QuoteReplyTopic: Hades Posted: October 06 2011 at 12:23
Hades from USA is a band which rightfully never will be included in ProgArchives. They were a proto-technical thrash metal band which influenced bands like Watchtower, Cynic and Atheist. Then again; Elvis Presley influenced the likes of The Beatles. We all live by influences even if we take a sharp left turn towards prog rock like many of Elvis Presley's fans did (and became included in our database)
But Hades is still an interesting band whose first two albums is of particular interest. I did an interview with them for my old fanzine back in 1998 and here is the interview re-published in the raw here. Alan Tecchio answered my questions.
All their albums is available through Amazon and other online retailers.
Let us start with the beginning. Please start with the start up of Hades and your track on Metal Blade's "Metal Massacre # 6".
I was not in the band back then, but basically they had a song called Easy Way Out that appeared on the MM6 comp. That was all the band did with MB until rejoining them for this CD. Dan Lorenzo started the band back in his high school days. I joined the band in 1985 or so. Hades had already appeared on Megaforce's Born To Metalize compilation, the aforementioned MM6 comp, and the self released Deliver Us From Evil 7". When I joined we recorded and released, on our own The Cross/Widow's Mite 7". Soon after we were signed to Torrid Records and released two recordings with them: "Resisting Success" and "If At First You Don't Succeed" respectively. We toured a bunch for both releases and finally split up on tour in Europe in 1989. We reunited for a few reunion shows in the years that followed one of which was released as the live CD "Live On Location". Another temporary rejoining to release songs that were sitting around since 1989 and some new ones, caused the release of Exist To Resist the third studio cd on Black Pumpkin Records in America and Brainstorm Division in Europe. I like that CD a lot. It's got a good vibe to it. We played another show and that was it until Dan and I decided to put SaviorSelf together this past year.
Please tell us more about your two first albums; "Resisting Success" and "At First You Don't Succeed".
I did Resisting Success when I was 19 years old. It was a thrill. We still play many of the songs on that CD live like The Leaders?, Nightstalker, On To Iliad and Sweet Revenge. Dan was writing more lyrics then and I was just getting used to my voice. It was the first full length CD any of us had ever done. We thought we would come out and do great since we were on the same label as Exodus! We were pretty naive back then. After limited touring and some great gigs at Lamour in Brooklyn for awesome national acts of the day, we did the second CD If At First... originally as a 5 song EP. Torrid was having trouble getting distribution for an EP and we ended up having to write and record more songs to get a full length recording. That record was more mature in a lot of ways than the first one, but for obvious reasons: playing live a lot together and sharing more experiences. The shows we did in support of that disc were some of our best!
Is there any plans of re-release of "Resisting Success" and "At First You Don't Succeed" ?
Yes, but it's on hold right now. The people we signed a distribution deal with have disappeared and so production has halted. Hopefully we will get them out one day. There are versions of Resisting and If At... out there now though. Dan and I did get versions of both CDs out on our own prior to that deal.
Please tell us more about the legendary Torrid Records.
Torrid was made up of Todd Gordon and Ken Adams. They were two young guys who were smart enough to sign Exodus to a record deal and afterwards signed a band called Tension and then us. We got along great with them and they really worked hard for us. It's too bad we were all so naive... It was an exciting time though.
You went from Hades to the legendary Watch Tower. Please tell us more about this band and it's releases. Any plans of re- release of your first, legendary "Control & Resistance" album ?
Well, their first CD was actually Energetic Disassembly and featured the awesome Jason McMaster on vocals. Billy White played guitar on that one while Ron Jarzombek & I played guitar and vocals respectively on the second CD Control... I had a blast with those guys. They are some of the strangest and smartest people i have ever met. Playing with them was unlike anything I have ever done. I was fortunate to be a part of that legendary group for a brief year. Hopefully Control will come out again. I know the band re-released Energetic on a European label a few years ago. Those guys should have taken Scott Jeffreys from Confessor. His demo ruled!!!!!! Tower are not together as far as I know. I hope that they reform with Jason on vocals again. That would rule!
You then joined Non-Fiction. Please tell us more about this band.
Non fiction was, to me, a stripped down, groovier, punchier Hades. The rhythm section of Mike Cristi on drums and bassist Kevin Bolembach made Dan's heavy riffs sound fatter and fuller than when Hades ripped into them with aggression and speed. That, plus the fact that NF tuned down made them a band that I absolutely loved writing melodies and just basically jamming, with. We did three CDs: Preface, In The Know and It's A Wonderful Lie. We only toured Europe once after the second CD, with Overkill and Savatage. That was before Chris Oliva died-RIP. IT was a great tour in many ways, but the band broke up the following year after not being able to land another American deal. (IRS had ended their deal with our label Grand Slam, at that point) The third CD only came out in Europe on SPV records. Hopefully, all the Hades and Non Fiction stuff will be available once again in the form of reissues containing tons of bonus tracks and new art. That's in the works, but we've encountered some problems...
It seems like Hades is a life long fascination/love for you. Please tell us more about why you put together Hades again.
Because Dan Lorenzo found a bunch of Hades websites that fans had made and it gave him motivation to pick up a guitar again and write some songs. Whenever someone takes the time to read your lyrics or listen to your songs, it's always a great flattering feeling. People are bombarded today with all kinds of media. Many do not take the time to listen to new stuff and that's a shame. The reissues I mentioned earlier actually spawned this whole SaviorSelf release when you go back to the beginning. Dan and I had an opportunity to release pretty much whatever we wanted through some folks whose names we won't mention.... basically we put the band back together and felt out how rehearsals went to see if we could put a CD together that ranked up there with all of the other stuff we had released in the past. if we were not happy with the music, we never would have put this CD out. There's too many bands doing that already!!! Anyway, these guys we did the deal with disappeared and that left us with a new Hades CD and no way to release it! Brian sl*g.l heard the tape (thanks to the suggestion that we send a tape to MB, from a friend of ours, Gabriel Feliu) and he loved it. He made no hesitation about his interest and the rest is as they say, history!
The reunion shows resulted in a live CD called "Live On Location". Please tell us more about this album.
WE have done a number of reunion shows over the years. This was mainly due to our modest but loyal fan base here in the NJ/NY area. They wrote that they really wanted to see the band live again and we responded. It became a running joke that each one would be our "last"! That particular one was from a club called Studio One. It's now called Tequila Joe's. The sound quality of this CD is awesome! I loved the set we did and if you're a fan of the studio stuff, it's worth it for the clarity of the audio. SST in Weehawken, NJ did and awesome job of tracking that stuff.
Please tell us more about the comeback album "Exist To Resist".
We put this together because Dan solidified a small European deal with Brainstorm Division. We gathered up 1) the songs we had ready for a third CD when we broke up and 2) a Non Fiction song that band never used and 3) some brand new stuff including the title track. This disc too, has a sound to it. The first two discs I think suffered from poor production overall. This one finally gave us a solid, heavy, cohesive sound. Thanks goes of course to Big Blue Meenie Studios once again. To be critical I can say that my heart was not in Hades when we did this disc. I think I sang OK, but I could have done a lot more. I sing along to it in my truck and have all these killer harmonies to some of the stuff. I should have pushed myself harder. SaviorSelf is a big step up for me I think, but I have a ways to go yet. I recorded Exist, NF's Lie disc and the first All Time Low (the band Mike Cristi and I had after NF split) demo at Big Blue in a month or so's time. It was nuts. I was writing lyrics, melodies and all for three different bands. It was quite a challenge, but I think I pulled back on Exist to compensate for putting more time into ATL and NF.
Please present us to your new album "Savior Self". There are a lot of very strong lyrics about USA on this album. Please give us an insight to the lyrics and the state of today's USA.
It's a concept CD with a theme of self reliance and an honest but dark view of the world today. The title track condemns abuse of the American welfare system. The video track Active Contrition points a critical finger at organized religion. That's where the Savior in the title stems from. Dan cam up with the CD title and I did the song titles. That's usually how it works out for some reason... Tim Gilles our producer, came up with the title In The Words Of The Profit. That song was inspired by a local scenester/singer Anthony Trance who died of a drug overdose. "Some people cannot be saved" is the tie in there. The shot of an empty hospital emergency room on the CD back is to portray that you would have to save yourself if you were in that picture. There are no doctors on duty. Dan's riffs are wicked on this disc. He came up with some of his best stuff to date. It will be a challenge to top it next time! Ed wrote To Know One and it seems to be a very well received song so far. I think it's great. Dave Lescinsky, our new drummer adds a lot to the sound as well with his fast double bass drumming. It adds a new and different element to the Lorenzo/Fuhrman idea camp. Here's a brief run-down of the songs lyrically that I've been giving out: SaviorSelf This one is about the welfare system in America. In my opinion it should be turned into a workfare system. There are too many people indefinitely abusing the system instead of using it for what it was originally designed for-to help the destitute and downtrodden to get back on their feet. It's about saving the country from a slow financial bleeding. Decline and fall of the American empire. This is a dark forecast of a possible future for the USA. It compares the excesses and indulgences of modern day America to that of Egypt and Rome when they were in their prime. It's about saving our culture and country from being destroyed by ourselves. Active Contrition. A song about the hypocrisy of organized religion. The video takes this tune to another level by exemplifying how a person can get away with anything as long as they confess their sins. Can a person truly save themselves in this way? I don't think so. To Know One This one is about how people are, at times, unable to save others from imminent death. In particular my boss's mom who was our office manager at Steppin' Out and an old high school friend of mine's sister who died in an unfortunate canoe accident four months after being wed. Profit. Sort of a carry over of To Know One lyrically, this song was inspired by NJ promoter/singer Anthony Trance who died of a drug overdose. In this case, the person killed themselves in effect and was unable to save himself. Y2K As obvious as it seems. This song tells the tale of how we as embracers of technology, need to save ourselves from the impending Year 2000 Bug. All computers need to become Y2K compliant if they are going to be expected to work properly in the new millennium. End of the Bargain. This one is about how some friendships are not worth saving. How it's best to walk away from some people before they drag you down with them. Fail. This song is on the CD lyrically to offer a bleak look at life. Some people can never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fail is about that hopelessness. That inability to muster the energy to save oneself from their own dark perception.
Why did you end up on Metal Blade again ?
Because they friggin' rule !!!!
What is your view on today's metal scene ?
It seems there are so many bands nowadays that it's hard to keep track of who's who and what's what! Of the stuff out there today, I like the last Slayer disc Diablos. That is a heavy, ballsy CD. I didn't want to like Priest with a new singer but that disc Ripper did with them is great and the live one even better! It will be interesting to see what Maiden does with Bruce now. Hopefully they will write some heavy stuff. The last few CDs did nothing for me. I don't dig Blaze Bailey's voice at all. The Call To Irons death metal tribute CD has some great versions of Maiden stuff. Dave is also my roommate and he turns me on to a lot of new metal on a daily basis. Name a band and he knows them and probably has their CD.
There is a Norwegian Black Metal band called Hades, who has so far released a couple of good albums. Has this band been a problem for you ?
Not at all. We may not have been the biggest band back in the eighties, but we were known enough in the underground to make it silly for someone else to use the name. It would be like us coming back out now and calling ourselves Omen or Heathen or something.
What is your plans for the rest of 1999 ?
To play a few shows where they warrant it. We're selling CDs in some markets like Boston and Philly so we will probably play there. We have a hometown gig a couple of weeks from now. We'd love to come to Europe and play some festival dates, but we're told they are all booked for this year. We are already starting work on new songs for the next CD. Hopefully we will record that one over the summer or something. I'm getting anxious for the new millennium. How many people get to live through the changing of one of those! Hopefully it won't be too bad with all the Y2K stuff.
Anything you want to say to our readers ?
Check out the new disc if you have not yet. I think it is an interesting listen. To those of you who are already fans, thanks so much for the support. It's been a long haul and it's because of you that we are able to do this in the first place. Megathanks !
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