domingo, 3 de novembro de 2019

Interview - Hellish War: Nothing but Metal

With more than two decades on the road the brazilian band Hellish War has been steadfast in their purpose, since the band's creation in 1995, which is to do Heavy Metal in the classic way. In this walk are already 4 studio albums, one live (with recordings of their tour in Germany), two tours over Europe, where they expanded their fan base. The band had lineup changes, a small hiatus and other difficulties of this battle that is making art, music and especially Metal music. 

But after that hiatus, they returned with batteries recharged, and the new album, "Wine of Gods", came full of energy, with ten new Heavy Metal missiles, receiving a lot of praise, including from the legendary Chris Botendahl (Grave Digger).  (VERSÃO EM PORTUGUÊS)

We have talked to bassist JR to tell us a little about this history, and especially about the new album, which is already available in physical and digital format, and will still receive a limited edition in LP, which will be released by the label Abigail Records. Check out!

RtM: Hellish War was formed at a time when the music market was changing, the 1990s, some bands even tried to change their style to fit the market, but in contrast new names came up, including an 80's Metal revival, using the term "True Metal", with names like Hammerfall, and Hellish War itself here. A movement that renewed and regained that heavy metal 80's sound. I would like you to comment on this, and how do you see the space on the scene today for bands that follow this 80 plus line?
JR - I believe there is room for everyone. Obviously some fads come and go, some up-and-coming styles tend to fall the following week and so on. This revival move is funny because our main composer was born in the 70's and lived the 80's aura. So more than normal that this influence was reflected in the compositions. I understand the journalistic point of the matter, but for us, this is nothing but Metal. Metal that we listen to and enjoy on a daily basis. It's our background and influence, the revival we usually do is the fans and the media in general.

RtM: For this new album you had important support, with funding by Proac (a program that gives support to culture, from State of SP), which certainly, due to the difficulties for a Brazilian band to invest, is a very interesting way out, to continue releasing new material, being able to invest more in production, consequently it may be more competitive. I would like you to comment on this support and what else it has brought and could bring about.
JR - PROAC was a huge door for us to try a new approach. It's nice to see that a metal band from the national underground was awarded this project. It shows that in some ways there is still openness to culture, whatever it may be. It was very important to have this support and that adds a lot to the history of Hellish War. Financial freedom was essential in this project, as well as helping our ego. Self esteem was up there.

RtM: Something that I found very interesting is the counterpart to the project that the band will give, which are the accomplishments of music workshops. That is, the state has invested in culture, and the population also receives the return. Even the launching show is also free, right? So, all of this is very important, as many do not seem to see Heavy Metal as deserving a larger investment by cultural incentive agencies. I would like you to comment on this.
JR- Yes, we did three shows for free. This is very cool, because we eventually reach non-metal people and it is even possible to improve the image of the style before society in general. In our shows open to the public there are always children, whole families. This counterpart is essential for spreading the culture, and being a culture we live and breathe, even better.

RtM: And with regard to the production of “Wine of Gods” and previous works, given the support with the funding, I believe you have more resources, more alternatives and more time for production. Could you highlight the main differences in the production of this album to previous ones?
JR - The main difference was the money, because we didn't have time. The project had a much shorter deadline than we're used to working on, so the writing and recording process was pretty tense. But with the money, it was possible to evaluate more than one producer, more than one way to launch, etc.

RtM: “Wine of Gods” will surely be pointed by many as the best work of the band, bringing very strong and well crafted compositions, and of course, crystal clear production. I would like you to comment about the composition process, including part of it held on a small farm during the process, is not it?
JR - Yes, we are isolated for a few days in a place, a little farm far from the city. It was nice to have this space, away from the usual problems of everyday life. Far from work, family, etc. Creativity flows. We had the stereo on all the time, so just get in and play anytime. Tired? Just jump in the pool, have a barbecue. Our composition follows a uniform line in all albums, Vulcano and Job usually present the ideas and we cut with the whole band. With the bid of the farm this came up, and even I who never composed anything ended up signing one of the songs.

RtM: One of the highlights, which even had a recently released lyric-video, is “Warbringer”, which features Chris Botendahl (Grave Digger) as a guest. I would like you to tell us more about how this idea and opportunity to invite Chris came up, and what criteria was used to decide which track to use it?
JR - We had the idea of ​​inviting someone from Metal. We made the list of the ones we like best and get in touch. There were a few others, but Chris was very friendly and helpful from the start. He showed interest and responded almost immediately. The choice of the song was very obvious to us, the song "Warbringer" has his face and we already imagined him singing. But he did an excellent job and contributed a lot to the sound. We are very fans of Grave Digger, it is a real accomplishment to have him on the album.

RtM: One of the biggest difficulties in Brazil is the space for shows, especially in a huge country like ours, coupled with economic difficulties. What do you think can be done to make improvements in this regard?
JR - Look, it's been so many years on the road and I answered so much on this subject that I don't know where to go anymore. But, being objective, I believe that it really lacks incentive. Money is what turns the world around and if we don't come together to honor the national bands that appear around, this scenario is unlikely to change. The encouragement of a state project shows that reality can be changed, we have to take it to the scene as well.

RtM: What about your expectations for shows in Brazil and also expectations of again a band's work being released by a foreign label, besides returning to a bigger tour in Europe, one of the big Heavy Metal markets?
JR - For Brazil we have already done three release shows, as part of the project for Proac: Sorocaba, Santos and Campinas. The others will be released soon. There's cool stuff coming around, Hellish will break some barriers from now on by 2020. As for Europe, the album will be released on vinyl by Abigail Records from Portugal and we're looking for partners to release the album there. The same goes for a new tour there. Nothing definite, but it's on our radar.

RtM: Thank you for your attention! I hope to see them gaining more recognition, and also see a band show here in Rio Grande do Sul next year. 
JR - It would be a pleasure to go to RS. Just missing the invitation !! I want to thank you for your space and thank all the readers and fans of the band! Listen to the new album, follow our social networks, share with friends and see you soon on the road !!

Interview: By Carlos Garcia
Photos: Suzy dos Santos (Som do Darma)

Bill Martins: Vocals
Vulcano: Guitar
Daniel Job: Guitar
JR: Bass
Daniel Person: Drums

Defender of Metal - 2001
Heroes of Tomorrow – 2008
Live in Germany - 2010
Keep It Hellish - 2013
Wine Of Gods - 2019

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