I would like to start off this interview by thanking you for your time.
1. Who started the band, and do you still have the same band members from the start of the formation?
I started the band in 2000 with a few friends who left in the first couple years of its conception for one reason or another. Jim is the next longest serving member joining in 2005, Andy 2008 and Mikey 2011.
2. Before recording your first full length album, Denial, did you use your own material when performing a show, or did you do covers? and if yes to covers, which bands?
In the real early days we used to play Overkill’s Fuck You live, we used to warm up with Motorhead’s Overkill and Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop. I think we played these songs live once or twice but they were never permanent fixtures in the set list.Now days we warm up with the encore songs to our set.
3. Would you say the first album, and tour of the U.K. was a success in reaching more fans? and did this release gain any notariety outside of the U.K.?
The first album gave us a foot hold in the underground scene and opened a few doors for us in the UK. We did reach more fans, which are still with us to this day. We sold a fair amount outside the UK, mainly in the US helped along the way with a few early day internet radio stations.
4. The majority of the songs recorded, before the Inquisition allbum, have religious references and song titles. Does this reflect the members perceptions on organised religion? and do any of the band members have a religious upbringing?
I wrote all the lyrics to the songs before Inquisition, I guess some of it was my perception and some was just artistic license. We are not anti-religious, I know Jim had a Catholic up bringing and I had a somewhat Christian one, but we don’t force our beliefs on people we don’t need to do that as there are so many people doing that sort of thing already.
5. With the launch of Inquisition this year, your band has gained attention from many fans, including myself. Would you say that this is the most recognised/successful album to date?
The foundations were laid with the Religious Persecution album, now with the backing of Digital Media Records we have a bigger audience worldwide than before. I would say the Inquisition album is starting to get the band noticed and out there more, we certainly seem to be working harder with the media than on any of our last releases.
6. Who in the band is the most involved in songwriting?
Jim and I write the majority of the music and I am the main lyricist. In the early days I didn’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off; I wrote 99% of Denial and Fallen Prophet. Jim really made an impact on Religious Persecution and Inquisition and I think it really shows. Inquisition was the first album where the whole band really got to work on the material.
7. Aside from the U.K., where is your next country or continent for a tour destination?
We had to pull out of our European plans this year, so we will need to fulfill those dates. The band has a plan to play US and Canada but I don’t think it is going to happen in 2012, it’s on our wish list but it’s down to the Blood Flow Live guys to get things sorted for us.
8. Many bands have featured musicians on their tracks. Who would you like to see jam with Helgrind?
I would love Blitz and Dave Linsk from Overkill to jam with us. They are big influences on us and it would be cool to have them feature on a Helgrind track
9. What is the pinnacle moment for Helgrind as a band?
I think it’s the realisation that people from all over the world bought our CDs and want us to play in their cities. It has taken a long time to get that break and really given us something to build on, the dream is over, the journey and hard work is now starting, it’s a place we have all been working hard to get to.
10. Final question, how would you like the metal world to remember Helgrind? What is your legacy in the music community?
I think I would like metal fans to remember us as the band they got wrecked with on and off stage. Our legacy will always be to stay true to our roots, fast, aggressive and angry, none of that pop metal band wagon nonsense.
Take care, and please say hello to all the band members, and of course, Caitlyn.