Interviews: Hell Valley High

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Heavy Rock band Hell Valley High from the Netherlands. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

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

While brainstorming for band names we looked at some things we liked and if we could somehow put in a cheeky reference. We thought of the Back To The Future movie(s), which we all loved growing up, and still do. Marty McFly grew up in an area called Hill Valley. In the alternative, a dystopian timeline where Biff Tannen is in charge, Marty goes back and there’s a vandalized sign of Hill Valley, changed into Hell Valley. We liked that name. It turned out another band did too, so we added “High” to it, as a reference to Hill Valley’s high school. We felt the band name suited the music and it stuck.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

The band was started by Eelco (guitar), Wouter (drums), and Niels (bass). We were without a band at the time and wanted to play music together. While all had a very broad musical taste, there was something we all shared. During the first rehearsal, they prepared “Evil Eye” by Fu Manchu and “Children Of The Grave” by Black Sabbath. That went down well, and we started writing songs in that style.

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

Wouter and Eelco have been playing together in bands for over 25 years. Their last band, Note to Amy, broke up but they wanted to still play music together. Eelco has known Niels for years as well and was talking to him about starting a new band when Note to Amy was on its last legs. The idea was to start a grunge band. When Note to Amy quit, and Niels’ band Apehanger also folded, the time seemed right. After jamming together through the COVID years, Eelco brought on Damir (guitar) - whom he had known for a few years then. Damir used to sing and play guitar in bands like Allunderage and Junkyard Safari, which Eelco released on his own label White Russian Records. No one knew our singer Mark before he joined the band, but he fit right in and was exactly what the band wanted and needed!

4. Each band member's favorite band?

E: Bad Religion, Beatles, Black Sabbath, Lucy Dacus (and Boygenius). There are too many. From Napalm Death to Golden Earring and from Taylor Swift to Ella Fitzgerald and everything in between.

W: Bad Religion, Nasum, Kyuss, Death, Entombed, Martyrdöd, Fu Manchu, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Benighted, Good Riddance, Watain, Alkaline Trio, The Hellacopters

D: NOFX, Propagandhi

N: Type O Negative

M: Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Reuben and Down

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Inspiration can come from many things, a hook or melody in a certain song (in whatever genre), a feeling, a smell, a certain vibe, a line in a book. It just pops up. When we get together in a rehearsal room we take someone’s riff or idea and just start working on it together. Everyone brings out the best in each other, so an initial idea can often change completely. It’s an organic work in progress and it takes a while before a song reaches its final shape - but once it does; it’s great!

6. Where was your last gig?

Depends on when you’re reading this! We are documenting all our shows on, so have a look there, see what songs we played - and let us know where you would like to see us next!

7. Where would you like to act?

Anywhere where the people are nice, the fridge is full, the catering is good and the stage is ready to be rocked. We’ve all played in bands for so long that we covered most Dutch venues. We would love to play some festivals and see and meet other bands and play our music for people who don’t know us yet. Something like Desertfest or Roadburn would be great!

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

We’d love to have Tony Iommi, Brant Bjork, and John Garcia featured on our songs.

9. Whom not?

Exclusion is a form of bullying.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

There’s a healthy dose of nerves before a show when there’s more than only friends and family in the audience. But once you start playing and hit that first note and realize you’re on stage with your (best) friends - you can take on the world, so certainly the crowd in front of you is nothing to worry about! Just let it happen and enjoy it. And don’t worry about mistakes, every musician makes them and while you notice every mundane detail - the audience won’t. They often don’t even know your songs (yet), so they can’t tell if that chorus should’ve been played twice or not! Also; enthusiasm compensates for a lot!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Musically, in the same genre, that would be bands like Fu Manchu, Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Alice In Chains, and Truckfighters - the usual stoner rock and heavier grunge-type bands. But let’s not forget about bands like AC/DC (for their tightness), Smashing Pumpkins (for their guitar sound), or Motörhead (for their volume). There are a lot of bands that influence everyone.

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

Eelco; in my previous band, while on tour in the Czech Republic, the promoter/bar owner offered me to go home with his mom to sleep with her. If I wanted I could leave with her, or take her to the hotel. He would arrange it and it would be fine, he said. It didn’t happen of course.

13. What do you think of your fans?

So far everyone has been super positive and supportive. We haven’t been an active band for that long and only have a handful of shows under our belt and only one single - but the responses have been awesome and surpassing our expectations.

14. What do you think of our site?

Really great site with a lot of information on new and undiscovered bands from all over the globe. An awesome platform to learn about what’s going on in the outskirts of metal and all of its subgenres.

15. Something to add?

Whenever you have the chance, come and see us play live, listen to our songs, and let us know what you think! And be sure to follow us on Instagram for news on new releases and shows!

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