We got the offer to do interviews with both Vesania and Hurtlocker on the European Cryptopsy tour. Since I was planning on going to one of those shows anyway, I decided I could do one of those. After hearing the Hurtlocker album, the choice was made for me to have a small chat with vocalist Grant Belcher right after their show.
So how was the show?
Well you saw it.
I thought it was amusing.
Yeah, amusing is a good word. I don’t know, its early like you said, fucking 6.30, not a lot of people there, we’re tired and want to go home. We have one more show in Hamburg tomorrow and then we’re finished. To be honest Holland has been tough for us, the people come out to see death metal and we don’t really fit in with that.
Well I came here to see you guys.
You’re fucking lying but I like it!
No no no! I just told you I gave your record a very positive review! But how was it then overall, your first tour?
Overall its been really good. We’ve had more shows like this, because we played so early, I think one time in Holland we played at 2.30 or something, but being an opening band that’s kind of what we have to do. A lot of the show have been fucking great, good crowd response, people are buying cd’s and t-shirts. Its been going really well for most of the shows. But like I said being an opening band we’ve had more than one show like this you know. Its our first album, our first European tour, we gotta do it. We’re just warming them up for the rest of the bands, and by the time the rest of the bands are playing they’re drunk and having a good time. If they’d open the fucking doors, we’ve been bitching about the doors the whole fucking tour, they open like ten, fifteen minutes before we have to play, people come in, go to the merchandise, go to the bar…
And by that time you’ve already started playing.
Yeah exactly. That’s how it works.
How was touring Europe then in average? The crowd response has been good?
Yeah in average certainly. In most cities we’ve played the crowd response has been really good. So we’re happy with that, maybe we’ll get to come back. It's starting to roll.
Great! I received your album to be able to do an interview, and the description for it was metalcore, but where’s the core in your metal man?
Yeah I know, that’s the label, they did that. I guess they wanted to brand us, or label us with a certain cliché, so people will pick it up. But there's no core in us, nobody in this band listens to hardcore, never has, probably never will. I mean there are some good bands out there that I’ve heard, but none of us own a fucking cd or something. We listen to Slayer, Malevolent Creation, shit like that, I don’t know where they got the fucking core from. You can’t help it, they just start printing shit and then its too late. But we’ll shed it, I think we’re shedding it now.
In the review for your album I wrote that the only metalcore thing could perhaps be your vocals.
Right, and I didn’t get that from anywhere because I don’t listen to hardcore. Its just how I sound when I scream, but we’ll shed it. I’m sorry for all the people that pick it up thinking that its metalcore and when they play it, its just not fucking metalcore.
How would you brand it then?
I don’t know, just metal I think. Just five guys, playing fast music. That’s just basically it, fast guitars, maybe connected to eighties thrash metal, the vocals don’t necessarily fit that, but that’s just what we sound like when we play together. We weren’t going for any particular sound.
Okay, after releasing three albums can you tell me how you got signed to Napalm Records?
I have a friend that used to own Olympic Records from Chicago, they got bought up by Century Media, just a friend of mine, and one day they e-mailed him that they were looking for a band from America to break into the market. We just recorded a demo three weeks before, and we broke up as a band, it was just me and the guitar player, we didn’t have any other members. But we said fuck it we’ll do it anyway, we’re sitting at home doing nothing. So we sent it and the very day they got it they called up, said: 'Are you talking to anyone at the moment, any labels?'. 'Yeah we have some stuff on the table but we haven’t signed anything yet' and they said: 'Don’t fucking sign anything. Let us get you of, let us give you some numbers', so we said okay and we waited, the very next day they came with a contract and everything. We were talking to other labels, but they couldn’t do anything for us that we were into ourselves. Distribution was shit, Napalm’s got decent distribution. They told us everything they could offer us, what we would get out of it, how much we could spent on recordings, gave us the opportunity to work with some great producers so we fucking took it. And they’ve been true to their word ever since. We’ve recorded an album, came to Europe, its great, we love Napalm. Even if they call us metalcore.
Hahaha, I believe that! Okay, bullshit question then. In movies, who do you prefer; Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?
Ah that’s easy for me, I say Sylvester Stallone.
Yeah I know, everybody else says Schwarzenegger of course.
No no no, absolutely not!
I love Sly! Fucking Rocky and Rambo, fucking bad-ass are you kidding me! Demolition Man, I love that shit man. The movies that Arnold did usually have more money behind them so they’re bigger, bigger explosions and stuff. I love the way he talks. (and then he makes a sound I cannot write down…)
Yeah he sucks at acting, but he made a hell of a lot of money with it!
Right! We suck at playing so maybe we can make millions of dollars with it too!
Then maybe you should choose Arnold then!
Hahaha, yeah maybe!
Okay, how do you put fear in a handful of dust?
You mean how did we get the name for the album?
No, I mean how do you put fear in a handful of dust, literally!?
Oh, well I guess that all you had was a handful of dust, you’d probably be pretty scared. If that’s all you had in the whole world, no money, no clothes, no family, no friends, nothing, just a handful of dust. I think that would be a pretty dark place.
Yeah, pretty much rock bottom. So how do you think the near future for Hurtlocker looks?
It looks good I think. We’re gonna go home and shake this off. We’re doing that opening band thing for over thirty days and its starting to get on us. A lot of the shows have been good but a lot of the shows have been like tonight at 6.30 in the fucking afternoon, who the fuck’s gonna come? We're gonna go home, shake it off, and go back on the road in the States, probably a month and a half after we get home. We’re not gonna stop, we’re gonna keep playing, keep getting better, hopefully write some more albums, hopefully get some more fans, at 6.30 in the afternoon. I want these fucking fans to go to their friends, a year or two from now, and say oh I saw these fucking guys at 6.30 in the afternoon and no one was fucking there.
Well we still had a blast.
Yeah, we’ll still get drunk. Every night.
Absolutely! So, another bullshit question then, inspired by Greg from The Red Chord. How many push-ups can you do?
Oh fuck. I don’t fucking know, when was the last time I did a push-up? Last night maybe? Uhm, I don’t know, none!? Cause I’m not gonna do it, unless you put a straw in a beer, and you put the beer down in front of me, I’ll push-up to sip up the beer. I have no fucking idea man.
About enough push-ups for a beer then?
Yeah, and I don’t know how much that takes. I can drink pretty fast, so maybe two. Then I’ll be done. Good question.
Hehehe, I know. All right, back to something you said earlier. You almost didn’t have a band when you signed, where did the rest come from?
Well we’ve got Twat here, on bass, and Twat was playing in a band called Megatwat with his brother. So we got Dan first and he recorded the bass on the album so there are only three people in the band that were actually on the album. The drummer is not on the album and neither is the other guitar player.
(him and Twat whisper something about the drums, then turning to me to say oops he might’ve noticed it, to which I reply yeah I did)
Okay great, I thought so. We have good nights and bad nights, but we’re learning. We got him, we were looking for drummers actually for the tour. We got the deal, we recorded the album, and then we needed a drummer for the tour, because our other drummer had some personal problems and we just couldn’t carry him any longer. Great feet and great hands if you listen to the album, so that’s been a problem for us on this tour, we’re really new with this drummer and probably when we get home, between you and me, and the recorder we’ll probably go and grab somebody else. The speed on the stage is not the speed on the album. We all care a lot about the band and we really want to give a proper representation of the album on stage.
So we wanted to go out on the road and we needed a second guitar player because we have solo’s on the album, and Dan’s brother is a great fucking guitar player so we got him. The Twat brothers hehe, and I hope they’ll stick around too.
(Grant smacks Dan while yelling SAY IT!)
We still have some fine-tuning to do, but its our first tour and its a big learning process. We’ll go home, shake it off, retune and go back out, bigger and better, hopefully.
All right, do you have anything important to add that our readers should know?
I don’t have anything important to add. I would like to say, buy the fucking album. And if you come to a show buy a fucking t-shirt, because I need to eat, and we’re broke. No seriously anybody that will go out and get the album, and likes it, we really appreciate it. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. Come out and see us, and support us, tell a friend. Most important thing is tell a fucking friend. Anyone who does, thanks, we appreciate it. And we thank you too for doing this.
No problem man. I got the opportunity to choose between you and Vesania, and I’m not a black metal loving person.
All right, so we won the battle!
You won the battle!
Okay, appreciate it. Thank you very much and now lets go drink some beer!