Southern, Thrash & Rock’n Rollers Hellcowboys Interviewed

HELLCOWBOYS were born in Rome (Italy) in 2014, from previous experience of Carton (2007-2014). The sound is influenced by rock music, 80/90’s metal, southern and thrash atmospheres. Pure fuckin’ hard grooves and really strong rhythmics plus lead and screaming vocals.

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?
We started when we were very young, teenagers …listening to the music that we liked (the dear old rock’n’ roll and metal too) and, after, starting to strum the first songs. Then over several years (many) we have increasing this passion.Some members of our families have made us discover good music, the same that we have always carried in our hearts.

Were you forced to go to church as a youth, if so, did you sing in the choir or participate in some other ways?
Well, it is not easy to answer … let’s say that we were not great visitors in our youth of this places…maybe for us the oratories was a way to socialize … maybeCris (vocalist) had an experience of this kind (not too long, fortunately)

What was the Rome local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
Our city, Rome, would have a lot of potential … the serious problem is that there are no suitable means (local or whatever) to increase what the music scene can offers …There are lot of valid bands (with which we have a good relationship and with some we are good friends) that are known in Europe and some even in the US, but there is still a lot to do to improve the local music scene. ..With no doubt, however, all the bands in our city have a lot to say… and this is very nice

How did the band form and how did the band name come about? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup? How stable is the current lineup?
Hellcowboys were born in 2014, from the ashes of a band already active since 2007 (Carton) in Rome and part of Italy; After the end of the activity of the previous band, Cris ‘Comaante’ Iacovazzo (voice) and Daniele (drums) start looking for the ‘right’ people to form a ‘right’ band, that proposing a mature sound and with equally mature messages behind …so arrived Stfn ‘Steele’ Ferramola, on bass, and Andrea ‘Andrixxx’ Valentinoon guitar. Later, Alessandro ‘Daf’ Di Filippo joined the band as new drummer, defining the current line-up, active, now, since two years.
Our name, unlike what you may think, has nothing to do with the band Pantera (even if it is one of our favorite bands): we are of the opinion that in these times that have changed too much – in social relationships, in work , in family relationships, in life expectancy – we are all a bit cowboys … who roam in the difficult, almost infernal world … and from this … our name … Hellcowboys

How would you best describe your sound?
Well…generally we use Southern, Groove, Thrash &Rock’n’Roll. The sound is influenced by rock music, 80/90’s metal, southern and thrash atmospheres. Pure fuckin’ hard grooves and really strong rhitmics plus lead and screaming vocals.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?
We listen to a lot of music and we always look for something that has quality, for our pleasure to listen to good products … and also to learn something more, that never hurts

Is doing ticket pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?
But absolutely not …ticket pre-sales means offering the public the ability to purchase tickets in advance … pay to play (which we hate) means paying to play, to live your passion … and this NO…

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?
We are never nervous before we play … we can not wait! …we played in two festivals recently (the RoMetal fest 2017 in Rome and the Sinistro Fest 2016 near Florence): we had a lot of fun, the audience responded to the great and above all they were two wonderful experiences … that left us a lot

Favorite songs on the soon to be released new album and why?
Well, we already have the material for the next album (which will be out for the late 2018) …But the songs that satisfy us more Psychosis, Head Up! and Sick ‘n’ Broken, because in our opinion these have a beautiful groove and beautiful arrangements … and above all because theserock!

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Hell Cowboys songs?
Yes, there are many social messages in our songs (we do not care, at the moment, the political aspect of music) …but above all we look around, see what happens, what changes (in good and in bad) and we also inform ourselves about so many things that we do not talk about (or we should not talk about) … and we try to put all this in our music

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?
There are so many bands that we admire, much of the past but also many of the present … in the same way we admire many authors / writers who made their words / verses a way of communicating or transmitting emotions to the world … so many that this space would be reductiveto mention them

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want? What gear is currently making the Hells Cowboys sound?
We do not have endorsements by now…it would be really great to have. Cris (voice) use Shure Wireless system microphones and Digitech effect Andrixxx (guitar) use Randall head and cabinet, Gibson and Jackson guitars and a lot of effect pedals (Boss/Digitech/Mokko…). Stfn (bass) use Markbass head and cabinet, Fender basses and effects pedals (Mxr/Digitech and more)

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without?
We think that social networks are influencing too much the everyday life … and maybe we are not too much estimators of this … but we realize that in these times they can be useful, if used successfully … especially in our case to promote our work all over the world … we try to take part all, more or less, to our social activities … and luckily with good results

Do you still buy cds or mostly use streaming sites? Which sites do you use? What do you like about them?
When we can we always try to buy albums that we like or we are interested in, for having it in our hand, putting it in our hifi system and listen to it …however, we listen to music in other ways too… for example with Spotify or Youtube

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?
Testament, Megadeth, BLS, Amon Amarth, Gojira, Slayer, Coroner…just to name a few…But the list…is too long!

Top 5 albums or songs released within the last 12 months?
Well…it’s not so simple…Recently? We are waiting for Firepower of Judas Priest…We liked Testament’s Brotherhood of the Snake and Megadeth’s Dystopia…But as we said, there would be a lot of music we could speak about…

What does rock n roll mean to you?

Categories: Interviews, News

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