful of people standing arms crossed with a facial expression that reads “You think you’re hot shit? PROVE IT.” The meritocracy of the music scene has made me strive for nothing short of excellence. We have boundless enthusiasm for the music we are making and we engage with our audience and reward their participation. It feels more like a dialogue between us and the audience then a monologue of just standing on stage.

Q: What was the biggest thing that engaged you into the genre of music you create and perform?

Karen: When we started the band, we never really had an intention to be in a specific genre, or blend genres – we just wanted to make music that was enjoyable for us, and that we hoped people would also like. Ivan and I both have so many influences and music experiences that it just makes sense. You’ll hear aspects of anything from Nine Inch Nails, to Magazine, to Death from Above, to Johnny Cash. It’s actually pretty freeing not to have to be pigeon holed in one specific genre.

Ivan: If ‘Zooropa’ was a genre we would fit right in. Unfortunately, you’d never find us at the end of the search engine, so we pursue whatever excites us on any given song. It all makes sense from the crow’s nest.

Q: I see BELLHEAD keep a good recording and mastering team behind you and you don’t stray to work with others. What is it about them that makes you always go back? Do you feel they are as much a part of the band as you guys?

Karen: We are really grateful to have people behind the glass that are just as passionate about BELLHEAD as we are. Both our recording/mix engineer Neil Strauch (Iron and Wine/Counting Crows/Owls/Joan of Arc/Walking Bicycles/Slow Mass) and mastering engineer Carl Saff (Acid Mothers Temple/Smoking Popes/Red Fang/Guided by Voices) have impeccable talent, and what’s best is that they understand what our vision is, so it is not only easy but enjoyable to work with them. I don’t foresee us straying from our recording team anytime soon.

Q: BELLHEAD just released a killer cover of Bauhaus’s song ‘Sanity Assassin’. What lured you to this particular song by them and what has this band meant to you?

Karen: It was actually fan-requested. Last year Bauhaus announced their tour and as a homage, we decided it would be fun to cover a Bauhaus song. We let the masses suggest what they thought we should do via social media and had an overwhelming response for ‘Sanity Assassin’. Our intention was to really only play the song live once or twice, but due to fan enthusiasm coupled with no shows most of the year, we decided to release it as a single for people to enjoy. We are grateful to our audience. Their likes, comments, shares, messages, enthusiasm at shows, purchases, all the comradery, we are grateful for their feedback.

Q: Was BELLHEAD supposed to tour with Bauhaus also? If so, do you think it will eventually be rescheduled?

A: We were not scheduled to play with Bauhaus (BUT if they are reading this, we’re down for 2021). We’ve had a lot of shows cancelled in 2020 including playing with Birthday Massacre and Sister Kill Cycle. We hope that next year we’ll be able to hit the road and play in front of people again.

Q: You added a huge element to your team with Scott Fedor (Marvel’s Avengers VFX) directing the ‘Sanity Assassin’ video. How did this come about, and did you let him have free reign of the video theme for the song?

Scott Fedor: Please tell them you met me at a Hollywood soiree and after you finally pulled me from the middle of an orgy pile you asked if I’d be interested in helming the project.

Q: Tell me about creating a song and then putting a remix flair to it? Does it take about the same time to do both versions or do you feel one is easier than the other?

Ivan: Remixing our own song like we did with ‘Knife’ for the ‘Knife (Beware The Light)’ remix was about giving the song a different feel more of a club track/dance banger. When we remix other artists it’s mostly keeping the original artist’s vocals and building a new BELLHEAD song around it. In a sense we ask the question “What music would we write for this vocal performance?” Karen will add some bass, keyboards and vocals after I’ve gotten the beat together and various sounds I’ve found interesting for the song. We like to keep the remixes single length. Short and catchy.

Q: What do you hope the music world takes away from your band and music?

Ivan: I hope people enjoy the music as much as we do and have a good time feeling something. We like to see our shirts and stickers in the wild. It lets us know we are touching people’s lives in a positive light. I’m not here to save the whales or tell you who to vote for. I’m here for the music.

Q: Empower another artist and tell us why they inspire you?

Ivan: I play bass in a band called [ m e l t e r ] and they are a creative lot. It’s great to be “just the bass player”. I really enjoy playing the [ m e l t e r ] songs and contributing as requested. I will generally work on BELLHEAD songs during breaks in rehearsal so there’s probably some direct influence in there somewhere. Also, the [ m e l t e r ] remix of the BELLHEAD track ‘Runway’ makes me grin.

Karen: There’s this super talented multi-instrumentalist in Chicago (John Syzmanski). The first time I saw him play was at the Davenport where he went from playing the drums, to the bass, to the fucking SAW- like bending a wood saw on his knee and using a bow to make sounds. He’s in a ton of projects but has settled in really well with John Langford these days. Don’t tell him that I said he’s one of my major inspirations.

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Unicorn Bones’ (Official Video)

‘Sanity Assassin’ – Bauhaus Cover (Official Video)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Cadaveria

Interview with Cadaveria
By Chris Galea

Throughout the 1990’s Cadaveria (real name Raffaella Rivarolo) fronted the Italian Dark Metal band Opera IX but then decided to forge ahead with a band directly suited to her musical ideas. Thus, under the Cadaveria moniker, she released a number of albums that tended, in varying degrees, to fuse dark gothic moods with aggressive Metal sonorities. The band’s music style is quite peculiar and has certainly pioneered the use of harsh vocals from female Metal singers.

About 3 years ago, Cadaveria was diagnosed with breast cancer and the operation that she had to submit to might have left some fans concerned about the future of the band. But wonder no more because now she’s back.

In this candid interview, Cadaveria shares her experiences of combating cancer and talks about the musical path she intends to take from this juncture onwards.

A few days before she replied to my questions, the band had released a brand new single and related video: ‘Matryoshcada’. So I start off by enquiring about this…

Congratulations for the new video. Could you please describe the thematic aspect of the song ‘Matryoshcada’?

The treatments I received to recover from cancer threw me into a surreal and even mystical dimension. My body was falling apart: hair, eyelashes, eyebrows. The skin was thinning and part of me was taken away by the surgery. Emotionally it was like being on a roller coaster for a year and more and never getting off. In this delirium I found a new me, which was probably hidden inside the “previous me”. I really felt like a Matryoshka doll that can be opened many times until she reaches the indivisible core, my soul.

When I no longer recognized myself in the mirror, I looked straight into my eyes, the only thing that hadn’t changed about me, and there I found myself again, and the pulsing energy of life. The song is about all this and the video visually tells these concepts. I wore my old and new clothes to show this transformation and had two Matryoshka dolls created, representing the past and the present. The song title plays with the fact that in the metal scene friends call me Cada (diminutive of Cadaveria), so it’s entitled MatryoshCADA instead of Matryoshka.

Shortly before ‘Matryoshcada’, you released two other videos, ‘Return’ and ‘100.000 Faces’. What were the challenges of writing and recording those two songs?

‘100.000 Faces’ comes from the album “In Your Blood” (2007) and the video for this song we released in May 2020 was a quarantine version [quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic], to show we were back to music. A way to break the silence.

On October the 2nd 2020 we officially came back to the scene with the digital release of the 1st new single ‘Return’, followed by the music video. In 2015 we had played at a dark metal festival in Germany and knew this song by Deine Lakaien for the first time. We’ve been wanting to cover it for a while. When I recovered and we decided to go back to making music, given the title, it seemed like the right song to record.

CADAVERIA ‘Return’ (Official Video):

Where was the video of ‘Return’ filmed? Was this location chosen for a particular reason?

It was filmed in Luguria, a maritime region of northern Italy. We have chosen it as a location ’cause we like it and for logistical tasks. We wanted the video to contain the water element like the first video we ever made, that is ‘Spell’ which dates back to 2002. There are a number of self-references in Return that refer to Spell, for example the dress worn by the actress entering the sea is the same one I wore in Spell when I’m in the pond.

On ‘Return’ Pier Gonella [Labyrinth, Mastercastle, Necrodeath] played some guitar parts…how did that come about? What is the likelihood of him recording again with the band?

Pier is helping us as a producer for this series of singles we are gonna to release, and since he is an excellent guitarist, he sometimes also records parts, mostly solos or harmonizations. It works and will probably happen again in the future.

What were your feelings when you first started singing after the operation and therapy?

Do you want the truth? I thought I was no longer able to sing in growl. Actually, it was just a psychological block that I had at home and when I went to the studio everything was fine. It’s like riding a bicycle: you can’t forget it…it’s part of me. Our body has unexpected resources. The feeling I have now is of great freedom and joy. In the clean parts I am reaching higher levels than in the past.

In 2019 you had shared your recovery’s progress through posts on your Facebook page. How did you feel about the reaction of fans and friends to those posts?

I am a sincere person and I have never hidden myself. I don’t think there is anything to be ashamed of in the disease, although cancer is still a taboo for many. Sincerity has repaid me for so much affection. I got a lot of love from my fans. This has given even more sense to all the commitment I have put in music all these years. ‘Matryoshcada’ is dedicated to all the metalheads who have shown me love during the illness. At the end of the video there is an explicit thanks to all of them.

Following your recent health issues how has your relationship with music changed (if at all)?

I can tell you that during my illness I have listened to nothing but silence. I devoted myself to meditation, walking and yoga. It was an introspective journey, because I am convinced that if I got sick there is a cause that I had to correct, so I worked hard to improve myself. Now my approach to music and life has changed. I live in the here and now. And I live more lightly, marvelling every day at how beautiful life is. I am grateful for all that I have.

When ‘Return’ was released, your website stated that: “All CADAVERIA’s new songs will be released, on a quite regular basis, in the form of singles, as they are recorded and mixed.” Does this mean fans will have to wait a long time for a new album?

Yes, exactly. I’m not sure we’ll make an album. We have some songs ready and they will all come out as digital singles and then the music videos will follow. The rest will be seen gradually.

What are your plans for the immediate future? Especially considering the ongoing pandemic it’s probably too early to speak about touring but do you look forward to hitting the stage again at some point?

Actually, at the moment I’m not particularly eager to get back on stage because I have a lot of fun making these singles, recording, editing the covers, helping with the video production and doing the promotion. It is already a huge job that we do independently and in complete autonomy. I don’t want to get too tired. We’ll play live when we get an offer we can’t refuse. With all due respect I have no desire to set up the whole live stuff to go and play in the same small clubs where I have already been many times. It must be worth it.

Drawing from your own experience, is there anything you’d like to say to musicians and fans whose careers are affected by illness?

I would like to say that statistics exist, it is true, but it is also true that we are variance. There is no case of illness […that is…] the same as another so even if you are given up for dead, don’t believe it, just believe in yourself and in the strength of your fragility.

CADAVERIA ‘‘Matryoshcada’ (Official Video):

LINE-UP:
Cadaveria – Vocals
Peter Dayton – Bass
Marçelo Santos – Drums

ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY:
Silence (2014)
Horror Metal (2012)
In Your Blood (2007)
Far Away from Conformity (2004)
The Shadows’ Madame (2002)

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH SILENCE EQUALS DEATH

INTERVIEW WITH SILENCE EQUALS DEATH
Brings You New Life With REVOLUTION RISING
By Stephanie Stevens

Always seeking to evolve
Always seeking to empower
Always seeking to unite.

The amazing force that SILENCE EQUALS DEATH has within the hardcore scene is purely amazing. From powerful lyrics to crushing music, the feelings of raw nature saturate hardcore and makes it one of the best genres of music. SED hail from NJ and bring to you a unique fashion of aggressiveness with melodic undertones and to me have become a notable force to be reckoned with.

With the release of the band’s newest EP “REVOLUTION RISING” you can see the undeniable growth, maturity and excitement they had for writing these songs. Lyrically it bleeds with real talk, the driving hard riffs and that energy induced vibe they capture so well is on a new level. Take an earful of ‘SWITCH’ or ‘PLAGUE’, two of my favourites, and tell me if you get the same warm feeling!

I recently had a chance to chat with some of the guys and got more details into the new songs, working with producers, how they liked a livestream and much more.

Q: You guys have always had albums n songs that capture reality driven storylines be it personal or life around you. 2020 has had a lot to write about. Did any of the impact of 2020 go into this new EP “REVOLUTION RISING”?

Scott: The song ‘Revolution Rising’ was actually written prior to the riots and protests. However, it was clear the country was on the brink so that’s what fuelled the idea. ‘Traitor’ is about Trump plain and simple. ‘Switch’ and ‘No More Ashes’ deal with life’s frustrations, which we can all relate to. ‘Pass The Torch’ is a nod to the young people coming up in the scene. We feel it’s up to them to keep it going and some old dogs tend to look down on the youth. We say, take em by the hand and show them the way so this thing we call Hardcore can live on for generations to come.

Wade: Most of our music has been written pre-2020. although, I could say most of the material definitely relates to most of what’s going on this year. Especially with the injustices of our government and the abuse of authority, our EP seems like it was written just a month prior to release. The only impact 2020 really had was it gave us the chance to really focus on what we put into the EP. We had more time to discuss how we wanted it to sound. So, it was more of a blessing in an ironic way more so.

Q: It’s been a few years since you released any new stuff. Do you think taking time, you guys came back with a renewed motivation musically and do you see growth in yourselves as musicians?

Scott: We’ve done a few singles for comps here and there, but it really felt good for the 5 of us to sit down and hash out some new material.

Ryan: We’ve been working on material since our last proper release “End Times”. We went through a number of line-up changes. “Revolution Rising” is the result of contributions from both past and present members.

Wade: To say the least, it was a long time coming. The reason we don’t push out content as much as we would like is because we get very picky on how we write our music. Scott and I usually go back and forth on what we want as far as composition, but we always manage to get the best results when we do. So, for us it takes time. Not necessarily because of the writing as much as how we want the whole picture to be viewed.

Q: SILENCE EQUALS DEATH is in a genre of music that pretty much is family and brotherhood. Do you feel the scene is even tighter these days or do you see a change in the scene?

Scott: Personally, I feel like there is a lot of unity within the scene. The majority of people involved in HC really look out for one another which is evident by the way we rally around those in need That’s not to say it’s perfect, but what family dynamic is? As a band we try to treat everyone we encounter with the same respect we expect in return. Fans of the band are not just fans but also friends. Band members are not above anyone in the crowd in my opinion. I feel like anyone who loses that connection, loses what makes this scene so special, thus losing a bit of that unified feeling.

Wade: I have only been in the scene since I’ve started working with SED. I have played in multiple genres all my life. I can say, I’ve never felt more at home than with the HC scene. I’ve never been accepted so quick. No one cares about how you dress, what you listen to. This scene has always accepted me for me. I don’t need to pretend. So that right there should explain just how amazing and family oriented our scene is.

Q: Let’s talk about the song ‘PLAGUE’. Probably my favourite track on the disc from the guitar solo, the breakdowns and the signature upbeat high impact sound you guys have. Can you tell the world how the song came to see the light of day?

Scott: The song was originally written for the Patient Zero Records split 7″, “Spreading The Infection”. We’re always looking to expand our creativity and for ‘Plague’ we wanted to explore the more thrashy side. The song evolved over the past couple years, so we decided to update it and include it on the new EP. Lyrically it deals with organized religion. Although we are not a bunch of religious guys, we do respect others freedom of belief. With that said, my personal view of organized religion is basically different sects twisting the words of books to control its followers. The true Plague on our society is the mind control and manipulation most organized religions impose.

Q: 2020 also put the music world on hold. But you guys just recently did a livestream. How did that go and how did it feel having a show but not having the energy of the crowd?

Scott: For me it was the excitement of seeing the hundreds of people signing up to watch it beforehand. Knowing they were out there all around the globe was awesome.

Ryan: It was fun getting in the room with the guys again and performing. We wanted to make it special, so we purposely scheduled it the same day as our EP release. I immediately thought of backroom studios given their rich history and how they’ve done a number of successful livestreams already. The experience was organic, and we had a great time doing it.

Wade: it was the first time I didn’t have to picture the crowd naked in order to get comfortable playing. I usually go through these anxious episodes before playing. So being excluded from a crowd was easier on the anxiety but harder on the heart.

Q: How did you guys go about recording this EP were you able to get together, studio wise, or was this a home created EP?

Wade: We tracked all instruments in my studio and Scott tracked vocals at his. I then went in and did the editing and we sent it off to my friend Doug Gallo at AGL sounds and he took over from there. I can’t thank him enough for pouring his heart and soul into making sure we got exactly how we wanted it to sound.

Ryan: Yeah, Wade really stepped up and did a fantastic job tracking and editing. Once Doug put his magic touch on it, it really brought the songs to life.

Q: When it comes to producers do you stick close to home with people you’ve worked with before or do you like to branch out and test new waters?

Ryan: We like to branch out and try something new with every release. When we chose Doug to mix/master we recognized that he hadn’t worked with a lot of hardcore bands in the past, but we didn’t care. The quality and care Doug puts forth with all his projects was enough for us to trust him with our songs. Doug did not disappoint. He brought a fresh ear to the table and we couldn’t be more proud of the end result.

Wade: I have to agree with Ryan on this one.

Q: Music in every genre is life for so many people. What do you think it is about music that can be so powerful to people?

Scott: For me it’s the pouring out of emotions. Topical songs are cool, but when you can really relate to what someone is saying and understand what, is often their frustration/pain, that’s priceless.

Wade: I have to agree, it’s all about emotion, plain and simple. You want to connect with something. For some, they have family, friends, etc. For most, they only have relations from sound. I have had bands save me through some dark times. You can’t get a feeling of emotion stronger than from music.

Q: Empower another artist and tell us someone you look up to and why?

Wade: One person I’ve always looked up to is Yoni Wolf from “Why?”. Although, he is the complete opposite end of the spectrum. He has shown me there is more to music than just guitar, bass, and drums. He has written music so abstract but befitting to the average listener’s ear. Opened a whole new way of thinking. Especially when it comes to producing. Another person would be Alexis S.F. Marshall. Him and his band also have shown me there is more you can do with empty space than just hitting power chords. He also takes risks. He doesn’t care what people want. He creates what he wants. I’m all about that. Last but not least, Drew Stone. That man seriously amazes me with how much he dedicates to the scene. He has shown a whole world of hardcore to younger crowds. If hardcore is dying, Drew Stone can single-handedly save it from failing.

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

Silence Equals Death – Livestream at Backroom Studios (13th November.2020)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Hecate Enthroned

Interview with Hecate Enthroned
By Tammy Lomax

I recently had the wonderful privilege to get some questions over to long term bass player Dylan Hughes, from the band Hecate Enthroned. These absolute legends have been going strong for over 25 years!

Q: Firstly known as ‘Amethyst’ then ‘Daemonum’ in 1993, Hecate Enthroned were alleged to be one of the most intense bands that erupted from the death metal scene back in 1995. You embraced a symphonic black metal style in the early days, progressing and advancing with time and adding more elements of melodic death metal! What inspires and motivates you guys to keep going?

Dylan: We originated in Wrexham, North Wales. Back then the scene was young and very exciting, seeing bands come over for the first time, bands that are now regarded as instigators and albums that have become classics, gigs were sold out and the energy around the whole scene was electric. Being a part of that; recording albums, playing gigs was very intoxicating and fired what we were doing and of course we were young 😊 Now we’re older, wiser but still have the same passion for writing and playing music, we love creating as a band and doing shows, the energy and drive is still there and we have been incredibly lucky to have an amazing fan base that have supported us for over 25 years so producing for them and getting the reactions and feedback we do really keeps us going.

Q: In 1995, the first demo released, “An Ode For A Haunted Wood” was the start of something beautiful. MTV featured this release and Hecate Enthroned were one of the first extreme black metal bands to gain from this experience. Hecate Enthroned caught the attention of Blackend Records and you all collaborated to remaster the tape and turn it into a E.P “Upon Promeathean Shores (Unscriptured Waters)” From this moment you guys had a true black metal sound. How did the band conclude to this decision and why?

Dylan: Blackend had heard the ‘Ode…’ demo and our constant gigging had gained us a following over here enough for them to contact us and show considerable interest. We played a mini-UK tour in I think ‘94 or ‘95 with Primordial and Sigh. This did really well and after seeing us on the London date Blackend offered us the contract. They were a decent label and as a subsidiary of PHD they had excellent distro and promo. As the ‘Ode…’ demo was so popular we rehashed and re-recorded those songs as the first EP for Blackend “Upon Promeathean Shores…” and the track ‘Ode For A Haunted Wood’ got a video and playtime on MTV Headbangers Ball. There were very few black metal bands with videos at that time, so it did get us a lot of publicity and literally went across the world, with PHD distro our releases were one of the few bands and labels that got to countries outside of EU and US, and fans from those early times are still with us now.

Q: In 1997 Hecate Enthroned released its first full-length album “The Slaughter Of Innocence”. Produced by Andy Sneap, it directed the band to a faster, more brutal chapter. It was very well-received; however, the band did experience some negativity by being criticised as a “Cradle of Filth rip-off”. How did you guys approach this and what was the outcome?

Dylan: we’ve never given any credence to the COF press, we were both UK bands playing symphonic black metal, we shared members and COF were the bigger band so its natural this will happen. Most press and journalists don’t have the knowledge or imagination to write anything other than comparing bands to other bands, in a way we all do it. We just got on with what we do, we always have, we write the music we feel in the way that’s natural to us. As you say that album was fast and brutal, we have always been on the brutal side of symphonic and with a very Black Metal feel even with the Death Metal edge we have, our natural playing style is aggressive and that’s what comes out along with the orchestral and more gothic elements.

Q: At the end of 1997, a couple of band members were replaced by yourself and guitar player Andy Milnes. The following year Hecate Enthroned released their second full-length album “Dark Requiems…And Unsilent Massacre”. Using keyboards as the main instrument and adding layers of horrifying atmosphere, brutally consistent with the previous albums, What is your favourite track to play on this particular album and why?

Dylan: Yes, as a band develops, members will change or people will come in and out, it’s about finding the musicians that work with the band and that contribute to the creative process while bringing elements of themselves that either enhance or compliment, not always easy but we have been very lucky with the people we have had in over the years, some great musicians and friends. That album was again very fast & very nasty but with a darker overall feel, due in no small part to the production given by Pete ‘pee wee’ Coleman. We still play a few tracks from that album live and I’d say a favourite to play is the title track ‘Dark Requiems…’ it’s a powerful fast paced song with a really atmospheric end that builds into something horrific.

Q: The last album released by Blackend Records was “Redimus” in 2004, it showed a more aggressive edge and was produced by Phil Green via Blue Room Studios. In February 2013, guitarist Nigel Dennan and you were interviewed for the Hungarian documentary ‘Attention! Black Metal’, then later that year signed a new deal with Crank Music Group and delivered the album “Virulent Rapture”. Why did you sign a new deal and is there any advice you can give to bands regarding networking and getting their name out there?

Dylan: There had been around 10 years since the last album “Redimus” was issued, we had still been playing live but no studio work and no label. We had received a lot of offers but none we could work with or liked, and our personal lives had developed to where a lot of things were on hold. The offer from Crank was good and we went for it, unfortunately they didn’t exist for that long and reissues became difficult, but they did a great job with the album and it remains a favourite amongst fans if not a bit of a cult classic. Fortunately, our current label M-Theory Audio have rereleased “Virulent Rapture” this year and fans now have the chance to add it to their collection, also a beautiful vinyl release. The best advice for bands looking at contracts is to get a lawyer, a good one. Networking and promo are now online, social media, if you’re good with that stuff you’ll do well. It’s very easy for bands to self-promote as everyone is online.

Q: In 2006 Hecate Enthroned embarked on a UK headline tour playing in London, Southampton, Nottingham, Bradford and Wolverhampton. In 2007 you performed in Norway at Inferno Festival alongside Immortal, as well as several shows in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany. In 2013 Hecate Enthroned headlined a mini-UK tour, then headlined at the Hell Fast Attack Festival. With so many festivals and tours under your belt, What has been the most memorable and rewarding?

Dylan: Most memorable tour was probably EU with Satyricon and Behemoth in 2000, some great cities and venues on that and with 2 great bands who were both starting to really get huge 😊. Festival wise it would probably be Inferno as the bill was incredible and Brutal Assault in CZ, again great bill and what a great location for a fest, an old army camp. Such a cool vibe there. MetalDays as well, again it’s an incredible extreme metal fest with such good organisation in gorgeous surroundings.

Q: Hecate Enthroned were scheduled to do a gig in Bogotá in December 2012, which would have been your first show in South America, sadly it was cancelled twice. In the same month, the band announced they had fired both vocalist Dean Seddon and drummer Rob Kendrick. Rob was then replaced by Gareth Hardy, and in April 2013 Elliot Beaver was announced as Seddon’s replacement. How do you keep focused regardless of setbacks and disagreements in the band?

Dylan: Yes, that was very unfortunate and disappointing. South America holds great support for us, one of our biggest fan bases so not getting there and having several cancellations is very upsetting. But like anything in life if you love doing something and it means everything to you then you just get on with it, work around it, learn from it and progress.

Q: Since 2014, Hecate Enthroned have been preparing and gearing up, ready to deliver a new album “Embrace Of The Godless Aeon” which was eventually released in 2019. How do you prepare, and what are the processes involved when writing a new album?

Dylan: We constantly write and have ideas, rehearsals regularly turn into jam sessions as well as individuals having ideas and riffs, it all comes together in rehearsals and we thrash ideas out into songs. There are always parts and riffs hanging about, some never get used and others can wait a long time before they do but it’s a band process and everyone contributes. The completed songs then get hammered out until they work and are ready to be recorded. By the time we’re in the studio the songs are there.

Q: This year has had a devastating impact on the music industry, how have you occupied yourselves and what can we expect from Hecate Enthroned in 2021?

Dylan: It has been difficult for us to do anything, obviously no gigs but due to restrictions even rehearsing has been patchy. We recruited a new drummer in Matt Holmes this year and literally only had a couple of rehearsals with Matt before the first lockdown so obviously priority, when we got the chance, was hammer the set and old songs with Matt. But there hasn’t been much of that in recent months due to personal circumstances around shielding and health. It’s been the same for everyone and it’s been so sad seeing venues and bands disappear, but we will get through this and, when we can, we will get back to the stage and resume blasting. We have some rescheduled fests and tours for 2021 we just hope these can become reality.

Q: Lastly, If you could all have one icon over for fine dining and beers, who would it be and why?

Dylan: I know Lemmy is dead but…got to be the man. And for obvious reasons, who else could you enjoy some fine dining with 😉

Many thanks for the interview Tammy and we wish all of you and everyone out there the very best. We are strong together and we will get through all this shit, see you all on the road very soon!!!!

Thank you so much Dylan and Hecate Enthroned, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you over the last few weeks.

‘Plagued By Black Death’ (Brand new Lyric Video from the reissue of the “Virulent Rapture” album)

LINE-UP
Andy Milnes – Guitar
Nigel Dennan – Guitar
Dylan Hughes – Bass
Joe Stamps –-Vocals
Pete White – Keyboards
Matt Holmes – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH AWAKEN

INTERVIEW WITH AWAKEN
Waking up the rock world with MONSTERS & MACHINES
By Stephanie Stevens

The Tennessee band AWAKEN brings you a solid plethora of rock n roll ambiance with the music they have created since the band’s formation. An Alternative/Hard Rock destiny for music fans where powerful melodies intercept with hard hitting moments and emotionally enlighten you with provoking lyrical material.

The band: Chad Griffin – vocals, Dustin Simpson – guitar, Chase “Sludge” Reagan – bass and Jimi Wilkins – drums are gearing to make 2021 their year with the release of the newest album “MONSTERS & MACHINES”. Joining up with INgrooves and TLG Entertainment the band is focusing on music diversity and have made an album that is fresh and manoeuvres you down different paths of Rock n Roll throughout the disc. The singles that have been a platform for this album show the ability the band has to shine with difference but always embracing the signature sound that is AWAKEN.

From my favourites ‘BEHEMOTH’ and ‘STAINED GLASS’ to ‘THE VEIL’ the guys engage you with melody driven power and hard-hitting jolts of guitar driven atmospheres but also slide in modern hits of synthy dark ambiance and beautifully electrifying vocal moments.

AWAKEN is ready to set the rock world on fire with “MONSTERS & MACHINES”.

I had a chance to ask vocalist Chad Griffin a few questions about the new music, self-producing, working with Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch and three fun facts about the band.

Q: AWAKEN has been around for some time now and has really become a staple in the rock community, as I’ll get into in this interview, but when and how did you guys all come together and what is the biggest asset each member brings to the band?

Chad Griffin: Thank you, yes it has been quite a while. Longer for some of us than others. Dustin and I have been writing together for years with different people before running into Jimmy then Chase. Both playing in different bands themselves. We hooked up with Jimmy in 2012 before the recording of our first record and went straight into the studio for “Broken Circle”. The writing for that record was basically a compilation of songs we had written for a previous band. We became Awaken, put out that album, then hit the road. We ended up touring with The Protest many times which Chase was a part of. That’s how we met him. Through a domino effect of things that took place, he ended up parting ways with them to take care of his new baby. We later ended up calling him when we lost our bass player. The connection was instant.

Q: Your new album MONSTERS & MACHINES is coming. Did you push the release to 2021 because of the chaos of 2020 or was this just a set thing and how was it preparing and finishing a product during a year like this?

Chad Griffin: Yes, the record was pushed back due to our new connection with The Label Group and INgrooves. It was a mutual decision with everyone involved to start fresh in the new year after some chaos clears. It also gave us some time to add in a few tweaks and actually add a new track that wouldn’t have made the record in time. It will be a 12-track record. The whole process was quick and fun. Covid closed down a lot of things so it helped us get in the studio and focus on what we wanted to do.

Q: You released ‘STAINED GLASS’ and with this song you found clarity in the band’s sound. What was the turning point that you had, Was it a missing piece in creation?

Chad Griffin: We feel that song is a good reflection of our sound. That is more along the lines of songs that we like to write, that we feel is kind of the foundation of our sound…with the calmer verses and heavy driving choruses and hooks. That was actually a remake of a song we had back with our original group, so it has a sort of sentimental feel to it that brings us back to our roots.

Q: A newer track you dropped was ‘THE VEIL’ can you tell us your lyrical approach to this song and what inspires you as a lyric writer?

Chad Griffin: Honestly, that one is kind of a take on a lot of what is going on today. It’s hard to tell what is real anymore. You can hardly trust anything you hear, and people have trouble being real. It seems sometimes like people walk around living a front or a facade instead of being themselves. I actually have had those lyrics for over a decade, ha. I just took it and modernized it, and changed it up a bit. It was one of the newest songs added to the record, music-wise.

Q: One song off the new album that really brought focus to the band was ‘BEHEMOTH’. I really loved how it was a diverse sound more so than other tracks you guys released. How much do you strive to have complete diversity when going into writing a full-length?

Chad Griffin: That was always the track I wanted to be the first impression of this record. It was one of the first 4 tracks we had in the demo sessions and we knew it was a standout. We do put a lot of focus on the tracks being different than each other. We don’t ever want to put out an album that sounds like one long track. We like to have a little bit of everything. This is actually the most diverse record I think we have done. That’s one reason we are so happy with it. There is a lot of both worlds on this album when it comes to heavy and melodic.

Q: Back in the day, with your debut album, you had the ability to work with Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch on the song ‘FATHOM’. How did you get that collab worked out and what was the biggest thing you walked away with after working with him?

Chad Griffin: We were playing a venue near where he lived, and he came in to check out the bands and just enjoy his time off. We spotted him in the crowd and he came out back when we were loading. We just let him listen to some of our songs and he loved it. Said he’d love to help us out and collaborate. He was honestly an inspiration. Always full of talent and positive energy. He was honestly one of the coolest people still that we have ever run into since doing this.

Q: You guys seem very at home writing music do you ever get roadblocks and what would be your best advice for when that happens?

Chad Griffin: We are so used to each other from writing together for so long. It honestly just comes naturally. I have to say we are pretty blessed with that end of it and can’t complain. I’m sure the blocks have come a few times, just like with anyone, but they really don’t stick around long. We are always able to work through it and make it happen.

Q: Taking songs you have written and bringing them to an acoustic setting. Is it an easy process or is it like re-writing a song? And how much emotional value changes for you to perform it?

Chad Griffin: I’m a huge fan of the chilled out acoustic stuff. It really lets us play around with different arrangements of the songs. I love getting to go in wondering how it will turn out and hearing some of our heavier music have different versions like that. It does naturally feel more passionate at times. I do love rocking out and singing over the louder music, but it is honestly cool to get to sit down and make it something different.

Q: Being from Tennessee I am sure you are always finding people who inspire and help you learn more in the music community. How do you view your community and what do you believe your band has given to others in the community?

Chad Griffin: We are a split band as far as where we are all from. I love my community and we have a really cool regional radio show and awesome DJ that really helps get exposure for bands around the area. We have festivals and a few good venues. It is cool being so close to Nashville as well. I hope to be an inspiration to younger bands in the area and show them if they can stick it out and just keep writing together some cool things can happen. There are many different styles and forms of rock music played around our town, regardless of it being stereotyped as such a country stronghold.

Q: What is the biggest difference between self-producing your work vs finding someone to do it and what do you honestly prefer?

Chad Griffin: We loved our time going to Travis Wyrick for our first record and the experience we had there. We learned a lot and loved how it turned out. We would love to eventually get to work with another producer in the future but honestly, we prefer doing our own thing. We love getting together during our own time and have the freedom we’ve been able to have. We learn new things each record on how to perfect certain elements and have fun with it. We don’t really know what we will do or where we will go for the next, but we’ve enjoyed doing these last 3 ourselves.

Q: If you can get out and tour in 2021 is there one band you would be honoured to go out with?

Chad Griffin: We would love to reconnect with The Protest. It would be like hanging out with our brothers again and let Chase get to hang with old bandmates. There are several bands we wouldn’t mind playing with, but as far as staying around on the road…they stay at the top of the list for us.

Q: What venue do you miss playing at most and why?

Chad Griffin: To keep it short and sweet…any ha. We aren’t picky at this point. We just miss playing. We miss them all.

Q: 3 facts about your band that have nothing to do with music?

Chad Griffin: -We love God, we are far from perfect, but strive to be better for him and closer to him each day, we love discussing current events, politics, and sending memes back and forth on a daily in group message and we love Mexican food!

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘The Veil’ (Official Lyric Video)

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