Sleaze metal might not sound all too enticing but HELLDORADOS do it so convincing that you just gotta love them. Interview with PIERRE, vocals / STEVE, guitars. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Something I often wonder is what it is like to play sleaze/party metal and not come from Los Angeles but from Stuttgart, Germany?
PIERRE: Personally I think it doesn’t matter where you are coming from. Music is about emotions and the question if we are able to deliver and share our feelings we had during the songwriting process later with the fans.
STEVE: every musician is influenced by other musicians, other songs, other places in the world. And by the way; have you been to Stuttgart? It’s a place to party (both laughing).
What kind of sleaze scene is there in Germany? Why did you choose this kind of genre?
PIERRE: I don’t care about other bands and if there is a “sleaze scene” or what so ever. STEVE: we write the music we like best. You should listen to us playing Jazz. We are all inspired by all different kind of Rock music. Old fashioned like Led Zep or Rose Tattoo up to 80s Thrash or today’s new guitar heroes. So I don’t think we choose a genre. The music just found us.
I get a feeling that Stuttgart is more of a West coast/East coast kind of town than a metal town. How are you being treated by those not into hip hop, your kind of crowd?
PIERRE: Stuttgart has been known as the capitol of German HipHop. Even we don’t care that much about that kind of music, all the bands from the early 90s left a lot of creativity in the city to create something new. It has nothing to do with west coast / east cost kind of things. Here is a hell lot of Heavy Metal going on in the whole region. Just take a look at the label scene. We have Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade and of course our label Massacre Records right next door, just to name a view. Steve: most of the time the crowd is going wild at our concerts and I haven’t seen so many HipHop kids there.
When you play sleaze looks are important. What kind of live show do you present?
STEVE: Helldorados are well known to present a high octane Heavy Rock Show. All killer, no filler kind of show with pyrotechnics and great ear catching songs. A show that blows your mind and makes your head spinning around like a rollercoaster. Of course the look is important, but hey we look how we look. Always suitable!
How do you avoid the look from taking over from the music? When does the look become more important than the music?
PIERRE: The show is nothing without the music. But we see Helldorados as something visual, too. If you like the music, buy our album, stay at home and crank up your stereo up to eleven. But if you want to feel and see when the shit hits the fan, be part of the Helldorados family and explore something unique, something special. Well than you better put on your pants and come to one of our shows.
How do you avoid re-using things that have already been done? How do you keep it original?
STEVE: Every musician is influenced by someone else. That is pretty much normal. But all four of us stay always true in what we believe. What you hear and what you see is original. That is exactly how we are. We just don’t copy things, we are not re-using stuff that already has been done. We take a stand for what we are, every day!
Isn’t like suicide to mention ABBA in the same sentence as metal. No matter how great they are, hard they are not. What kind of criteria do you use when you write songs?
STEVE: If you throw away the heaviness of all the great Hard Rock bands it is all about harmonies and good arrangements. And by the way ABBA knew how to write great harmonies and arrangements. PIERRE: So here we go with ABBA, Metallica, old Scorpions, Hardcore Superstar, The Who or Pantera. All great bands by themselves but I bet none of them where just listen to heavy music every day. If you wanna write a unique and timeless piece of music, you got to be a little open minded.
Is there a certain theme to the way lyrics has to be written to be considered true sleaze?
PIERRE: pretty simple answer – No
What about titles. You don’t seem to be too keen on long song titles. What is there to a title that needs to be there for it to be a good title?
STEVE: The message of the song stays the same, doesn’t it?
PIERRE: … and by the way I can’t remember long song titles.
What future do you see for Helldorados?
PIERRE: All four of us know how hard it was to release that first album. Two years of hard work
every day to get to this point. We are pretty realistic but also four very enthusiastic, powerful young musicians with skills and the never ending will to make it bigger and better, step by step. So the future will be great no matter how long it will take us. It only depends on how you look on it.
STEVE: Ask me next year again. (both laughing) Thank you very much for taking the time and doing the interview.