HELL:ON (for BATTLE HELM)

HELL:ON’s latest album impressed me so much that I just had to interview them. If you fancy thrash metal played the great way then you’ll have your hands full with this one.

Interview was prepared by Anders Ekdahl (http://battlehelm.com/)

What has been the best with being in band so far?
-When I started to listen to metal music at school I was wondering how it would be great to meet my favorite musicians. A little bit later I started to play in the trash band and was wondering how it would be great to play with my favorite bands on the same stage. Now I had the both. It was not Metallica and James Hetfield unfortunately but who knows what is waiting for us in the future…

When you release a new album what is the hardest thing aboutit? How emotional is it to let go of something you’ve created?
-The hardest thing in this album, and to my mind it is valid for any act of creativity, was to evaluate our work by ourselves. It’s also hard to rely totally on the opinions of our friends because they also can judge through the prism of our friendship. We tried our best and it’s up to our fans to give final verdict. During the recording we also had a technical problem – we’ve lost the whole album because of the hard drive failure, so we recorded it once more.

Do you feel that you’ve come as far as you can with the music? Where do you want to go with the music?
-Definitely this album is some kind of underlining of our process during the years of Hell:On existence. We have developed our stile and we know what we want to hear from us. It maybe to loud to say that it is “our” style, because it is a fusion of our own musical thinking plus (and this is the major part of “our” style) influence of our favorite bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura. As for how far we came with our music… Once Duke Ellington was asked at the end of his life what was his best melody? And he answered the one which I would compose tomorrow.

Do you have a plan for world domination or do you take it step by step, area for area?
-Yes, we have the plan for world domination – it is going step by step, area after area… ;)

What is the meaning behind the band?s name? Why the spelling?
-Original name of the band was Hellion. When we played inside Ukraine there were no problems with the name. However when we started to spread the band activity to Europe we encountered we the law of copyright because the band with such name already existed. So we cheated the law by substitution of the i letter with colon (:). As for me with time the meaning of the band name also changed, something like Hell is on, watch out!

How does your local/national scene treat Hell:On? What kind of scene are you a part of?
-In our country we are still on the underground level. This is because metal music in our country is totally underground. We have rather big army of our fans. Organizes from different cities of Ukraine constantly invite us to play in their clubs. I would like to mention that our band is the example of metal band management and behavior at least for several more younger bands. Dammit, this is our mission to put metal music of Ukraine on the higher level!

When it comes to art work, how much say do you have?
-Just read the lyrics. And all that is said there we try to compress into one not very big picture. Of course we invite skilled designers and artists to do the job. Usually it is one person, however the idea is usually ours. As for me the cover of the CD is as important as the content of the CD so we apply maximum efforts and creativity to make our best.

Is touring something that comes easy for smaller bands? What kind of places can you play?
-I don’t know exactly how the touring for big bands passes but for small bands I would say that it is rather complex. The budget is rather limited while the expenses are high. Only one night per two-three-four days you can sleep on horizontal surface, while other nights you sleep in the buss on the road. The same thing with the shower. However you are always loaded to give the best performance in every city. Sometimes you feel like no force at all even to come to stage, but when you come in something is clicking and you are full of strength. Touring is obligatory experience for every band which wants to play. It fasten your band spirit (or destroys it- and this is one of the tests) and rises your professional skills. It also gives you a lot of different contacts, friends to spread your activity even further. Also for some people touring is good opportunity to see the world, however I prefer to explore the world in the club with good friends and the bottle of some kind of joy juice. Speaking about the places where we can play. As our practice shows we can play everywhere: from clubs where twenty people make crowd to big stages for thousands of fans. What is more important is the spirit of the concert and it’s hard to write the recipe for such spirit. We had concerts in such club where everything promised to be ugly: environment, sound equipment, and in the end it would become one of the best concerts of the tour. That I call the spirit.

What kind of future is there for the band?
-We will limit ourselves to domination over just the planets of solar system.

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