Interview sur Metal Maidens - Juin 2008

The new "Ghost Riders" of French Old School Thrash Metal

 

HEMORAGY have just delivered their first full-length album “Jesus King Of Wine”, which received 9/10 on metalmaidens.com. All the more reason to introduce these French thrash metallers to you, who have a highly skilled female bass player in their ranks, called ‘Basstarde' Lynda Siewicz. Metal Maidens talked to Lynda over the e-mail and here's what we found out for you… So, ladies and gents: jump into the bestial pit and gallop to France with the new kings of thrash metal!

When was HEMORAGY founded and can you please introduce the band members to us?
Lynda Siewicz: "Hello everybody! HEMORAGY was founded in 2002. We released a four track demo in 2003 and our MCD “First Blood” came out in 2004. “Jesus King Of Wine” is our first full-length CD. HEMORAGY consists of the two brothers Johannes Musslin on vocals/guitar and Steve Musslin on drums, Ivan Sikic on guitar and myself, Lynda Siewicz, a.k.a. ‘Basstarde' on bass guitar. We play some kind of heavy thrash'n'roll with influences from the eighties."

Who came up with the name HEMORAGY and why did you actually choose this name?
Lynda: "We chose this name, because it sounds like a real metal name. We didn't take a ‘pretty birds or flowers' name for example. We had thought about the name MUTULATION at first, but it was already taken, so HEMORAGY was a cool replacement."

Do you have a steady line-up at the moment and do you also play in other bands, next to HEMORAGY?
Lynda: "In fact, HEMORAGY was and still is a very solid trio: Johannes, Steve and I. We have changed from second guitarist several times. We really wanted to find a cool guy and good musician, that would fit in with our mentality and the way we work. Luckily, those days are gone now, since we have found Ivan. Actually, each member of HEMORAGY is extremely dedicated. None of us plays in other bands, because we realize that one band already demands a lot of work and an investment of more than 100%. "

How would you describe the music of HEMORAGY yourself?
Lynda: "Hmm. I think, we play a mix of thrash old school heavy metal and some rock'n' roll. "

Is it still possible to be original in a time, when there's an overflow of bands? And in which aspect does HEMORAGY differ from the rest of all these other bands?
Lynda: "Strangely enough, we only know a very few bands in our country (almost none), that plays the same style as ours. Most of them are more into extreme metal, like death, black or thrash/death. What makes HEMORAGY sound different, could be our touch of rock'n'roll. I don't know. I really don't ask myself these questions, because we don't follow any trends or play what is fashionable."

Who can we see as your musical influences and maybe you can also name some influences of each band member individually?
Lynda: "Regarding Johannes, Steve and I, our muscial influences are: BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, MOTORHEAD, TED NUGENT, THIN LIZZY, MEGADETH, SLAYER, ANNIHILATOR, OZZY, METAL CHURCH, DIO, EXODUS, ACCEPT and DEATH. Ivan's musical influences are all of the aforementioned bands, plus MORBID ANGEL and some other technical death metal bands."

How did the press react on your debut album so far?
Lynda: "We have had several reviews for “Jesus King Of Wine” and roughly they're OK, except that some of the reviewers have criticized the sound on the CD. I will explain more about it in your next question. And we got some very cool remarks about the CD cover!"

Were there any negative reactions as well, and how do you deal with negative criticism in general?
Lynda: "Well, the main negative criticism concerns the sound. First of all, I would like to point out to the fact, that some reviewers expect a stereotype of sound. Therefore, when they listen to us, it's different and the songs are being ignored.. But it's true, that we had a low budget for recording and we would sound much more powerful without being modern, if we had more money to spend! However, we will consider some of these remarks and work hard to improve these points."

Can you tell us how you created the songs and ideas for this album? Please tell us about the writing process and all its different stages...
Lynda: "About the way we create our songs… First of all, Johannes composes the guitar parts. Then we come into the picture and put our parts to it and modify some elements here and there. Right now, Steve has begun to compose some funny song - hehe! In general, the ideas for our songs come from our own stupidity!"

Why did you release the album independently? Didn't you want to be rejected by a record label or do you want to hold all the cards in your own hands, so you don't have to make concessions about how it would sound?
Lynda: "We prefer doing everything by ourselves! As you said, we like to hold all cards in our own hands, because then it sounds exactly the way how you want it to be! On the other hand, if a label wants to help us in any way, that's OK, of course!"

Wasn't it extremely difficult to do everything by yourself, and what was the most difficult part in the making, recording and releasing of “Jesus King Of Wine”?
Lynda: "No, I don't think, it's difficult to do everything yourself. It's just work! If you can be serious for a little while, too among monkeys, you can do great job! Composing “Jesus King Of Wine” was OK and recording the album went great as well, although we spend a certain amount of time on mixing it. Releasing the album went fine, too and we were able to find some distributors."

Who writes the lyrcis for HEMORAGY and what are they about?
Lynda: "I'm writing the lyrics together with Johannes now. We get our inspiration from our own stupidity, what we hear in the band or what we live and see. We don't talk about politics, religion or stuff like that. All we write about has to deal with the metal mentality and some interesting stories of an imaginary character! Regarding our ideas for “Jesus King Of Wine”: we always thought, that Jesus was a metalhead and a superstar!"

Maybe there are a few songs, that you would like to explain a little bit more? (For example, what can you tell about “How Many Time To Compose It?”)
Lynda: “How Many Time To Compose It?” is the only song, that figures out our feelings towards ‘big hit singles'we see or hear through the media. These songs only contain one chord and most of these artists aren't even true musicians! ‘Unbutton your shirt' and the audience shows up and you win the jackpot!! Nonsense!!!"

Who was responsible for the artwork on your CD? Why did you choose for this painting?
Lynda: "The artwork of “Jesus King Of Wine” was done by JP Fournier. We came up with the ideas and he transformed it into visual art. We chose him for the quality of his work and we are very satisfied indeed!"

The CD cover suggests, that we're dealing with a relious band or a band with a religious background. Is HEMORAGY a religious band of some kind?
Lynda: "Haha, of course not! You'll notice, that Jesus, who's pictured in the middle of the cover, is a metalhead, who multiplies beer and wine! And all around him, there is a horde of amazed metalheads!! Our tipsy and proud Jesus preaches the good words!! A guy, that multiplies beer and wine, don't you think he's a cool guy?!?"

In which way does “Jesus King Of Wine” differ from your previous album “First Blood”?
Lynda: "I think, the songs on “Jesus King Of Wine” are more technical than on “First Blood”. And there are more guitar solos, too and some really shine here and there. But in a way, it's quite normal that your songs improve over the years, as we get more experienced!"

Have you got any idea how many copies you sold so far?
Lynda: "I think, we sold about three hundred copies of “Jesus King Of Wine” until now and we also sold some during our live shows in France."

Where can people buy your CD? Please promote your CD here for free!!
Lynda: "You can buy our CD and HEMORAGY merchandise via our website http://www.hemoragy.com. Just send us an e-mail at: groupehemoragy@hemoragy.com or buy the album at Pure Steel Records (Gr), Brennus (F), Thundering Records (F), Emanes Records (F) or some shops here in France."

What's your favorite HEMORAGY song and why?
Lynda: "My favorite song would be “Ghost Riders”, because I like the atmosphere at the beginning of the song and the mid-tempo most of the time. And during our live shows, people seem to appreciate “Ghost Riders” most of all, too!"

How important is the internet for a band like HEMORAGY and where can people find you on the net?
Lynda: "The internet is a very important source for us and every other band in particular. It's the best way to promote yourself as a band through your website and webpage, and also via metal forums and webzines! It's a gate, that is available to all countries all over the world. As a matter of fact, we mainly work via the internet to do our promotion. You can find us on http://www.hemoragy.com and http://www.myspace.com/hemoragy. And thanks to the e-mail, we can answer all of your questions!"

Do you handle all the internet stuff yourself or do you outsource this job?
Lynda: Like I said, we do everything ourselves and we try to promote our band on each website! It's a very time-consuming job, but I like it very much. On the other hand, you also have people talking about you on some forums and that's pretty cool, too!


Do you have other hobbies or interests besides playing in a band?
Lynda: "No, I'm a tyrant! Everybody has to work and live for the band - haha! Well, we all love motorcycles, because we are all bikers! And ‘certain' people like to play stupid computer games!"

What can people expect from your live shows?
Lynda: "A very cool rock'n'roll moment, where you can headbang to death! Plus there are a few other surprises during our shows, which I won't tell, otherwise it will spoil the fun!!"

Do you use any show elements during your live gigs?
Lynda: "Yeah, of course! It's a way to have a lot of fun! At the moment, you can see Jesus on stage, dancing and multiplying wine!"

Do you play any cover songs at your shows, and if yes, which covers do you play live?
Lynda: "Yes, we do play some covers on stage, like “Ace of Spades” (MOTORHEAD), “Holy Wars” (MEGADETH) and “Breaking the Law” (JUDAS PRIEST)."

With which bands did you share the stage already?
Lynda: "We did a lot of shows with our pals, but none yet with any well-known international bands, if that is what you mean."

Are there any funny stories to tell about things that happened on stage or being ‘on the road'?
Lynda: "Yes, there are some funny anecdotes to tell, like when Steve tried to climb a church to spread the good word!"

With which band would you like to go on tour, if you could pick any band of your choice?
Lynda: "It would be really cool to go on tour with MEGADETH, MOTORHEAD, ANNIHILATOR or any cool thrash band for that matter!!"

What was your most important gig so far?
Lynda: "Hmm. I don't understand. Why would only one of our gigs be the most important? We always try to give our very best, no matter what the conditions are! And rock'n'roll forever!"

Did you already play outside France, and if yes, where and when was that?
Lynda: "Yes, we played in Belgium about four years ago. It was cool, but some Belgian people didn't seem to appreciate a French band! They didn't even bother to come and talk to us, as we speak French…Weird? Perhaps, but it's true. Maybe some of your Belgian readers can prove the contrary ?!? Please get in touch with us."

What's the metal scene like in France nowadays? Are there any good clubs where you can play live?
Lynda: "I think, in France there are a lot of extreme metal bands. It's hard to get a good gig with fair conditions. I don't know why, but it seems that France is the worst country for metal bands! Each week, there are one or two metal gigs, but less and less visitors are showing up each time. Of course you can visit many quality gigs in Paris, but those are only the huge names in metal! In France, you have a couple of very cool bars, like the Skull's Bar in Lyon, who organize some pretty cool gigs! You also have a great club in Paris, called La Loco, but it depends on who's organizing it! This club is only available for huge bands on tour or festivals. I don't know, what's going on in France right now. Maybe this is only a temporarily set-back and hopefully next year, it'll become much better. Let's keep our fingers crossed!"

What are the future plans for HEMORAGY (long and short term, please)?
Lynda: "Well, our plans right now are simple: to grab a beer and have a good party! (lol) As for the near future: we are working on our next album. And for the long term, I would say, I hope to be still alive-n-kicking!"

Lynda, do you think, that women in rock and metal still need some kind of recognition that ‘zines like Metal Maidens like to give to them?
Lynda: "It's true, that women in metal are still an uncommon thing, but the ones, who are there, are true female musicians! And of course it's good to know, that webzines like Metal Maidens give them some kind of recognition. But beware… Personnally, I think it's OK to give attention to true female metalheads, but I don't like women, who use their good looks to get famous! You must deserve your fame by being a real band member! Women are not only barbie dolls, that appear on nude photos on a metal website!"

Our online magazine is based in Holland (or the Netherlands), if you like. What else do you know about our country, besides the fact that we have colourful tulips and beautiful windmills?
Lynda: "Haha, yes indeed, that's the first image, that I have in my head. Unfortunately, we haven't been to your country just yet, but we have already met some Dutch friends, that like the calvas alchol!"

Are there any important gigs on the agenda for HEMORAGY?
Lynda: "Our next confirmed gig for the moment is a festival in France (Pierrelaye, 95) on September 20th with ADX, STILL SQUARE, MADAME GUILLOTINE, etc."

Do you have any goals set for HEMORAGY?
Lynda: "Yes, we are going to release a new album soon and do lots of gigs! And we are also trying to make our own beer - haha!"

What's the best thing about being in a band? And maybe there is negative side that you can mention here, too?
Lynda: "Being in a solid band engenders strength! and if you have got an idea, the opinion of others can certainly improve this idea! I think, there's not a negative side about being in a band, except when you have to manage the other drunk band members, while you are drunk, too!"

What are your plans for the next HEMORAGY album? Are you most likely going to release it independently or are you looking for a suitable record label to release your next album?
Lynda: "We are preparing for our next album as we speak and I think that we will release it independently! As soon as we are ready, we will release it and we don't want to wait for a suitable label… However, if there's a label out there, that wants to help us in any way, we are open for suggestions!"

Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
Lynda: "Hey you! How are you doing? Take a beer, while reading this interview! And go on attending concerts and supporting metal bands!"

Is there something you would like to add to this interview. Maybe there is something we forgot to mention here, that is essential for the story of HEMORAGY, so far? Maybe a last newsflash?
Lynda: "Not really, you did a good job!"

The last words in this interview are for Lynda, Johannes, Steve and HEMORAGY...
Lynda: "Thank you! We like to have the last words!! Long live rock'n roll and Jesus, king of wine, gives you a beer!"