– Is a plesure having the chance of interviewing you and, to start how did the idea of rereleasing these albums from the band arise?
Well, thank you very much Paco! We had re-released these discs a few times over the years but never did it properly in Europe. I have had a great relationship with the Cyclone Empire label through my band Autumn Hour and therefore it was a no-brainer to do proper Hades re-releases through them. They were into it and they know the scenes-both old school and new so they were the perfect choice.
– Were you all involved in its process? Are you pleased with the way it has ended up?
I was involved in organizing the lyrics and procuring the old photos, etc… Then I had to proof the project to make sure everything was correct. Other than that, CE did everything and I think they did a wonderful job. All 3 re-releases have a similar look so they appear to be a unified set which we think is very cool. Overall, the band is VERY happy with how the discs came out.
– Do you have in mind re-releasing your whole discography or did you just want to show what were the most classic albums from the band?
Maybe one day but at present there are no plans for further re-releases. I do think it is good to have all of your back catlogue available for purchase so maybe one day in the future that will happen.
– You come from the, almost late, 80’s America, how did the idea of forming the band born?
Dan Lorenzo had formed the band in his high school days so that predates my involvement by about seven years. I know from talking with him that he started the band in his mind before they actually even played a single note! He would walk around telling everyone that he was “Dan from Hades” but there was actually no band yet. But that is how Dan is-always promoting and forward-thinking. If it were not for him I think the band would never have accomplished anything at all. He has always been the driving force behind Hades.
– And the sound? You’re into a style I call «Tecnithrash» I mean, you have a powerful basis, almost Thrash but, at the same time, it also has a Proggie approach. How could you describe it?
That sounds about right. We were not super-technical but we did have elements of that in our sound. I would say that most of that aspect of the band came from our bassist Jimmy Schulman and drummer T. Coombs. They added something to the band’s sound that took the guitar riffs to another level.
– As well, overall in your first albums, I can hear those caracteristic riffs from the NWOBHM, even some symphonism, let’s say musically you had many influences but a quite personal style. What were your bands or examples to follow?
For sure, the early influences were Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, etc… Later I think Slayer and Metallica also had their influence on us. As a singer for certain I can say that Dickinson and Halford as well as Robert Plant were huge influences on me.
– America in late 80’s was, maybe, more oriented to Hair Metal bands and similar stuff, did this damage bands as yours?
I guess in a way… We saw a lot of those bands getting much more popular than us (especially with the girl fans which always helps build the guy-fan base too) But I think bands like us also had their day in the sun to a degree. Testament, Flotsam, Metal Church, Megadeth, etc.. still did very well. So I cannot blame the hair bands totally. I think there were many other reasons Hades did not grow bigger than we did. The final nail in the metal coffin though for sure, was the grunge scene and not Glam metal.
– But also at late 80’s came up many albums by bands, both new as classic, that gave a class plus to their albums even risky. From Europe we could found bands as SECRECY or CELTIC FROST with their «Into the Pandemonium», bands as WASP released «Headless Children», CRIMSON GLORY with their «Transcendence», QUEENSRYCHE, VOIVOD, ATHEIST or more unknown bands such as TARGET, BLIND ILLUSION, SECREAMER, etc. Why do you think was the reason we could found these kind of albums into a period were there was a big hype for Glam Metal and similar genres?
I have no idea why those bands stood out but I can say that I was definitely a huge Blind Illusion fan! I LOVED those guys. The drummer Christ from Target was our main tour crewman back in 1989 in Europe. Great guy and also a great band! I think bands like that just did what they were into regardless of the popularity of the Glam scene. I have a lot of respect for their attitudes and position.
– Is inevitable not talking about WATCHTOWER. If HADES were quite technical, WATCHTOWER was it even more. Is WATCHTOWER the band and sound you always wanted to do?
Well, I cannot say that it is the band I always wanted to do, but they are definitely unlike any other band out there. Tower is in a class all by itself and being a part of that band was (and is) a very special thing indeed. I am proud to have been on Control and Resistance and that cd actually just made it into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame last year which was huge! Back then though, te Tower guys were insistent that I sing very, very high. I was able to do it, but it was not where I wanted to be vocally. I wanted to grow as a vocalist and back then, that just was not possible in Watchtower.
– And well, coming back to the present, what does future look like for you, HADES and WATCHTOWER?
Hades plays about once a year so that is not a big, time-consumer. We did just release a DVD of our reunion gig last year however, which can be bought at danlorenzo.net. As for Watchtower, I am almost done recording all the vocals to the Mathematics cd. It will still be a while before it is all finished but this landmark cd has been 20 years in the making so a few more months should not matter! lol When is does come out, I think it will blow people away. The songs and playing are still on a level all their own but the songs are more cohesive and the riffs VERY powerful. I cannot wait to get this out! Also-I was able to sing how I wanted to on this one so it is not so ear-piercing all the time. Many fans liked the band back in the day, but hated my shreiking. They will not be tortured with that this time around!
– What would you like to do you haven’t done yet?
I am lucky to be able to stay busy with music even though I do not make much money from it. But if you are playing just to make money, I think you will be very unhappy anyway. It would be great to make a lot of money for something you are passionate about but if it is the only reason you are doing it, I can only wish you good luck cause these days it is harder than ever! That said, I would like to continue to improve my singing and lyrics. I have total freedom with my band Autumn Hour (autumnhour.com) and we are starting to write songs now for our second disc. So hopefully that will develop into something that is fresh and new and that I have not done yet. I am also putting the finishing touches on a Hungarian guitarist named Daniel Szabo’s prog-power metal project called Minds Mirrors (myspace.com/mindsmirrorsproject) I am very happy with how that one is coming out. Ron Jarzombek from Tower does a guest solo on it as does Steve Smyth from Forbidden.
– And well, to finish, I would like you to tell me wh
at 5 albums can’t miss in your shelf.
For sure those cds would include: Number of the Beast by Maiden, Love Drive by Scorpions, Deliverance by Opeth, Stained Class by Priest and Houses of the Holy by Led Zep. J
– Thanks for everything, Alan, and a big hug from Spain.
Thanks to you and go Jorge Lorenzo!!!!!!!!!!!