HELLCRAWLER

HELLCRAWLER totally steamrolled me with their punkish metal. I never ever thought I’d hear a band like this again but it only proves that good music is good music whenever it appears. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

I gotta say you guys must be the first Slovenian metal band I’ve come in touch with. Tell me a bit about the formation or the band?
-Hello Anders, first of all thanks for this opportunity. Well, the band started in 2010, merely to have fun playing whatever we want without any limits – as a response to other bands we have been involved into. But we already knew it would be a mix of metal and punk…

The first time I heard your album I thought you guys were Swedish. What is it that inspires you to write/play the music you do?
-We all listen to a very wide specter of music and I am sure everything we like inspires us somehow. Basically you can hear many different influences within our songs, from Black Sabbath song structures to Motörhead rhythms, death metal or crust riffs and catchy melodies. Unfortunatelly we still don’t have any reggae parts 🙂 We’re also fond of the whole Swedish scene since ever and we’re surely inspired by it too. You Swedes really know how to make good music!

I like your band name a hell of a lot. Who came up with the name and what does it represent to you?
-When we started, me (Andraz) and Valter were listening a lot to Judas Priest – Painkiller LP, and as a joke we put together the name my mixing two songnames: Hell Patrol and Night Crawler. It just came spontaneously and it sounded cool, ha ha! Still it’s a name which reflects our lyrical concept of this dying world we live in, so we kept it.

Is punk metal an appropriate description of your music? What do you think of this whole business of labeling music this or that?
-We have punk parts as well as metal riffs within our music, so it could be described as “punk metal”, yes. We have no restrictions about it, neither do we particulary care how to label our style. I look at this music labeling just as a kind of reference and nothing more. No one should focus on it so much, because we all know you cannot describe music with two or three words nowadays.

What kind of underground scene is there in Slovenia? How much support do you get from the native extreme music fans?
-Basically the whole punk, hardcore and metal community in Slovenia is still underground. Not many people attend gigs and only few bands got a contract and/or recorded an album. We have some webzines and everything rotates and happens there. Hellcrawler got different responses in Slovenia. We’re too punk for metalheads and too much metal for punks, ha ha…but somehow a lot of people like what we do. We also have some true supporters that attend a lot of our gigs, thank you guys!!!

Somehow when I hear of an underground music scene in Slovenia I think of a cool DIY attitude. How does the native underground scene treat its bands? Do you interact in order to help further every band both nationally and internationally? Is there a lot of jealousy going on?
-The Slovenian scene is very small and we all know each other. As in every scene there’s jealousy present here as well (because you can find egomaniacs everywhere), but the ones who’re really dedicated to their music do not care about it at all. Yet there is also a lot of help between the bands (gigs, promotions, exchanging contacts…). If I compare today’s scene to the one which ruled for example 10 years ago, we have 300% more bands active which is very good.
Our scene can be described as DIY because we have very little or no support at all from slovenian record labels and the government, so we have to help ourselves somehow. I’m aware Slovenia is a young and internationally unknown country. The market is too small and labels are not interested in our bands, but I’m also sure this will change someday and our bands will have more doors open towards the European scene.

What kind of live scene do we speak of in Slovenia? Can you set up a national tour and draw enough people to pay for gas and food?
-This is another problem in Slovenia. We have enough venues, but there’s not much people attending concerts with local bands. On the other hand, there are some gigs with big audience, but the promoters have always a lot of costs and you don’t get much money. If you’re lucky you got a 10euro plus 🙂 There are some promoters who get money from the government but they only organize gigs with foreign bands almost every week and do not support local bands. Sometimes they don’t give anything at all to local opening acts (no food nor gas money). This means that foreign bands are more welcome here than the Slovenian ones… Speaking about a national tour…I don’t know…I think it could be possible for us to play a weekend tour, but we would visit all the venues within a month or two and won’t be able to play there again for another year. But this is not what we’re aiming to. We prefer less good live appearances than more average boring concerts.

What kind of ideals do you support? Is there something that you’d never do just to promote the band?
-We are not a political band neither we don’t want to spread any particular message. We just speak about the current bad situation (ecological and economical) which is destroying our world. However, we have our personal values and won’t sell them out just to promote the band. We just play rock’n’roll, we have fun and we won’t change the world.

9. To me Anti-Cimex’s “Scandinavian jawbreaker” has to be one of the greatest d-beat/kängpunk albums ever. If you were to rank your top 5 d-beat/kängpunk albums what would that list look like?
Anti Cimex’s Scandinavian Jawbreaker is obviously a classic! I don’t want to mention 5 top albums because I would surely do injustice and I don’t want to speak for all the band members neither. But we are all fans of bands like Martyrdöd, Wolfpack/Wolfbrigade, Disfear, Victims, Skitsystem, End Of All… They’re all nice persons who play good music!

If people visit your bandcamp site they can download the album at the price of their choice. How punk is the whole digital download situation? When does digital downloading become a bad thing?
-None of us wants to earn money with music and this is the main reason we offer our songs for free. We all have daily jobs and we’re able to invest in our music. If anyone really likes what we do and wants to support us, we have CDs and shirts available. I totally support digital downloads for two reasons: First of all this is the way you can check out the music and decide if you like it or not. I still remember how many albums I bought just because of praising reviews and they turned out to be pure shit. And secondly, the scene (market?) is overfilled with new bands every day and sometimes free downloads are the only way to promote your music. However, digital downloads can “devalue” the music. It’s so easy to download a records and when it comes you have too much downloads on your PC you cannot really focus on an album and really enjoy it the way it should be done. If I think of Hellcrawler’s Wasteland…there are lots of downloads from our bandamp site and even more via other blogs. We got 99% of excellent reviews and it seems a lot of people like our stuff, but we sold only few CDs. This may be a “bad thing”.

Where do you see Hellcrawler go in the future? Do you feel that you carry the banner high for Slovenian extreme music?
-For now we plan to record new songs which will be released on a split 7” or included in the new album next year and hopefully play some more gigs in Slovenia and abroad. We don’t feel to carry any kind of banner, neither we don’t want to represent anything. We just have fun playing dirty music and we will continue our march on this unhealthy rock’n’roll path!

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