Can you please introduce yourself, your role in the band and your favourite album to this date?
Hello there, here is Sue – singer & only former band member of The Hellfreaks. Music and especially underground punk, hardcore, psycho – scene life has always been big part of my life, so it’s hard to pick out one album. So my choice might surprise you even more as I pick a hardrock band & hardrock is by far not my favorite genre – but this piece just packed me in so unexpectedly. I guess the album that I have listened to more than anything else is Going To Hell from The Pretty Reckless. Despite that I could mention any Distillers album.
The new generation of The Hellfreaks came to life in 2015 after the band split in 2014. What was the decision behind the comeback?
I moved away from my hometown Budapest to Germany, Berlin at that time of the split up, and was struggling really hard with accepting my new situation without music, with building up a new life without having a band. It was more or less like a very heavy break up, that dragged me shockingly deep down. It was a heavy period for me and right when I started to accept the situation we got the invitation to the Ink ‘n’ Iron Festival, a legendary festival in Long Beach, California. It literally brought the band back to life: but we had to leave the old weights behind. That’s why we came back with new members, a new spirit and new energy – I think this email changed my life more than any other lines so far. This invitation meant the rebirth of The Hellfreaks. When we saw this invitation, me & our old drummer Rico knew that we just have to figure out a way to make it back with The Hellfreaks on stage, as it is really rare to face this possibility as a group from Hungary.
Your latest album Astoria was released at the beginning of 2016. Are there any plans for a new album?
Plans are not enough to write a new longplayer!
We are already working on it. Honestly, we have been working on it for a pretty long time now; we’ve been in the songwriting process for quite a year. It takes us much longer than ever before, but not because of lack of inspiration, way more because we’ve changed the whole concept of our songwriting. The new songs are not born in the rehearsal room anymore.
It had been a long way till we were able to manage possibilities at home to work and record on demos – so now we’re going much more into details, concepts and selecting with an ice cold heart to put the right pieces, ideas and songs together for the upcoming album.
Our fans are used to getting a different sound with each album, and we’re still far from the end, but it is out of question that this album will for sure be the next step in the right direction for us. Or at least “right” in our point of view, but we are happy to see the development of our work. Everyone who liked Astoria, will for sure LOVE the upcoming one.
You’ve also had the chance to tour across parts of Europe and America, do you prefer to tour in the US or Europe?
There are no preferences. US & Europe are two totally different worlds for us, however, they have the same feeling on the stage. Of course there are pros and cons on both sides. We’ve toured way more in Europe, so there are clubs all across the continent we play regularly at, and where we feel like home after all these years. Compared to the US, it’s small, so the distances are manageable.
US is still a new world for us. It gave us way much more stories to tell and there is so much we still haven’t seen. So we really hope that we will make it back soon. But there are also other places on our bucket lists, like Japan or Australia, that we really want to, but couldn’t make it so far.
What was one of your favourite shows and why?
After hundreds and hundreds of shows its impossible to answer.
There are some special shows that left some bigger footprints in my mind. For example our gig at the Wave Gothik Treffen, where we played in front of a couple of thousands of people for the first time. Or our gig at Force Attack, where the organizer of the festival just left with all the money in his pocket, and literally left anarchy behind. I’d never seen a festival so much out of control, but we didn’t hesitate to do the concert anyway. Or the gig at Ink’n Iron – maybe not because it was as special a gig, but it was a special feeling. A feeling of “I’m back again.”.
You describe your genre as modern punk-rock- riot, what influences your genre style?
We started as a psychobilly influenced band, which is a very strict genre. Music & lyrics-wise it has its magical world, but is also has its boundaries. So after the rebirth of The Hellfreaks, the biggest issue was to leave all these boundaries behind. But there wasn’t really a fixed concept. We all come from different genres – all kids of rock music, but I guess I don’t have to describe how wide this genre still is. So it was much more like that: we put all together what we had and just let ourselves be surprised by the outcome.
Our very first song of the new line up was “Back To My Planet” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr7CvojaliA) Personally, I think that this is the only new generation song where you can still hear some of the old rock’n roll feeling. After that we dared to make the second step of finding our own new sound and that was the flow how Astoria came alive.
We learned a lot during the recording process – we learned the strengths and weaknesses of each other and based on that, we are just trying to do and create everything in a way where each of us can shine with their best side.
What is next on the list for The Hellfreaks?
Writing and recording the best album ever in our history. We already have a videorecording planned for this summer and of course we’re having a couple a of clubshows and also some major festivals around Europe this summer. Come and join us!
05.05 – Hungary, Székesfehér at Nyolcas Műhely01.06 – Romania, Revolution Festival 13.07 – Serbia, EXIT Festival 16.08 – Czech Republic, Pod Parou Festival 03.10 – Germany, München at Bürgerhaus Glockenbachwerkstatt04.10 – Germany, Ludwigsburg at Rocknrollbar Ludwigsburg05.10 – Switzerland, Meyrin at Undertown06.10 – Italy, Treviso at Nasty Boys01.11 – Germany, Hannover at SubKultur 02.11 – Germany, Erfurt at Ilvers Musikbar03.11 – Germany, Berlin at Wild At Heart16.11 – Hungary, Budapest at Robot
Which of your tracks describes The Hellfreaks the best?
“I’m Away” is pretty much the best to summarize The Hellfreaks.