Welcome to my first new blog post and my first new music interview of 2020. Today I would like to introduce you to Hungarian born punk and metal rockers, The Hellfreaks:
Band Name: The Hellfreaks
Members: Shakey Sue (Vocals), Jozzy (Guitar), Domján Gabi (Bass) & Budai Béla (Drums)
Founded: February 2009
Originated From: Budapest, Hungary
Discography: Hell, Sweet Hell (Album, 2010), Circus Of Shame (Album, 2012), Godless Girl’s Fun (Single, 2013), Astoria (Album, 2016), Men In Grey (Single, 2019), Red Sky (Single, 2019), Witches Heal (Single, 2019), Adrenalized (Single, 2020), God On The Run (Album, 2020)
How would you describe your music?
Don’t waste your time if you’re into stereotypes. If you like rock music, you are definitely walking the right path with us. If you’re sick of those poppy sweet notes, feel free to come closer!
We play loud & fast modern rock music with a unique female voice on the mic. We’re the sound for kids who grew up with rock’n roll, punk, metal and hardcore – because that’s what we’re into! And we love to mix these elements and spice them up with a modern touch.
We started as a psychobilly band, but I got very sick of the boundaries of that genre. Maybe I’m too sensitive when it comes to this topic but I believe that nothing new can be created if you follow stereotypes. That’s the main guideline of our latest record. I just hope that everyone will be able to hear this mentality in our upcoming album God On The Run.
What is your musical creative process like?
All of our albums had a totally different writing process. In the last two years we worked on our upcoming album God On The Run, which is going to be released in February 2020.
These songs were not written in the rehearsal room. Most of the parts have been written separated by the members, putting the puzzle pieces together afterwards, so everyone has their own writing process.
I’m pretty old school when it comes to the lyrics: I can’t sit down and figure out what I want to write about on purpose. The ideas find me randomly, so I always write down 2-3 words or a line in my phone wherever I am in that moment, otherwise the idea is gone forever. When it comes to the song I look at my idea board, pick out one of these ideas to work on. When I start to work on the words, I need to be alone and I’m not able to write in digital form, I need to have a paper and a pen in my hand otherwise my brain is blocked.
How did the band form?
We’re not newcomers so we have a pretty long story, with many ups and a few downs. We didn’t start this band together, we’re more like puzzle pieces that found each other later on. The band is over 10 years old, so it’s taken a long time to get to where we are today.
I got into music literally by accident. I was a professional gymnast, sport was pretty much my everything – but unfortunately I once landed wrong on my feet, which resulted in a spine operation when I was 14 years old. I had to recalculate my life and fill the gap that my sports career had left behind. It was a difficult reality to accept at the time. The physical pain was nothing compared to the hole in my soul that I tried to fill. That’s how I found music and a couple of years later, ended up forming The Hellfreaks in 2009.
Today, 10 years on from our very first concert, we’re one of the most prominent internationally touring bands in Hungary having played over 200 gigs over the country border. We have toured all over Europe and made it over the big pond to the USA. We’ve recorded 4 albums, all released through German labels, have over 6 million views on our youtube videos, sold over 5000 physical records and are super happy to have a worldwide fan base that we can call our own
How did you come up with your band name?
The birth of the band name did not happen yesterday. I was more or less a teenager when I formed the band. The only thing I can clearly remember is that we wanted to have a one-word band name. I came up with the idea when I was working at one of my very first jobs, at a rockabilly bar as a bartender where I didn’t even earn 2$ / hour, so far from home that it was almost impossible to get back late at night. So the birthplace of the band was quite a hopeless place and compared to that we’re very happy about how far it’s come.
Who influenced you within the music industry?
I hate to use the term “female fronted bands”, but that’s how I’ll deliver the point: I love loud rock bands with tough women at the front. They are pure inspiration to me.
Have you performed live much and what was your favourite gig to play at?
I don’t know how we define “much” but we’ve played over 250 shows so far, which I’m happy about, of course we would love to play even more!
There is no favourite gig but a special one was definitely Ink’N Iron in Long Beach, California because this gig made a dream of ours come true, to play and tour in the USA. That was something really big for a Hungarian band like us.
What is the best thing about being in a band?
It’s the best thing on earth if you can find out what really makes you happy. In most cases for musicians I think its to play or write music. If you have a band and you are lucky enough, your band members can evolve into a kind of second family, which is something beautiful in times where people can feel alone.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far as a musician(s)?
This won’t be a shiny answer, more of a brutally honest one. I think there are two things that every band has to struggle with at some point: time management and the financial part.
Everything is really easy as long as you’re students. You have time, you have options, you may not have money but at that age, no one has. But when life gets serious, everyone has other issues to solve, everyone has other priorities and responsibilities and that’s the point at which it gets really tricky. You need to be able to compromise with the band members and you need to accept that it’s impossible to involve everyone the same way. Some of you will work way more than the other and if you can’t deal with that, you will have a very hard time.
We’re in a special situation in that this band is more than just a hobby. It’s more than just a free time activity so we put more into it. Basically everything we do, aside to the music, could fill a full time job. But we’re also not making a living from it so we have to figure out a way to live and be able to earn money elsewhere. This is a hard balance to keep and this is only possible with a lot of acceptance from everyone involved.
What plans have you got coming up this year?
At the end of last year we released three of our new singles from the upcoming album: Red Sky, Men in Grey & Witches Heal. On the 23rd of January we’re going to release another new single called Adrenalized.
On the 7th of February, under the wings of Sunny Bastard Records, we’re going to release our long awaited fourth album God On The Run. We’ve been working on the new songs for over two years, fulfilling an old dream to work with foreign producers.
Pre-production work has been with Paul Miner (New Found Glory, Atreyu, Death By Stereo) production/mixing with Evan Rodaniche (Escape The Faith, Powerman 5000, Lacey Sturm). The mastering with Tom Waltz provided us with the perfect final form for the band’s songs and ideas.
We also have some German gigs booked and we’ve already started working on another record. All we try to do is keep the ball rolling!
What is your ultimate dream as a band?
To do what we love full time.
If you’re in a band or a musician and would like to appear on this blog, please contact me and I’ll forward you an interview template.
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