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HIRAX - Singer Says There Was A Lot More Talent In The Old School Metal
Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with legendary
HIRAX vocalist Katon W. De Pena. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: You've obviously experience a lot of line-up changes
over the years. Has there been one common factor behind these changes?
Katon: "Basically, it's because of the touring. It's one thing to record
albums, but when you get out on the road, you really see who can and who
can't do it. That's when a lot of musicians end up falling off the wagon,
so to speak. ...It's just too hard, especially if you're in an underground
band, doin' the real shit... In some countries, it varies. In Europe, there
are a lot of different ways a band can go out on the road and survive, ya
know? A lot of musicians can't do it after a while...they gotta keep their
apartments and houses and goin' out on the road ain't payin' the bills.
You end up losing more musicians than you would like to. Bands that keep
their original lineups...there is a lot to be said right there... Over the
years, I've gotten so much support from our fans, that I just refuse to
give up. It means a lot to me that it means a lot to them, ya know? I feel
very honored and lucky...what we've done in the last year alone...it's just
insane...the following that we have."
Blasting-Zone.com: Have you found it difficult to find replacement musicians
that you feel are capable performing to your standards?
Katon: "That's a tricky question. It's gotten a little easier because the
band's name is more established now than it was in the early days. Finding
guys that play true metal is really hard. If they're really into true metal...
BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, early English bands like DIAMOND
HEAD... ...I don't know, man...it's just too much for me to grasp all at
one time, this metal thing. Finding guys that can really play true metal
is hard because this music is kind of like our religion. We're not just
guys that are in a heavy metal band. We're also fans of heavy metal music.
It's like we're carrying the torch, just looking for the other guys that
are carrying the torch, too. The guys that I have in the band right know...
Glenn Rogers, Angelo Espino, Dave Watson and Jorge Iacobellis...they are
all heavy metal musicians that live, eat, breathe and shit this stuff, ya
know? I'm just lucky that I have them. I've been pretty lucky to have had
good musicians to work with over the years. It's just something that's in
my blood...I can just sort of smell out good musicians."
Blasting-Zone.com: I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to see Angelo
back in action, so to speak...
Katon: "He's been a good addition to the band. He's the one in the band
that has a lot of heart. He's an emotional player. You can't really tell
that because we play very loud and heavy and are very serious about what
we play, but he's one of the guys...who is the heart of the band...he's
very emotional. He brings another element into the band. The other guys...veteran
musicians who play thrash metal...there is a difference...in having guys
that can play the classics as well as the new music. The difference is that
there was a lot more talent in the old-school metal...no matter what anybody
Blasting-Zone.com: There seems to have been a lot more "natural" talent...
Katon: "Yeah, I'd much rather sit down... even if it's classical heavy metal
like YNGWIE MALSMTEEN or ULI JON ROTH and early SCORPIONS shit...I'd much
rather listen to that than any of the nu metal shit. Thatâ€˜s what separates
the little boys from the big men. ...I think that's why you are seeing so
many people gravitate towards the real metal shit, ya know?"
Blasting-Zone.com: It's really nice to see it having a renaissance...
Katon: "I have to agree with you one hundred percent on that. It just reaffirms
what all of us have know for so long."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.