Hail of Bullets – Stephan Gebédi, Guitars

Hail of Bullets is a new death metal supergroup of sorts.  Featuring Martin van Drunen (ex-Pestilence, Asphyx), Theo van Eekelen (ex-Houwitser), Ed Warby (Gorefest) and Thanatos guitarists, Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebédi, the band are just about to release their debut album, ?of Frost and War.  Signed to Metal Blade Records, the quintet has united to play the kind of no-nonsense death metal that is sorely lacking in todays underground.  SMN News spoke with Gebédi about their mission statement.

 

First off, some of our readers will know you from Thanatos.  What is the status of that band?

Thanatos is still going.  We just hit a low-point on the last record.  We were signed to a Greek label called Black Lotus Records who went out of business so we were left in a bad situation.  We lost some money and it was a bad time for the band.  We are currently looking for a new deal.  We?re probably going to be getting Dan Swanö to mix some of the material for the new release.  He worked on the Hail of Bullets album and he did a great job!  So yeah, Thanatos will be back soon.

 

How long have you known Martin and why did you feel the need to start HOB?

I?ve known Ed for 12-15 years.  We used to get together and check out horror movies and listen to metal.  He?s also in Gorefest so we play in the same scene.  Martin is a different story.  The metal press created a big rivalry here in Holland between Thanatos and Pestilence back in the late 80?s but we didn?t really meet.  It wasn?t until he was in the band Death By Dawn and Thanatos played some shows with them that we really talked.  We had a few beers and then got into talking about all the stuff we had in common.  We are into a lot of the older death metal stuff and then we finally got Hail of Bullets together in 2006.

 

I hear a lot of the elements of all the bands you guys have been involved with through the years and there is a definite older flavor to the riffing and arrangements.  Was this a conscious decision?

I actually don?t really hear too much of Thanatos or Gorefest in what Hail of Bullets does.  Yeah, there is that old-school feeling to the music but not so much of those specific bands.  I hear some Asphyx in there.  When we wrote the songs, we were definitely thinking more along the lines of bands like Massacre, Autopsy and Celtic Frost.  Those are the bands that I think we really sound like.

 

The obvious theme on the album is war but you get into WWII and not the current crisis in the Middle East.  Was there a reason for this?

It?s probably because we are European and we are much more intrigued with WWII here.  Martin wrote the lyrics and he?s always been interested in the historical aspect of it.  He has read many books and collected DVDs about WWII.  He?s always wanted to do a concept album about it so this was a great chance for him to do it.  The lyrics fit the music so perfectly. 

 

I love how the whole CD packaging captures the lyrical themes giving you a total experience. 

Yeah man!  It?s too bad you guys in the States don?t get the Digipak.  Metal Blade did a great job with it!  A tank pops up when you open the packaging!

 

You guys have so many years of experience, was it tough getting all the egos in check in the studio and when you were writing the material?

It was actually really easy when we were writing the music.  I thought Ed, the drummer, was going to be tough to get in the studio because of his schedule with Gorefest.  He actually turned out to be great to work with!  He plays guitar too and he came in with all these great riffs and song ideas right away.  He ended up writing about 50% of the songs on the album.  The studio went smoothly too.  We?ve all had so much experience so we know what to do once we?re in there.


Can we expect any surprises when we see you live like maybe a Pestilence or Thanatos song?

There will be no songs from any of our other past or current bands.  We did talk about possibly doing an old Pestilence song but once we saw that Patrick Mamam (he tries to pronounce Patrick Mameli?s last name) or however you pronounce it, was getting a new Pestilence together, we figured there was no point really.  We are probably going to throw in a couple of covers just because we don?t have enough stuff for a headlining set.

 

Can fans expect a tour from Hail of Bullets in the near future?

Right now we don?t have any set plans on hitting the States but we would love to if there is a demand.  At this point, we don?t really want to do long tours.  We’ll go out for maybe a week or so at a time at this point.  We would love to play some death metal festivals in the summer and fall.  America could happen but I guess we?ll have to see how the album sells there first.

 

I know you mentioned you had kids.  Are they into metal at all?

My daughter likes a lot of different types of music but she?s been getting into heavier stuff lately.  She is 12 so she likes stuff like Shakira but she?s really into Iron Maiden and Rammstein too.  I think she?ll get into the brutal stuff too!


Which metal album had the most impact on you early in your life?

Well, for music in general, I would have to say Destroyer from Kiss really got me going.  I know Patrick is also a big Kiss fan so they were important.  In terms of metal it was definitely Venom?s Welcome to Hell.  That album made me feel like it was possible to actually play in a band.  It was so heavy and straight forward.  Iron Maiden and stuff like that seemed so impossible to do.  Venom really made me want to be in a band.

By Carlos Ramirez

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