RED HILLS (for Necromance Web Magazine)

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Interview was prepared by David Déniz Plaza (Necromance)

1) To start with, who are RED HILLS and what type of music do you play?
It’s that simple. The red mine spoil piles i.e. hills (hence the name “Red Hills”) are the main feature of the Donetsk Region landscape. They are scattered around this coal mining area. I think that the Old School Melodic Death Metal is the correct name of our music style.

2) Do you have any goals as to what you all want to achieve as a band?
As the majority of the young players we want to gain recognition. We would like the whole world to know that the Ukrainian players can also create good MDM.

3) With the songs you're writing now, how are they different to the songs you write back for your first releases, the Demo single and digital EP?
There is a great difference between our early and current works. First of all, this is a technical aspect. We became more technical than we used to be. Secondly, the record quality. We have previously paid little attention to this aspect. Nowadays much prominence is given to it because we want to be recognized throughout the world. The approach is in the third place. We work extensively at each song, chisel each note thus working at the awareness of our songs.

4) Do you prefer writing when it is more collaborative? Or do you prefer being able to work on your own thing and present that idea fully formed?
The first stage of the song creation is a creation of its concept, idea, muse and melody. There are times when the melody takes into our head earlier than the lyrics but the reverse may be also true. Then we have to match the lyrics. After the keynotes were expressed in the song our team starts to analyze it in order to decide what should be left, deleted or rewritten. During such analysis the release version of the song is taking shape.

5) How does the writing process for RED HILLS work in 2014?
This year is turning out to be very difficult but in spite of all that we managed to release our first album. One of the advantages is that we recorded the album last autumn (at TA Production Studio). Therefore, at the beginning of this year we have already had the result. We only had to work at the cover artwork and sign the Contract with the label (Metal Scrap Records). Today due to some forced measures we are not able to work to the full extent (repetitions, concerts) that is why we’ve hurled all our efforts into the development of the new materials.

6) How do you know when a song is finished and ready to be recorded? is a song ever really finished?
The song is deemed to be finished when all amendments, both in the lyrics and music, have been taken into consideration, when the song has been thought out to the last detail from concept to idea, when all members of the band enjoy the song from the first to the last note, when the tune haunts day and night. In such case the song is ready to be recorded.

red hills band7) So "pleasure of destruction" is out now, how has the response to the material been so far?
There are many reviews about our album, both positive and negative. We are always glad to the constructive criticism because it highlights all those aspects which will be revised in future and will make the material improved and practically perfect. We keep receiving the reviews. People like our music. It’s a pleasure for us to be duly appreciated and sometimes be even compared to the MDM grandparents.

8) How do you feel about this debut full length album?
It’s a new round of our band development. It’s a fresh chapter in achieving the long-cherished goals. It’s a very long and winding road which cannot be turned aside.

9) How was working with producer Anton Vorozhtsov at TA Production Studios?
The recording proceeded in a friendly atmosphere. The work was done to a good quality, we worked as one team. We were surprised at the obtained results. Anton is not just a good but one of the best sound producers in Ukraine. Yes, he can rightly wear such title. He has a good grasp of the metallic field; he is quick to understand the artist’s intention. There is no need for hours and hours to explain him your intentions and expectations of the composition, effects and arrangements you prefer. We’re going to let you in on a little secret about the next album. We will record it again with Anton. But don’t say a word to him! He doesn’t know about it yet! (Laughing).

10) "Pleasure of destruction" was released on Total Metal Records (a sub-label of Metal Scrap Records), how did that come about and how do you feel to be involved with such an important label?
When we got in the studio we have already known that this album should be involved with the label and should hit the shelves all over the world. We’ve been heartily satisfied with the performed work and highly pleased with being included into the list of the bands released by Metal Scrap.

11) It has been three years between your digital EP and the new album "Pleasure of destruction", so it would be fair to say that RED HILLS are different people now to what they were in 2011, how have you changed as people?
I would say that at the time it was “young” and unconsciously. We haven’t known our own mind yet and had no well-defined goals and targets. We just have been following our inclinations without elaborating on the small details such as quality, presentation, label etc. Now we have the defined goals. During the last three years the membership of the band has been completely formed. Now Red Hills are as a single family being steady in their cherished goals. These three years went too quickly in the long-hour repetitions, sharpening of the technique, creation of the new and high-power material. This time period made us stronger and more sustainable. We have grown up in terms of the technique and our demands have been increased respectively (Laughing).

12) What does the rest of 2014 hold for RED HILLS? Any plans in mind?
We would like this year to be summarized by the mini-tour, at least in Ukraine. But it is hardly possible in the current situation. Therefore, all that is left to do is working at the new material.

13) Anything you would like to add to end the interview?
We would like to conclude this interview with the Dio words: “Metal Will Never Die”. In spite of all difficulties and misfortunes suffered by our band we will overcome them with the support of our fair listeners. You will hear the Red Hills growl voice time and time again!


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