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Interview with Mr.Violence (Gehennah)

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Last Updated on 11:07 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

If you like keyboards, endless 10 minute solos on a variety of scales (the only scales we know are that of a fish, ha!) and acoustic songs are your favorite music to wake up with, this interview is NOT for you. Gehennah are back! They didn’t really leave but this is their long awaited fourth album entitled “Too Loud To Live Too Young To Die” and frontman Mr. Violence is here to set things straight.

Hello Mr. Violence and congratulations on your new album. Last time we had some news from you it was while you re-released “Metal Police” through Metal Blade and toured Italy in early 2015. What happened since then?

Hey George, and thanks! I’m glad you seem to like it! Well, we spent most of last year focusing on the album. We recorded it in the summer, and after that we took a few months off to fix the mixing, and the layout and all that stuff. We played some festivals, but mostly it’s been about getting “Too loud” ready to be released. So now that everything is finally in the can we are starting to book some tours and some shows for 2016.

gehennahFor the past 20 years you had one line up change, lots of gigs and some releases here and there, not to mention your projects. You were active in a way but still your fourth full album comes out now. Why’s that?

I wish I had a good answer for that one, but I don’t. We tend to go with the flow, and basically I guess it comes down to the fact that nobody asked us to record a new album, haha. When our old contract with Osmose didn’t get renewed in the late 90s we didn’t really bother to try and get a new contract somewhere else. We were happy doing a few gigs here and there a year. We are lazy bastards, and it’s very easy for us to just not do anything. It wasn’t until the guys over at Lightning Records asked us to do a new EP that we got our shit together and started to write new material. That was a whole lotta fun, and I guess that re-ignited the band to some degree.So then we got a new contract with Metal Blade, and now the band is running 100%, and we are having more fun than in a long, long time.

The fact that you didn’t really split as a band but you kept on in your own rhythm had a good impact on you and it seems to have brought the old militia of fans to join the newer ones. What’s the feedback you get from both fan generations since you returned with “Metal Police”?

Good! We have heard no accusations of wimping out, haha. I guess if you liked our old stuff chances are pretty good you will like the new stuff as well, we haven’t changed much it’s cool to meet younger supporters, some of them not even born when we released our first album. That’s scary, we’re not THAT old! That bit still fills us with pride, of course. It also fills us with great pride to see people that basically have been supporters for 20 fucking years still sticking around! Gehennah has never been flavor of the month, so it speaks volumes about the sheer quality of that old, hardcore crowd.

Your new album has elements from all your previous releases plus it has this great rock n roll sound on the guitar that you first had on “Metal Police”. I also think you recorded this one live in the studio, right? Share some info on the musical part, please.

Yeah, everything, except the vocals and some solos, was put on tape live in Studio Cobra. We like it that way, and we ain’t too picky with leaving some mistakes in the songs, haha.  Every recording is basically a unique take on a song, if we would have done another take it would have sounded different. And it will sound different when we play it live. We wanted the album to capture what it sounded like when the whole band blasted the songs live in the studio, rather than trying to deliver each track all polished and perfect. To capture the fucked up-moment, if you will. We like it raw and we like it filthy. And we had the luck to have a producer, Martin Ehrencrona, who felt the same way. One of his favorite bands is Flames from Greece, by the way, and the moment he gave us that information we knew that we got the right guy for the job.gehennah

Sad to say that the promo didn’t contain the lyrics which were always a pleasure, an influence and genius in their simplicity. So we would like some info on the lyrics where at some point you’re “Blasting out Sodom and every Raven release (except The Pack is Back)”…

Haha, I’m glad you caught that line without a lyric-sheet! Most lyrics deal with giving the finger to “normal” people and live life in a more fucked up lane. Embracing the decadence, while laughing at the clowns. And then there is some poser-bashing and drinking in there, of course!

What do you think should be the attitude of a Gehennah fan if Stryper comes for a gig next to his house?

I think the attitude in that situation could very well be of the violent kind.

Speaking of gigs witnessing you guys live in Italy was a fuckin’ blast! The band performed in the most “over the top”, rude (nicely put) and straight forward way. So here’s the question: what does it take to bring Gehennah for a gig in Hellas?

All it would take is someone paying our flight-tickets, basically, haha. We would fucking love to play in Greece! We never have, and that’s a fucking shame. Recently we have started to get some help when it comes to booking shows, since we are pretty much shit at everything we try to do ourselves. Hopefully that means we will get out in the road a lot more, and Greece is pretty fucking high up on our list of places we want to go. We want some of that sweet ouzo!

This is a personal question: any chance we’ll ever see a vinyl re-release of the “10 years of fucked up behavior” EP? Please? Please? I’m emotionally connected with “Bleed You Bastards” since it was the soundtrack of my politeness every time I was introduced to a keyboard player.

There are no plans for a re-release that I’m aware of, I’m sorry to say. It was released on a polish label called Bad Taste, and I don’t think they are active anymore. But who knows? Maybe down the line. Maybe when we turn 30.

What’s the status of Satanarchy? You guys continue?Gehennah - Too Loud To Live, Too Drunk To Die

Well, Satanarchy is in a state of half-coma, I would say. We did a gig like a year ago or something, and that was a lot of fun. Maybe there will be more gigs, I don’t know. And we have been talking about doing another album, there are a few songs written. But then again, we have been talking about doing another album for 10 years, haha. We shall see, all of the members have other bands as main focus, but we do have a lot of fun when we get together, so hopefully there will be some more stuff. Hey, that was one hell of a clear answer you got right there!

Sign off any way you want. We raise our glasses for the demolition team and celebrate with the smashing of a 7 stringed guitar.

Cheers George, and thanks for the interview and support! Hope we can get our asses to Greece sooner rather than later!

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