Neolithic Journey
Hello, whatís up in HELLWITCH right now?
Working on new songs for the next album! We now have Lee Harrison (Monstrosity) on drums!

Your history is properly deep, first demo "Nosferatu" was out even in 1984. How do you remember that time? This seems unbelievable, like 100 years ago....
It was a good time and all the bands sounded different from each other. There was originality at every turn.

What was the scene at that time? You probably saw everything otherwise then. Do you think today's scene is completely different?
Lots of tape trading, lots of UG 'zines. Only a few of the good UG bands actually had albums out. There were only a few labels as well.
Today's scene is shit. Everyone sounds like someone else, more or less and this "new wave of thrash" is total shit! Those bands all suck! Yes, they are thrash style, but with no talent for songwriting.

It took 6 years long before you release the debut CD. Now a band goes directly to record album without any major experience. Do you think it's an individual matter, or the band would have to wait a while?
Well, the '84 demo was just a "project" recording. The actual band didn't do anything until mid '85 and not even a studio demo until '86. Again, with not that many labels back then, it was harder to get signed. We had record offers in 1986, but we declined them.

How did you feel when you finally had debut "Syzygial Miscreancy" outside? The contract with Wild Rags Records was at the time certainly great thing....
It felt good! Yes, we were happy to be on that label initially!

Your debut album became a cult for many people; certainly itís one of the biggest jewels of world Thrash / Death scene. Are you satisfied with this recording up to this day? Do you think your debut was in its time enough appreciated?
Iím happy with it now for what it was. A super rushed recording! The entire thing took 25 hours TOTAL! Unheard of by today's standards of recording albums. No, it was NOT appreciated much at all when it came out in '90. It flew right over people's heads I think. It was too technical, too obscure sounding and the vocals were too screechy for the masses of that day.

Your band is often also referred to as technical what I can clearly agree with. What does technical skill in music mean to you?
It means you perform things on the instruments that are physically and mentally challenging.

Can you reveal what was the main reason of HELLWITCH split-up? Can you imagine that you would work constantly and have for example 5 albums released?
We split in '98 because the drummer was a kook ass and he lived 5 hours away from the rest of the band. No, HELLWITCH traditionally writes about 1 song per year, so there is no way we would have 5 albums out under any circumstances.

How it happened that HELLWITCH rose from the ashes again? Who and when exactly the first challenged this idea?
Joe and I got back together just for some "fun" jamming in '04. It took off from there!

Yeah, in 2009 went up your second album "Omnipotent Convocation". Again the fucking good technical riffs, killing rhythms and your unmistakable vocals; for me personally one of the highlights of this year's albums harvest! Are you happy with your new sound and music?
Yes, it's the best thing we've ever done.

What reactions have been reported as for the new one? Production succeeded very well, it sounds modern, but still like 90's spirit was present...
All good reviews so far. I think the worst review we received was a 8/10 rating from some European online 'zine. Yes, it's updated old school deathrash I think. Very interesting to listen to I think! Not boring in any way.

How did you succeed to get Xtreem Music deal? Are you satisfied with the promotion thus far? What about the concert activity? Would you like to come to Europe?
Dave from XTREEM offered us a deal and we accepted it! The promotion is fair, but for a small label, it's adequate. No concerts since '08. Yes, we would like to play in Europe as thatís where 90% of our sales are!

I have to admit, when I have known you are going to release a new CD, I was a bit worried how it will sound, I expected some more simple and soften music, but right after the first song all my fears were disposed ... I am glad that you keep your face of pure orthodox metal band!
Oh of course, I always play what I like to hear. I NEVER consider success or making $$ or what the "new" school listeners would like to hear. We write to hear our OWN music for our OWN enjoyment! If others like it, then thatís just a bonus boost to us! I'll never slow down or lose my aggressive musical feelings!

How would you like HELLWITCH move forward? What do you plan for the future?
More albums released on bigger labels and a European tour or 2! Our plan is to record a new album for XTREEM music in 2011 and to find a permanent drummer.

Today's time is no longer so much fair to bands. CD is released that cost some money and effort, and most fans will just download this album from the internet. Isnít it disincentive?
Yes, it's not fair, but I can't complain as thatís what I do all the time myself! hahaha! If something is REALLY GODLY, I will buy the actual CD after downloading it.

What music is listening to in your band today? Has changed something compared to past? Do you watch current scene? Which bands have impressed you?
I'm not sure about JP and Craig, but I listen today to DIMENSION ZERO, DEW SCENTED, new PESTILENCE, new UNANIMATED, WEHRMACHT first album and ELIZIUM (pre-DEVIAN). Those are some of my latest favorites. DEMILICH IS #1 of all time!!!

Ok, it would be all on my part. If I forget something, you have space. Many thanx for answering my questions, it was an honor for me to make interview just with HELLWITCH.
Thanks for the cool interview my friend! To all your readers, check out our sites for demos, live CD, live DVD, shirts, patches, stickers and MORE!!! Also, I have OVER 12,000 CONCERT VIDEOS available for sale/trade! Check out my list!


23.11.2009 Mortuary

[home] [interviews] [reviews] [news] [stories] [about us] [beyond the veil] [contact]