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The Addication

Hank J. Newman is not an American but a Finn. The Addication is a band name and the title of their album. This album is telling us about the World downfall, and still I am getting happy when I hear it. Why? Because their story is wrapped up in some very fine melodic thrash metal music, and melodic thrash metal music will always exist. Confused? No worries, that same Hank is the main man behind this band and in this interview he explains everything to us.

By: Tormentor Erich | Archive under speed / thrash metal

After two EP releases in 2010 and 2011 we can finally look forward towards the release of your first full length album 'The Addication'. But before we talk about this one, please tell us a bit about the history of the band so far. How did it all start? What happened so far?
Hello! It all started back in 2009 when I had some quiet time with my bands and started to work on my solo material. I had written material for a full length melodic metal album, which was going to be my first solo album. I had singer Kenny Jones from my former hard rock / metal band Ghost Town Angels and drummer Arnold Hackman from one of my older bands working with me as a session musicians. It was very hard to get our schedules to match, so when we had recorded five songs we decided that it was going to be an EP instead of full length album. We released the EP at 2010 with the name “The Addication”. After this EP was released me and Kenny started to write some new material and this time we wanted to do something different. Our first EP was very melodic and there were a lot of keyboards in the songs. But one song on the promo called 'Rust' was a little bit different. No keyboards, tight and heavy guitar riffs with some thrash metal influence. And that was the new style for The Addication. Then I contacted my old friend, guitarist Hector Jimenez and asked him to join this project, because he is a great guitarist and I knew that he loved to play thrash metal. So now it was the year 2011 and we made our new promo that contained three melodic thrash metal songs. This promo was called 'Burned Down'. The songs had heavy guitar riffs, and then there were these melodic vocals that brought a great contrast to the songs. Even some influences from eighties hard rock and metal was involved. This was the new style of The Addication and we just loved it!

After that promo was released we all were pretty busy with our other bands, and things started to slow down for The Addication. Everyone in the band thought that this would be the end for The Addication, until Kenny came up with a great idea. There were so many songs already written for the band so Kenny said “why don't we make a full length album?” Everyone loved the idea and we decided to make this album and see how everything works out. We asked bass player Marc F. from Hector's other band to join us, and after he was in we started to record this album, and here it is! After all the sweat and tears and nervous breakdowns we fucking made it. We all have a long history as performing artists, but a funny thing is that our debut gig with this band was our album release party.

So I understand that the album is some kind of overview of the band until now, with more melodic songs from the past such as the already before mentioned 'Rust' and some rougher new ones that represent the future of the band?
I wouldn't say that the album is overview of the band until now, it is more like what the band is now.
The album presents us as a band, which is pretty far from the beginning when The Addication was just a project. The song 'Rust' from our first EP is the blast from the past, but it was a kind of turning point in our musical style, and that's why we wanted to take it to this album. The 'Burned Down' promo was the kind of sneak peek to this album, and we didn't have to do much arrangements to those songs to let them fit into this album, although we made them a little bit faster, he he.

I really like the mixture of firm aggression and melodic parts in your music, and therefore you could be easily labeled as a melodic thrash metal band. Do you agree on this one? And how do you see the future for bands like The Addication and this kind of music? Is there an audience big enough around for the band to survive? Or is this what you do regardless what the public will think of it?
We found it very hard to find a perfect label to describe our music. It is okay if we are labeled as a melodic thrash metal band. We have lot of influences from old-school thrash metal, but also influences from eighties hard rock and metal as well. And this all is mixed together with modern sounds, and vocals with lot of contrast. And that's something that some of the true old-school thrash metal fans don't like. I would say that we have found the musical style and sound that makes The Addication stand up from the mass, and that's what we're gonna do, like it or not. Metal music never dies and thrash metal is still popular among certain metal audiences. And because we are more than just a typical thrash metal band I think we will have enough audience to survive.

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Unfortunately I was not able to get a better look at some of the lyrics from the album, but I understood that the general theme in 'The Addication' handles the possible world downfall. What can you tell us about this theme and some of the lyrics?
You could say that the main theme of the album is world's downfall. But it's not the downfall of our planet nor the humans. It's more like the downfall of the humanity. There are songs about people who can't find their place in this world, and there are songs about people who raise themselves to the position of a God. The world will see its end, and it's the humans that make it happen. The main theme of the album is pretty dark and depressed but there is also certain cynicism in our lyrics.

You already spoke about the vocals on your new album. They are not that typical screaming / grunting vocals, but they add some more lightness to the music and every now and then they even remind me a bit of that singer from Voivod. Is this also something you take special care of?
It's true that we don't have those typical thrash metal vocals as mentioned before. We use different styles in the vocals to add this contrast to our songs, and that's one thing that makes us what we are and that also makes us to stand out from the mass. Mainly our vocals are much more melodic than in traditional thrash metal. We know that our vocals divide opinions sharply, but that's a good thing.

The band name and the album name are the same. Isn't this confusing? And what does The Addication exactly mean anyway?
Of course it can be confusing for some people. But this is our debut album and it's presenting The Addication as it is. So it was very clear that we wanted the album to be self-titled. There is no dictionary definition for a word called addication, but it comes from the words “dedication” and “addiction”. When you are so dedicated to something that it becomes your addiction. Music is our “Addication”. So that makes it the perfect name for our band.

I also noticed that you guys are from Finland, but your names do not sound typical Finnish at all. Is this just a coincidence, or is there a story behind this?
Yes we are from Finland and those are our artist names. For me it goes back in time when I was at junior high school and we had some visitors from the U.K. We had our English lesson and everyone had to say their name and what they're gonna be when they grow old. When my turn came I said “My name is Hank, and I'm gonna be a rockstar”. Well I'm not a rock star (yet) but after that I have used Hank Newman as my artist name in all projects that I have been involved. Kenny Jones has also used his name in many music projects so it was pretty clear that we all would use artist names in this band. And off course it's more practical to have international artist names, especially because our music is more international than traditional Finnish metal music.

With the year 2013 just started and 'The Addication' soon to be released you must have high hopes for this year, right? So what are the plans, what can we expect from The Addiction this year?
Yes we have very high hopes for this year. First of all we'll try to get as much gigs as possible and of course we want to promote our new album. We just had our album release party, and the songs of the album worked just great live. One major thing this year is that we'll make our first music video. Shootings take place during this spring and summer, and if everything goes well we should have the final video ready before end of the summer. We can't tell yet what the song for the music video will be, but we will release it on our website when the time is right. We are also writing some new material which will come to our second album. And we will probably release something new during the year 2013.

Okay guys, this is it for me. I wish you all the best for 'The Addication' and the space here below is yours for some famous last words / final comments!
First of all thank you for this interview. The end of the world didn't come, so now you can have a good time to listen our new album!

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