Can You Savior Your Self? Alan Tecchio & Dan Lorenzo Speak Out
New Jersey’s Godly Metal band ‘Hades’ once again return and this time around it looks as if there here to stay, and so rightly said!. By now I should not really need to introduce this band, but if your under 25, then this intro is for you!. Hades released 2 classic cult albums in the late 80’s, firstly with ‘Resisting Success’ and then ‘If At First You Don’t Succeed’, both on Torrid Records. Now these classic LP’s have been re-released with added bonus trax. I speaks to long time friends, Alan & Dan the nuclearous of the band to find out more this classic Metal band, as well as to talk about their stunning new album ‘SaviorSelf’ released through Metal Blade. Here is what the guys had to say when I asked them the following questions. I started by asking them how the band formed in the very beginning.
(D) ‘Well as you may or may not know, I was on the ‘Metal Massacre’ Vol. 6 LP & ‘Born To Metalized’, and I wanted to go into the more heavier direction, but before Hades formed a couple of guys who played on the ‘Metal Massacre’ LP went there separate ways. I actually retained the drummer T. Coombs, and later on found Scott LePage. Scott introduced me to Alan, and Scott use to play guitar in the band before he left to join Mucky Pup, but now he switched to bass guitar. He lives in Texas. It’s hard to practise, but Alan, Ed, Dave and myself jam all the time. When we have songs finished, we ask Scott to fly over to lay down the bass parts’.
‘It must be tough rehearsing, right’?.
(A) ‘Yes it is, but we don’t need a million rehearsal’s to make a great record. We are so use to hearing it without the bass, and when we hear it with the bass guitar it becomes very strange, as appose to most bands’.
So why did you choose the name ‘Hades’, and what was your reaction to find out that a Norwegian band was calling themselves ‘Hades’ too?. I personally think it’s a disgrace to a Godly band like yourselves. So did you take any action against them’?.
(D) ‘We had to prosecute them for it. Did you hear they changed their name to ‘Led Zeppelin?., just joking -ha!. They are obviously not too bright, because when you start a band, the first thing that you want to do is not take another bands name for yourself. It is not a great way to start off your musical career’.
Before releasing the debut album, you must of done some demo tapes, just how many did you record’?.
(D) ‘We did a bunch of demo’s even before Alan joined. We did ‘Night Stalkers’, ‘The Leaders’, ‘Sweet Revenge’. There were actually 2 demos which we did, and they were pre-productions for both albums. This became the ‘Lost Fox Studio Sessions’, which will be out soon. The ‘Cross’ single sold pretty well. I think we sold about a 1000 copies and after that we made more copies, about another 1000 copies.
If people want to hear our stuff then we’ll stay together. When we first released ‘Saviorself', we thought we would be releasing it ourselves & licensing it through a European label, but Metal Blade liked it & signed us, which was something which we didn’t expect’.
In the 80’s, how would you best describe the bands music’?.
(A) ‘I really don’t know!. It’s kind of Speed Metal to me, but Dan & Ed have different ways of writing’.
(D) ‘People can call it what ever they want, it’s OK with us, and I hope we did something which was a little bit different back then. (ED: I totally agree)’.
Before releasing the debut album to Torrid, what other labels approached you’?.
(D) ‘Well from ‘Metal Massacre - Vol 6’, I had some dealings with Megaforce, and I met Torrid at a radio station one night in New York and they said they wanted to sign us’.
I remember the debut album receiving some awesome reviews in the likes of ‘Metal Forces, and many other Mags, how successful was the debut album’?.
(A) ‘Well not quite successful as we would of liked it to be’.
(D) ‘I tell you Jason, I’ve heard so many different stories from people out there, like it sold 11000 copies in the first month of it’s release and then I get a statement saying we sold 11000 copies in 6 months. So you never know if you get ripped off. In my opinion we were successful because we were headlining shows and brought in a lot of people, mostly in New York, New Jersey and people still remember the record. There is a book which has the 500 greatest Heavy Metal album of all time in the U.S., and Hades are in it!. We had a great career, Alan & myself, even if it ended today!!’.
Do you think that there will be more re-union’s in the very near future from other 80’s bands?. Do you also think that people will think it’s a cashing in thing’?.
(A) ‘I don’t know?. I think people will get sick of these re-unions. Well we actually made a million dollars from ‘Savoirself'. I guess sometimes it is a cashing in thing, but I said we will pay for this album ourselves and we had no idea we would get a deal from it. The deal itself is great for distribution and promotion, but it didn’t put a great deal of money in Dan’s & my pocket. The money Dan made he put in into buying a guitar because he had no equipment, so he didn’t make any profit’.
(D) ‘We did our first show in March and we got paid more money than we did in the 80’s, because the place was so packed out!!’.
So how successful was ‘If At First You Don’t...’ for the band’?.
(D) ‘You could say the same thing about that album. We had much better marketing for that album, but a worst distribution deal. People still rave about it today, so I guess it must be a classic!!’.
(A) ‘I thought it was a great record, because we really matured from the first LP. The only disappointment we had was the fact that we wanted to put out an E.P. called ‘Stay Tuned’ which featured 4-5 songs’.
My next question is, are you aware that the debut album was a major bootleg here in Europe?. What is your opinion on that’?.
(D) ‘Yeah we want to thank Jurgen from Hellion Records for bootlegging it & for not giving us any money. The cool thing about it was it kept the bands name alive. It is really sad when the bootleggers don’t send me any money, because we don’t even get 10 cents a record. We would be happy if they sent us a cheque just for the publishing alone!!’.
It’s funny that you should mention that Dan, because I just interviewed Steel Prophet and they said the same thing about Jurgen, ripping off the bands!!’.
(D) ‘When I was over in Germany, I found out how he gets away with bootlegs, Jurgen lives in a small town in Germany (Itzehoe) and he is good friends with the police, and whenever there is a raid he pays the police and they tell him when they will raid him. So he hides all the CD’s before hand, so when they raid him there are no CD’s. Instead of him paying the police, he could pay us!!’.
(A) ‘That is why we re-released the debut & the 2nd one too, so it would stop people like Jurgen ripping us off, so we added bonus trax’.
After the release of the 2nd album, things started to go wrong, what happened’?.
(A) ‘Well we did a bunch of shows in the States & Europe and we had a pretty badly planned tour that was a real good learning experience, but it became too much for the band. It got to the stage were we could not deal with each other and midway through the tour we were pretty much fighting and having problems. I was later on offered a gig with Watchtower, so we finished off the tour and I joined Watchtower’.
Dan after Hades broke up you formed Non- Fiction, Alan had joined Watchtower, and Ed Fuhrman formed ‘System Addict’, were you happy doing this project’?.
(D) ‘Non Fiction to me was beautiful because Ed & Jimmy didn’t want to de-tune their guitars and this was a style I was heading towards even before Hades broke up. To me it was incredibly exciting for the first few weeks, as I didn’t think that Non Fiction would ever end up been a full time band. After Alan left Watchtower, he became part of Non- Fiction, which to me was wonderful!!’.
(A) ‘Watchtower was awesome!. It was the most strangest experience in my life. It wasn’t like playing in a band, more like playing with a bunch of scientist’s were we had a lot of fun together’.
Didn’t you both disagree at one point been in the same band’?.
(D) ‘Well Alan stopped looking at me as a guitarist, which I was really pissed off with him, telling me that Ron from Watchtower's a better guitarist than me. Seriously, Alan & myself work together, and live together and we are in the same band together, so we spent a lot of time together, so we needed a break from each other. So Dave our new drummer is living with Alan, and I don’t think Alan will mess around with Dave, because he will kick Alan’s ass!!. I got married a few years ago, and we have different goals which makes us more happier’.
Alan how did you become the singer in Non - Fiction’?.
(A) ‘Well I actually heard some of the tapes that Dan did. I think Dan saw the thanx mentioned on the Watchtower record & I think he wasn’t expecting it, so after that we started talking again. We started to listen too each others tapes & I loved the song ‘My Way’ which Dan recorded on a demo. That is why I became the singer, I also like the de-tuned guitar sound’.
Things started to go wrong with Non - Fiction, so Hades reformed and released ‘Exit To Resist’, how convincing was it to get the old members together to put out this album’?.
(D) ‘We had 4 rehearsals, one of which the whole band was there. It was a bunch of old songs with some new trax that we wrote, which were ‘Doubt’ and the title track. It was merely a re-union record to put out the songs that we missed the first time around. I still love that record!’.
(A) ‘Yes I think it’s an awesome LP, it certainly put the final chapter on the band at that point. It was good to finally release them after all that time. We never thought about doing another record’.
There must of been a lot of interest from the fans for you to record that album. It didn’t seem like a typical Hades record, do you agree’?.
(D) ‘It’s like Alan said, it was the direction that Hades was going in anyway. When people say that Hades sound like Non Fiction.. I think that ‘Saviorself’ had given the fans what they wanted, whereas ‘Exist To Resist’ was directed towards the Non Fiction. style of music. I believe that both bands should be separated from each other. I think the new album has achieved the old Hades sound!’.
I believe that you put out your own record label ‘Black Pumpkin’ Records, tell me how this came about’?.
(D) ‘That was actually our friend who had a label, his name is Timmy. Everybody thought that all the Hades albums were put out on this label. The only release was ‘Exist To Resist’ & people who own Black Pumpkin also own ‘Big Blue Meenie’ Studios were we have recorded our last few albums there’.
Did you have any other labels showing interest in you at that time. or didn’t you trust any label’?.
(D) ‘We didn’t have any other labels showing any interest in us in the States, but in Europe we had ‘Art Of Music’, who also put out the Steel Prophet LP’s’.
Funny you should mention the ‘Exist To..’ LP, because this album had 2 different covers, why was that’?.
(A) ‘Well why not?. It made it a lot more fun & interesting for the band, as appose to releasing the same record’.
After the release of the ‘Exist To...’ LP, thing yet again went wrong for the band, what happened this time around’?.
(A) (Laughing) ‘That was all Dan’s fault!!’.
(D) ‘As I said before Jase, ‘Exist To..’ was just suppose to be a re-union LP, not Hades back together!!’.
So now you’ve released your 4th LP, this time signed to Metal Blade, how did the deal come about’?.
(D) ‘We just mailed a couple of tapes to various labels and we were pretty realistic about the fact that Alan & myself didn’t have to pay for the recording ourselves. Much to our surprise Brain, the boss of Metal Blade gave us a call and said that he loved the new material, and told us as long as the European office liked it , then he would put it out. So we recorded the album first then shopped the tape around’.
Who else approached you besides Metal Blade’?.
(A) ‘Massacre, Rising Sun, we could of signed to any of these labels, but they kept fucking us around. So I am glad we signed to Metal Blade. I bet these labels are kicking themselves now!!’.
The latest album also features your new drummer Dave Lescinsky. Why didn’t T .Coombs want to play on the new record?. Also were did you find Dave’?.
(D) ‘We asked Tommy if we wanted to be on the new record, but the first thing he asked for was money. I told him that he would have to pay for nothing, but on the other hand we could be paid $1000. He asked us to send him a tape and later on in April he told me that he could not do the album because he was in a Pop Metal band, who were going to sign to a major label. Tommy’s deal never happened in the end, but by the time Tommy showed interest we had already been jamming with Dave and things were working out great!!’.
(A) ‘Dave is actually my room mate, and I knew he was a great drummer and I knew that he could play the songs for the new album. Dave listens to all the new metal stuff & he always turns me on to it which is great because it has kept my ears fresh.
(D) ‘I bet Tommy wishes he was part of this new record, as we played our 1st show in 4yrs and the show was sold out, and the audience reaction was unbelievable. Dave has turned a lot of new fans onto the band. Tommy made a choice not to be in the band, and now he has to live with it!
What happened to Jimmy Schulman, your old bassist? What is he doing now?
(A) ‘Jimmy literally turned up at our show this year and played ‘Night Stalker’ which was great!. I don’t think he’s doing too much right now. He lives with his mum and he’s 36 and he hasn't,t done too much since Hades broke up last time around. We wish him all the best, but it’s kind of frustrating because he should of done more things with his life.
Before Ed Fuhrman came back into Hades, was he still doing the ‘System Addicts’ project?
(D) ‘Ed is in love with Hades, he would never leave the band and he was probably more in love with Hades when we broke up more than anybody else in the band. You know Jase, we don’t talk about Ed too much in interviews, so I must say that Ed is a great guy and we are so happy that he is still with us!
So why the title for the new album ‘Saviorself?. Also were there any other titles and covers in mind for this record?
(A) ‘Well I had a photographer called Steve Truglio who took a bunch of pictures and Dan thought of the title of the album, which kind of tied in nicely with the lyrics that I came up with. Steve has some really good shots from cemetery which we all really liked. I started to experiment with the art before we even started to record the album. We were talking about idea’s and I think that the title say’s it all, with the person on the cross.
I am glad that you kept the original logo, without changing it, was that a good idea to keep it?
(D) ‘Yes it was great idea that we kept the original logo, because when I was in Germany doing interviews I was told that our logo is what has made the band today. Whereas slayer changed theirs and not many people liked it. I didn’t realize how much notice our fans take with the logo, so I am glad we kept it.
So there were no other titles in mind?
(D) ‘I did think of calling the album ‘The End of Existence’. but Ed Fuhrman said he didn’t like it. I think Ed should bow down to me because I started this whole fucking thing!! (laughing)
Could you tell me briefly what the songs are about?
(A) ‘Well the first track is the title track ‘Saviorself’, which is about the American Welfare system and it criticises people who abuse it. Not people who use it for what it is meant for. Next is ‘Decline & Fall Of The American Empire’. That is basically America following in the footsteps in Rome and Egypt. It’s saying that people here in the USA take things for granted and it could all fall apart just like in Rome & Egypt. ‘Our Father’, that is Dan’s friend called John Bomma singing the Lord’s prayer.
John is a born again Christian and a good friend of ours and he use to be a great heavy metal singer, but he lost his voice, something to do with vocal chords. We kind of drifted apart when he became a born again Christian. It was great to have a scary intro going into ‘Active Contrition’.
This next song is about a catholic religion when you repent for forgiveness. It’s also about the hypocrisy of organised religion. We also did a video for that song next ‘To Know One’, that song is inspired by two things, one is about a friend of mine who’s sister died 4 months after she had been married and was killed in a crash. It is also inspired by our bosses mother who was our receptionist at work for a number of years and she had passed away from lung cancer basically what this song is about, is the fact that sometimes you can not save people from death.
Next is ‘In The World Of The Profit’, this is sort of in the same vain as ‘To Know One’ lyrics. It was inspired by a promoter here in New Jersey called Anthony Trance who died over a drug overdose. Next is ‘The Agnostic’, that is an instrumental. ‘Y2K’, that is about the computer virus, the millennium bug. ‘End Of The Batgin’, that is about how some friendships are not worth saving and sometimes you have to walk away from a person because they will drag you down into their misery.
‘Fall’, it offers a very bleak look at life, and how some people never seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. ‘The Atheist is the last song, It’s just another instrumental. It’s about a guy called Joe who is hit by a snowplow, playing with his friend with a Frisbee, just joking (both laughing).
Writing songs, does this involve the whole band as a team effort or are they done by certain members of the band?
(D) ‘The lyrics don’t mean anything. I’m sure you’ll agree Jason!. It’s mainly the riffs and the music that counts. I wish sometimes that Alan & myself could write songs in the same room, but its easier if we write them alone.
So how well is the album selling?
(A) ‘We have been getting great reviews and we have found out that in America it has sold 2500 copies in the first 5 wks and in Europe it sold 3000 copies in the first 4 wks.
How do you see this album as a progression?
(A) ‘I see this as a big progression for us even though we didn’t expect it to come out and to be pushed as much as we thought it would by Metal Blade. We only thought it would sell a few thousand copies if we were lucky and then call it quits if we could pay the studio back. I think we really focused hard on that and pushed our selves really hard on it and it was a big effort for Dave Lescinsky because it was his first release ever. I’m happy with the way it turned out.
Are you getting the full support from Metal Blade and how long is the deal with them?
(D) ‘We are getting some great support from Metal Blade. We signed A 2 record deal, but we hope that this will be the beginning of a great relationship with Metal Blade.
Moving away from the new album, I have been told that people seem to think that the ‘Live On Location’ album was another ‘Unleashed In The East Album, just recorded in the studio with a added crowd to make it sound live, is this true?.
(D) ‘It really was live and we wanted to record the show live and the show was on a Saturday night and we found out on Thursday that they couldn’t bring the mobile recording unit to the show. So on the Friday night we had a band rehearsal and we recorded the band rehearsal live and things were added in later. This was not done because the band wanted it to be done like this, it was the whole situation, so this is the only way we could of done this record. Most people out there would like to hear Hades to the 80’s style metal. That you use to do, I know I would love to hear it in the 90’s."
Do you think there could be a possibility of this happening?
(A) ‘I think we would do this on the next record if we choose too.
Any plans to tour Europe soon?
(D) ‘Well Alan & myself just found out that we missed some of the festival in Europe, just we hope that we will come over next year.
Well guys, thanx for doing this llonngg interview, best wishes and I hope we meet up next year. Good luck and don’t forget the mention on the next record. Do you have anything to say?
(B) ‘Yes thanx to our fans for their dying support, we hope you like the album. Thanx for the interview Jason, good luck with the Zine. Oh yeah Alan and myself are planning on doing an acoustic album together in the very near future and Metal Blade said they may put it out.