Marco Nicosia of Hexenhaus / Fifth Reason / Hemisfear / Seventh Key
Interviewed in Feb. 2000 By Noel
’90 – Hexenhaus – The Edge Of Eternity
’91 – Hexenhaus – Awakening
’97 – Hexenhaus – Dejavoodoo
?97 – Fifth Reason – Psychotic
’99 – Fifth Reason – Within or Without
Hexenhaus is a Swedish technical thrash group formed from the ashes of a group called Manninya Blade. Hexenhaus is musically complex technical metal with great vocals, riffing, and drumming. The band has folded and reformed a couple of times, but is currently disbanded. Mike Wead and Marco Nicosia have since formed a new band called Hemisfear, who have signed to Heathendoom Records. Wead is also the current lead guitarist for Mercyful Fate. Will now talk to Marco who was and is involved with Fifth Reason, Hemisfear, Seventh Key, Memento Mori as well as Hexenhaus.
Starting off, What happened to Hexenhaus?
First of all the latest Hexenhaus setup starting with the album “Deeja Voodoo” was more a studio project and an actual reunion than anything else. So the band got disbanded after the Awakening album. Then Mike came up with some ideas 3 years later we decided to record Deja Voodoo.
Didn’t you play on all the following – 1990 The Edge Of Eternity Active 1991 Awakening Active,1997 Dejavoodoo Black Mark. How come it took so long for Deja Voodoo to come out?
I joined Hexenhaus after the recordings of the Edge album so it was really too late for me to do add anything to it. At the time I was really busy learning all the songs for the tour.
Mike Wead thought it could be a good thing to put me on the album cover cause we were about to do a lot of gigs. I mentioned earlier that the band was disbanded after the awakening album so that explains why it took so long everyone was doing other stuff.
What happened too Conny Wallin bass (“Awakening”), Tommie Agrippa vocals (“Eternity”), Nick J. vocals (“Insanity”), Rick Meister guitars (“Insanity”), Jan “Blomman” Blomqvist bass (“Insanity”), Ralph Raideen drums?
After the awakening album we did do a couple of minor tours and those lasted for a year after the tours things went dead. I think everybody vanished in different directions. The last thing I remember about Conny was that he was studying to be a teacher. Mike was more into his second band Memento Mori and I was doing my own on project and a cover band…etc. Tommie Agrippa replaced Tomas Lundin only because we thought the style of the awakening album should fit his voice better and style. I don’t know so much about the other guys.
Thomas Lundin-vocals (“Awakening” and later), Billy St. John drums (“Eternity” and later what happened too them and what are they currently doing?
Billy is a father living a peaceful life with his wife. I haven’t heard anything about Tomas, no big projects or anything. He was very much into some strange kind of blackrock stuff, don’t know if his still into that.
Can you please tell us about Manninya Blade your prior band before HEXHENHAUS, and what album you released and what label it is on?
Can’t do that that was before my time sorry…
Your new band Hemisfear, can you tell us all about that and who is in it? Is it similar too Hexhenhaus?
Hemisfear is like taking Hexenhaus into a totally new direction. But unfortunately the band is put on hold, don’t know if we ever gonna release it or not. The recordings were delayed a couple of times due to the lack of time. There was also a lot of touring going on with Mike and Mercyful Fate around the world during this period.
How did Black Mark treat you guys when you where on the label?
Well I didn’t see much action from them.
How did the technicality come into focus with Hexenhaus?
Think it came with our more focused guitar playing and of course there were a lot of inspiring bands.
Will Hexenhaus ever reform? Have you heard any discussion about this from Mike Wead? Would you ever do it again?
Well we have reformed once so maybe a second time ha ha ha. No I don’t believe that, we feel there’s no market for it. There’s not a lot of funds to put into it. well, maybe as a studio project but never as a band. But you’ll never no, good answer huh?
You have Fifth Reason and Hemisfear happening now, do you have any other band you are in? What other band’s have you played with? How do you manage too play in 2 bands?
Involving me in different projects is a matter of priority. Yes I have my own band Seventh Key which will be more progressive but due to our management we are waiting to make it official until we get more money from the record deal.
I don’t know what is going to happen with Fifth Reason. Hopefully we will find a label to release the album “within or without”, which is already recorded and mixed. I used to have a band with some old members of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force but we just did some demos, mostly instrumental stuff.
How did the Active label treat you guys?
I nothing to complain they did what they could do I think they did some good promo works in couple of big magazines but they didn’t manage to takes us further.
Will you guys ever re-release your HEXENHAUS albums?
Well I have seen one strange re-release of the Edge of Eternity album don’t who was behind that. But yes of course we should do that if someone is serious enough to re-release it, just show us your wallet…
What was it like working with MIKE WEAD?
We do inspire each other a lot and of course we are very good friends in private. When we don’t play music we do a lot of other things, mostly beer drinking. I also want to mention that Mike forces me to listen to his Gong albums. “Gong” is a mysterious group from the early 70’s.
So can you tell us how Fifth Reason came into existence?
Fifth Reason was from the beginning Simon Johannson’s project, the former Abstract Algebra and now Memory Garden’s guitarist. Simon started FR after his time with Abstract Algebra. Tomas Lundin former with Hexenhaus did all the vocals for the first Psychotic demo. Later the vocals were later re-arranged/written for Kristian Andren the lead singer now. Actually, Mike asked Simon to ask me if I was interested to join the band and yeah I liked it, the style was doomy and I thought they were cool guys in the band.
I see the band is comprised of all the great talented members from bands such as Tad Morose, Memento Mori, Street Talk, Wuthering Heights, Abstract Algebra, Memory Garden. What a list! How in the hell did you guys manage to get such a awesome line-up?
Yepp you’re damned right. But if you look a little bit closer then u will see that Mike is involved in all those bands in someway as producer, engineer or guitar player.
Your first album “Psychotic” released in 1997 on Heathendoom Music. How was the reaction too Labels, zines, fans ,etc.
We went cardboard platinum…
Seriously it was good low budget debut album.
How is the label treating you?
The guy at Heathendoom is a very good friend of mine and I think he did what he could for us.
Any news on the new album?
There’s one label who might want to release it.
“Within or Without” – your new album, who did the cover and could you tell us about the new album?
There’s no cover yet but I think we have a lot of ideas for it. The album sounds in my opinion very heavy and progressive, I also wrote some songs for it.
When will it be released?
I don’t know we are just about to send some promo CD’s to the a label who seems to be interested.
How would you describe your sound?
Progressive, heavy, doomy powermetal.
Any Nevermore/Sanctuary/Forbidden fans in the band?
Yeah sure, they are all great bands. Simon is a True nevermore fan!
So what happened with Oscar Tillman on the first album and how was Marty bass (Memento Mori/Hexenhaus) contacted too get the position?
Tillman wanted to get more time for his own project. Firstly we wanted to try out Fredrik and we did do a gig with him but when we started to record the album, we found out that he wasn’t the right person for it so we asked Marty to join instead.
What are you or your label trying to do to promote you in NORTH AMERICA – anything at all?
Nothing right now, that’s because the psychotic album is to old. We need to release the new Fifth Reason Album first then we’ll see.
What were some of the influences for Hexenhaus at the time?
For me it was everything from early Yngwie to Watchtower and a lot bay-area trash and doomy stuff and a lot of classical composers.
What was the crowd’s reaction too DEJAVOODOO?
Great, some zines thought it was to many guitars solos on it but nevermind that, there were also some who thought that the album was not long enough we just wanted to maintain high quality.
What was the release date for that album, and did you guys sell many units?
I just remember the year was 1997, I don’t know the status of the album. But it seems it wasn’t enough to break even. This is probably the reason why Black Mark wasn’t too happy.
It’s been a honor, thanks for everything and any closing comments?