Interview to HURTLOCKER
PRESENT YOURSELVES OUR READERS...
“Hurtlocker right now consist of Grant Belcher on vocals who is a founding member, Tim Moe on guitar who is a founding member. Dan Manzella on bass who played on the album, Pete Manzella on guitar who is recently added for more live sound , and Tim Vallaro who recently joined the band on drums, but the two mainstays are Grant and Tim who started the band.”
WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?
“Grant and myself started Hurtlocker back in 1998 and it was just out of the fact that we were tired of the music scene here in Chicago and wanted to play some music that we wanted to hear. Throught the years we have had a few line up changes for various reasons from performance, to expired visa’s to excessive drug usage but Grant and I have always kept the band moving forward or atleast moving at all, with plenty of down time. We really started recording demos and pushing in the last 2 years.”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...
“It was a bad time for metal here in Chicago and we were tired of these bands that were claiming to be metal and weren’t delivering so we set out to play and record music we liked. Shortly after getting some songs written and shows booked we realized that our drummer at the time wasn’t going to be able to stay with the band, so we moved on. The next drummer we got was here in the states on a student visa and that ran out after a year of jamming with him. We bounced around drummers after that till we got Dan Ditella to sit in for a while but that too has come to an end and we have replaced him with Tim Vallaro.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?
“Most of our previous recordings were done at studio one in racine Wisconsin with Chris Djuricic from the band jungle rot, the only thing we didn’t record with him was some stuff we recorded on a home studio. We did 4 demos, the murder demo, the suicide demo, begging for hatred demo and the reflection of desperation demo which was the one that eventually got us signed with Napalm Records.”
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
“We have a good and loyal following here in our home town of Chicago, and have started to branch out into other areas here, we feel the more we get out and play the better. The thing with this type of music is that there is very few places to spread the word about your self without playing live as , radio and tv are very down on metal bands for the most part, with the exception of like headbangers ball and fuse tv and a few radio stations.”
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
“Grant and I have always found a way to get things moving, even in down time we would keep the faith so to speak that things were going to work out for us and that is the drive we have as a band and expect from our fans.”
ANY INTRODUCING WORDS FOR "FEAR IN A HANDFUL OF DUST"?
“On fear in a handful of dust we wanted to knock people out right from the start. We sat around while we were writing this album and said, ok lots of bands are taking this approach and we wanted to distance ourselves from them the best we could. The whole album was written with that in mind just don’t sound like the rest of the bands out there today and I think when you listen to it you hear a lot of music that we are insired by be it thrash or death or even hardcore.”
THE SOUND IS QUITE THRASHY AND POWERFUL, RIGHT?
“Yes and like I said that was the idea we had, this was our first album and we wanted people to hear this and be shocked that this is what we were playing. Not that it’s shocking as a music but with all the bands that have gone the way of putting clean vocals in songs with distorted vocals we wanted to crush.”
THE MAIN ASPECTS OF YOUR SOUND?
“The songs were written by me , I wrote everything and Grant wrote all the lyrics and that’s just the way it has been. My main influence comes from Slayer and the old bay area thrash scene and the earily florida deathmetal scene so that’s how the music gets it sound and then you add Grants vocals to the mix that add a more hardcore feel to sone of the stuff, and Grants influence comes from Ozzy and Pantera and mike patton, and this is what you get.”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
“The production was handled by Zuess from Planet Z studios. We recorded the tracks here in Chicago at Engine studios and Grant and I were very worried about the way some of the things sounded, mostly drum tracks. We flew out to Zuess’s studio and in a matter of meeting him and sitting down with him we were put at ease. The guy is amazing and deserves all the credit he get. He basically saved the album, kind of like a shot of steroids to the music.”
ANY PARTICULAR CONCEPT CONCERNING THE ALBUM?
“Nothing other than the fact that we wanted it heavy with a no letting up attitude and if you don’t like it get out the way because we aren’t stopping for nobody. The songs are just the way they are, Grant will write about anything that is bothering him at that given moment and he will hold nothing back. He uses his lyrics as a therapy if you will , but there is no theme to the album as a whole.”
WHAT'S THE MOOD OF IT?
“Angry, we are angry and if you don’t get that from listening to the album you have missed our point all together. I wish I could say something else but the only word that comes to mind is anger.”
THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?
“I think it’s the fact that we have worked many different genres of music into the songs from thrash to death to hardcore that on any given song there is something for every metal head out there. Many of the songs jump from on to the other and people have told us that’s one of the things they like about our music.”
WHAT'S ABOUT THE FEEDBACK?
“The reviews on the album have been good and we are pleased with that. The album doesn’t come out here in the states till Jan. 10th which is tomorrow so we are looking forward to getting some feedback from some fans and hearing there thoughts on the album. I think for the most part things have been good, with a few exceptions.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
“We just want kids to understand that it’s ok to like metal and to have a good time and mosh and blow off some steam and do things in a positive way to get rid of anger and frustration. We know that everybody has bad days and if going home and listening to heavy music is your escape from your problems we want to help people achieve that.”
“We are coming over to Europe at the end of Jan for a month to tour with Cryptopsy and like 4 other bands which will be our first time out of the states and we are really excited about that. I think we are working on getting a tour for the states sometime after we return, right now we are focused on the Europe tour and getting the newest members ready for the stage.”
YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
“Work hard and never give up, that’s the only two things I live by, things just don’t get handed to you so if you are down on your luck just try a little harder and stay with it .”
THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
“The future of the band is looking good, the album is getting good reviews and the tours are coming along and we get to hit the road and see what fans are thinking of the album and the live show is going to be crazy so check that out if you get a chance, so the future is touring and eventually writing a new album but that will come in time.”
ANY LAST REMARKS?
“Thanks for the time, and check out fear in a handful of dust , or try to catch us out on tour. You wont be disappointed.”
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