Interviews: HELLEVATE


On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Heavy Metal band HELLEVATE from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Hellevate means Elevating Hell, or raising Hell. Dan came up with the name. I'll be honest and tell you that I didn't get it for a while. Oops!

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

It's the music that I love the most, and the one that comes most natural to me. I listen to a lot of stuff and like a lot of stuff, but thrash and power metal are always what I come back to.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Well, Dan the guitarist and RJ the drummer are brothers, so yeah, they did. I met Hellevate a couple of months before I joined. A band I was in at the time opened for them a few times and we became friends. Their other guitarist left and they asked me to join. We met our current vocalist Erik at a jam night. We played a bunch of classic metal songs, noticed he was really good, and he offered to jam with us some more. We needed a singer and it all fell into place. 

4. Each band member favorite band?

My personal favorite bands are Exodus, Heathen, and Blind Guardian. Erik's are Judas Priest, Fates Warning, Helloween, Deep Purple, and Anthrax, Zack's are Dethklok, Warbringer, and Municipal Waste, RJ's are Dream Theater, Kataklysm, Primal Fear, and Dan's are Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, and Manowar. 

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Musically it's just the riff. Always trying to come up with cool riffs, and to outdo yourself with the next one. It isn't good enough if you don't get the stank face when you hear it. Lyrically it's a lot more complicated. In my band, the singer writes most of the lyrics, but I write some nowadays. I like writing songs about politics, social commentary, and historical atrocities. Stuff about how crappy humans can be, you know, typical thrash metal stuff. Erik does a lot of stuff about fantasy and storytelling. His stuff can be quite evil and demented, and the worldbuilding is always so well-done. The stories are always so vivid. 

6. Where was your last gig?

Here in our hometown, we opened for Tyr. It was a fantastic show and they were so good. We've slowed down a bit since then to get our next release done. We released Krampusnacht as a teaser of sorts, we've got 5 more songs we're almost done with. We're playing with Ross the Boss in February, and after that, we're gonna try to book really heavily. 

7. Where would you like to act?

Anywhere, everywhere. We're always down to play any show or take any opportunity. Early last year we were in a short film about a band that writes exclusively about Thanksgiving. Anything that lets us do our thing and gives us something to promote and talk about.

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Again, not too picky. I personally would love to work with anybody from Exodus or Blind Guardian. It's a band wide dream to work with Manowar! 

9. Whom not?

We have a pretty high tolerance for BS, and in our experience, most people are alright, or at least tolerable. We've had some bad experiences, and heard some bad things about others, but I don't want to out them so I'll leave it at that. 

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Can't say I ever have. I'm always incredibly excited to be on stage! The bigger, the better too. My advice is to be well-rehearsed and try to channel that fright into resolve. Go for it, give it your all, and kick ass. You'll be surprised how high the tolerance is for mistakes live. I've had some stinkers of sets and nobody except for me noticed. 

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Quite a few bands! My two favorites are Exodus and Blind Guardian. Exodus has been a big influence on me in a variety of ways. The guitar tone, rhythm playing, songwriting, etc. Blind Guardian is the band that got me into power metal and melodic metal in general. I learned a lot about songwriting and how to stitch parts together fluidly from them. Another shout-out to Queensryche too! Operation: Mindcrime was life-changing for me. It's a masterclass in the importance of both the chorus and the rhythm section.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

One story that sticks out in my head is after our set at a death metal fest in Texas. Early Hellevate was more of a death/thrash joint compared to our more thrash/power flair we've got now. Even after I had joined the band and we had moved into more melodic territory we were still getting booked for death metal fests and shows. We roll up to the hotel after our set, and a dude comes out and says, "why doesn't your singer growl?" We explained several times that he sings and that just our style, but he refused to listen, just repeating over and over, "why doesn't he growl?" It's a bit existential when you think about it, really.  

13. What do you think of your fans?

Love them! You guys are great! Anyone who takes the time to listen to something we've created is a great person in my book! Thanks so much you guys!

14. What do you think of our site?

Killer! It's an awesome resource for finding new groups and bringing the music scene together. 

15. Something add? 

Check out our new single Krampusnacht, which comes with a re-recording of our song Prepare for War. You can check them out at https://hellevate.bandcamp.com/, and they'll soon be on streaming! Hit us up on Facebook and Instagram and give us a like! If you dig what you hear, we have an EP coming out in a few more months that'll be even more of it!

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