GEHENNAH (EN)

– Hello, thanks for taking your time. How is everything doing right now with the GEHENNAH? What are you currently up to?
Hey! At the moment we are waiting for the album to be released, and booking shows for the rest of the year. Hopefully there will be some cool stuff coming up…

 

– You are releasing «Too Loud to Live, too Drunk to Die», your first full-length since 1997’s «Decibel Rebel». How are you feeling about it? How has it been to get back on track?
Good! We had a great time writing and recording the album and people seem to like what they have heard from it. We had no problems getting back on track, once we decided it was time to focus 100% on the band again. We’re having more fun than we had in a long time.

 

– Anyway we could say you actually got back in 2014 with the «Metal Police» EP. How did the idea for a new EP arise?
Our friends over at Lightining Records asked us to do a EP, so we did. That’s all it took, really, haha. We hadn’t written anything new in a long time, but once we decided it was time the songs just kinda came to us. It was like no time had passed at all.

 

– And what kind of activity have you had since «Decibel Rebel» was released? Did you ever actually split up? As you have always done some gigs here and there. Or almost always.
We split up between 2008 and 2011, I think. Before that we did gigs, and released a couple of EP:s in the late 90s and early 2000s. Activity was generally pretty low, we usually did a few shows each year and that was it, really. We are a lazy band, and it’s always been a struggle to get anything done, haha. For a few years we just didn’t care to get our act together.

 

– You have released the title track of the album as the first single. Why this one? I feel is a good gehennahportrait of the album and of the band’s essence too. And how is it working?
We like the song, I guess. It’s always hard to choose wich song should be released first, but we felt it represented the album pretty well… People seem to like it a lot, so it seems like a good choice!

 

– In fact your previous albums came out during the 90’s but time doesn’t go by for you. What has changed in GEHENNAH since those albums came out?
We are older and uglier. We changed a member. We have been listening to Venom for 15 more years. Other than that, not that much. Nobody has gone thru any big personality-changes, we are basically the same stupid assholes like back in the 90s…

 
– Your lyrics are also still loyal to your ethos and basically to Heavy Metal. There’s booze, drugs, violence and a middle finger to posers and crappy Metal. Are all of your lyrics based on your tastes, thoughts and life or are also a way to show and keep your usual underground, «we don’t give a fuck» kind of spirit?
Nah, our lyrics may be a bit exaggregated at times, but they come straight from the heart. We want metal to be unpolished, raw and dangerous, not intellectual and lecturing. And we want the lifestyle to be the same way. That is what we put in our lyrics.

 

– In the past you recorded your albums quite fast if I’m not mistaken, something I have always thought makes albums more real, more spontaneous. How was this time around?
Fast, as always. We recorded the fucker in a week, and had time to party at the same time. Everything is played live in the studio, except the vocals and some solos. We have always been working fast in the studio, and that’s the way it’s gonna stay.

 
– Some years ago Ronnie Ripper left the band, who was one of the main songwriters in the band. What kind of effect did his departure have in the band?
It got us to start writing new material and get back to a 100% focus again. Ronnie wasn’t really into Gehennah the last years he was in the band, but had his priorities elsewhere. That was fine with us, but when he quit that gave us a chance to re-start the engine of the band. So we did. I think it worked out best for everybody. We have had no problems writing new songs.

 

– And what has Charly now brought to GEHENNAH?
Another ugly face. And another thirsty throat. Thankfully, he is also a great songwriter both when it comes to music and lyrics. I doubt we would have continued the band if he had not joined.

 

– Musically you are piciking it up where you left it in 1997, but I found guitar solos more rockier. Is it just my impression?
You are right there, Rob has picked up a lot of country influences on his guitar-work the last years, he’s never been much of a metal-guitarist anyway..

 

– «Still the Elite» is the album opener. By just seeing the title we could see this as a kind of statement?
Yeah, sure, but not neccesarily about the band per se. The lyrics are about not wimping out in general, and sticking to rock ’n’ roll lifestyle when others jump ship. It’s a statement to everybody who refuse to conform and choose to stick to a life in the fucked up lane.

 

– Then I would also like you to comment something on «Low on Cash, High on Speed», and maybe some of our readers would appreciate it. How can you be low on cash and get some speed?
You have to use your wit, that’s about the advice I can give…

 
– You are now working with Metal Blade Records. How did you hook up with them?
Luck rather than hard work, as always when it comes to Gehennah. We met Alan from Primordial, who also works for Metal Blade, at a festival where we played a drunken football-tournament togheter. He asked what we were up to, since he had not heard anything from our camp since the 90s, so we gave hom a copy of the 4-track version of Metal Police. Somhow that got us signed, haha.

 

– All this about «Too Loud to Live, too Drunk to Die» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Self destruction rock’n’roll.gehennah 2

 

– Going a little bit back to the past, how did the idea of the whole Headbangers Against Disco arise?
Well, in a scene obsessed with vampires and well combed hair, we wanted to seperate the men from the boys. We wanted to gather an international gang of filthounds that prefered their metal raw and unclean. That what made us start the initative, that among other things resulted in three now classic comp-EP:s, featuring bands like Sabbat, Nifelheim, Infernö, Usurper and Bestial Warlust.

 

– But it was more than a split. Who was part of the «club»? And would you consider do something like that again or bring HAD back to life?
There were a lot of people involved, but not anyone could join. You had to answer a questionnaire to get your membership-card, proving that you had what it took, haha. Extremley hard questions like «Cold Lake is the best album by Celtic Frost, right?» had to be answered. Amazingly, there were people giving the wrong answer to that one, wich of course resulted in ACCESS DENIED!

 

– And finally, what are now your near-future plans?
We have a short swedish tour coming up in march, and we are busy booking gigs for the rest of the year. So it will be the road next for Gehennah.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanx for the interview and the support!! Keep the flame of idiocy burning!

 

Tania Giménez
tania@queensofsteel.com

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