The Hellfreaks – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TH: We are The Hellfreaks, a female fronted 4-piece punk rock metal band from Budapest.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TH: We’re THE HELLFREAKS, a band from Hungary, which is in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. We’re a punk rock metal band and are pretty unique in our country. There are very few bands that play rock music with a girl at the front but definitely no punk rock bands with a female singer Somehow, with a bit of luck and a hell of a lot of work, we’ve managed to play way more shows over the border than in Hungary. We’ve played over 250 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.
Our only original band member is our singer, Sue who literally grew up with this band. Not only has the line up changed, but also the music . It started as a hobby band, with music that was way more ’billy influenced that has now climbed so many levels that we’re able to do our modern influenced punk rock with a portion of metal thrown in that we call our own. We’ve released 4 albums and a few videoclips, which together have accumulated more than 7 million views. We’re very happy about how things turned out but we’re certainly far from the finish line!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TH: We’re all kids of rock’n roll. All of us have other heroes: starting with me, who comes from an underground rock scene, Gabi, who is an extremely educated musician who grabbed his bass first as a child cause he wanted to be like Flea and our drummer Béla and guitarist Jozzy are metalheads. So the musical influence came from our roots and combined all of that.
We’re not old, but old enough to understand that time is ticking away, it runs out like sand in our hands and if we don’t use it wisely, we will waste the most valuable thing in our life: time. Our lyrics are kind of a shout out for the right questions or even better, to have our own questions. A shout out to your brain, to use it wisely, to be aware of the right things and to feel the weight of the responsibility of your decisions of the things you do and of the things you say. So all in all, we would say our biggest inspiration is to be able to inspire people, to make the best of their time!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TH: To do what we love – this band, this music – full time. Right now we all live a kind of double-life. We have the band, but we all have another life where we actually make the necessary income to pay our bills. If one day we could focus all of our time and energy into this band, we would be the happiest people in the world!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TH: When it comes to the instrumental part, our head of operations is our bass player Gabi. Of course also our guitarist Jozzy and our drummer Béla give their input to the songs but the main bricks are always laid by Gabi, who writes the song in a tiny little room at his home.
When it comes to the vocal melodies and lyrics, it is all on my desk. This is always the second step of a song. First the instrumental part is written, just after that comes my part.
We’ve written more than 50 songs with the band so far. If I was to sum up the messages in just a couple of sentences here, it would make me really sad to see that I might be wasting my time on something I’m really not good at. But luckily I can’t.
Every album has its own “atmosphere” because each of them are a little “mirror piece” from the time in my life when it was written and as time goes by, my life changes. So does my lyrics.
While writing the last album, I also have to deal with my real-life job. I work a lot in the social media field, with influencers, vloggers, etc. Of course this has it’s fun side but on the other hand, messages like “you are all perfect”, “everyone has a talent” and “find your inner shine” just choke me. It feels like a pool of clichés, wrapped in nice packaging that’s being pushed down my throat. I would say the songs on the upcoming album are against this “smile or die” attitude.
Lyrically focused on imperfection. It’s about our own imperfections and those of our surroundings. It’s about the feeling of drowning and standing our ground to win the fight at the same time. It’s a mix of honest thoughts vocally and instrumentally. We merge metal, punk, rock music and maybe even a bit of hardcore. Something which seems impossible to categorize even though we know that most people just NEED categories to know what to think of it … But we’ll never fit in and this is one of our best qualities and that’s what we want to share with the audience: don’t force yourself to fit in. Doesn’t matter what the topic is.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TH: In my daily life, I work in online marketing, so I could write hundreds of pages about this topic. When it comes to marketing, we do a lot by ourselves. We use facebook and instagram, we use online ads to highlight some of our events, we use newsletters, we have a homepage, we use YouTube, upload videos regularly, we use Spotify and their marketing tools. We work together with local PR Agents in countries that are especially important for us. We have a street team called Fckn Freak Crew who are spreading the word online. We’re doing interviews on and offline, we’re doing radio interviews as well … we’re doing EVERYTHING.
But to sum it up: this is the part of band life that isn’t fun at all but which has to be done to be heard. And this makes up a huge part of being a musician today.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TH: There has to be positive and negative aspects of course: the music itself is not making money anymore, but you can be easily heard in any corner of the world thanks to the internet. At least if we are talking about music streaming. When it comes to downloads, it’s a bit better for bands because they will get at least something out of it. Of course this something quickly turns to zero when we speak about illegal downloads. But the world is changing and digital music distribution is THE way to get heard, doesn’t matter if artists like it or not.
If you want to support a band directly, go and buy their merch because that’s the only way to make sure that the band really receives your support. And whether you like it or not, in the days where you as a band additionally need to release music videos on a regular basis as well to get recognized, bands disappear quickly if they can’t come up with the necessary financial support which is sad, because talent has nothing to do with money. Unfortunately to get heard in this day and age, it has more and more to do with it.
I guess the point is that making good music is not enough. There are way more channels where you can be heard than ever before: Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and millions of digital music providers, but more option means bigger competition. Next to your music you need to be able to stand out somehow and that part is a lot of work which has very little to do with music.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TH: There are many … I pick Major System Error from Marmozets. This song is perfect in every aspect.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TH: I suffer from misophonia, which means that the sound of people chewing, slurping or humming can drive me into a rage in a split second. Of course I have this under control, but it makes some situations way more complicated for me than it should be.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TH: I’m very proud of our new album God On The Run and I’m very proud to be surrounded by so many unbelievably good, educated and talented musicians like my bandmates.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TH: We just released our new album on German Sunny Bastard Records, so of course whatever comes this year, it can’t be as important for us as the release itself was. Beside playing shows and sharing our songs on stage, we’ve already started to work on new songs. We’ll see if there’s anything that we’re able to share by the end of the year but the number one priority for us right now is to get God On The Run heard by as many people as possible!
Get on Cd or LP directly from the band:
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
TH: You can expect loud rock music, sweat, headbanging, honesty and a show without any pauses. But to use the words of someone who has actually seen our show from the outside – “At the beginning of your show I thought I would go out to the bar to catch a beer when it goes down a little, but now your show is over and I’m thirsty as hell!”
Stay tuned about our shows here https://thehellfreaks.com/upcoming-gigs and follow us, like us, subscribe to our YouTube channel as there is so much coming right now and we hope to see you all someday personally at a Hellfreaks show!
The Hellfreaks links:
Band/Artist location – Budapest Hungary
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