the one man blackmetal bedroom band is no new thing so what inspired you to pick up your guitar and let Hell rip, espeically since you are involved with 'real' bands as well?
Well, the idea for Hellripper had been around a while before I started Rats of Reality. There was just simply a lack of people I knew that would be interested in playing this type of music. So I thought I may as well just do everything on my own to get stuff released.
I've seen names of 80's groups such as Bathory and Motorhead linked to your music but the first band I thought of was Toxic Holocaust, am I on the money there or way off the mark? As a 'younger' fella in the scene do you find that you take much influence from contemporary acts such as Toxic Holocaust or is it the old 80's classics that continue to fuel the riffage of the metal youth?
Nope, completely right. Toxic Holocaust are a huge influence on me as well as all of Joel Grind's other bands/projects he has going on. Bathory and Motorhead are also big influences on me. I do listen to a lot of 'newer' bands and maybe that is because I didn't grow up with bands like Bathory and Venom but as long as it's good music, I don't care when it was made. Bands like Midnight and Toxic Holocaust although not what you would call “new” bands are among my favourites.
'metal punk' is certainly a niche genre in Scotland, is that what inspired the 'bedroom' nature of hellripper? Are there any Scottish bands you rate, metal, punk or otherwise?
Well when I started doing Hellripper, I wasn't really involved in the music scene here in Aberdeen, so didn't know many people that even liked bands like Toxic Holocaust or whatever nevermind people that would be willing to play stuff like that. But there seems to be a lot of both metal and punk bands in Scotland although not many combine the two.
Scumpulse, Godhole and NNGNN from Edinburgh are all great. Absolutist and Boak from Aberdeen too. There are a lot more but those are my favourites off the top of my head.
When we chatted at Crammond we talked about the difficulty to find quality gigs in Scotland as a metal band, do you have any thoughts on how this situation could be remedied?
Yeah, it seems that some people involved in the punk and metal scenes only want to book bands that stay exclusively within those genres. For example, with Rats of Reality, we've been turned down gigs because we were too metal or too punk to fit in with the other bands. Of course, not everyone that is into one genre is into the other but in my opinion a little crossover is always nice just to make things a bit different.
Everyone loves a good list - give us your top three current metal punk releases and why we should check em out and your top three classic releases and why they remain so influential.
1. Midnight – No Mercy for Mayhem: In my opinion, the best metalpunk band out there at the moment. Although I prefer the debut, this album is not far behind.
2. Scumpulse – 'By Design EP': A great band from Edinburgh that mix 2nd wave black metal with crust. They have a new album on the way I believe.
3. Whipstriker/Bastardizer – 'Strike of the Bastard': A great split featuring 3 songs from each band. Whipstriker from Brazil release a lot of great stuff on a fairly regular basis. Whipstriker offer a sort of Venom-influenced style whereas Bastardizer offer a thrashier approach similar to the likes of Nocturnal or Desaster.
1. Sabbat [JPN] – 'Evoke': Sabbat from Japan are one of the best black/thrash bands ever in my opinion. They are one of the most consistent bands too. None of their albums disappoint, however their second album 'Evoke' is my favourite. There's just so many amazing riffs present and the sheer aggression mixed with the clear NWOBHM influence creates an album that in my opinion is one of the most evil-sounding records I've ever heard.
2. Mercyful Fate – 'Melissa': It was tough to choose between this album and 'The Oath'. The sheer amount of top-quality riffs present on this album as well as the vocals of King Diamond make this an instant classic. The album feels really theatrical because of the vocals and due to the ever-changing riffs. The songwriting present on this album is second-to-none.
3 Venom – 'At War with Satan': Most people would think that due to the sound of Hellripper, if there was any Venom album I would choose then surely 'Black Metal' would be the clear choice but no, 'At War With Satan' (the title track) is a masterpiece. The songwriting on this album combined with the slightly cleaner production than is present on their previous albums makes this my favourite Venom album.
whats next for the band, i see you have another split due soon, any plans beyond that, will we see you opening for Anthrax at the Cathouse next month?
I have a split with Batsheva from the US that has just been released and a split on the way with Kriegg and Acid Cross both from the US (both very good metalpunk bands). A split with death metal band Fetid Zombie is also due in the near future and I will be contributing a cover of “Filth Bitch Boogie” by TANK for a tribute album early next year. A full-length is in the process of being written but I have no idea when that will be complete/released.
There are plans to gig with Hellripper although I'm not in a rush to do so at the minute due to being busy with my other bands. So unfortunately, no I will not be supporting Anthrax next month. Maybe next time though!
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