Hunted - „Welcome the Dead“ may have been made while under the influence of suspect tea... (2011-10-14, read 1380×)
Hail to Wales, guys! You’re pretty unknown band here in Czech Republic and so far, there hasn’t been any review of your works and no interviews, so I guess we should take this right from the beginning. When did the band begin?
Steve: Hunted began a while ago, in fact, Jon is the only original member left so he can probably provide a bit more detail! I joined the original line-up and at that point Hunted was predominantly a covers band, and we‘d pay tribute to acts such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth and Deep Purple. We slowly started to work on our own material and really only took it seriously when Chris G joined the band back in 2006. Over time, band members were coming and going, until we recruited Matt as our drummer, and as a four-piece we set out to record our debut album ‘Welcome the Dead‘. After the album was released we recruited guitar virtuoso Dan Owen to the ranks and we are now a five-piece looking forward to share our take on Heavy Metal with the entire global metal community, including Czech Republicl!
Jon: Yep, I am indeed the only original member left in Hunted – like some ancient relic from the past haha! As Steve said, the band started out playing covers of the music we loved, mostly in local pubs and clubs, and then over time we started to move towards writing our own songs. We went through a few line-up changes of course (it’s kind of inevitable I guess!) but I think we probably started to take our stuff more seriously after Steve joined and the line-up became a bit more stable.
So, from the country that gave birth to Skyclad, now there are heavy/speed metalists coming. How did you came to realization that heavy/speed metal is the genre for you?
Steve: Well, to be honest, we still find it hard to categorise our music – we definitely know we play heavy metal but when it comes to specifying sub-genres things get murky!! We love so many metal genres that many of these crop up in our music, including trad/prog/speed/power/doom/black however the underlying backbone of our music is true heavy metal shaped by early influences such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween and more. Also, I guess the songwriting was moulded based on the sort of skills that were available within the band, for example, once we knew Mr G could really hit the big notes in the vein of his influences (RJD, Freddie Mercury, Eric Adams, Halford, etc) then we knew we could have a real go at composing heavy metal tunes with power/prog tinges.
Jon: Personally, I love metal in general - pretty much every sub-genre to be honest! I’m just as happy sitting in a darkened room listening to My Dying Bride as I am downing beers and dancing around like a crazy person to some Finntroll haha... I guess after I got hooked on, first, Queen and then Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth as a teenager I just knew that heavy music was the way forward for me. Since then, I’ve tried to use all the music I listen to as an inspiration or a guide when we’re writing songs for Hunted.
I have been looking for some reviews and I have found that „Welcome the Dead“ is pretty well rated. Are you satisfied with how the things are going?
Steve: Absolutely!!!!!! We are extremely happy with the response to ‘Welcome the Dead‘. It’s such a relief in a way, because we set out to record an album that reflected our tastes and we were doing it for ourselves, absolutely no producers or people telling us how things should be done. We stuck with what sounded good to us and once we released it, people seemed to like it – so I guess we must have done something right?! It landed us a deal with Massacre Records and we are getting very favourable reviews from respected metal sites such as MetalZone so seriously, thank you so much for your support!
Jon: Definitely – I‘d say at least 90% of the reviews we’ve had have been really positive so it’s really good to know that a lot of metalheads out there are interested in what we do and are actually enjoying it! Even the less favourable reviews we’ve had have usually said that, while they’re not sure about what we’re doing, they recognise the potential in the band, and I think there’s always something useful to be taken from any well-written review – whether it’s positive or negative. So, as Steve said, a big thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to write all those thought-provoking reviews of our stuff!
Could you review ‘Welcome the Dead“ in, let’s say, ten sentences?
Steve: can certainly try!!
1. „Welcome the Dead“ is the product of four stubborn metalheads that just wanted to record an album reflecting what they considered to be the true sound of the METAL they love.
2. The music on „Welcome the Dead“ is a fusion of traditional heavy metal with predominantly progressive and thrash influences.
3.The music on „Welcome the Dead“ is not just about big guitars and fast drum beats, but also the lyrical content; a lot of love went into producing REAL lyrics that actually had a meaning!
4. The lyrical content on „Welcome the Dead“ is conveyed by the one-and-only Chris G, who has a remarkably unique voice and connects with everyone word he sings.
5. Welcome the Dead includes a cover of „The Heart Collector“, a tribute track to Nevermore; the idea was simply to have fun and put our own stamp on a great track!
6. The production is flawless thanks to none other than Tim Hamil (Sonic One studios), who has worked alongside great bands such as Girlschool and Anterior.
7. The mastering was undertaken by Biomechanical mastermind, John K!
8. „Welcome the Dead“ is now available worldwide via Massacre records; we hope everyone gives the album a chance and a proper listen (or three)!!!
9. (Jon) Matt is so short that he had to stand on a box to record his vocal part. (Yes, he has a vocal part!)
10. (Jon) ‘Welcome the Dead‘ may have been made while under the influence of suspect tea...
Judging from your myspace, you seem to love bands like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Iced Earth and other classical heavy metal bands, but combined with some progressive parts, for example the break in „I Want Nothing“. How have these bands affect you and where do these progressive parts come from?
Steve: Yeah, definitely, Iron Maiden are a huge influence and I guess not only Bruce’s style of singing but also the twin guitar melodies are two significant factors that may be detected in our music. From a guitarist’s point-of-view anyway, the melodies on Maiden’s classic albums are just so powerful and you can hear them in all the great music of today. Helloween most definitely, Kiske’s vocals are legendary (and Deris too) and we love to try and capture their sense of melody in our own music. Jon Schaffer‘s relentless riffing, especially his take on muted triplets, is also without doubt a strong influence in our guitar playing; and also Barlow‘s vocals, hell, gonna miss him, again!!! The progressive side of things emanates from another side of our metal interests, most of us are heavily influenced by prog bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Adagio, Cynic, Fates Warning (and more), and even though we do not purposely set out to be a progressive band we love to incorporate elements here and there into our music – it’s very rewarding, and makes the songwriting more interesting; sticking to a 4:4 meter for a whole song can get a bit boring so it’s nice to throw some curveballs in there, as long as it still makes sense to do so of course!
Jon: Steve Harris’style had a huge impact on me when I was learning my instrument (I guess a lot of bassists will say that!), so I think there’ll always be that Maiden influence in there somewhere. Most of us are also big fans of Dream Theater and Nevermore (what the hell’s going on with them at the moment?!) though, so I guess we always try and take some inspiration from their more progressive or technical take on metal. The main thing for us though, is to always try and make sure that the song itself comes first (rather than the crazy things we might want to do with it!), and I hope we usually mange to make sure that happens!
How many gigs have you played already? Do you have a special place for these, for example the club where you played your first gig?
Steve: No idea, we’ve accumulated quite a bit of experience over time now so can’t really put a number on it. We definitely have a special place though, as we are based in Cardiff, we love to play a Cardiff venue called ’Clwb ifor bach‘ (The Welsh club), it’s a fantastic but relatively small venue with great sound and a great atmosphere.
How about the fans? Do you have some fan-base, that follows you at gigs, or some fans that come just because your name is on the poster?
Steve: Being an up-and-coming metal band, it can be hard to ensure you reach all the metalheads in your city, nevertheless whenever we have played a gig there is always a decent amout of people! Hunted always put on a great show anyway no matter the size of the crowd; the same ridiculously stupid amount of energy is put into every show!
Jon: We have some fantastic fans who always come to our shows in the Cardiff area and they make sure that every gig we play has a great atmosphere. We’d really love to have the chance to start taking our shows out and about around the parts of the UK we haven’t been to and then on into mainland Europe though!
Would you like to expand your music to mainland Europe? I believe that Germany is pretty open for heavy/speed bands, do you have some connections there already?
Steve: That’s the plan!! We’d love to take our music to mainland Europe, the album has received great reviews from several places including Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Finland and now the Czech Republic. German reviews we’ve had a bit of a mixed response, all the way from average to excellent, but overall we believe our music is having the right sort of effect there. We are currently trying to sort out mini-tours and gigs around the UK and Europe, we have a few connections in Europe through our label Massacre Records, but we are always interested in hearing from anyone who would like to work with us.
Jon: I’d love to get over and play on the continent. Playing live is, for me, the best part of the whole Hunted experience and, even more importantly, you guys have really good (and really cheap!) beer over there haha!
Okay, the last portion of questions, would you guys like to come to Czech Republic some time? Is there anything that you know about Czech Republic (since we’re pretty unknown country) and would you like to say anything to your fans?
Steve: Of course!!!! We’d love to come to the Czech Republic and put on a show for you, it would be an honour, and hopefully one day we will be there. I actually haven’t visited at all, but I have a feeling some of the other band members may have, probably some sort of drinking expedition!!
Jon: Absolutely! It’d be awesome to get over and play in the Czech Republic –my only experience there so far was a very, very fun visit to Prague (which is a beautiful city) with some mates but I’d love to go back again soon. Oh, and I think I remember that ‘beer‘ is ‘pivo‘ in Czech, right?! Vital vocabulary...
Please check out Hunted at our myspace, www.myspace.com/huntedrock, lots and lots of updates coming your way very soon, including information regarding gigs around the UK and maybe beyond! Please please come and see us live if we’re playing anywhere near you – it’ll be worth it ;-) Check out our debut album ‘Welcome the Dead’ released officially on Massacre Records (Metal Merchant shop) and available from all your mp3 download sites, plus many more locations. Thanks to everyone who has supported us! Metal regards.