BROKEN HOPE (Eng.)

– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything doing right now into the BROKEN HOPE’s camp?

Answer: Things are going really great. Our new album–OMEN of DISEASE–just came out, and we just finished a full-blown North American tour in support of the new album.

– Before digging deeper into your new record, first of all I would like you to tell us what prompted the band’s split-up and its later comeback.

Answer: Back in 1999 to 2002, that was the entire GROTESQUE BLESSINGS-era, and I consider that the dark ages in BROKEN HOPE’s history. Though I feel GROTESQUE BLESSINGS is a great album, it was surrounded by many negative things that ultimately forced me to put the band on hold. Some of the most major factors included: splitting with Metal Blade Records and signing with a brand-new/bad label, Shaun Glass quitting before we recorded GROTESQUE BLESSINGS, Joe Ptacek quitting after we recorded GROTESQUE BLESSINGS, touring the world with “hired hands” who acted like rockstars, bad management, bad everything…I couldn’t take that last incarnation of BROKEN HOPE anymore, so I put the band on ice. Years later—before Joe died—he and I had discussed bringing BH back together with Shaun Glass. After Joe’s death, I wasn’t sure what I would do with BH. Then, the fan support for BH seemed to grow even stronger…people all over kept telling me that the band MUST come back, for Joe’s spirit, and for everyone. That support really motivated me to work with Shaun to rebuild BH and get a full lineup. As soon as we had a complete band, it was amazing how fast we returned to tour again, then to sign with Century Media, and then to write and record, OMEN of DISEASE. I’m so proud of where I’ve taken BH and that our band is back—bigger and better than ever.

 

– Now you have just released «Omen of Disease», your first album in almost 15 years so, how are you feeling about it? Are you satisfiedwith the final outcome?

Answer: I knew that once I committed to writing a new album, it better DELIVER in a BIG WAY after all these years! That said, I believe we deliver pure intensity on OMEN of DISEASE. As far as a benchmark, I can say we didn’t revisit our previous albums for any comparisons—though we consciously wanted to blow them all away with our new album. Rather, we turned to contemporary albums and producers for inspiration to achieve the sonic superiority created by the likes of metal studio gods like Colin Richardson, Andy Sneap, Rick Rubin, Jason Suecof, etc. The album is full of everything real death metal fans would love…some refer to it as «classic carnage.» I always say that I’ve retained the “original formula” for BROKEN HOPE—the tuning, the tone, the horror content, and the delivery hasn’t changed. That said, I have brought in new ideas and progressive riffing and solos that breaks fresh ground. I believe OMEN of DISEASE is the perfect synergy of brutality and sickness complimented by shredding and modern production.

 

– And how is the feedback for the album being thus far?

Answer: The feedback has been fantastic. First, all of our fans are eating up the new album and raving about it. It also seems that we’re gaining a shitload of new fans. Second, the metals press has given OMEN of DISEASE amazing reviews…like, we never got this level of positive reviews for any of our albums before. It’s really great.

 

– On this record you’ve got three new members. How has this affected the band? What have they brought to BROKEN HOPE?

Answer: When Joe passed away in 2010, I knew no other former members would be part of BH again—aside from Shaun Glass, that is. When Shaun and I decided to make BH full-time, we got really lucky with completing the lineup. Our drummer— Mike Miczek—and our lead guitarist—Chuck Wepfer—were both discovered by Shaun. Our vocalist—Damian Leski—was discovered by me after seeking out several vocalists from other bands. All of the new guys bring an insane level of promusicianship to the table, and they have «bettered» BH like never before…this is a dream lineup for me. I’m so fortunate to have all these amazing musicians in BH and also, they all live very close to me, which is uncanny and a blessing. It’s so amazing how this whole lineup got pulled together.

 

– Damian Leski provides more brutal vocals I think. Was this the kind of voice you were looking for? Why and how did you pick him as the new vocalist for the band?

Answer: Damian is everything I could’ve hoped for in a vocalist. He’s extremely heavy, he maintains the original BROKEN HOPE «vocal style» quite well (in terms of guttural brutality), while bringing a new level of vocal brutality to the band. Damian works very hard on his craft…always pushing himself to higher levels of stamina, creating memorable vocal patterns, and staying healthy in order to deliver extremely sick vocals in the studio and live in concert.

 

– In contrast to that, there are also on the album several melodic passages. Did you have this clear since the beginning or did you just let things flow naturally? I personally think more melody enhance and help the most brutal parts to have a bigger impact.

Answer: The melodies across the album just came organtically. The foundation for every song was based on brutality, then the harmonies and the leads came in and complimented the songs even further. I agree with what you said, the melodic passages enhance the songs without taking away the brutality, and rather, those passes DO give the real heavy parts more impact.

 

– With such a long gap of time between your last two releases and with those line-up changes, has the creative process been different this time around?

Answer: The creative process this time around was more enjoyable. I say that because, in the past, I’d write all the music by myself and then bring my songs to band practice for everyone to work on…and then I’d have to go through an approval process and deal with petty bullshit to get songs done. Now, everyone in the 2013 version of BROKEN HOPE works together in a totally positive way when it comes to creating new songs. I don’t have to fight with anyone to get them to work on my material! Haha!

 

– And what about the production process? Gear has improved a lot since «Grotesque Blessings» came out so, was this time easier to get the sound you wanted to obtain?

Answer: We all have more modern gear now, that’s for sure. That said, it was very important to me to retain the «BROKEN HOPE sound» and keep the tones and tunings we’ve always used the same. You know when you hear Slayer, it’s ALWAYS that «Slayer sound.» That same identity is important to me with BH. Other than that, I’m still on my quest for the heaviest guitar tone possible. I’m never satisfied! Haha!

 

– After listening to the CD it seems you have recovered the energy of your earlier releases. Maybe these years without releasing new material with BROKEN HOPE made you feel hungrier and, in some way, recover that energy and enthusiasm?

Answer: I think I’ve always remained hungry and enthusiastic no matter what–it’s in my nature! However, having my greatest creation back full time (BROKEN HOPE, duh!), has reignited a fire inside me. I feel more driven, excited, and happier than I’ve ever been! The 17-year-old who started BH is still inside me, and he’s crazy to be back!

 

– For this album you signed with Century Media, one of the biggest labels in Metal so, how is everything working with them so far?

Answer: Century Media has been excellent to us! They offered the band a contract simply based on the strength of our new lineup, our live show, and the excitement with our triumphant return. We’re so happy to be with Century Media…they really are the best metal label in the world. Century Media Records and me have been working really together already, and a massive marketing campaign was unleashed just weeks ago. There’s amazing visibility for OMEN for DISEASE, and both the label and myself are doing amazing work together. This entire album launch and future plans for the next year has all exceeded my expectations.

 

– All this about «Omen of Disease» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Answer: Fresh, brutal, sick.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

Answer: Our short-term plans are to tour the world and support OMEN of DISEASE throughout 2014. Our long-term plans are to keep putting out albums and touring for the rest of our lives–and to never go away again.

 

– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Answer: Thank you for this killer interview! And thanks to all our fans who give us love. Fans matter

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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