:: Interview with Hail Of Bullets
Interview with Hail Of Bullets
In this interview I chat with Ed Warby, drummer of Hail of Bullets from the Dutch death metal group, Hail Of Bullets. Ed talks to me about his childhood, his favourite bands, the writing process of the new album 'Upon Divine Winds', Who he would be in a super group with if he had a choice and much more. Prepare for, as Ed describes it, FULL SCALE WAR!
Metalship : Can you tell us a bit about yourself, like what hobbies you have as well as playing your music?
My name’s Ed Warby and I’m the drummer as well as one of the main songwriters for Hail Of Bullets. Music is a huge part of my life, the rest is mainly dedicated to watching movies and reading about them. I have a huge collection of horror on DVD/Blu-ray, especially the old stuff (1960s/1970s).
Metalship : Who are all the guys in the band and what do they play?
Apart from yours truly there’s Stephan Gebédi and Paul Baayens on guitars, Theo van Eekelen on bass and last but not least the infamous Martin van Drunen on vocals.
Metalship : As a child what music did you grow up on?
Fortunately, mostly good music. Lots of glorious '70s radio. My parents listened to stuff like The Everly Brothers and Johnny Cash. The first albums I bought myself were Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf and my favourite, Jeff Wayne’s "War Of The Worlds." I converted to hard rock at age 11 or 12, starting with KISS
, Deep Purple
, Black Sabbath
and so on, gradually getting into the heavier stuff. Magical times and I’m eternally grateful I still got to appreciate that magic as opposed to the way most kids experience music nowadays.
Metalship : When and how did all the guys from Hail of Bullets meet?
I’ve know Stephan for over 25 years, but we never played together in a band before. It was his idea to get together a bunch of seasoned veterans to play old school death metal and he assembled his dream team. I knew Paul, but Theo I’d only seen once and never saw Martin, so we decided to get together for a night on the town to see if we liked each others’ company. Safe to say we got along famously, and the next morning we woke up as bandmates!
Metalship : Who came up with the name Hail of Bullets?
That was me, but we all tossed around literally hundreds of names before settling on it. We came very close to picking Warkult, glad we didn’t. Hail Of Bullets sounds much better, and it looks great on T-shirts, haha!
Metalship : Who are the main influences of Hail of Bullets?
Mostly the heroes of the late '80s and early '90s death metal scene--Autopsy, Entombed
, Bolt Thrower
, Celtic Frost
, Death, Massacre, you get the idea. We consciously stay away from modern death metal, so you won’t find any hyperblasts or breakdowns in our music.
Metalship : Your first album was about the Russian front in World War Two. Your 2nd album is about the wars in the Pacific. What makes your write about war?
It’s just something that happened quite organically. Martin heard the first demos I made and he immediately got visions of war, the Eastern Front in particular. He came up with some lyrics, and we all liked the combination so much we decided to stick with it. It’s a brutal subject for brutal music, and there’s tons of topics to choose from.
Metalship : What would you define as the highlight of Hail of Bullets career?
Getting this band together was already such a highlight, the rest is just gravy! Being signed by Metal Blade was definitely a highlight, our first “big” show at Party.san was another, but to be honest we only pick and choose stuff that we really want to do and enjoy everything to the fullest. I imagine there’s some new highlights coming up this year since we’re playing a lot of prestigious festivals such as Hellfest and Wacken. Oh yeah, entering the German charts with "On Divine Winds" certainly qualifies as a highlight!
Metalship : What is the best gig you have ever played and why?
Tough one… I think Jallometalli in Finland was very good because of the general atmosphere and conditions, but without blowing my own horn, most of our shows have been at least “good," sometimes the audience elevates a show into “great” territory. Sometimes there’s an extra “click” on stage that makes you play just a little better…
Metalship : You are playing a one-off show in London this year, but can we be expecting any UK dates soon?
None planned yet, but we’re open to any suggestions or offers. We only do one-offs anyway, so it’s relatively easy to come over for one or two shows. For now, though, our UK fans must all attend the London gig of course…
Metalship : What is your favourite song to play live and why?
Right now it’s "Liberators off the Warsaw Rising" EP. We haven’t done it as often as some of the other ones, and it works especially well as the first encore coming out of the ominous air raid sirens we play after the last regular song. The new stuff is obviously a lot of fun to play as well.
Metalship : If you had to give a child a compilation of five tracks to best define your work, what five tracks would they be?
That’s a fun yet near impossible question, let’s give it a shot:
1. General Winter
4. Operation Z
5. Tokyo Napalm Holocaust
Metalship : If you could be in a super group with you on your job, who would be in the band?
I’m not much into super groups, but I wouldn’t mind jamming with these people:
Guitars – Bruce Franklin & Rick Wartell (the Trouble
tandem) or Michael Sweet & Oz Fox (Stryper
Bass – Steve DiGiorgio
Vocals – Jorn Lande or Russell Allen
Not sure what that would sound like though…
Metalship : If you could open for anyone dead or famous who would it be and why?
! I was so jealous when My Favorite Scar (new Dutch rockband) got to open for them, and I know Stephan would just die if that ever happened… I shouldn’t complain though, I’ve already opened for Deep Purple
and Judas Priest
with my previous band Gorefest
Metalship : 15. Who would you say is the most underrated Death Metal band?
, those guys kill! And in the historical scheme of things I’d say Autopsy
aren’t nearly as revered as they should be based on their first two insanely brilliant albums.
Metalship : When did you start writing this album and when did it come to its final mastering phase?
I don’t recall when exactly we started writing, but the recording process took nine months from the first recorded note to OK’ing the final master
. I suppose pre-production was another three-four months, so that’s over a year in total.
Metalship : What is your fondest memorable time you have had in the studio and on tour during the making and the promotion of the album?
Most of the album was recorded at my home studio with me acting as both engineer and producer, so the thing I remember most is the looooong stretches of very dull-but-hard work. The funnest bit was doing Martin’s vocals at Excess studios. I’d gained his trust
as a vocal coach when we did the EP, and we had a great time working out all kinds of vocal arrangements for this one. Most of the promotion was done by e-mail or phone, expect for a great promo trip to Germany by train to visit the Rock Hard headquarters. There’s nothing like handing over your new album to an “outsider” for the first time and actually being there when it’s played, nerve wracking but fun!
Metalship : Thanks for your time in filling in these questions. Could you give a summary of the new album ‘On Divine Winds’ to all our listeners out there?
You bet: Full Scale War!!!
added by The Dark Lord, on March 16, 2011 for Metalship