HANKER’s Drummer Luc

August 24th, 2005
by EvilG

HANKER Interview
Hanker – Canada’s Best Kept
True Metal Secret Exposed!

Interviewed in Nov. 1999 by EvilG

If you haven’t heard about Canada’s Hanker, you soon will. It wasn’t until only a few months ago that we actually heard them and we were surprised that they haven’t been snatched up by one of the bigger labels. I do think however that with the right break, these guys will become a band that most of you will hear about and if you haven’t – here’s perhaps your first chance to do so.

We are pleased to present you with this interview with Hanker’s drummer Luc. We’d like to thank Rejean, Hankers manager, for setting this up for us, and thanks to Pierre the man behind www.hankermetal.com, and of course Luc and the rest of the guys in Hanker! 


Metal Rules!!
Lets start out with a bit of history. Can you briefly tell me how you guys found each other and how it all began?

Luc Guay - Hanker's drummer!Luc
Hanker was formed by Patrick Gravel, Pascal Cliche, Martin Jones and Jeff Fillion in 1985. They performed in several places around the city of Quebec for about five years before the current drummer, Luc Guay (me), joined the band. At the time they were friends from school and wanted to play for fun and finally decided to go for it since the potential was showing. A first demo was recorded in 1991 and the album ” In Our World ” was released in 1994.

We played for all these years in many bars, arenas and show places doing opening acts for bigger names such as Lee Aaron, Slick Toxic and Big House. More than 200 show nights have been done by Hanker since then.

 

Metal Rules!!
What bands have (and still do) influence your song writing?

Luc
We all had the great metal kings’ influences. Let’s start with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Metal Church, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple… they all were great influences but also more progressive ones like Saga, Genesis, Rush, Styx, all of the great rock of the 80’s constituted the main start for Hanker.

 

Metal Rules!!
It’s very cool that such a great band comes from Quebec!! Are you all alone in the power metal arena over there?

Luc
We don’t know all of the metal bands in Quebec but as for the ones we know, they are pretty good. Still there are not that many in our area.

 

Metal Rules!!
What do you think of all the death / hyper blast bands that Quebec is known for?

Luc
Very great bands are emerging from Quebec and it’s a good thing for us . We had the chance to play with Anonymus a great speed metal band that is very creative and has its own identity. It’s very encouraging for us to see that we are not alone trying to build the metal force in Quebec.

 

Metal Rules!!
Have you played any gigs with those type of bands?

Luc
Anonymus and also Soothsayer which doesn’t exist anymore.

Hanker: Left to right : Luc Guay  (drums), Denis Cossette (bass) , Patrick Gravel (guitar/back vocals) & Pascal Cliche (lead singer/guitar)

Metal Rules!!
Where do you guys get to play and have you or do you plan on playing any shows in the rest of Canada or in other countries??

Luc
We are waiting for a few answers from promoters that have approached us. We have had no definite confirmation yet, but it should not be too long since Metal is coming back in full force.

 

Metal Rules!!
Where did you guys get the idea for the title “The Dead Ringer”???

Luc
Our manager came up with the idea as he heard us talk about the stories told in the songs about a man’s life story, cause you know that “The Dead Ringer” is some of the stories you could have read in the man’s diary if you had found it, That’s the starting point of the concept of that album.

 

Metal Rules!!
Can you pick out a few of your favorite tracks from the CD and tell me what they are all about?

Luc
Our favorite songs on “The Dead Ringer” are “You Won’t Live Eternally” and “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.

Here are the reasons why we like are “You Won’t Live Eternally”: this is a delightful song which is really fun to play live as people sing with us throughout the song. It as a simple beat but it is really efficient.

We also like “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” for the following reasons: this song is very energetic and the lyrics are so meaningful to us. United, we can’t go wrong. Of course, we like them all.

 

Metal Rules!!
Are any of the lyrics on the CD “close to home”…or is this all fictitious?

Luc
Actually, it’s both. Some songs tell things about our concerns, our worries like any other human being and some others are pure invention. “Dead as the Night” or “Gardeners of Pain” are. Most of them are about what we live through day in and day out.

 

Metal Rules!!
The artwork for “The Dead Ringer” is very cool, will you be using the same artist again?

Luc
We will not. We asked to see different works from different people as we had different views and ideas for the cover of Snakes and Ladders. So, we connected with some professional guys who suggested an artist whom we are pretty satisfied with.. We’ll talk more about this, once the album has been released.

 

Metal Rules!!
Were you happy with how the fans and media reacted to “The Dead Ringer”?

Luc
Yes. Most people and media responded well and gave a fine description of what’s on the album. To see the people understand the meaning and show interest in our songs and music is kind of giving us confidence. Sure enough, a couple of them were not totally satisfied, but we know we can’t please everyone.

 

Metal Rules!!
One thing I kept thinking when listening to the CD is…”why aren’t these guys signed?” Any thoughts on why you think that is so?

Luc
We haven’t been signed by a major label if that is what you mean by label, but we signed this winter with an independent label called Attack Records and went this spring to Toronto to record our actual third album which should be released hopefully before the end of 1999. We know that time had not been on our side since the metal scene had been almost dead in North America since 1985. According to the Billboard magazine, 1999 is the year for Metal Music and we know that something great is coming for us. We don’t want to say that we didn’t worry about why things weren’t working out well enough, but we simply never gave up and now we continue doing our music the way it has always been done, the most professionally possible without any compromise.

 

Metal Rules!!
Have any labels shown interest in the band?

Luc
As you now know, we are with Attack Records. None of the majors has shown interest yet, but we are only waiting for them to receive the album from one of you guys and I bet we won’t wait very long for it to happen.

 

Metal Rules!!
Do you care if any labels show interest, are you content to do everything yourself?

Luc
We sure would prefer it if we had support from big guys, but a big advantage of being on our own is the control we can keep on our stuff. It’s exactly like we want it and that’s a big relief sometimes.

 

Metal Rules!!
The new album, “Snakes & Ladders”, was supposed to be out this fall…what’s the release date?

Luc
No set release date for now, but we should be able to confirm one pretty soon. As long as we cannot be sure, we’re sorry but it would be worse to tell you something we couldn’t make sure would happen. It’s frustrating but we have to live with it.

 

Metal Rules!!
How would you say the new CD will differ from “The Dead Ringer”??

Luc
It differs in many ways and yet you won’t say it’s not Hanker. It’s total Hanker. Every note is no borrow from other bands. Sure you can recognize parts that have been used first by great bands from the 70s and 80s, but still it’s Hanker style 100 %. Maturity, strength, more accurate playing and writing, ease to communicate emotions by better accomplished parts, that’s how the third album differs from the first two.

 

Metal Rules!!
Where did you record the CD and how long did it take?

Luc
At Phase One studios in Toronto. It took four weeks and one extra weekend to finish mixing it. It was a great experience since that studio is one of the best in Canada.

 

Metal Rules!!
Did it cost you guys a lot to record the new CD and were you able to record it based on profits from sales/gigs?

Luc
Since we’re with a label, we can’t talk about anything regarding that matter. Sorry.

 

Metal Rules!!
When the CD is out will you be doing any kind of a tour for it?

Luc
We sure will try to be everywhere at the same time. We will play in Quebec for the beginning. We have been approached for a small tour with two or three other big bands. You’ll hear from us once it’s for real.

 

Metal Rules!!
How do you plan on getting the word out for this CD as opposed to the tactics used for getting the word out for “The Dead Ringer”?

Luc
Of course the internet will be the first worldwide spread over for the great event and also all radios, magazines and fanzines we are connected with.

 

Metal Rules!!
Has the internet been crucial in spreading the word of HANKER?

Luc
For Hanker, the Internet has been some kind of the real start. The worldwide interest Hanker has created has come from Internet contacts that made us accessible to people from as far as Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy and so on. Maybe it is too big for music, I mean the market is now so spread out that you can hardly discover somebody that you will be able to recognize two years later because so much is offered that almost no one makes it anymore to the big league. Everyone is a fire and burns out so fast that you could almost not remember it the week after. We hope that the advantage it’s given us will bring us the worldwide recognition we honestly think we deserve.

 

Metal Rules!!
Would you like to make Hanker your “job” or is this more of a “weekend thing”?

Luc
We are not making a living out of our music yet. But it definitely isn’t a weekend thing since we use all our spare time and even more for all the work we have to do for it.

 

Metal Rules!!
Can you tell me exactly what a HANKER is anyway? Is it a real word or one that you guys made up?

Luc
It’s simply an old English verb meaning ” to desire strongly “. It represented well the spirit of every guy in the band, so we chose it and there is a nice ring to it too.

 

Metal Rules!!
When someone says that you sound like an 80’s power metal band does that bother you?

Luc
It’s no offense since the 80s are the place where we come from, musically speaking. Think of any great band from the 80s like Maiden, Metallica, Metal Church and you got what made us go the distance in that industry. We like to think what we play is TRUE METAL that will never die.

 

Metal Rules!!
What do you think of any of the newer ’90’s metal bands? Do any of them interest you?

Luc
It sure isn’t like the 80s and that sound is good sometimes but we think it lacks feeling and substance in the melody most of the time. It’s a little too dark and dead from our point of view.

 

Metal Rules!!
What are your thoughts on the recent growth of power metal?

Luc
We think it’s only the natural return to the real things. Music that is made with heart and sweat is what people want to get once they got tired of stuff that won’t mean a thing. You can’t spend your life living on borrowed time.

 

Metal Rules!!
What’s next for Hanker? Any news or new developments?

Luc
Since we are having a lot of work to do just to get this baby out, we can’t plan on things that depend on the release itself, so we concentrate on this and we’ll see after.

 

Metal Rules!!
Any final words for fans or POTENTIAL fans reading this?

Luc
We would only want to say to our fans that they can simply sit tight cause once we will be able to go rock the house down in their city, they just won’t believe what they’ll see and hear. They won’t be kept waiting eternally and their patience will be rewarded.


Official Site: www.hankermetal.com

 

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