Earlier this year Hellcats released their debut full-length album The Hex and The Healer, a twenty-two minute display of emotional, riff-heavy, drum-heavy, ROCK! We caught up with the busy Warwick to find out more.
Congrats on your debut Full-Length album!
You guys work great foreplay, easing us in over the last 3 years…slowly releasing the ‘Coffin Full of…’ EPs. How does it feel to release a full-length album, any different?
It feels good. Real good. Recording the EP’s was always quite a quick in an out process. We’d book a weekend in studio, get drunk on the Saturday and fuck around, then come in hungover on Sunday and record everything in a day- it was fun, but the producer did most of the work. On ‘The Hex and the Healer, the entire recording process took about 4 months and we put all the time and love into the songs that they deserved. We started with like 20 tracks and whittled down to 8 and made it a short, pacey, rock n roll punch to the gut. We’re super proud of the collection of songs and it’s a rad 20minute journey to get stuck into.
the entire recording process took about 4 months and we put all the time and love into the songs that they deserved
When I interviewed you mid last year, we spoke about this album coming up. How long has this project actually taken?
Yoh, the whole process was in the works over like a two year period. We started writing the songs ages ago and played them live and took them through their paces. We approached the guys at Audio Militia (Craig, Nick and Paul) in January last year for preproduction, and then because how busy we were with gigs and kak, only actually got in the studio in October. From there we recorded a lot at AM. Craig Hawkins (AM) is a mad scientist behind the desk and captured so many different little nuances to make us sound bigger while making sure that everything we recorded was able to be replicated when we played live. Nick Argyros also rode Alessandro like a pony when it came to vocals. So ja we spent a lot of time crafting to eventually get to point of launching in January. Good things take time.
Tell us more about the title The Hex and The Healer. To me this would be one in the same person. What is the title’s meaning for you?
So the Hex and the healer has a couple meanings actually, the first most obvious meaning is a story of love lost and love found again. The narrative is about someone being in a relationship that goes toxic (The Hex) and then coming out of it beaten and bruised, but finding new love again in (The Healer). We’re fucking saps! Haha. Apart from that I also like to think of The Hex and The Healer like this: Alessandro and I have this constant line that we walk between working for the man at our day jobs (The Hex) so we can, you know, eat, and living this double life where we get to make music and play it to people and have the time of our fucking lives doing it (The Healer). That’s the way I see it anyway. Alessandro probably thinks it’s about pizza. He’s Italian and that’s a stereotype.
Alessandro probably thinks it’s about pizza. He’s Italian and that’s a stereotype
You recorded this album at Audio Militia. Describe a day in the studio to us ……
It’s like being at home having a couple mates over and playing some music. Such a rad environment- we’re really good mates with the Audio Militia crew so we had a lot of laughs. And whiskey. Lots of fuckin whiskey. Our producer Craig gave us a shot of whisky after every good take. There were a few of those.
What is the whole studio experience like for you? Are you generally relaxed, or do you have bad days when you feel the pressure?
As I said the vibe at Audio Militia is super comfortable and we really do feel at home there. The guys work you but it’s the best kind of work. The only pressure is hoping you get a good take so you can have another shot of whiskey.
Our producer Craig gave us a shot of whisky after every good take. There were a few of those
Hellcats have opened for a lot of great international bands, which of those sets has been the most memorable and why?
They were all great but the one that stood out was opening for DZ DEATHRAYS at Mieliepop. We literally had that gig fall into our laps. It was pissing down with rain the whole weekend and we spent most of our time getting hammered on tequila with some mates in the shelter of our tent. Femi Koya who was supposed to be headlining just before DZ DEATHRAYS, couldn’t get into the festival cos the roads were so fucked from the rain. So I’m standing in our tent in my underpants and about to ingest a whole lot of something questionable, when Alessandro walks in and tells me they’ve asked us to fill Femi’s slot on the main stage. So we threw on some jeans and hauled out drunk asses to the stage and played one of the best shows we’ve ever played. It was fucking magical.
The press shots for this album feature Al getting beer dumped on him. How much fun was this to shoot? And how much beer was wasted?
It was the most fun. Al had arrived late and Merwe who did our album art said, “Listen, don’t tell Al just yet, but we’re gonna pour a quart of beer over his head and shoot it”. And then we did it and it was hilarious. Four quarts were harmed in the making of that photo.
Ok, and of course the added little gem on this album, the hidden track. Tell us wtf happened at Park Acoustics, you drunken maniacs?
We got drunk off our arses after our show, as we do, and when it was time to leave we had to perform the grown up task of merch recon. Let’s just say it didn’t go as planned. I think I drew a bunch of dicks on the woman’s order form, amongst other things.
And now on that note, a quick multiple-choice question. Warwick do you play:
A. The Guitar
B. The Bass
A- guitar- hahaha.
I think I drew a bunch of dicks on the woman’s order form, amongst other things
What’s in the works for the rest of 2019?
We’re playing a bunch of rad festivals in the next couple months- Strab, Pirate fest and Misty waters and apart from that we’re keen to do a little stint across the pond.
Where is the album available?
It’s on all good music platforms- Apple, Spotify, Deezer, google play etc. and then we have hard copies on Vinyl and USB’s which we’re gonna launch online, but before that happens you can just DM us on FB or insta and we’ll sort you out.
Thanks guys. Always such a pleasure chatting to you. Meow!
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