(interview)The Hellfreaks:”For us it is and has always been very important to do our best, to observe, to rethink and to learn.”

Hungarian legends The Hellfreaks came to my attention about 7 or 8 years ago when they played Trash & Burn festival and they were great. They changed their style and their lineup a bit over the years but remained one of the most hard working and great European bands. I didn´t miss the opportunity to ask the band couple of questions for this webzine. Read the interview!

1.HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE HELLFREAKS TO THE READERS OF THIS WEBZINE WHO HADN´T HEARD FOR YOU?

We are The Hellfreaks, a 4-piece punk-rock band from Hungary, Budapest, which is quite in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. But somehow,  with a bit of luck and hell lot of work we managed to play way more shows over the border than in Hungary. Since the foundation in 2009 we have played over 200 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.
We play loud & fast modern punk rock with a very unique female voice on the mic, which is way more than just-another-riot-band. We are definitely the kind of sound you can love or you can hate, but nothing in between.

2.YOU´VE COME A LONG WAY FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF THE BAND, ALMOST TEN YEARS IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN, ABANDONING YOUR EARLIER PSYCHOBILLY STYLE FOR MORE PUNKROCK MUSIC AND DARKER ATTITUDE. DO YOU THINK THAT YOURE NOW AT YOUR CREATIVE PEAK?

That would be devastating! No, we don’t think that, as this would mean that we reached our personal highest level and the road would go down from this point. But for sure that’s not the situation. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any sense to continue – or why would you spend your time with something that can’t get better, that can’t develop?
For us it is and has always been very important to do our best, to observe, to rethink and to learn. That’s also one of the reasons why our albums are so different from each other. The other reason is the line up change. Even since the last album: after the album release tour, Béla, our drummer joined the team 2 years ago, and now, just some weeks ago,  we welcomed our newest member Jozzy. Jozzy & Béla have been bandmates in the past in a pretty famous Hungarian rock band called Leander Rising. With these guys we have an extremely strong line up, and yes, we are stronger than ever, but we’re by far not on the top of our personal mountain!

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3.TIME HAS PASSED SINCE YOUR LAST ALBUM WAS OUT. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE FEEDBACK TO THE ALBUM? HOW MANY VIDEOS DID YOU MAKE? WAS IT FUN TO MAKE THE CLIPS?

Yeah, totally! We got many reviews and feedback from our fans who underpinned our target, to make a step away from our old genre, to make a more complex album which is not squished by any genre boundaries anymore. Of course we can’t intend to please everyone, we also got negative feedback, that it’s “not like the old”. But that was exactly what we wanted to be – not “like the old”. That’s why even this kind of feedback turned out positive for us.
We released 4 videos for our album Astoria.
The first one was “Back To My Planet”, which was basically a very heartwarming present from a talented fan of us. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr7CvojaliA)
The 2nd one  was “Rope” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbtdi0zzhM8) , which is a roadmovie of our gigs in 2016 summer, which was obviously fun, as we all love to be on tour and be on the stage. It’s kind of our natural habitat. The third one was “Burn The Horizon” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow9W64QnR4c): The video was managed by a really one-off and special teamwork. Steven Shea (American writer, producer who worked on many videoclips and US movies before), is big fan of the band. He offered to make a videoclip for us with his professional team and manage the writing and production also. The unique thing about the video alongside the production is the location of the shooting, because only the ‘viral video’ was made in Budapest, all the other parts were made in the United States of America.
Our 4th and last video is “I’m Away” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guaEK62mxno):  An interesting fact about the video is that the financial background for it was partly based on fans’ support through an indiegogo campaign. This makes it really special, as only our fans made it happen to bring this video alive! The shoot of the video wasn’t easy, as parts of it were shot in Croatia, at the monument by sculptor Dušan Džamonja at Podgaric, on a day when we had over 36°C with almost no shadow, as we were working in the middle of nowhere. We also collected some ridiculous sunburns: (https://www.instagram.com/p/BddFg5CBPGS/?taken-by=thehellfreaks)
But it was worth it. Not just because of the result, but also because with the video production team “Mihaszna”  we found our partner in crimes for the future, and can’t wait to continue our work with them!

4.IS THERE NEW MATERIAL COMING OUT SOON?

 

Yes! We are in the middle of the songwriting process for our upcoming, 4th longplayer. We don’t know when and on which label it is going to be released yet, but for sure, there is something coming. So it’s worth following us on our channels to be updated!
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5.YOU TOURED HARD ALL OVER THE WORLD, YOU SAW THE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EUROPEAN CROWDS AND FOR EXAMPLE AMERICAN CROWDS, ARE THERE DIFFERENCES?
It’s true that there are huge differences between culture and way of thinking in between all those countries – but it’s not necessary to look over the big pond. Even if you compare the way of living and possibilities between Western and Eastern European countries, the differences are huge!
But your question pointed out exactly the funniest fact – the only thing of our whole US tour which felt like exactly the same as in Europe , was the feeling on the stage, the crowd we faced. We didn’t feel any differences. Looks like the punk rock scene doesn’t need borders. 😉
6.DO YOU LIVE FROM THE BAND? CAN YOU MAKE A LIVING WITH THE HELLFREAKS? HOW IS LIFE IN HUNGARY IN GENERAL?
We’re not making a living of it. Of course it’s a goal – not the money, but to be able to do what we really love and burn for full time. But of course after almost 10 years, it’s more than just a hobby. Some of us have other bands and are full time musicians,  some of us have part time jobs, and some of us work full time. Time management is a heavy struggle in our life, especially as it’s really more than a hobby, time- and workwise also. We’re doing almost the full management on our own, and it takes a lot of time. Basically it fills out our time like a full time job.
To talk about Hungary in general isn’t a question we could answer in a couple of sentences. But we’re not living our best time: Hungary is very centralized, all the young people, everyone who is able to do so move to Budapest, as it’s very heavy to find possibilities & jobs on the countryside or even in the smaller cities. Also in the way of thinking we are a very split country – from the open minded younger generation to those who are still binded by their roots. In general we miss the possibilities and standards like our Western European neighbours. It doesn’t matter if you have a university degree, you can easily end up with a job where you don’t earn enough to rent a room and have proper food, or easily end up without a job and out on the streets. But all Eastern European countries struggle with these problems. From the outside you might think “ but hey, they neither have so high costs”. But it’s just not true. Life is harder over here, and that is a simple fact, which is not worth crying about. If you have a dream – it doesn’t matter if the dream is to have a successful band or to have a house one day with a garden – you have to work 3 times harder than in Western European countries.
But it’s important to say that Budapest is not just beautiful, it’s also a place you can fall in love with pretty quickly – as especially these kinds of struggles awake a kind of magic which makes it so unique.  I (Sue) also lived in Berlin, the coolest city in Europe for a couple of years, but came back, and I am more than happy about it because I just love this city as it has its very own, heartwarming spirit.
7.YOU LIVE IN BUDAPEST WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN THE WORLD. IS THERE ANY URBAN LEGEND THAT YOU KNOW FROM YOUR TOWN? ANY GHOST STORY, SCARY STUFF?
Unfortunately I don’t know any scary legends about Budapest.
I think the most famous villain of Hungary might be Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was famous for her sadistic activities. She lived in the 16th century and it was said that she enjoyed torturing and killing young girls. She believed that drinking and bathing in the blood of young girls would preserve her youth and her looks. Witnesses told stories of her stabbing victims or biting their breasts, hands, faces and arms, cutting them with scissors, sticking needles into their lips or burning them with red-hot irons, coins or keys. Some were beaten to death and some were starved.

8.LETS TALK HORROR. DO YOU WATCH HORROR MOVIES? READ HORROR BOOKS? WHICH DO YOU PREFER? MINE FAVOURITE ARE SLASHER AND FOUND FOOTAGE HORROR!
I’m not really much into horror films. I enjoy if there is some pressure, but I don’t enjoy useless, loud, shocking scenes. I think the most horror-like film that I really like is Tucker and Dale vs.Evil, which is way more a comedy with some dark, horror-kind of jokes.
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9.SINGING IN ENGLISH VS SINGING IN HUNGARIAN?
The Hungarian language is super difficult and complex. It is very hard to write lyrics in our language without sounding stupid, and to be honest, I know that I can’t. I prefer to write in English and sing in English. We have all in all just one line in Hungarian in our songs, which is a part in “Back To My Planet” – and it’s meant as a joke, meant as the language of the aliens.
10.DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR GIG IN CROATIA? DO YOU KNOW ANY CROATIAN BANDS?
Our last gig in Croatia was way too long time ago in 2012, which feels like lives ago.
We know for example the band Clockwork Psycho – but we don’t know them personally.
11.THATŚ IT FOR THIS TIME. DO YOU HAVE ANY STUFF THAT YOU WANTED TO SAY AND I DID NOT ASK YOU?
Thank you so much for having us!

(record review)HUMMER-“Budweiser and Butter”(Horn and Hoof Records)

Hummer is a punkrock trio from UK, this is their second e.p. that came out on mighty Horn and Hoof Records, so I listened to the record and reviewed it for this webzine. I love discovering new bands that I hadn´t heard before!

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“Budweiser and Butter” is the second e.p. from Hummer, following up on 2016’s “Work.Home.Bed”. This record contains 8 songs of excellent melodic punkrock played with heart and soul. If I must compare this band to someone I could draw some The Menzingers and The Lawrence Arms paralels. Bassist Will Atkinson and guitarist Joe Watson interplay on dual vocals just great, one delivering a bit harsher voice and the other one being a bit more melodic, not to mention excellent backing vocals meaning heavenly harmonies on anthemic choruses made for humming the whole day long. The lyrics are personal and with a lot of emotions lying behind the meanings of the songs, I love punkrock with emotions in the songs, so you can just feel the warmth, sadness, happiness and find yourself in the beautiful songs. Until recently, I only liked the faster more straightforward stuff, but in the last couple of years I started to love and found myself in emotional punkrock melodies. I love this record! Show some love and drop some lines to the band I just know it would mean a lot to them! Listen their music and hear the melodies and hear the emotions! Top songs: “Turpentine”, “Stone Cold Wasted”.

9/10

Follow Hummer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hummerpunkrock/

Horn and Hoof Records on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hornandhoofrecords/

Bandcamp: https://hornhoofrecords.bandcamp.com/album/budweiser-and-butter

 

 

 

(new video-melodic punk)Belmont Release “Hollowed Out” Music Video, Announce New Album

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Belmont has announced that their upcoming self-titled full-length album will be out on August 17th through Mutant League Records.

The first single and new music video titled “Hollowed Out” can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQoRslFa9jc&feature=youtu.be.

Album pre-orders and exclusive merch packages are available at: http://www.victorymerch.com/store/belmont.

Click here to pre-save Belmont’s new LP on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/0CQ3hyceExjbDn26Q8AGDW .

Hailed by Rock Sound Magazine as “quite possibly the next great pop-punk band”, Belmont is stepping up to the plate with their debut self-titled full-length album which is slated to hit stores on August 17th.

Belmont spent the better part of the last two years racking up miles and fans through constant touring with the likes of Have Mercy, Hot Mulligan, Capstan and more in promotion of their previous release “Between You & Me”. The EP was celebrated by fans and critics alike, gaining millions of streams & views across digital music platforms.

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As a shining example of what’s to come; Belmont’s new single “Hollowed Out” touts a superior level of musicianship for the band. The forthcoming album was mixed and mastered by Dan Korneff (Breaking Benjamin, Paramore) and engineered by Jason Inguagiato at Graphic Nature Studio.

Tracklist:

1. Empty

2. Recluse

3. Write Me Off

4. Pushing Daisies

5. Interlude ft. Shinigami

6. Albert

7. Hollowed Out

8. Maplewood

9. Convalescence

10. BMC