2010 allows us to welcome another excellent band: the
Danish/American outfit DEMONICA. This time it’s Hank Shermann who
has decided to give the thrash genre a go. Shermann spared no effort in
his search for the perfect line up and he succeeded in bringing together
guitarist Craig Locicero (Forbidden), drummer Mark Hernandez (Forbidden),
fellow countryman and vocalist Klaus ‘Hyr’ Hansen and bass player Marc
Grabowski (Corruption). Due to the distances between their homes
(Kopenhagen, Denver and San Francisco), each instrument was recorded
separately. Dave Otero (Cephalic Carnage, Martriden, Cobalt) was
appointed to take care of the mixing duties.
The result of the above is the opus entitled ‘Demonstrous’,
an album packed with the type of modern thrash we all love and
breathtaking guitarparts. Demonica definitely got a head start with
their first release. It has a good sound going on and the tracks are
solid. Hansen’s voice fits the music perfectly and the other bandmembers
have this thing nailed, too.
In order to get to know this band a
little better, we tracked down
(vocals) to answer some
questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
First of all, could you start this
interview off with a short introduction of the band, the origins of its
name and how you guys got together?
Demonica was formed by Hank Shermann and myself in December 2007.
Originally, it was meant to be a Shermann soloproject. Hank asked me if
I wanted to do a song on his album and I gladly accepted. Thought he
meant to use a lot of different singers, but it turned out great! I’ve
had this song in my drawer for 20 years, I always thought was cool and
wanted to add some bad shit metal to it. I told hank how I wanted it to
sound and he just made the perfect tune for it first up. That song was
fast and furious. We started making demos from there, just the two of us
and got Craig in on the deal very early on. Craig was an old friend of
mine and I knew how much a Mercyful Fate fan he was. Graig brought in
mark Hernandez on drums "use mark he's the shark" so there was never any
doubt there. Originally, I wanted Paul Bostaph on drums but he was too
busy with Testament. Marc joined in as the last member, he’s one of
Hank’s old friends from the time he spent in Denver once. So yeah...
You’ve gotta know one to know some. We got a killer line-up.
I was laying in my bed one night and
just thought of the word Demonica suddenly. It just popped out of
nowhere. I just messaged the name to Hank and that was kind off like it.
He liked it instantly and checked if it was available on .net or .com.
Dot net was available... And so it became Demonica.
How and when did you launch into
writing material for 'Demonstrous' and how much time did you spend on
We did that first song in December
2007 and wrote on from there. Sometimes with months between songs, other
times with less time in between. Hank would come up with a tune, I wrote
a lyric for it, a night in the studio and we had a song. Then Hank would
re-arrange it 7 or 8 times and then it would be done. A complete new
song (sometimes) from the starting point.
Which approach did you choose to
make this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something
more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together
As Hank is a multi musician in the
sense of genres he can pretty much play whatever he wants. I was the one
who took his skills into the harder and more thrashy genre.
What were the goals you had in mind
when you started to record 'Demonstrous', any elements you definitely
wanted to include on the album?
No particular goals, no. We just
wanted to make our music and see where it took us. But it was not about
doing a Mercyful Fate-like album or force of evil. I'm a thrash metal
lover and have waited and wanted to do this album for many years, but
never found the right people to do it with, before now.
Could you please describe the
implications of the title 'Demonstrous', what does it stand for and is
there a special meaning behind it?
We were looking for a title of course
and Demonstrous came to mind. It’s not in the English dictionary - but
it is in the urban one. "Due to the awesomeness of this word, there are
several definitions layered within these three syllables”.
a. To react in melodramatic fashion to
a merely normal comment.
b. To exhibit demonistic qualities."
That kinda says it all and speaks for
it self. Suits the album very fine... Haha.
Who was responsible for writing the
lyrics on the album? What inspired your lyrics and can you tell me a
little more about them?
I wrote all the lyrics. Inspired by
life / love and its consequences in general. I tried not to use the word
death anywhere in my songs and almost made it. There’s 4 or 5 love songs
on the cd.. See if you can find them yourself? }:> I think they call it
the thinking mans’ metal and I wanted to strive for that. Not alot of
dragons, fairytales and senseless death involved. The words god, Satan,
devils and demons are merely used as inserts for good and evil.
How important is it to you that
people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
Not very important to many others than
myself. If people like them and can identify themselves a bit I’ve come
a long way. Half of them can be interpreted in any way you want as I’m
very cryptic in my writings and like to play with the multi facets of
If someone was only going to read
the lyrics and not listen to the music, what would you hope they would
take from them?
I guess (I’m afraid) they should think
"wow, this dude's in a shitty place - between a rock and a hard place -
but his fighting it and you should never give up under any
circumstance!”. Cherish the ones you love and fight for what you believe
in. No matter how hard the odds.
Can you give us a little background
information on the songs? Is there a story behind them?
The first song “Fast and Furious” was
originally a thrash metal hymn, if you can call it that. À la “Hit the
Lights” or Exodus' “Bonded by Blood”. More elements were added to it so
it turned out a little different with a more sexual attitude. There’s
broken hearts behind a few of them and the evil woman. You can find her
on the cover of the cd and in our name obviously. Other times I just
wanted it to sound raw and like Slayer. My voice is much like Tom
Araya’s, I’m not even trying.
What is the utmost important
ingredient for a song according to you? Is there any typical way that
your songs come into being?
Theres not really anything that goes
anywhere without the other. But - a great singer can carry a talentless
band but a shitty singer will never be able so save a great band. Iron
Maiden is a good example I think. I really hope I will touch ground
here, ‘cause I’ve got the coolest band in the world in my opinion!
How can we imagine you work on new
songs, what's the typical writing process like for Demonica?
Hank wrote everything on this album,
down to the last note! He shifted everything around in Potools a hundred
times until I nearly went crazy and he didn't really leave a lot of air
for the singer, but they turned out for the best. Just gonna be a tough
job to perform them live! The rest of the band joined one by one in the
middle of the process, but the next time everyone will be writing for
Do you sit down and write a new
song because you need more material now or do you wait until you get an
haha... I don’t know what he does. its
all in his wrists. I do know I gave him a lot of ideas and influences
from metal where he has not tread before. Hank and I work well together.
How did the recording process
proceed, I guess it was kind of difficult seeing as you guys live so far
We made all the demos and mailed them
to the others, they would rehearse them and go to their separate studios
and just record them. Peace of cake. Hernandez is the freaking coolest
drummer - he killed it completely. It was amazing to hear what he did to
the songs after listening to "double bass mania" (drumkit software) for
a long time. Craig is just the most harmonious solo guitarist, it almost
makes one cry and Grabowski is so solid and still has time to make his
own solos and variations in the songs in a way that no one else would.
Actually it went pretty easy!
Did you work differently this time
than you did with your previous works?
Yeah - I guess we pretty much did!?
The album was mixed by Dave Otero,
what made him the perfect man for this job?
Glad you think of him as perfect! He
produced Corruption’s album with Mark Grabowski and Hank liked the sound
of his work on other bands. He’s mostly worked with death metal bands
but he’s just got the right edge. We thought it would work great for
Demonica and it did... We did have to adjust him a little bit on the
way, but that was all.
In which elements on this album can
one clearly hear his vision and ideas?
I don’t know. Otero only mixed the
album, he didn’t produce it. If Hank and I had been in the studio it
might have turned into a fistfight, and there were a lot of ideas that
just never happened. So that’s both good and bad. Listen to “Ghost Hunt”
and “Below Zero” and you can hear he was the right man for the job. He
might make it big and we're glad to help.
Which aspect of this album are you
the most proud of?
I’m mostly proud of the band itself.
They are such great people and musicians. Proud of how cool the album
actually sounds and how we've been able to make music you've heard
1000's of times before and still make it interesting and very powerful.
How would you sum up the new record
to someone that has never listened to the band?
Metal as metal can be... Demonstrous -
fast and furious and just a little bit mellow sometimes to confuse the
Can you tell us a little about
yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your
poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?
My 31 years of love for hard rock and
metal inspires me and I will be so much more motivated when I’m finally
in a rehearsal room with the whole band. Hank motivated me to get back
into singing seriously. I'd given that up for some time. But he was the
right guitarist I wanted to get involved with. Thanks for calling it
poetry - I believe it is, in a way. Love letters from hell! I like
women... Thank you! Haha...
Have you received any feedback on
the album yet?
Pretty good reviews all over -
musicians and fans alike seem to like it.
Are third party opinions (press,
fans, etc.) on your music important to you? Or are your music and band
the only things that matter?
Of course it is. But if we didn’t like
it ourselves we wouldn't have released it.
Do you feel you have to prove
yourself with each release due to the metal climate nowadays?
Every band does... Metal or whatever.
You are only as good as your last album they say. But the metal scene
might be one of the toughest. Every fan has got his own favourite band
and there’s so much competition.
In your opinion, what makes
Demonica stand out compared to the other bands out there?
I don’t know if we do - I hope so.?
We've all done the best job we could under the circumstances and I think
everyone in Demonica stands out. We all have our own personality and
sound. And actually... I think we've kicked ass on a lot of acts out
there. And that was our goal!
What can we expect from Demonica in
the near future, any European tours or festival shows planned?
Pretty freaking impossible touring
right now with Forbidden coming up with their comeback album now and
about to tour the world. A show in Copenhagen and one in Eindhoven. We
only have one festival gig up till now- The Alcatraz 2010 in Belgium and
it seems that that's where you’ve gotta be this year if you wanna see
Demonica live. But wheels are turning and we're working on it.
Any last statement or something
you'd like to share with us?
Thanx to you for your interest and we
hope you like our little thrashy output... And, if you like it enough as
a potential fan after downloading "Demonstrous" on the net... Go buy it.
We have a real cool logo!!? Metal up..!
Thanks for your time,
Craig Locicero - Lead Guitars
Hank Shermann - Lead Guitars
Klaus Hyr - Vocals
Marc Grabowski - Bass
Mark Hernandez – Drums