1-HELLBASTARD has been around for quite a long time…could you please get everyone up to date by sharing the important ‘happenings’ of HELLBASTARD’S long standing existence??
Well,…. we recorded a demo in 1986 titled “Ripper Crust”, which subsequently gave way to Hellbastard being apparently responsible for the birth of a new musical genre called “Crust”,…or “Crust Punk”,… (whatever). Recorded a 2nd demo tape and then an album titled “Heading for internal darkness”,… then an EP titled “They Brought Death”,…..
Then we signed to Earache Records ( home of among others, Napalm Death, Carcass, Morbid Angel, Godflesh, etc) and recorded 1 album for them titled “Natural Order”
https://hellbastard.bandcamp.com/album/un-natural-order-rough-mixes-1989-rare-bonus-material ,…and wrote another one which was never recorded, …then split in 1992. I moved away from my hometown to form a band called NERO CIRCUS with friends in Plymouth,… this lasted a little over 3 years and the output from the band was quite substantial. Most of the NERO CIRCUS releases are on the HELLBASTARD bandcamp
https://hellbastard.bandcamp.com/ site if anyone is interested to take a look ?
Here’s a more in-depth look at the beginning though : “…..
“…….So it was 1988 and our new drummer Bry meant that we could write more technical-based material and see-it-through. This was a joy. We kept the same rehearsal studio in Alnwick, Northumberland where the infamous “Ripper Crust” & “Hate Militia” demos were recorded,…. and it was an adventure in itself to get there from Gateshead/Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Both Scotty and Bry were my friends,….which meant we’d see each other regularly OUTSIDE of band activity. I haven’t felt that kind of camaraderie since, well not as intense as that was anyway,…we were in each others pockets and really didn’t mind at all. We were mates. We’d hang around even if there was no band stuff to take care of,…. ‘cos that’s what mates do. We recorded these tracks in Leeds at Lion Studios,… the same place we recorded the “Heading for internal darkness” album only this time we realised that it wasn’t a really good idea to hire a transit van and take a load of mates as well,… Our friend Ian Crow helped a lot with this,…. we did the whole thing in one day and then went home again,… it seemed so simple. We were very well rehearsed and were really happy with the mixes we left the studio with. All 3 of us paid for the recording and it was a total D.I.Y venture,…. afterwards a deal was secured with a small German record label called “Temple Of Love” and the limited edition 7” EP “They brought death” was released in 9 different coloured vinyls and sold out in a few weeks. Label boss ‘tyman’ was very happy of course,…. ’
Arguably the origins of HELLBASTARD all centred around the live music venue “The Station” in gateshead. Local bands TOTAL CHAOS, THE REPTILES, MODEL WORKERS and more all came together to find a place where live music could blossom,… and blossom it did. We were into heavy music before it became trendy to like it,… like we could give a shit what people thought. ……………………If all truth is to be told, the Hellbastard legacy began in 1984 as 3 trampy unkempt looking friends who wanted to make heavy music and have pseudo-political ‘support-the-underdog style’ lyrics. All members had been in other bands and re-grouped to make something a tad more ‘active’ than their previous incarnations (‘Sons of Vengeance’, ‘The Apostles’, ‘’Feeble Minded’ & ‘Public Disturbance’). From the off it seemed Hellbastard were ‘too metal’ for the punk kids, and ‘too punk’ for the metal kids…the legendary USA magazine ‘Maximum Rock ’N Roll’ said it best in a review in 1986 “…. Metallica meets CRASS meets SLAYER……. and the results are quite satisfying….”. Hellbastard are NOT a “crust” band per se, it was the title of the first demo that spread this legacy, and although the worldwide honour is huge, the humble Hellbastard prefer to remain uncategorised. Born from depression families in the darkest grey of the North East of England. Hellbastard made a name for themselves both in the punk & metal communities alike. With a stable line up of “Scruff” (Guitars/Vocals), Scotty (Bass) and Phil (Drums) the band set about recording their debut demo tape “Ripper Crust”, an 11-song tape that gave birth to the new era of “Crust-Core”. Like most bands of the early 1980’s the DIY ethic was the way forward and the band saturated every magazine & radio station on planet earth with music and information. It wasn’t long until the mainstream glossies took an interest & Hellbastard began receiving very favourable reviews in Kerrang!, Metal hammer, Aardschock, Metal Forces, Sounds, N.M.E & so on. Hellbastard were quickly sharing stages with Antisect, Amebix, Sacrilege, Forbidden, Death, Kreator, Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, etc.
A little-known fact is that Ginger from the Wildhearts decided to form the band after attending a Hellbastard concert in 1987… Many artists from Sacrilege to Napalm Death to Onslaught to Paradise Lost, Sabbat to Extreme Noise terror freely admitted that the first Hellbastard demo was so ‘chock full’ of riffs that it was easy to play the tape and gather some ‘new inspiration’…
1987 saw the release of a second demo cassette “Hate Militia” which led to them being picked up by local indie label “Meantime Records”. Being young & incredibly naive the band went ahead and signed a very dubious contract, payment alone for the debut album “Heading for Internal Darkness” (1988) was a mere 60 copies of the record given to the band upon release. This album distribution was Red Rhino/Cartel & sold out in a matter of weeks of its’ release. A mere 2 years or less later Meantime sold (for a sizeable financial amount of 4 figures) the master 1/4” reel of said album to a USA label called “Silent Scream” … subsequently they released the album on cassette, CD & vinyl.
Apart from various compilation LP tracks the band recorded an EP directly afterwards and this was released in 1988 as a limited-edition EP – “They Brought Death” (Temple of Love Records, W. Germany) on various coloured vinyl. The label sold out of initial first pressings within a few weeks of its’ release.
By now Hellbastard were travelling further and further afield to play shows. The BBC Radio 1 DJ Sir John Peel introduced Hellbastard to thousands of listeners and was a huge fan, single- handedly bringing Hellbastard into the homes of the unsuspecting public! With no management & sheer determination the band played in no less than 16 different countries in less than 3 months.
1989 saw Hellbastard signed to the legendary label “Earache Records”, home of friends like Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel & Napalm Death. Their follow up album “Natural Order” (LP/CD/Cassette) was very well received in the major press. Every magazine on planet earth wanted to interview Hellbastard & the band were inundated with concert applications. One visit to Switzerland saw the band joined by Venom drummer ‘Abaddon’, although it was actually Jed
Wolf of local Neat records band Atomkraft who took drum duties on this one-off festival. The band were receiving around 150-200 pieces of mail per week (all answered with a personal note on very professional looking band letterhead and ‘with compliments’ slip).
The “Natural Order” album sold like hotcakes, among smaller headline tours and touring with Napalm Death and Carcass only helped with sales and promotion.
Along came 1991/2 and this saw Hellbastard record brand new demo tracks for the follow-up album to “Natural Order”. Despite offers from various record labels and booking agencies Hellbastard temporarily split up in 1992, due to situations beyond the bands control.
2008 saw a reformation of Hellbastard, and the same year “The Need to Kill…” album was released via Germany’s “Civilisation Records”. This led to a huge spate of shows and a headlining tour of Europe which took in 15 countries on a 2-month tour. A few months later into 2009 saw the band record the “Eco-War” EP and this was again released along with “The Need to Kill…” on “Selfmadegod Records”. Now the band were again sharing stages with old mates Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower, as well as Anvil, Tryptykon, St.Vitus, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod, Pig Destroyer, Converge, Morbid Angel, Macabre, Wolfbrigade and Agnostic front.
A huge American headlining tour followed inbetween playing prestigious festival dates like “Maryland Death fest”, “Ieperfest” and “Punk Illegal” etc.
Taking advantage of modern technology Hellbastard ventured into the video/audio field & among other promo films created visual back-ups for the tracks “Pylons II” (2008), “Sea Shepherd” (2009), “Slough Feg” (2008), “Arcadia” (2011), “Engineering Human Consciousness…” (2013), “We Are Coven” (2015).
A return to the studio saw the “Sons of Bitches” EP (2012) receive a critical press acclaim that was never experienced before. Inbetween another huge headlining USA tour and many festival dates and shows at home and abroad, Hellbastard recorded the brand new (2014/15) album “Feral” featuring special guests Andy Sneap (Sabbat/Hell) and Rob “The Baron” Miller (Amebix/Tau Cross). Most recently (2016) the band have just performed to a sold-out venue in Berlin (Kopi-Koma-F) and the infamous “Obscene Extreme” fest in Czech Republic.
As 2017 begins, Hellbastard are currently ensconced in writing new material and honing their craft. HOMEPAGE: http://www.hellbastard.co.uk/ FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/hellbastardofficial/ BANDCAMP: https://hellbastard.bandcamp.com/ REVERBNATION: https://www.reverbnation.com/hellbastard TWITTER: https://twitter.com/scruffbastard
- “Hammerfest” Live film. (Amo Productions 2016).
- “Outsider of the year” 2021. (link elsewhere here).
- “Massacre” Rehearsal Demo (Self-released) 1985.
- “Ripper Crust” Demo Cassette (Self-released) 1986.
- “Hate Militia” Demo Cassette (Self-released) 1987.
- “Civilised?” Comp LP track (Peaceville Records) 1987.
- “Heading for Internal Darkness” LP (Meantime Records) 1988.
- “They Brought Death” Ltd. Edition 7” (Temple of Love) 1988.
- “Thrashing a Dead House” 12” (Vinyl Drip Intl) 1988.
- “Earache Demo” #3 (Unreleased) (3 tracks) 1989.
- “Natural Order” LP / CD /Cass. (Earache Records) 1989/90.
- “Grindcrusher” Double LP (Earache Records) 1991.
- “Situation Violent” Album Demo *4 (Unreleased) 1992.
- “Heading For Internal Darkness” Silent Scream Recs LP/CD/Cass. 1990.
- “Ripper Crust” LP (Grindcrust Records) 1993. (First pressing on coloured vinyl).
- “They Brought Death” Comp LP track (Skuld/Profane Existence) 1996.
- “In Grind We Crust” CD (a ‘best of’) (Acid Stings Records) 1997.
- “Blood, Fire & Hate” CD (Control Records) 1998.
- “Heading For More Darkness” CD (Bomb Factory Records) 1998.
- “The Good Go First” LP (Dirty Crust Records) 2000. * Japan only *
- “The Need to Kill…” LP (Civilisation Records) 2008.
- “Ripper Crust” LP (Agipunk Records) 2008. (2nd pressing on coloured vinyl).
- “The Need To Kill….” CD (Selfmadegod Records) 2009.
- “Heading For Internal Darkness” LP (Civilisation Records) 2009.
- “Eco-War” CD EP (Selfmadegod Records) 2009.
- “Sea Shepherd” Ltd. Edition 7” (Torture Garden Records) 2009.
- “Discography 1986-1988” CD (Shaman Records) 2009.
- “Sons Of Bitches” CD (Selfmadegod Records) 2011.
- “Sons Of Bitches” 12″ (Patac Records) 2012.
- “Sons Of Bitches” 12” (Unleash Hell Records) 2012.
- “Sons Of Bitches” 12” Ltd. Edition Test Pressing (Patac Records) 2015.
- “Engineering Human Consciousness…” Ltd. Edition 7” 2014.
- “To The Dead & The Dying” 12” Picture-Disc (Wooaaarrgghh/Civilisation Records) 2015.
- “To The Dead & The Dying” CD. (Wooaaarrgghh/Civilisation Records) 2015.
- “Feral” CD (Patac Records) 2015.
- “To the dead & The Dying….” Cassette (Woooarghhhhh / Civilisation Recs) 2019.
- They Brought Death (Full 1988 session/7-tracks) on 10″ coloured vinyl. ( Chaos Control Recs) Ripper Crust/Hate Militia (cd) (Helvetet Recs)….
- “We hate everyone” (Type o Negative coversong) for 783PUNX label (A tribute to TYPE-O album 2022) “
2–What is the latest line-up? How long has this line-up been together? What previous bands have the musicians played for??
Well,…. we have played 2 shows since the pandemic began, one in England ( A John Peel (BBC Radio DJ) tribute and a festival in Latvia, the former USSR. Both were very well attended. Sadly we lost our drummer in 2022 who had no choice but to quit as he has many personal problems and just couldn’t dedicate the time to the band anymore.
Currently the stable line up of myself, Vocals/Guitars, Danny (Guitars/Vocals) & Max (Bass) is ongoing, although 2022 Max had to do something very important & subsequently is currently on tour with the Rolling Stones nonetheless. Max resumes bass duties this winter. We also have a guy called Josh who we are still rehearsing with and Josh will perform the next live shows along with max’s stand-in bassist Konrad. All members have played in so many bands that to be honest, I cannot even try to list them all. Sorry.
3–Why have there been so many line-up changes with HELLBASTARD?? Would you consider the current line-up a strong, tight unit that will be together for a while??
As with any band there are always problems, and quite often line ups change. There is a vast list of reasons WHY the HB line ups over the years have changed. From the sublime, to the ridiculous. Let’s just say that not everyone is built for being in a band, the illusion is often greater than the reality.
4–HELLBASTARD had a bassist who killed himself in the not so far past…was it a shock to you that he did that or did he show signs of being suicidal??
Well, as sad as it was, yes it was quite a shock. We have never spoken of it publicly before this interview. Dave had a long time problem with anxiety, and in the end he did what he did. He quit the band the day after we were banned from a festival in England. As did the other guitar player. That led to various malicious comments being slung back and forth and the whole thing was a crock of shit. Best forgotten really. It only serves to remember some very bad memories. Dave was a very nice bloke and was very passionate about music, but something happened after being banned from the festival mentioned above, and he turned against the band 100%. That in itself was very sad.
5–The most recent song I’ve heard is OUTSIDER OF THE YEAR https://youtu.be/bvFzIpOD8OA from summer 2021… The song is true to HELLBASTARD’S aggressive energy displayed in their (your) songs….Is this song available on a CD or anywhere besides on YOUTUBE??
The track ‘Outsider of the year’ is available on the American label ‘PATAC RECORDS’ – the album the track is from is called ‘FERAL” https://hellbastard.bandcamp.com/album/feral and it was recorded in 2014/2015. It features 2 notable special guests (Andy Sneap (Sabbat/Hell/Judas Priest) and Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller (Amebix/Tau Cross).
6– Are you working on any new songs for a new CD which will be recorded, released and available to the public in the near future?? If so, give us an estimate of the time it may be finished or released??
Yes, we most certainly are. Last year we recorded a special track for a Type O Negative tribute album entitled ‘WE HATE EVERYONE’ https://hellbastard.bandcamp.com/track/we-hate-everyone-type-o-negative-coversong which is taken from their 1993 album ‘Bloody Kisses’. The track will feature on the 783PUNX label sometime in 2022. We will also shoot a video for this track as it turned out so good. It was recorded, Mixed and mastered by our own guitar player Danny ’Tibbsy’ Guy at his own recording studio in Bristol, England.
Some new titles include:
- “Shoot the bastards”
- “Into the reactor”
- “The great bear….”
- “Telling me what to do will make you my enemy” and more.
7–You have toured a lot since HELLBASTARD regrouped, for example the USA in 2016….tell us a little about the USA tour?? What other countries have you toured over the last several years??
We have toured the USA quite a few times, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016 and played various festival dates across the states. We have been to some very strange & lovely places,… Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Montreal (Quebec), Slovenia, France, Belgium, Denmark, Copenhagen, Norway, Latvia, Ireland, Croatia, Scotland, Wales, Czech republic, Poland, it’s actually a long list,… but that’s a few of the places.
8–Any gigs or tours set up as we speak?? Also, rumour has it, HELLBASTARD has been banned from certain so-called ‘punk rock’ venues during your past touring from 2016 plus. Is this true? Has HELLBASTARD been unbanned yet?? Where were these venues located or were they in lots of different areas?? Why was HELLBASTARD banned anyway??
We grace the Czech Republic again this summer at the legendary ‘Obscene Extreme’ festival in Trutnov. That is a great vegan-friendly festival where you are treat like a human and not a number. The organiser ‘Curby’ has a small documentary film (youtube) if anyone is interested to see it. We’re also playing two special shows in july in Avon, Somerset (south west UK)
There are actually 2 places we have been banned from both for the same reasons. 1) Rebellion Festival (UK) and 2) Warzone collective venue (Belfast, Northern Ireland). I’m to blame and I always took full responsibility. I like to sometimes fire breathe. Spitting fire is a lovely thing to do & occasionally it gets up the noses of certain venues & promoters. I have been spitting fire for over 30 years and have never set alight to a building or a human being since I begun. I’m quite proud of that, too.
9––Your brother opened up the first punk rock venue in the UK named THE STATION. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/mar/31/moshpit-mayhem-station-punks-gateshead-chris-killi p-hellbastard
I find that fucking awesome!!! What year was it opened & then closed??? Could you tell us a little about your brother’s club, the bands that played there, etc…etc…??? (Also, again….I’m sorry for the loss of your brother. I wish I knew him and met him.)
Before the Station https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chris-Killip-Station/dp/3958296165 (located in my hometown of Gateshead) https://flashbak.com/in-the-moshpits-of-the-working-class-punk-scene-of-newcastle-1985-432856/ there was the Garage https://thehippiesnowwearblack.org.uk/2021/05/26/memories-of-the-garage-and-the-station/ in Newcastle Upon Tyne just across the River Tyne from neighbouring Gateshead,….an autonomous space where you could experience live music and a disco. My brother didn’t open the ‘FIRST’ venue, but he was seminal in booking bands https://flashbak.com/in-the-moshpits-of-the-working-class-punk-scene-of-newcastle-1985-432856/ that brought thousands of people together over the years to his organised shows.
Below are just SOME of the bands that played his shows,…
- The Clash
- Napalm Death
- Riot Squad
- Mau Maus
- Rubella Ballet
- Sacred Reich
- Svart Framtid
- Toxic Reasons
- Christ on parade
- Icons of filth
- Seats of piss
- Eat Shit
- Sons of Badbreath
- Chaos UK
It’s quite an extensive list & no way can I make it complete,….but I think you get the idea.
10–Do you get a lot of offers from Record Labels??? HELLBASTARD keeps telling Record Labels to fuck off….why??? I know they can steal your souls and fuck you over but isn’t there at least one you’re willing to give a chance??? If so, tell us more…
We actually have a record deal planned for the next release (EP/ALBUM) so we’re not so bad that we keep telling everyone to ‘fuckoff’ hahahah, we just like to do what we want to do and not have anything dictated about. I think this next label deal will give us the space to do this.
11–What are YOUR favourite HELLBASTARD songs and videos?? Why?? (Scruff, send me 2 links of videos you want added to this interview).
I’m quite fond of these 2 clips,.. the first one is a trailer for an EP (2011) and a few advertised shows,… and the 2nd was captured in England in a field in a secret location. There are many more HB videos but these 2 say it all really.
This is a bit more ‘progressive’, shall we say and we paid more attention to the environmental message we have had since the very first 1986 demo Hellbastard – We Are Coven.
12–Do you plan on keeping HELLBASTARD alive forever??? I’ve known you for 20 years or so and underestimated your talent, passion and dedication to HELLBASTARD and I apologize. I’ve been listening to HELLBASTARD a lot lately and I can’t get enough. And I’m sure if the readers never heard HB’S music and checked it out, they couldn’t get enough either.
That’s a very difficult question to answer. I personally feel that in 2007/8 after only 12 months of reforming after the 16 year hiatus, the band had accomplished everything it had set out to achieve. There is definitely more in the pipeline but for now we’ll just keep on keeping on because we love to play and exorcise the demons.
13–One more question, Where do you see HELLBASTARD in a year, five years or where would you like HELLBASTARD to be in one year or in five years??? Anything you’d like to add, feel free to. Thanks for your time, Scruff!!!
Ideally i’d like to see all creativity everywhere on earth flourishing without the threat and fear of seclusion. In the uk the BREXIT plan has crushed the creative arts industries. In Europe places where creativity flourishes is systematically being ‘cleaned up’. Vital buildings and spaces are being evicted to make way for ANOTHER coffee shop, car park or expensive housing. It’s the same old, same old,…. money talks and bullshit walks.
Thanks for the time and interview Marcy. Cheers, Scruff/Hellbastard.