Demonica - 02/07/2010

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 Klaus Hyr (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?

 

Klaus: 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 the songs?

 

Klaus: 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 different?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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 the word.

 

If someone was only going to read the lyrics and not listen to the music, what would you hope they would take from them?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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 Demonica.

 

Do you sit down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you wait until you get an idea?

 

Klaus: 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 part?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: Yeah - I guess we pretty much did!?

 

The album was mixed by Dave Otero, what made him the perfect man for this job?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: Metal as metal can be... Demonstrous - fast and furious and just a little bit mellow sometimes to confuse the audience!

 

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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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?

 

Klaus: 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,

Eugene Straver

 

 

 

Members:

Craig Locicero - Lead Guitars

Hank Shermann - Lead Guitars

Klaus Hyr - Vocals

Marc Grabowski - Bass

Mark Hernandez – Drums

 

Albums:

(2010) Demonstrous