HELL – FAQ
1. Where is HELL from and when was the band founded?
The band were formed back in early 1982 and were based in Derbyshire/ Nottinghamshire UK.
2. In which other bands have the musicians played before…any success story?
Hell were made up of Dave Halliday (ex Race Against Time) on Vocals and Guitar, Kev Bower and Tony Speakman (ex Paralex) on Guitar and Bass respectively and Tim Bowler (ex Overdrive) on drums. Race Against Time released one track on the underground New Electric Warriors compilation album and Paralex released their much sought after White Lightning EP (on green Vinyl no less!)
3. What is behind the Metallica Story?
I’m presuming you are refering to them talking about covering a Paralex track when they were thinking of which songs to use on the Garage Days ep. Lars mentioned it a while back. Paralex were also featured on the compilation album that Geoff Barton and Lars compiled a couple of years ago. So that’s all really.
4. Why did the band split up?
The band signed to Mausoleum Records back in 1984/85, who then went bankrupt. This happen over a one year period of the band being kept in limbo and by the time it had all fallen through band members were in debt, dissolusioned and disinterested. Kev quit to be replaced by one of Daves guitar students Shaun Kelly, but a year later they disbanded and unfortunately early 87 Dave Halliday took his own life.
5. How did the band come together again?
After Dave died, everyone went separate way. Kev totally gave up on music as did Tim. Tony kept playing in local bands and I met both Tim and Tony again about 10 years ago and ofcourse we’d always talk about old times and the band. It was only when we managed to find Kev 3 years ago through his son being into metal and liking bands I’d produced that we had this crazy idea of recording the old material. We didn’t really think what we were doing at the time, it was more like an old boys convention where we’d have a few beers and record a bit at a time when I was available. But it really brought us all together again and has actually been a tremendous amount of fun. I think the results speak for themselves.
6. Why did the band found together 24 years later?
Its just been a natural thing, we’d all lost touch and like I said above, it was through finding kev again we started to think we could do this.
7. Are the songs from HUMAN REMAINS the original songs from the past?
Yes they are all from the 80s. A few tiny tweeks arrangement wise to streamline them a little bit but in general they are very true to the originals.
8. Are there any new songs on the album?
No, not on this one. The next album will see 50% old an 50% new and we have big plans for that already.
9. What is the difference from the production between the past and today?
If you are refering to the demos, they were mono this is stereo…I’m not kidding either. We could get into the whole analogue , digital debate. What I tried to achieve on this album was an honest recording of these songs. We took almost an old school approach, no cutting and pasting, heads down see you at the end but still obviously as tight as we could get it. People have commented on the production being more organic than my usual productions but really its down to the song writing and style of playing than anything I’m doing.
10. How long did you work on the HUMAN REMAINS production and what have been the most difficult points?
Its been on and off over the last 3 years. Basically whenever I had a spare weekend I’d call the guys up and say right lets get to it. If you combine all the time up, including mix its probably taken 10 weeks. There wasn’t really difficult points, the hardest bit was saying that’s it….its done, because an album is never finished.
11. Have you used exactly the same song structures from the past, or did you write some new parts on some of the songs, If yes why?
Just a couple of tiny bits because we felt the original idea was too weak or we maybe added a harmony or shortened a riff. Not a lot though.
12. Will HELL go on tour or is it only an album project?
Yes we are hoping to, summer festivals are being booked and we are looking into autumn/fall european dates.
13. Can we expect a new HELL album in the future or is it only a unique story?
Oh no, theres a lot more to come. Like I said earlier, Kev gave up on music and now he’s rediscovered it the ideas are really flowing. I also have a huge stock pile of riffs and ideas and Dave Bower is also a talented guitar player. Tony has a couple of ideas he keeps mentioning too so I think we are well into album 3 by now.
14. Who was the producer of the video clip and what else have he done?
Kristian Havard is an old friend of mine from Sabbat days. He was the guitar player in the band Xentrix who supported Sabbat back in the late 80s. He’s had a video production company running for quite a while now, so I mixed his new band Hellfighter and he returned the favour with the video. Nice way of doing things actually. He’s filmed stuff for Megadeth, Roadrunner, Accept, Cradle Of Filth etc and he’s an old school metal guy so he knew what were were trying to do.
15. There are two new band members, you and the new singer, where did you find David Bower and what did he do before?
Well we found him at under the same roof as Kev. Davids actually a proffesional actor/lunatic who has appeared in a few of the UK soaps and also Othello in London with the comedian Lenny Henry. By nature hes a Tenor but we got him down to do the voice over in Plague and Fyre and its when I got him to sing some backing vocals I realised the missing piece to the puzzle was right under our noses.
16. Why did you choice him, is he an old fan of the band?
Well with his brother being the guitar player yes I guess so, but he’d also seen the band maybe 15 times back in the day so he knew exactly what the band was all about.
17. Actually a lot of old metal pioneers are celebrating big success stories, bands like ACCEPT, IRON MAIDEN, KREATOR, SODOM, etc. what do you think is the secret of this success?
I think the scenes getting a bit saturated with the new stuff and people hark back to the old days where it was more about classic song writing rather than the latest hair cut and 7 string single note riff. I think back then, people really believed in metal, it really came from the heart. Labels are partly to blame, I think schedules have become too predictable. I wont put another HELL album out until we are 100% happy with it. Bands are too rushed these days and I think it doesn’t help bands develop.
18. What is the reason that star producer ANDY SNEAP is going back on the stage?
Deep down, I always have been a guitarist its just plan B kinda worked out for me. I must admit, I’m pretty bored with sitting on my ass in the studio all day, so now I’ve been given the chance to do this I’m 100% in, its fun. It may cost me some money and a couple of albums I could have done, but you know what, I don’t care, playing to me is priceless.
19. What is the story behind the album title?
Kev came up with that, I guess due to the fact we have all the remaining humans we possibly could have from the original line up. I don’t think Tony classes as a whole human though, there seems to be bits of him missing from the old days.
20. The first press quotes are amazing, how is the reaction from the band and how do you handle this?
Its quite humbling actually. We knew it was good but had no idea how people would take it. Its always a bit of a nervous time when you release an album but always very satisfying when the opinions across the board are universally positive. It just confirms we have done the right thing, which after all the hard work, upset and time gone by for these guys is a truly wonderful feeling.