Patrick Ranieri from the Floridian underground metal legends HELLWITCH
Intro and interview by Luxi Lahtinen
Granted, the Floridian Death Metal scene has always been one of the most influential and known scenes globally. Bands like Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Atheist, etc. are some of the biggest names from that particular area. However, it´s kind of a shame that some bands with a more extreme edge, that also came from the same particular area at that time, never got the same kind of chance to ´hit it big´ unlike some others did – even if they deserved more recognition and attention then they actually managed to gain for themselves over the years. One of those bands undoubtedly is Hellwitch who were resurrected from the verge of break-up in 2005. The band had recorded a couple of highly popular demos in the late ´80s (TRANSGRESSIVE SENTIENCE in 1986 and MORDIRIVIAL DISEMANATION in 1987) that were massively circulated around the underground tape trading scene for many years; one full-length album SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY for Wild Rags! Records (rip-off!) in December of 1990, one mini-CD titled TERRAASYMMETRY which was released on a small Austrian label Lethal Records (another rip-off!!) in 1992, a compilation titled FINAL APPROACH, containing sort of a lifespan of 14 years of Hellwitch´s music which was also supposed to be the last Hellwitch release ever to kind of sum up the band´s long career (I´m glad it wasn´t – Luxi) – and last, but not least the 5-song demo ANTHROPOPHAGI in 1994. After that year, the band remained more or less in an ´on/off´ state for years until sometime around in February 2004 Pat Ranieri and Joe “Witch” wanted to re-establish their contact again and began to practice the old songs just for fun. When things started to become more serious, Craig rejoined on bass in April 2004. The band played their first show in 6 years on July 24th, 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. with Malevolent Creation and Divine Empire. Around September 2004, J.P. Brown rejoined to Hellwitch as 2nd guitarist. That month the band also played again with Deicide.
In June 2005, the band locked themselves into the studio environment to record 4 Hellwitch songs with producer Gus Rios (Malevolent Creation / Kult Ov Azazel) – and that 4-track promotional effort was baptized by the title THE EPITOME OF DISGRACE. Talk about a nearly perfect timing, but I thought it was somewhat an ideal time to contact the true mastermind of Hellwitch, Patrick Ranieri, and to ask him about the regrouping of Hellwitch, and of course about both the past as well as naturally the future of the band…
BACK FROM THE GRAVE
So Pat, would you tell me what made you dig Hellwitch up from the grave again and breathe some new life into this old corpse?
Heyhey Luxi, great to be back man! Well, basically in early 2004 Joe “Witch” and I would speak to each other every few weeks and I would drop by and visit his house. He had his drumset in the garage so I started to bring my guitar set up over. We played parts of songs at first (that’s all we could handle as we were soooo out of practice!), then entire songs after a few weeks. It was just a chance thing really, there was never a big plan for a reformation.
But it did happen anyway, so I guess one thing led somewhat easily to another – and then both of you eventually realized that Hellwitch was worthy to be reanimating back to life? Is this correct?
Well, it wasn’t a question of “worth” really. It was a question of having some fun and getting stoned up! Ha-ha..!!
You told me that you have already played some gigs with bands like Deicide, Malevolent Creation, etc. How does it feel like to be onstage again and play all those people out there? I bet many of your local fans still remember Hellwitch very well and are as supportive as they have always been toward Hellwitch back in the day, correct?
It feels different than it used to as most of the audience are young enough to be my children! Haa! It feels good though as I think nowadays especially Hellwitch really sounds different than most bands. The crowds really see us as doing something very, very unusual compared to most of today´s bands. Many locals don’t really remember us as they have only been going to shows for 4-5 years. Our last show was in ’98, so many have no clue about us. Some old schoolers DO remember us however and that is the BEST feeling. These freaks will say, “remember this show you played in West Palm Bch. with so and so in ’89?! And that big fight broke out!?” I love hearing stories of shit I had forgotten about!! Ha-ha!
I guess one of the most rewarding moments must be for you when some of these old fans – who have been there for you since the beginning of times, come to you after the show and tell you they came to see your gigs to certain clubs back in the day – and how thrilled they were when seeing you playing again, in 2006 – and still digging all that what you do with the band these days. Can you remember when was the last time when and where a similar situation happened to you when one or some of your old fans came to you after the show to tell these kinds of flattering things to you?
No, not really as we started in Gainesville, FL and now living in S.E. FL (5 hours from G-ville) we NEVER see people from the early days at shows here. I mean, I meet fans from 1989 or so and it’s pretty cool to see them again, but thats about it. We never see people from our ’85-’88 shows.
You recorded this new Hellwitch 4-song demo titled THE EPITOME OF DISGRACE for promotional purposes mainly. How has it attracted some record companies so far? What you told me earlier, at least Dave from the Spanish label Xtreem Music has shown some interest toward Hellwitch…
Well, we were originally NOT going to sell it, but it sounds sooooo good, that I felt we HAD to spread this thing around!! I mean, you heard it, the production is monstrous!! We’ve had interest from a few labels, but Dave Rotten has made the best offer so we’ll be recording with Xtreem Music this year sometime.
What did he offer for you then that other labels weren´t capable of offering when choosing the best possible deal out of them all that were available? What made his offer far superior than the others?
Well, in the beginning he actually phoned me several times, which was positive. Then, he sent rough drafts of the contract immediately. We felt some changes needed to be made in the initial contracts and he appeased us every way he could. The other labels did none of this.
Can I be this curious and ask, what kind of contract we are talking about here? Is it like just for one album + 1 album option, maybe?
Yes, it’s for 1 album and the options are endless! If Dave treats us right, we’ll do many albums for him! He’ll be a rich Spaniard in due time, ha-ha!!
What could you tell us about marketing your band to record companies these days? How well do they still remember Hellwitch´s name on their lips?
Basically, marketing is still the same as it was in 1988-89 (when we signed with Wild Fag). BUT now we appear in some books that outline the origins of extreme metal and have sold thousands of CDs worldwide. So we have a bigger reputation than in 1989 which I think helps. Yes, all the labels know who we are I think…
So it seems like your old status as one of the first extreme metal bands from the Florida underground metal scene, is still feeding itself these days as far as Hellwitch´s strong reputation overall amongst the metal community is concerned, right Pat?
Yes, to some degree. I mean the name is widely known, but the support from the business world of music is relatively weak.
Have you ever considered shooting some sort for promotional video for Hellwitch? The importance of a promotional video in today´s music biz is worth its weight in gold. It makes an impact on labels, so maybe this plan has always been somewhere there, in the left pocket of your worn-out jeans…
Yes, I have and we have! Ha-ha! It’s for the song “Days of Nemesis” and was done in ’96. We didn’t really send it to any labels as the song was from our ’94 demo and the production was not that great. Still, it came out nicely we think.
Why don´t you put it available through your website then for all those curious die-hard Hellwitch -fans who probably would suck it from there immediately? Due to bandwidth issues of the server, maybe?
It’s included on our home video comp. that we sell. It may be available on our site sometime in the future.
DARKEST SOUL PROMOTIONS
Now that we are on this topic, talking about videos, you also run some sort of concert video ´business´ under the Darkest Soul Promotions, offering basically over 10,000 different titles for people to choose from. How and when did you end up adopting that hobby for yourself and how has it evolved since then to this very day?
Well Luxi, I’m glad you asked… ahem… plug, plug! Ha-ha! I began collecting concert videos in 1983. My metal comrades here in S.E. FL had seen some ads in fanzines about VHS concerts of Slayer/Metallica. I was shocked that such videotapes existed. It was fascinating to me that now I could SEE as well as hear the music I worshipped. By 1990 I had about 5,000 titles. I was spending a good amount of $$ writing letters, mailing lists, and shipping VHS tapes overseas and domestically. It occurred to me one day that possibly other fans might be interested in owning copies of stuff I had so I made up a little video ad and began spreading them worldwide! This move brought many more trade partners to me as well as helped me recover some of the $$ I was spending on trading. Recently with the advent of DVD, the entire video trading scene has exploded!!! Postage is cheaper and international formats are much more compatible than in the VHS dominated days. As for the name, the head of our Italian fan-club goes by the name, “Darkest Soul”. I asked him if I could use that for my video business. He agreed! Incidentally, I now have OVER 11,000 titles and am growing every day! Visit my site at www.Thrill.to/dsp so witness the madness!
Can you tell what are some of the most precious ´gems´ of your concert video collection? Do you have that one particular Morbid Angel video (with a good quality) which has been recorded in Tampa, Florida 1986, in which Mike Browning is still the lead singer of Morbid Angel; and playing drums for them, too?
Some of my faves are the Demilich ’91 vid (of course!), and Insanity (CA.) making their DEATH AFTER DEATH LP in studio. Also, I have some rare Paraxism shows/in studio videos that I really enjoy. AND recently I received a Dimension Zero video (the only one I’ve EVER seen!). Another shocker is Slayer from L.A. ’83 with make-up and white, fuzzy leg warmers!! Same for Metallica! I have a vid of them from 12/83 with Dave Mustaine and Cliff! AWESOME!!! In answer to your question, my one time best friend filmed the Morbid Angel show from 5/25/86! We played that fest as well. My videotape of that show is directly from the camera master tape! BOOSTED quality!
NEW HELLWITCH SONGS IN THE WORKS…
Assuming you have already done a bunch of new songs since the EPITOME –demo, so would you tell us how these new songs compare to your previous stuff you have done since you put Hellwitch together again?
The new songs are pretty good, but I did intend to compose a couple songs in the vein of “Nosferatu” or “Torture Chamber”. But it seems that’s not in the cards at the moment. What can I say?? You know, I really HATE it when bands say…. and they seem to always say this about their newest release, “Oh our new stuff is the best thing we’ve ever done!” Fuck man, if that were the case we’d all be in heaven (or hell?!) with our fave bands all putting out albums that are always better than the last one! Ha-ha! Well, honestly, I can say the newest Hellwitch songs, “Mysteria” and one yet untitled, are full of “catchy” riffs and each part flows perfectly into the next part! They are not quite as technical as some of our past songs, but we are trying to focus more on quality riffs than being off the wall and quirky.
So in the other words, catchiness and simple things in a song structure mean more than how many different parts you get fitted into one Hellwitch -song? Do you believe you will concentrate more on writing simple, but catchy songs structurally for Hellwitch in the future as well?
No, not really. We’ve never counted parts as part of our composing formula nor have we tried to just “fit” parts into songs for the sake of technicality. We really try to make each part flow into the next as much as possible. Yes, catchy we strive for, simple is a relative term. I think we are still very technical, but our natural progression has been toward being less technical.
When you decided to release FINAL APPROACH, a collection of Hellwitch stuff covering your whole career pretty well, did you think that would be the very last thing that could ever come out from Hellwitch, kind of summing up the band´s history from the beginning to the end with that particular collection in question?
YES, that’s why I chose that particular title. IT was to be Hellwitch’s final approach to music! Happily it wasn’t!
When did you actually start to give some second thoughts about the band´s destiny whether this particular collection would be the final ´good-bye´ release from Hellwitch; or whether there could be a tiny chance hiding somewhere there deep down in your brain cells that Hellwitch might still be worth of another try some day?
When Joe and I began to see each other again in 2004. That is when I started to think about reforming.
ONCE HELLWITCH RULED THE EARTH…
You did your debut album SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY for Ricardo Campos´ Wild Rags! Records back in 1989 which, however, was released more than a year later in December 1990. What kind of reasons delayed the release of it? Ricardo´s financial problems to get your album out from the printing plant maybe?
Well, actually, we signed with Ricardo Campos (fuckin’ rip-off master!) in ’89 and recorded the LP in March ’90. It was released about 8-9 months after it was recorded. There was no significant delay. The one issue that held things up slightly was the cover art, which was changed at the last minute.
So what was in the original cover art then if I can ask curiously and why you actually decided to abandon it at the very last minute?
Our bassist, Tommy, had done a painting that completely fit the concept of SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY. However, it looked a bit amateur. Then, when Joe presented Brett’s work to me, it was obvious that that was much more professional looking, though the concept of S.M. was not as clear. So, we agreed to use the more professional looking cover. Tommy’s original cover portrayed each band member’s head being linked to a computer monitor by mechanical tendons/arms. On the monitor screen was a comet of evil flying through space.
SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY sold over 10,000 copies worldwide – in other words, pretty damn well as a matter of speaking. But obviously due to lack of support from Ricardo´s side, an international breakthrough of Hellwitch, was left on half-way and you never kind of ´hit-it-big´ the same way like such bands as Malevolent Creation, Dark Angel, Nuclear Assault, Death and the likes did. So, I need to ask from you do you regret it ever that you signed to Wild Rags! Records that didn´t have enough resources to promote Hellwitch the way you surely would have deserved to be promoted in the first place?
No, that was the best record deal we could get at the time. We got ripped off, but at least we did get international recognition to some degree.
… AND GOT RIPPED OFF PRETTY BADLY!
How much do you believe you lost profits out of the selling for SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY from which all the money obviously went down to the bottomless and greedy pockets of Mr. Rip-off Campos? Take a wild guess…
A few thousand $$.
It´s such an amount of money anyways that you could have well made a self-financed album by yourself. Did you try to get some of that money back in some legal way, like hiring a lawyer for taking care of that so that you guys wouldn´t have worked your ass off completely in vain?
Well, I’m not sure exactly how much he stole from us. Maybe it was not thousands. I really do not know. Hiring a lawyer would have just cost us more $$ I think. You see, Ricardo lied about our sales, lied about our distribution and who knows what else. I’m sure if ordered to provide sale records in a court of law, they would have been forgeries. It was best to just cut our losses and move on I think.
Do you have any idea what on earth happened to Wild Rags! Records anyway? They just seemed to vanish from the earth at some point in the mid of ´90s or something…
Yes, Ricardo was charged by the U.S. government with crime of income tax evasion and was sent to prison!! Actually, I’m not sure if he was caught, but I know he was wanted for this crime. Some say he fled to his home country of Mexico. The members of Sadistic Intent went to the government auction of Wild Rags’ stock and purchased most of it. They now run a record store in L.A. called Dark Realm, which sells much of Ricardo’s confiscated inventory! Haha! I love telling this story! As we say in America, “What comes around, goes around!”. Ricardo got his!
… and absolutely deserved it as well! I gotta assume you also met him face-to-face a couple of times at least, so assuming he played his role as a reliable and honest guy very damn well for you, without you knowing first the guy was actually deeply rotten to the core when his honesty was put under a sharp magnifying glass…
No, never met the fucker. He lived in CA. We live in FL. OPPOSITE ends of our country!
Hellwitch was formed in late October 1984 by you and Harry Tielyr and the first Hellwitch demo was recorded with this 2-piece line-up, in the living room of your apartment in Gainsville, Florida. The song was called “Nosferatu” and it became an instant Hellwitch classic song a bit later. Do you still remember that day very well when you and Harry recorded the song?
Yes, it came together in about 3 hours total. We did 2 takes and decided that was good enough. It was just a fun little project that was never intended to be anything more than a basic song for our own enjoyment. We did a few experiments with different household objects trying to get a “drum” sound. That took the most time of all. Eventually the kitchen chair cushion (bass drum sound) and “Tpotsland: City in Mexico” -textbook (snare drum sound) were utilized for drums. We finished it late in the evening and upon listening to what we had concocted, Harry felt it was really a GOOD song and a decent recording. I, on the other hand, just laughed and thought it was cool, but nothing to be considered as a real musical work. Once I spred a few copies however, it immediately became evident that the underground felt it was a REAL song from a REAL band!! So, I went along with the program! Ha-ha!
Ha-ha-ha… the kitchen chair cushion for the bass drum sound and “Tpotsland: City in Mexico” -textbook for the snare drum sound, huh! That´s quite a hilarious detail about those recording sessions which I wasn´t aware of at all before. But anyway, you guys never looked back whether you should have changed that song´s structure – at least a little bit, when it was recorded by 2 takes only as you just informed?
No, it was just a joke as I said. No need to change the “joke”, ya know? Ha-ha!! I mean, with no real drums, there was not much we could have done to fix it up anyway, I think. Besides, once it caught on, I immediately knew we would record it in the studio when the time came.
Your recorded your first official studio demo, TRANSGRESSIVE SENTIENCE, in January 1986 – and that demo was done with Andy Adcock on bass, Dave “Silverthrash” on drums and you on guitars and vocals. What kind of memories do you still have about the recording sessions with those guys when you guys locked yourselves in the studio and recorded the classic Hellwitch songs “Nosferatu”, “Satan´s Wrath”, “Torture Chamber” and “Fate at Pain´s End” for this demo? The overall feeling had to be sort of… ´special´ at that moment, to say the least!
Well, it was my first time EVER in a recording studio and I was pretty nervous! That’s the main feeling I remember. Andy had been in a studio once before, and it was also Dave’s first experience. I recall, we brought a tape of S.O.D. SPEAK ENGLISH… – and told the engineer we wanted THAT production. Ha! The engineer had only recorded gospel and country/western music. He said he could try, but obviously he had no clue about spinning the knobs to achieve any sort of extreme metal production. Thus we ended up with a pretty thin/dry. I recall that the guitar “booth” was about 55 feet from the engineer’s control room. So, when I would record a track, I would then RUN to the control room to save time = $$ and hear how my take came out. We recorded all 4 songs in one grueling session of 15-16 hours! By the time we had gotten to mixing the recording we were sooo exhausted that we ended up with a really final mix.
The response toward your first official demo seemed to be huge, and you really got Hellwitch´s name stamped all over the international underground metal map back then and got a chance to play with many established names at that time. Would you Pat go on from this and tell something more about those times for the readers of Metal-Rules.com? We are all ears now – just believe me… ;o)
Hmmm…as far as I can recall we thought the T.S. demo was pretty shitty and thin sounding. And my solos were way off the day of the recording. But alas orders for it came in pretty steadily. It was strange as on 4/20/86 we drove to Brandon FL to witness the now legendary Morbid Angel/Massacre show at Sidestreets. And I’ll NEVER forget, between band sets that night Trey (m. Angel) and Nasty Ronnie BOTH came up to me at once and were going on and on about how great the Hellwitch demo was. And Trey said, “That song “Torture Chamber” is just PERFECT! It’s a PERFECT song!”. I was fuckin’ stoned up and just in shock. I was just thankful that my peers felt it was up to par. I will never forget that night! I really did not understand why they liked it sooo much. Haha! Also, at some point that night this guy was walking around outside and I heard him say to someone, “Yea, Billy and Kam (Massacre) kicked me out, so I’m getting together with Trevor (pre-Obituary days!) and we’re gonna try to start something”. That was Alan West talking about joining Xecutioner!!! The rest is history. Alan just looked like some poor skinny dude hanging around with nothing going on in his life. Haha! Little did I know! Then we played with those bands on 5/25/86 in Tampa. We sold a lot of merchandise and many people praised us. Kam Lee joined us onstage for Infernal Death. It was, again, shocking! I mean, I compared everything to Slayer at that time, and we were not (still are not!) even in the same league with such a GOD band! Of course, the underground mail was the main thing for me. It got to the point where I was getting Hellwitch mail EVERY day! On the days there was no Hellwitch mail, I was sad! Haha! But, I’m thankful that the Hellwitch name caught on then.
As for Kam Lee, are you still in touch with him? You may have heard already that he has a new band going on down there in Florida called Denial Fiend with Curtis Beeson (ex-Nasty Savage), Terry Butler (ex-Massacre, ex-Death, ex-SFU) and Sam Williams (Down by Law, Pseudo Heroes). They are supposed to play some sort of ´horror metal´ whatever that may mean…
No, never hear from/about him. I did read an online interview with Kam in some German ‘zine 1-2 years ago where Kam absolutely slagged Death Metal and the people who listen to it. That’s the last thing I heard about him.
“NOSFERATU SOUNDS LIKE A VIDEO GAME…” – Scott “NOT” Ian in ´86
Back in the day when you were heavily involved with the underground metal scene, I was wondering whether you could possibly remember and name some of the greatest and most uplifting compliments you received ever from some ´famous´ names about your music, besides Trey´s comment about “Torture Chamber”?
Hmmm… let me think… well, when we met Anthrax in ’84 they liked our name. Then in ’86 we sent them the T.S. demo and Scott and Charlie liked it a lot. They said the beginning solo in “Nosferatu” sounded like a video game! Ha-ha-ha…!! But they liked it a lot. That’s about all I can recall right now.
In July 1987 you entered the studio with the same line-up to record Hellwitch´s 2nd official demo titled MORDIRIVIAL DISEMANATION which featured “Purveyor of Fear”, “Pyrophoric Seizure”, “Degeneration” and a remake of “Nosferatu”, with a bit more updated sound. That demo particularly took you guys even further out on the lips of even more metalheads – and the response toward this Hellwitch effort, was absolutely overwhelming and encouraging, to say the least. Can you remember how it was to be on the top of popularity at that time when more and more people contacted you about Hellwitch, basically wanting to know more about the band. Do you have any idea how many copies of that demo was sold in total?
Well, more mail did seem to arrive after the M.D. demo’s release, but we could still not find a label that would support us properly. But more interviews/reviews followed, that’s for sure. It was recorded more primitively (done on 6 tracks!), but had a more raw/aggressive sound. We definitely felt this was a more accurate representation of the band. I think I mailed out about 1,200 or so copies. Oddly, Richard C. (Wild Fag!) sold a lot of those copies in his store/distro which ultimately led to our deal with his shitty label.
I gotta believe MORDIRIVIAL –demo was also that recording from Hellwitch that made Richard C. from Wild Rags! Records to offer a deal for you, correct?
Yes, exactly – that´s the demo that got us signed to Wild Fags!
WHAT HAPPENED TO EX-HELLWITCH MEMBERS?
On that demo, you had Andy Adcock on guitar/bass and Dave Silverthrash on drums. Do you have any idea what´s up with those two fellows these days? Are they still involved with the music biz somehow? At one time they had this other band going on called Precipice anyway. How were they like?
They are in Gardy Loo I’ve heard. I heard Andy actually dresses up as a turd onstage in that band. They also formed Precipice at some point. I heard a 4-song demo-CD from them in the late ‘90’s. It reminded me of Voivod a bit, but nothing really exceptional. I really have no idea what they do these days.
It was late ´91 when you recruited another guitarist for Hellwitch; a guy named Craig Shattuck. How much do you believe his input had to do with Hellwitch´s sound since the day you started working with him and compose new songs for Hellwitch? Did he bring any new ideas into the band – or was he mainly there to provide a bit heavier and thicker sound for Hellwitch; especially for a live situation?
Well, I gotta say when Craig joined in ’91…. Great guitarist, bad haircut, ha-ha! He was a good guitarist and after a little discussion of what I felt Hellwitch guitar parts should be, he offered many musical ideas that were exceptional! In ’94 J.P. Brown auditioned for 2nd guitar and was better than Craig, so Craig was moved to bass at that point. I definitely wanted to keep him in the band as his songwriting skills were incredible and he and I were/are GREAT friends! He also thickened the sound live, of course, but mainly, he is a great writer. We’ve now been great friends for 15 years actually. He’s a great person all around.
In August you entered the Morrisound Studios to record your next release, 3-song TERRAASYMMETRY E.P. that was originally meant to be released through Wild Rags! Records, but was eventually put out by the Austrian Lethal Records. And the whole story for this is… what, Pat?
We had a falling out with Wild Rags as we deduced he was ripping us off! I made the mistake of mentioning this in ‘zines, but NOT telling Ricardo this on the phone. So, he read these interviews and told us he would not release anymore Hellwitch stuff. Lethal IMMEDIATELY offered to release the EP and pay the recording bill that Ricardo had stuck Morrisound with.
PAYPAL PAYMENT OF $200 FOR PHOTOS OF HIS BLOODIED FACE/BODY
The whole career of Hellwitch seems to be shadowed by an extremely bad luck with some certain record labels. How did Michael Piesch – the owner of Lethal Records – manage to convince you to step into his trap he had prepared carefully for you? First Wild Rags! – and then Lethal Records. The Gods of Fortune had abandoned you completely, or at least so it appeared…
Oh yea, Michael Piesch called me on the phone MANY times to lure me into trusting his scum ridden ass and he also hated Ricardo Campos (Richard c.), so we got along quite well on the phone, but alas, he was the worst scum this band has ever dealt with. By the way, I’m STILL offering a Paypal payment of $200 for photos of his bloodied face/body!!! Any takers?? This guy needs an ass-whooping, seriously!
Do you have any idea then how many copies of the TERRAASYMMETRY E.P. were sold through Michael´s label and did you manage to get any $$$ at all from him out of the selling of that E.P.?
I have no idea how many were sold as after he received the master studio tape, he NEVER contacted us again. We even sent registered letters from our lawyer to him. No replies, ever. No $$ ever paid, no copies of the CD ever received. TOTALLY RIPPED OFF!!!!
TECHNICAL DEATH FUCKIN´ METAL… D E M I L I C H
You have told me on several different occasions that there´s one specific album on your unholy books of extreme metal that has been admiring since it came out in 1993. I´m talking about Demilich´s NESPITHE album in here, of course! Could you tell us Pat what are those elements on that particular album that have overall made it such a special release for you? All of us already know that Antti Boman is a musical genius – of course, but that´s the old news already…
Shit, DEMILICH first of all does NOT sound like any other band in history!!! Also, the riffs are sooo technical, but NOT melodic! I LOVE the evil sounding mood of the music! AND, I’m not a big fan of “growly” vocals, but Antti vocalizes soooo low that it’s beyond growling! Again, NO ONE sounds like this guy!!! EVER!! He’s my MAIN musical inspiration, PERIOD! This will NEVER change for me!
Are you still in touch with Antti, by the way? I guess you were already aware of the fact Demilich will do a short US tour soon; starting from 27th of May from Maryland´s Death Fest (playing the last show of the US tour on 10th of June in Los Angeles, at Zen Sushi; then coming to their home ground in order to play one last Demilich gig in their hometown Kuopio and split up for good. Any plans to go see one of their gigs while they are pounding the soil in the States?
HOLY SHIT, I never even heard about this!! I got an email from Antti about 1 year ago. He mentioned they were possibly reforming, but he didn’t give any specifics. I will certainly drive to Maryland (at least!) to see them perform! I’m shocked!! I will email him RIGHT NOW!!!
Back to the current times of Hellwitch now though. What kind of plans do you have to record your next album and when that might come possible at earliest?
We plan to write 2-3 new songs and then remix the EPITOME songs and this will be the new full length. ANTHROPOPHAGI will also be included, more than likely. We may record with Gus Rios at Mercury Studios again. We will probably be ready to record by November ’06 or so at earliest.
Have you been giving any thoughts who would be the most ideal guy (-s) to produce the next Hellwitch record? Scott Burns maybe?
“Ideally” Scott Burns would be great, but realistically we cannot afford him. Gus is very good too (as you can hear!) and is local so that’s the plan.
How do you wish people could remember Hellwitch some day when the band has ceased to exist for good?
As a band that was always different and innovative from all the others. As a band that stayed heavy and catchy over a 20+ year career. And as a band that had technical skills above most others. Hopefully that’s what everyone will remember.
I for one wanna thank you Pat for your time and dedication to this interview and hope all the best both for you and for Hellwitch. May your paths be highly rewarded in the future…
If there´s still something you´d like to add to this interview, then go ahead as the final words are YOURS…!!
Luxi, I’ve known you for well over a decade now and it’s really great to see that you are still as metal as ever!!! I appreciate that someone I’ve been friends with for this long still respects/supports what we are doing. Sooo many old contacts are married with children, or just don’t worship metal anymore or have simply grown out of it! Fuckin’ LAME!! It’s great that you are not one of those! Now, if you only worked at a big record label… We could be all set! Ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!
We appreciate all the positive words and support everyone has given us since our reformation. We continue because we love and believe in what we’re doing. Obviously we are not making $$ with Hellwitch, but that’s never been an issue with us. We’re a close group of friends that are all overflowing with creativity and aggression!! To all your readers, write to us on MySpace or email me directly at: email@example.com All emails/letters will be answered! Visit our official site at: www.hellwitch.us We have shirts, CDs, live CD-Rs, bumper stickers, lighters, old demos and live DVD/VHS comps for sale!! AND check out the biggest list of Death/Thrash/Punk/Black/Hardcore concert videos around at www.Thrill.to/dsp For those that still are not online and are keeping it old school, write to:
P.O. Box 2341
Hollywood, FL 33022 USA
Thanks for the cool interview pal – and to all your readers, listen to the different stuff, BE different, fuck the trends, and KILLKILLKILL!!!!