Another in our long line of Bands of the Day are the wonderfully-named The Hellfreaks. Are they as hellish and freaky as their name suggests? Let’s find out…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from Hungary, Budapest.
We didn’t start this band together, so we’re more like puzzle pieces, who found each other later on. The only founder band member of The Hellfreaks is our singer, Sue. In 2014 the original band split up for a while, but it looked like Sue’s destiny did not agree with that decision, as one of her biggest dreams just arrived via email right when she started to accept the situation: an invitation to play in the USA. At that time she decided to stitch up the wounds from the past and to restart the band with a new direction and new band members.
Our bass player, Gabi, and our guitar player, Tomi, had known each other before they joined the band, but in the end it was the band itself which brought all of us together.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The Hellfreaks started in 2009, but the current line up is about 3 years old.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
To be honest, the birth of the band name did not happen yesterday. Sue was more or less a kid when she formed the band. The only thing she can clearly remember is that she came up with the idea when she was working at one of her very first working places, at a rockabilly bar, where she 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 went!
What are your influences?
We’re all very different but quite the same at the same time! We all love loud rock music, so it was not a question what we would do and create what we love. But we wouldn’t say that our music is based on musical influences. Of course you can hear our roots in it, like the love of The Offspring, or the Distillers, but every one of us has different musical influences: Sue came from the underground rock scene, while Tomi grew up with the big rock classics – the mix of it makes us unique.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
First one, our roots: We’re all Eastern European, all from Hungary.
As we travel a lot, we have also lived abroad, etc., we have seen lot. And we know that the following sentence might not be understandable for our Western European neighbours, but Eastern Europeans will know exactly what we mean: Life is so much harder over here. Just because you have a job, it doesn’t mean that it’s enough for having food daily. Just because you have a diploma, it doesn’t mean that you will have a job. If you fall – you will fall and there is no help or support from the state side. We’re surrounded by corruption, by lies, and fairness is missing in every corner of life over here. But on the other side, we’re walking with wide open eyes, we know it could be so much worse! So there is a very inspiring pain behind our roots.
The other reason: we have very educated musicians in the band. Like Gabi. We never wanted to be like anyone else. We’re the band you love or you hate, but nothing in between. And you know what? We love to be like that!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
At the very beginning, lyric wise this was an “I don’t sell my sorrows” band. But we have changed completely. We grew up, we saw many things, and we learned a lot.
Of course it’s not about selling: but Sue would not be willing to put down words if she wasn’t able to put 100% of her feelings behind it. So nowadays there is a shocking huge portion of honesty in her lines, it’s truly a piece of soul you get and not an overrun “break down the walls”, “when will this madness end” and “acab” thing.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We have played over 200 shows all around the world, but we rarely play in our own hometown. A good friend of ours saw us for the first time not that long ago and welcomed us off the stage with: “That was incredible, you died on the stage at least 3 times!”
This summarizes it pretty well: we are very powerful, very loud, and we give our everything. Even our girl in the front is not about being sexy, ass shaking in high heels in the front – we’re all like, let’s sweat, let’s jump, let’s fall, let’s give out everything tonight!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Uff, hard to pick out one of them… The first thing that pops up in our mind was a punk Festival called Force Attack in Northern Germany. The organizer of the event literally disappeared with all the income in the middle of the festival, so there were many bands and thousands of punks left without any kind of authority. Yeha!
We knew that we wouldn’t get the payment for it, but we decided to do the show anyway. The crowd was amazing, but so incredibly drunk. In the middle of the show, one of the punks came up with the genius idea to enjoy the concert naked – and many others followed him. In the end we played in front of so many naked guys (yes, just guys!) that none of us expected. Try to stay serious while this happens, good luck!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
On stage we mainly use a Gibson Les Paul standard with a Marshall DSL100 for the heavy guitar sound, Modulus Quantum 5 bass with a Tech21 BDDI preamp and a PDP drum kit with a custom Angel snare and Bosphorus cymbals . For the main vocal we use a Telefunken M80 mic.
What are your plans for 2018?
This year is going to be a very important one for us, as we are finalizing our fourth album. Of course each album is important, but this one is more than special.
Our first album was our first steps. Our second one was still in our infancy, our third one was written with the new members, but we had to deal with killing time pressure.
Now it’s the first time we work on each track till we’re 100% satisfied. We also have some very interesting co-operations and changes on board that we’re not allowed to talk about yet. So this might be the most important year ever for us, as this album is a huge step towards the direction we’ve been heading for a while.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
There are many bands we would love to support, but let us choose one from the UK: The Marmozets are an extremely brilliant band and it would be a huge honour to support them. It’s crazy how good they are, very inspiring!
As opener we would recommend The Bloodstrings from Germany; another female fronted rock band with whom we have already been touring a lot together. Great guys who deserve way more attention!