Hello Luke, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Hellbringer is a new name within the heavy metal genre. Could you introduce yourselves to our readers?
The band comprises myself (Luke Bennett) on bass / lead vocals, my brother Josh Bennett on drums and Tim Sheppard on guitar.
The first and only demo which came out under the Forgery moniker contained one original song and three cover versions of Venom and Sodom tracks. Are they your main inspiration?
Definitely. Especially Sodom. We also take influence from many other bands such as Destruction, early Slayer, Hobbs' Angel of Death, Armoured Angel, early Kreator etc. We always aim for the more evil thrash sound.
The 'Hellbringer' CD already came out in 2009 (when the band was still called Forgery) and was recently re-released by the legendary Iron Pegasus label from Germany. How did the deal with the label come to be?
That's correct. Well basically Josh and I just e-mailed a bunch of underground labels asking if they would be interested in hearing the Forgery EP and to see what they thought of it. A few responded saying they really liked our stuff, but at the time weren't looking to release anything. One of the e-mails in this bunch was to Iron Pegasus and Costa replied saying he really liked it and offered to do this release, and it all went from there.
The original EP was produced by the legendary Harris Johns (Helloween, Grave Digger, Sodom, Kreator to namedrop a few). How did he end up doing the job?
Same situation with Iron Pegaus really. We needed to find someone to master to the songs, and Josh and I thought of Harris Johns cause of all the classic albums he's done. We shot him off an e-mail having no idea if he'd respond or not and he did saying he would be happy to do it. We were a bit shocked to be honest but really happy we got him!
The re-release contains new artwork which was created by Sadistik Execution's Rok. Why did you choose to redo the artwork and how got Rok I the picture?
We didn't think the previous artwork we had suited us pretty much. Didn't suit the music etc. Don't get me wrong, the old one was good (was drawn by our guitarist Tim) but it just didn't give off the right feel. Hushy from the Aussie thrash band Trench Hell actually had the artwork laying around and showed it to us cause he knew we were after something new, and straight away we thought “Hell yeah, this is what we need”. So we then bought it off Rok.
And what about the bandname? Why was it severely changed?
There's actually another band called Forgery in Norway and they're signed to a fairly popular label called Candlelight Records, so the band and Costa all thought it was probably the best idea to change our name to avoid confusion / problems in the future.
I understand. Since the previous EP was recorded in 2009 or so, I have been asking myself if a new album is already in the works…
Yep. We've been working very hard on brand new material over the past year or so and the songs are sounding killer. We're just about done too. We hope to be hitting the studio sometime late this year to begin recording a full length album with all these!
I hope you can top the current album, but personally I think this will be very difficult because he 'Hellbringer' release gets 95 out of 100 points in this months issue of Lords Of Metal. Is it important for you that the self-titled album was also released on good old vinyl now?
Wow, that's great! Quite surprised hehe. I'm confident that we can top it, but personally we're not really interested in topping the EP as such, we just wanna do another killer thrash release that the maniacs will really enjoy and bang their heads to again! Yeah it was very important to us because people seem to love when something is released on vinyl so it's hopefully attracting a lot more people to it!
Do you have more details about the forthcoming album?
Not so much at this stage besides it should be getting released through Iron Pegasus again.
The group has built a relationship with Germany now. Are there future plans to tour Europe within a foreseeable future?
Yes most definitely. We are VERY keen and eager to play in Europe and the chances are higher now that we have distribution over there, so that will hopefully keep building our fan base. Hopefully we get over there next year!
You are from Canberra, Australia. Could you tell me about the (underground) metal scene and the best places (record stores, clubs and so on) to go to when visiting your beautiful country?
The underground metal scene here is interesting, it's nothing compared to the European scene that's for sure. In Canberra there is pretty much nothing for the underground, except two venues where there's always crappy bands playing. No record stores or anything in our city unfortunately, but in Sydney where we seem to gig quite a bit, it's a little better. There's a few decent record stores there where you can pick up some killer stuff like Repressed Records (now sort of merged with a killer Aussie underground label/distro called The Coffins Slave, Les De Cabinet De Curiosities and Egg Records which I've heard gets some good stuff in. There's occasionally decent gigs there too. Unfortunately there's no clubs or anything purely dedicated to thrash/black/heavy kinda stuff like you guys have over there. Haven't really been to Melbourne, but I've heard it's similar to Sydney, few decent metal places etc.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Before we end up this one, could you reveal Hellbringer's future plans?
No problems mate, was a pleasure. Future plans are to hopefully have a brand new full length album out late this year/early next year and to hopefully tour Europe sometime soon!
Do you have anything to say or add to this interview? The space below is all yours!
Thrash till deaf, and look out for our brand new LP release!!