Interview: Hellripper

Posted: February 27, 2015 in Band of the Day, Interviews
Tags: , , , , ,
Aberdonian one man black/speed metaller Hellripper is my new favourite band. Not in a long time have I heard a demo recording that I’ve kept coming back to as much as this. Channelling vintage Sodom, what’s not to like? I chatted with James McBain, the Hellripper himself, to find out what goes into the process behind this year’s sleeper hit.
Tell us a little bit about the formation of Hellripper, what was the genesis of it?
I started Hellripper simply because I couldn’t find other musicians in my area that were interested in playing this kind of music. I had the idea to do this back in 2012 or so and wrote some songs back then but I never got around to actually releasing anything until just recently.

What’s your history in metal, what got you into it in the first place?

I think the first “proper” metal band I heard and loved was Iron Maiden which must have been when I was about 10 or something. It was when I saw the video for ‘Run to the Hills’ on TV which prompted me to buy ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Powerslave’. Soon after this, I discovered thrash metal and recall buying ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’ and ‘…And Justice For All’, both of which are still big influences on me.

Hellripper is clearly influenced by the 80s speed/black metal crossovers like Sodom and early Bathory, but which other bands are important to Hellripper’s sound?

 Sodom and Bathory are definite influences on the sound I am going for. Sabbat from Japan are also a very big influence on the sound. Similar old-school bands such as the obvious Venom and Motorhead play a big part on how the music sounds. The influences are not limited to the old-school though as bands such as Midnight and Enforcer are favourites of mine. Hardcore punk, crust and thrash metal are also a big part of Hellripper’s sound.

I reviewed the Manifestation of Evil, your debut EP, a while back here at The Killchain, how has it been received in the general scene? Personally I thought it was fucking killer.

Thanks for the positive words on the EP, I am glad you enjoy it! From what I have seen so far, the response has been very positive which I am of course very pleased about!
Where do you get your lyrical inspiration from?
The whole speed/thrash metal thing lends itself well to horror imagery so I tend to write things in that vein. The lyrics usually come from stuff I have read or have seen on TV etc. I usually write the music first, then think of a fitting title to the music and then write lyrics based on the title.
How is your local scene, are there a lot of bands around there for gigs?
The local scene in Aberdeen at the moment is very good and still it is constantly improving. There are a variety of genres represented by the scene here from punk to doom to powerviolence and there are some excellent bands of all styles. The great thing about the metal and punk scene in Aberdeen is that gigs often do not just stick to having one style of music represented. For example, you could have a punk band, a death metal band and a sludge band playing at the same gig which for a fan of all of the genres like I am is brilliant.

What’s the next step for Hellripper? I hear you have a split coming up, any information you can give us on that?

At the moment I have 2 splits planned, however I don’t want to say anything about these until they are confirmed. For these planned splits, 4 new songs have been written as well as a cover song which if these splits do not go ahead will be released anyway in some other form. I currently have a few more songs written that will be released at some point whether they be as part of an EP or as part of a split etc. I am also currently in the middle of the writing process for the first album.
You covered Rats of Reality’s song ‘Armed with the End’ recently, is the hardcore/crust punk scene something that influences your style?
I am also a part of Rats of Reality so the Hellripper version ‘Armed With the End’ is just a slight reworking of the song that was released on the first Rats of Reality EP. I have always felt that song would fit Hellripper’s style and thought it would be a fun idea to “cover” it in a slightly thrashier/blackened vein. To answer your question, yes hardcore and crust are a big part of my style and that probably shows more in Rats of Reality, however bands such as Discharge, (newer) Darkthrone, Amebix and Anti Cimex are huge influences on the style of Hellripper and I guess that’s where some of the simplicity comes from.

Is there a chance we’ll be getting to see Hellripper on the stage sometime soon or is it to be a studio project?

I am hoping to take Hellripper to the stage in the future. I have been talking with a few friends who may be interested in being part of it, however for the moment it is still a studio project.

Finally, if you have anything else to add in here, feel free! Thanks for talking to us

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the EP! Like the Facebook page for updates and check out ‘The Manifestation of Evil’ on bandcamp. http://www.facebook.com/Hellripper1 http://www.hellripper.bandcamp.com
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s