Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"ME"TAL 101 Exclusive with HELL NIGHT

We're proud to bring to you our latest exclusive "ME"TAL 101 interview! This month we get the intel on Hell Night and their latest mini LP release, Human Shelves. I first heard about the band while doing a little research on what Brian Fair (Shadows Fall/Overcast) was up to these days. St. Louis Metallers, Hell Night recruited Fair after the departure of their former vocalist in 2016. The band had 8 previous independent releases prior to Human Shelves. Hell Night's wide range of influences really put them in a category of their own. Human Shelves, their first with Brian Fair, showcases Hell Night's multilayered attack and intensity. The band plans on a follow up EP this May.

For now make sure to pick up Human Shelves and check out our in depth interview with the band below.

HMT: I recently found Hell Night through your bandcamp site where all of your recordings are available to stream and purchase. I've asked many bands about the site, how important has Bandcamp been to getting your music out to the larger world wide audience?

Brian: It is a great way to get music out there immediately and without a distribution network so it is perfect for today’s music industry. It really allows bands that aren’t looking to be tied in with a label or to follow a traditional release schedule, a great way to get the songs out there on their own terms.

Eric: It’s been imperative. It's free and allows you to stream and sell your music and merch. Obviously, there are other digital distro methods available and we're looking into all options but Bandcamp is a perfect starting point.

Andy: Bandcamp rules! it allows fans to give more money directly to us. I don’t know if a lot of people really search for new music on Bandcamp but I’m glad that has become the standard location for bands to keep their jams for sale or stream.

HUMAN SHELVES Now Available on Bandcamp

HMT: Human Shelves is your first recording with Brian Fair (Shadows Fall, Overcast). Tell me about how this partnership came together and what the collaboration means to the band?

Brian: I actually saw Hell Night for the first time because my wife had grown up with the former singer Mike. They instantly became my favorite local band. Just crazy energy and intensity and they didn’t fit neatly into any one category besides loud and aggressive. I started skating a bunch with Andy and when Mike decided to step down from the band he asked me to jam and that was that. I was stoked to jam with these guys and we began writing new material right out of the gates.

Adam: I am a fanboy, and I had to beg Brian to play with us. He gave in.

Andy: St. Louis is really small so when a dude my age who has been in metal bands, and is into punk bands and skateboarding moves here, he’s easy to run into. Writing with him is awesome, his knowledge of random rock and roll and hardcore brings a lot of easy communication to the table and we all sort of come from a similar jaded older guy place so it works really well. We write really fast and so does he, it rules. His voice rules, he is rad and we love the guy.

Eric: I too was a longtime fan, met a few years back through mutual friends - homeboy seemed nice.

Brian Fair laying down vocals

HMT: After the very first listen to Human Shelves, I thought of a band I haven't listened to in many years, AMEN. There is a combination of intensity, immediacy and artsy grooviness that very few bands can pull off in the fashion your bringing with this mini LP. What are your collective influences as a band?

Adam: I have Deep Purple influences on Human Shelves, just what I was slamming at that time...

Brian: That’s crazy you mentioned AMEN!!! I love that band and think they are criminally underrated. Shadows Fall toured with them in our early days right after the released “We’ve Come For Your Children”. They were so brutal live with that lineup with Paul Fig and Sonny Mayo on guitar, Tumor on bass, Shannon Larkin on drums and Casey Chaos just shredding his vocal chords. I can see how you get a bit of them in our music. We have that same punk vibe but filtered through years of metal and rock and roll.

Eric: as far as overall influences, we all have different favorites, but a lot of us grew up listening to similar genres. My personal evolution is probably classic rock to metal to punk/hardcore to indie to soundtracks.

Andy: For me guitar wise the big influences are East Bay Ray, Dr. Know, Ritchie Blackmore, Buzzo…. On that album there were a lot of things we were trying to pull off like, some being really simple direct punk songs and some aiming for a big dumb elephant sound, others more industrial sounding....one song the main inspiration was like Judas Priest and Blue Oyster Cult. A lot of BOC riffs are really snaky and slimy and I love that…or like, the "Rock- a- Rolla" riff from Priest, that kind of thing where it’s not a smart riff, but it’s a good riff with a lot of attitude. My goal is to write stuff that is like "Smoke on the Water", where it’s so easy but as a guitarist you go “why didn’t I think of that?” when you hear it. We write fast, if a song is taking three practices to complete, then that usually means something is wrong and we toss it. A lot of those were written in one practice.

HELL NIGHT in studio

HMT: Speaking of influences, which artist or band(s) initially turned you onto the idea of performing music?

Brian: For myself it was Kiss and Maiden that first got me into music but later on it was HR of the Bad Brains, Eddie Sutton of Leeway and Chuck Billy of Testament that helped to shape my vocal approach.

Adam: Personally G'NR, Led Zep, Faith No More, Primus

Eric: I worshipped KISS, the Beatles and the Monkees as a kid and they made me want to play music. Eventually seeing a Destroyer style bass in Def Leppard made me want to play bass instead of guitar plus, more bands needed bass players than guitarists

Andy: A lot of local bands in St. Louis when I was in my 20s really kind of made me go “wow I think I can do that!” more than anything.

Hell Night in Studio

HMT: For the gear heads out, what kind of setup are you personally using? I love the grinding and industrial feel of the riffs.

Andy: Guitar wise I play a lot of strats and single coil guitars. Although lately I have been using a Washburn 80s guitar that has humbuckers, and one of my strats has humbuckers. Weird older fuzz pedals, I use a couple distortion pedals made by Brad Sarno who is a local dude here who is awesome. Sarno Music Solutions, check out his stuff. I use two amps, a 1980 Marshall super lead and a 68 Traynor Bass Master and two different cabs with different speaker combinations. I try to get my guitar to sound more like an angry synth than anything. The shits pretty loud and we are definitely a loud live band.

Brian: I yell into a stick and occasionally use a delay pedal.

Eric: overdriven tube Ampeg and Fender "nothing spectacular" Bass

Adam: DW till death cuz you know it's the best and Stagg cymbals because I break em like fuck
HMT: What can we expect from Hell Night in 2017? Any tours or gigs we can look forward to?

Andy: If we do any travel it will really be weekend warrior stuff. We are all busy with work and Brian has two kids I have my first coming in May. Wish we had the time and the money to do big long tours but we don’t, but there are friends we want to visit in some cities. We just recorded another 4 song ep. It’s 3 new songs and one cover, it will be out in May.

Brian: Locals shows for the next little while then who knows.

Hell Night Live On Stage

HMT: I've always felt that revolution starts with the disenfranchised young dude (or dudette) on the street who's prized possessions may be a Black Flag album, a worn pair of vans and a skateboard. In America, Punk and Metal have always thrived during the worst times, politically speaking. From Bad Brains to the Circle Jerks and all points between. Given the political upheaval we are currently going through, does all this political bullshit and national divide influence your mission or music as a band?

Brian: I think there will be an uptick in politically charged music or just music built out of frustration in general. It is a cathartic thing to scream out at what if driving you crazy and music can be a catalyst but true change comes from what you do with your life and the actions you make to change the world around you. Just screaming about won’t get anything done.
HMT: Lastly, If you had one chance to speak to a younger version of yourself. What would that message be?

Brian: I would tell him to spend more time exploring the cities and countries you visit and less time sleeping off a hangover on the tour bus. And keep skating with no breaks or you will be forced to learn all of your tricks every few years. Oh! and invest in Sirius Satellite radio when you have a chance. Jose Mangin, music director of liquid metal and more, sent me an investment packet right when things were about to launch and unfortunately, I was a part time ice cream maker / fledgling metal singer so I didn’t exactly have any expendable income at the time but if I knew how big it would get I would have found a way. Haha.

Eric: Get serious earlier you fucking asshole.

Andy: “Hey dude, don’t take those breaks from skateboarding, stick with it. Also, start playing in bands now, like, in High School. Oh, wear ear plugs! Start doing that now you shit brain! Go to school you asshole! It’s stupid and easy who cares just go!”

Adam: Practice way more.

Listen to a track from Human Shelves below.

Hell Night
Background Info: Started in 2014, released 8 independent releases. Mini LP Human Shelves was released 12/23/16 and was Hell Night's first with Brian Fair. New ep will be out May 6th 2017.

Hell Night is:
Brian Fair - Vocals
Andy White - Guitar
Eric Eyster - Bass
Adam Arseneau - Drums

Official Hell Night Facebook:

 Official Bandcamp Site:

1 comment:

  1. Yo Grownman, you set the gold standard for interviews. Another gem.