Demonica – Vocalist Klaus Hyr
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Tom Hack at Massacre Records for setting up this interview
Thanks to Massacre Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Demonica is the name of a new American/Danish thrash metal act that includes the famous Hank Shermann known from Mercyful Fate amongst others. The band also includes members from Forbidden but I had the pleasure of talking with Artillery member Klaus Hyr. I was supposed to speak with Mr Sherman but when he couldn’t find the time did Mr Hyr did the interview instead. Some of the issues that came up were the past present and the future of Demonica and how it was to record the brand new album DEMONSTROUS.
Hi Klaus it was really nice of you to take the time to make this interview with Metal-Rules.com. I hope you are ready to kick off the interview and I thought we could begin with talking about your new band Demonica and its new album DEMONSTROUS?
Yes I’m so let go.
Can you tell us about Demonica like when and where the band was born?
Hank wanted to do some heavier material than he’d ever done and stretch the limit a little bit. I had told him many times if he ever wanted to do some serious thrash metal a la Testament/Slayer, I would be ready any time to put some shouting to it. He asked me at a concert in late 07 if I wanted to try do a song to his new solo project and I of course went. “What the fuck are we waiting for?” Turned out to be a whole CD and a whole new band and not a solo project.
Was it you that came up with the band name and does the name have any special meaning to you or to the other members in the band?
I came up with Demonica from out of nowhere. We both liked it and picked it instantly. It had a lot of sense and meaning to me in the beginning, and now more than ever! That’s another story.
DEMONSTROUS is the title of the debut album. How long did it take to write and record the album and who has written the material?
It was written well over 2 years. Hank did all the the tunes and I wrote the lyrics. 1st song we did “Fast and Furious” I wrote in 1990. So it’s a long time on its way.
Where does the title come from?
DEMONSTROUS came last of everything. Saw the word monstrous somewhere, and couldn’t help putting “de” in front of it. Its not even a real word, but it’s in the urban dictionary. Look it up!
What do you think of the cover art-work and who has made the cover?
Personally I don’t really like it much. Its too one-dimensional and fits another genre than what we try to promote. But I guess it works with the witch.
You and Shermann live in Denmark. How did you solve the recording issue? I mean did you all gather in a studio to record everything together or did you send stuff via mail to the rest of the members?
It was all recorded in our separate home towns. Copenhagen/San Francisco and Denver and mixed in Denver by Dave Otero. File sharing is the new deal. So we never ever met all five of us until playing live in Europe this summer.
Are you happy with the outcome of DEMONSTROUS?
We’re all pretty much satisfied. Think we kick some serious ASS on a lot of bands out there. With nothing to prove anyway. It’s really OK.
Do you have any particular song that’s your favourite one?
No – not really. Ghost Hunt and Luscious Damned serves me well though. That’s the kinda shit I wanted to do from the beginning. Hank served it to me in a good manner.
How would you describe what kind of music Demonica plays?
Guess we’re just playing thrash metal, but with a twist. It doesn’t run in the same pace all the way. There’s some good music and musicianship to it as well.
Did you have a release party for the album? If so when and where did the party take place?
No we didn’t. Hank and I had a beer and that was it. We had a little party when we were all together after playing the shows in august at my place.
Have you read any reviews of DEMONSTROUS yet? What have the critics and media to say about it?
Over all pretty good in the international press. The Danish press sucks and I’m a thorn in their eye cause I’ve been a metal journalist my self for over 20 years and people have I shoe stuck up their ass. But they’re pretty much suckin’ up to Hank all of them! That’s funny.
Do you normally read and care about what the critics writes about you in the papers and on the internet?
Nope, not really. We haven’t had a lot of press at all, but any press is good press. Collectively we all love our shit in the band – that’s more than good enough for me as I’m playing/singing in a dream team band. I love it!
Did you feel any pressure of delivering something out of the ordinary with Demonica? I mean you are an icon within the music scene?
No he didn’t. We just do what we do.
Do you consider Demonica being an all-star act with the thought of the members of the band and what they have achieved?
Yeah. Its a dream team kinda outfit. It’s not a consideration. It’s a fact.
Have you experienced any differences in how the foreign press treats you and the band compared to how native press and media treats and writes about you?
As I said the Danish press alone, don’t like my vocals. Hilarious. Otherwise it’s all good.
Well, Demonica was formed by you and Hank Shermann. Was it hard to gather members to the band? Did you held audition to search after new members?
No auditions at al. Locicero and Grabowski was hand-picked and Craig brought Hernandez in. I was the only one Hank auditioned maybe. He liked it and went with it.
Who was the first member to join forces with you and Shermann?
Mr. Locicero on lead guitar.
Is the current line-up the original line-up?
That’s the one and only line-up. For now. No plans to change that.
Were you and Shermann friends of any of the other members prior to Demonica?
Yeah. I’d been in contact with Craig since ´89 and the old Forbidden days. Hank and Grabowski been friends for years too.
All of them huge Mercyful Fate fans of course.
Are all of the members solid members or are any of the other guys session musicians?
Nope. We’re a solid band with 5000 miles between us.
If the band is going out on tour are everyone on the album gonna tag along on the road?
Yep. That’s the deal, but pretty hard to execute sometimes. We’re not gonna just play a one off small club anywhere.
Shermann usually play twin guitar in the other bands you have been a part of. How is it to play together with guitarist Locicero do you think?
He loves it. They love it. And compliment each other very very well.
Besides you and Shermann are there only American musicians in Demonica. Was that the idea from the beginning or was it just a coincidence?
Yes it was. I wanted Craig in and Hank wanted Grabowski. There was only the question of the drummer? I talked to Paul Bostaph a couple of times and he was interested, but never followed up on it. Then Craig just brought in Hernandez, and we couldn’t have been in a better situation than that. Hernandez is the fuckin’ MASTER on his drums. He recorded all his songs in four days.
Did you try and musicians from Denmark for the band?
Not at all.
Was it hard to get a record deal for Demonica?
Nope. But it was hard to get a good one. Don’t think there is any good deals out there for a new band in out genre. Not even if your old metal icons. It’s all about playing live today and selling T-shirts.
How come you signed on for Massacre Records?
They we’re chosen cause of their earlier work with MF and KD.
Were there many labels that were interested in signing Demonica?
Yes. But no one serious enough.
You have been inked to many record labels throughout your long career so I know that you know what you’re talking about. Are you happy with the work the label have put into the promotion etc of DEMONSTROUS?
It still remains to be seen. We know nothing about it.
For how many albums are you signed for at Massacre Records?
Just this one.
Do you see any problems or difficulties in the fact that your label isn’t based in Denmark or America?
They could be our neighbours, we would still have the same problems or benefits.
DEMONSTROUS was recently released in Japan. How is the hype for the band and album over there?
No idea!? There was a interview in Burrn magazine, but it’s hard to tell, read and say. We will go play there as soon as there’s an opportunity! For sure.
Is the album released in North America yet? If not when will it be?
It’s out on Giddy Up Records – it sadly looks like they’re laying very low. But they’re working through RED and Sony music, so we can only hope they’ll pick it up soon!
Where did you record the album? Did you and Shermann record your parts in Denmark and the rest of the members in studios in America?
Yes. That’s how its done these days.
DEMONSTROUS was produced by Dave Otero how come you chose him to produce the album?
He’s situated in Denver. A friend of Grabowski and he produced Corruptions CD. First and only one. He’s doing a lot of death metal outfits, so he kinda got that edge into our thrash that we wanted. Good choice.
Have you worked with him before? What is his strongest feature as producer?
Only Corruption. New blood. We could’ve chosen Andy Sneap or one of those guys who’s doing everything these days, but wanted something else.
With thought of that you recorded the album in different studios where did Otero do his job?
In his studio! Flatline Audio. Denver / Colorado.
Did any of the members participate during the mixing process or did Otero do that on his own?
He got all our files and did what he does by him self. The bass was recorded directly there, so Marc could’ve into some of the process.
Otherwise Dave had free hands.
Do you think that you’re gonna work with Otero in the future?
You never know.
Hank Shermann were a part of the band Force Of Evil at the beginning of 2000 what happened with that band? Are they still active?
Force of Evil have been laid to rest.
Demonica have recorded a video to the song “Demon Class” what is it about? What can you tell us about the video?
Again recorded in three different cities and produced and edited by myself and Hank on a zero $ budget.
We did some shoots for Luscious Damned in august. That might turn out a little bit more interesting!
Has it been picked up by any tv-channels?
Not as far as we know! Nope.
You also put out the song “Demon Class” on your MySpace site how did the fans react on that song?
Everybody went shitfaced. Haha.. Think they liked it.
Has it been a huge interest towards Demonica within the metal scene do you think?
Not more than we could hope for. A little less actually. But we’re just a little band having to work our way up…
Does the band have any plans on going out on tour soon?
Nope. We got our eyes and ears open and people working for us in the business. Something will come up as long as it doesn’t clash with Forbidden and their plans.
If Demonica is going out on tour do you think it’s gonna be hard to get the band members avaliable and free from the other bands/projects that they are involved in?
Yes pretty much. And we knew that from the beginning.
Do you have any festival show booked for the summer?
Yeah. We did Alcatraz metalfest in Belgium.
Is Demonica a band or a project?
It’s very much a band.
Which territory is your main priority at the moment? Is it the European or the Asian market?
It’s the North American market!
Demonica has got a great MySpace site and you’re also active on Facebook and twitter as well as the studio blog you write. Do you think it’s important to be active on the internet?
Very important. Just gotta update it once in a while. It all drowns out there with so many cool bands out.
What’s the pros and cons with the internet music wise do you think?
It’s a double edged sword today. People get your music for free with downloading. Just gotta sell more tickets and T-shirts, but we were never in it for the money. Not this time at least ha ha. We’re here to kick ass on metal… old-school way.
When can we expect to find the next Demonica album out in stores?
If we’re lucky in 2012 maybe. With Hanks speed of making music.
I would like to say 2011, but we gotta see where DEMONSTROUS takes us first.
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy DEMONSTROUS?
Intensity – Musicianship and diversity – We’re DEMONICA !
Do you think that the old hardcore fans of Hank Sherman are gonna appreciate the music of Demonica?
We certainly hope so. It seems like they do.
Well this interview is soon about to end but finally I would like to ask if you have any words of wisdom to share with the readers and fans?
Not really. Hope you like Demonica as much as we do.
Don’t let anyone dictate what you listen to…live, love and die for!
But be ready for resistance. Word… ha ha.
Metal up… and thanks to you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. We at metal-rules.com wish you all the best in the future and good luck with Demonica and DEMONSTROUS!
Thank you for take the time to do this