-Interview- HellHeart (12/1/17)

HellHeart talks about their formation, the California music scene and much more.


From: Modesto, CA
Sounds like: Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “HellHeart” and is there any meaning behind it?

HellHeart started as a project from founder Jess Gilmore in January of 2016. After leaving a previous project due to a difference of opinions on what it takes to succeed in music, I (Jess) decided to start my own project and search for members. I found Eddie Callow through Craigslist, and after a single session of jamming we knew we were going to work well together. We wrote our first single "King's Cup" that day in about an hour. Vocalist Alie Grabowski came on board quickly after, as she was a in the previous project that Jess and had parted ways shortly after Jess left. After Kevin Nelson, our drummer came on board it was a clear we had found the right group of people. We wrote and worked really well together and smashed out a couple of our signature songs really quickly. After a couple months of playing shows Jeff Amador jumped on bass and its been an awesome adventure ever since. We each come from different genre backgrounds but are all grounded in a center idea for what kind of music we want to make, and it has proven to give us a unique sound that we love.

The name HellHeart came from the mind of Jess Gilmore, and the name kind of embodies a lot of what our music is about. The idea of being through some of the worst things life has to offer, that your heart has been through hell is a theme we find ourselves writing in a lot. Whether it be bad relationships, family matters or friends you stab you in the back, the name mirrors what our music is about.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

We want to make music that means something, so when you listen to our songs and learn the words, there is feeling behind it. We put a lot of passion into HellHeart and we hope that it translates to our audience in a meaningful way.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Our sound is an aggressive blend of Metalcore, Modern Metal and Hardcore. From the start we wanted to be a band that blurred the lines of genres and sub genres. We don't want to be put into a box of a single sound, and we enjoy experimenting with different elements to just make music that is fun to listen to and fun to play.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

It's hard to narrow it down to just three, but some of the biggest influences we have that would make it an honor to tour with would probably by Arch Enemy, August Burns Red and Killswitch Engage.

5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

Jess Gilmore - [Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt.2 Scenes from a Memory] [Parkway Drive - Killing with a Smile] [No Bragging Rights - The Concrete Flower].

Eddie Callow - [Falling in Reverse - The Drug in Me is You] [Bullet for my Valentine - Scream Aim Fire] [Avenged Sevenfold - City of Evil].

Jeff Amador - [Dream Theater - Scenes from a Memory] [Killswitch Engage - Alive or Just Breathing] [Metallica - S&M].

Kevin Nelson - [August Burns Red - Messengers] [The Speed of Sound in Seawater - First Contact] [HRVRD - The Inevitable and I].

Alie Grabowski - [A Day to Remember - Common Courtesy] [Ice Nine Kills - Every Trick in the Book] [Asking Alexandria - Stand Up and Scream].

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metalcore?

Metalcore, just like metal itself, it has become so diverse and branched off so much that its hard to really pinpoint what exactly Metalcore is. I think it is coming back in waves but in new directions.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in California both locally and state wide?

Our local scene has been really good to us, we were recently awarded Best Metal Band in the Modesto Area Music Awards and we couldn't be more grateful. But at that same time, there are certain corners of our scene that have caused it to decline over the years. Band rivalries and feuds have caused a lot of problems, which is very unfortunate. We believe in supporting the scene and supporting each other, but not everyone around our area does. It has been getting stronger though, we've had a few great bands that actually support each other emerge over the past year or so and it's been great. California as a whole can have some great scenes to it but things have proven to be a little "clicky" in certain areas and you have to know the right people to even get on local shows, which in the long run prepares you for the music industry as a whole so it's not all bad.

8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

The industry has gone the way of internet, there is no way around that. You have to have your music on digital platforms these day to even be considered relevant. Illegal downloading is tricky, because at our stage, we will never make any real money selling our music. All our income stems from other merch or getting paid to play from the venues/promoters. It's unfortunate but when you take into consideration the amount of money (or lack thereof) artists get from some of these online platforms, its not much different from having music illegally downloaded. We wish it didn't happen, but the illegal downloading will always be there, and it has really hurt the industry overall.

9. What’s next for HellHeart?

We have one show left in 2017 with Hatriot in our hometown of Modesto. After that we have a busy year lined up for 2018. With at least 2 more Mexico tours on the docket as well as various nationwide tours planned, and getting the Pr-Production started on our full length album, it's looking to be a very good and very busy year for us.

10. Any shoutouts?

We'd like to shout out everyone who has supported us by coming out to shows, buying merch, sharing us around and just been a fan. We couldn't have had the year we've had without all of our fans, friends and family. Specifically Michael Black of Dead Sea Records for hooking us up with our first international tour, Cherie Kausler of Echo Eyes Entertainment for always helping us in any way necessary, Tony Quartaro for doing more for us than we could ever properly thank him for. And last but not least our families who put up with the constant trips, late hours and loud noise they have to deal with. We couldn't do this without their support.