Rock Into The Fire with Hell In The Club
Rock Into The Fire with Hell In The Club
Hell In The Club has returned, and are ready to brighten up your pandemic days with their super infectious hard rocking anthems! Hell Of Fame is the name of their latest magnum opus, now available worldwide from Frontiers Music Srl. Featuring members of Elvenking and Secret Sphere, Hell In The Club started out as a side project just for fun, and now the band is now on their fifth album. Highwire Daze recently spoke with Hell In The Club front man Davide “Dave” Moras to find out more about the making of the fiery Hell Of Fame, releasing new music in this turbulent year of 2020, news on his other band Elvenking, and other rip-roaring topics from the haunted castle of this Italian collective. Read on…
So Dave, where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Well actually, in Hell In The Club, there are two factions let’s say. I live in the Northern East part of Italy near Venice actually – and the other guys live near Turin, which is more in the West part of Italy. And regarding our scene – if you’re talking exclusively about hard rock and definitely the genre we are playing with Hell In The Club, I would in Italy it’s pretty much disastrous. There is a not a big underground scene – or at least there is, but there are not very many bands that have a chance to stand out in one way or another. There are good bands – some are friends – but in Italy it’s always been very difficult to come out of this underground pool when it comes to hard rock and rock. You know, the fans here are a lot more into the big classics when it comes to rock – also in the local radio shows – like for example we have a big station Virgin Radio here in Italy and it airs only rock – but there is no chance for the young bands to be there unless they’re not Italian and unless they’re classic. Usually when you come to big shows, you’ll see AC/DC shows or Guns N’ Roses shows. It’s difficult to build up a rock scene. I mean it’s not all bad. There is a group of fans – and when you go to shows – and not the more mainstream ones but as you go to medium and small size shows, you see every time the same people. We’re a small group of fans here that really are into this kind of music. It’s a little bit different when you start to go more into metal. When it comes to metal, it’s slightly different – even if in Italy it’s always about the big bands and the bands that come outside from Italy. Rarely do you see a big support for the local bands here. But yeah, you know, there is the rest of the world fortunately for bands like us.
Let’s talk about the new album Hell Of Fame. First of all, is there is story behind that title. Such a cool and appropriate title for a Hell In The Club album!
Oh cool! Actually Andy the bass player came up with this – he always like to come up with a mix with words. He had this Hall Of Fame in his head going around and around and he said there should also be a “Hell Of Fame” somewhere – so why not call in the album like that? Okay yeah – so why not?
That totally works!
So yeah there’s no big story – but it works! And you know, it was just an idea when we finished with the previous album. We wanted to make a video clip with a spaceman- this figure that we have in a couple of videos – Houston We Got No Money and also on the latest Nostalgia song video. We have this character that’s like our puppet-like mascot. The idea of making a video clip was him going through this kind of phase in his life – he just makes money by going into space and he starts meeting persons from the show business – from movies – from cinema etc. And there was this kind of Hall Of Fame thing where he gets to Los Angeles and they ask him to put his prints on the Hall Of Fame. It was an idea about this video we never made – I don’t know if we ever will. But then the idea stuck with us, and now we have an album like that.
Select any two songs from the album and what inspired the lyrics.
The lyrics in Hell In The Club – it’s me and Andy taking care of the lyrics. When it comes to me, especially in the latest albums, I’m a big horror movie fan – and also literature – I really love books in that vein. You know, it felt pretty comfortable to take this imagery and fit it into happy sounding music. And you have this kind of contrast between the darkness of lyrics and the lightness of the music. It sounded great when I tried it a couple times, and now it feels every time I write lyrics for Hell In The Club, it’s like a new episode of this thing that goes through my mind
So you have songs like We’ll Never Leave The Castle or Last Of An Undying Kind for example, where you have these dark lyrics and the music is not so dark and obscure. So it’s kind of this game between light and darkness. Andy for example – most of the times he like to walk around with feelings or light themes. He likes the music to be sometimes like a relief from bad thoughts or difficult moments – or sometimes he likes it to be light and no strings attached – just the music and freedom and the lightness of the lyrics. So basically I think it’s a balance between these two things – feelings and darkness – light and blackness. And so far so good – I think it worked out pretty much.
Hell Of Fame is the fifth overall album for Hell In The Club. Did you think this project would go this far – now that you have five albums out.
No, no, absolutely not. This band was born just for the fun. It was 2009, me and Andy were already playing for many years – me in Elvenking and he in Secret Sphere. And being part of the same metal scene, we never met in person before. So in 2009, we finally played a gig together and we met each other. And by talking a little bit and hanging out after the show, we just felt we had this thing in common – this passion and that we’ve been listening to this kind of music since we were kids. It got to us so much – it made us being fans and then wanting to have a band. And still this passion is alive today. We love the great classics – the hard rock and the glam metal bands of those years. And he had some songs that he just wrote and he sent them to me a couple of days later – and we just decided to do this thing together and form this band. It’s the passion for this kind of music that made us start it. When we started, we didn’t even think about a record company or a discography or whatever – we just wanted to share this thing, do it together – and we did the first album in 2011. Then one thing lead to another and some years later we are on Frontiers Records making albums – and now is the fifth one. And yeah it’s amazing – our spirit is that of the beginning. We are not expecting one single thing from this band – not because we don’t believe in it. We really love this band and we love playing this kind of music, but we’re kind of free from all of the pressure – all of the paranoia that you definitely have when you are in a band like this – like struggling day after day to have your band grow bigger and so on. So it’s just about the passion. And all that comes as a surprise actually.
What has it been like to record new music in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
Well yeah. I don’t know. The album was meant to be released in April. The album was ready in December / the first days of January, so we had to push it back. When we had to push it back – the idea of releasing it in September – oh, man I was really afraid of it. I was saying “This thing won’t be over by September. Not at all!” And so I was a little bit skeptical – and I still am. I mean there won’t be any chance to tour – no gigs – no shows – we’re only going to do one show here in Italy – like a release party at the end of September. It’s going to be something strange and special, because the audience must be seated and distanced with masks on. We’re going to make two shows / sets – an earlier one and another one to have a chance to change the audience because you just cannot pack the club. And this is so strange and crazy.
How does it feel to have new music out? I don’t know. I’m a bit afraid that this album will go out like this and it won’t be appreciated as much as it could have been in a normal situation. But if you just don’t move forever, you just stay there, and nothing happens for the band anymore. These are tough decisions. As I said, since we don’t expect anything from Hell In The Club in terms of success or sales or whatever, for us it’s the same. If people can listen to the album on the digital platforms or buy the CD, it’s really fine for us – and hopefully we will do a small tour next year. So this is the idea – but we’ll see. The situation here is so uncertain all the time – I don’t know.
What’s currently going on with your other band Elvenking? I know you released a new album last year and then a single this year…
Yeah, the album was released one year ago exactly – a couple of days ago was the birthday of it. And we released a cover version of an Iron Maiden song (No Prayer For The Dying) during the lockdown actually here in Italy. We just wanted to give something to the fans since we had a whole tour postponed or cancelled – I still don’t know what will happen with that tour. And for the future – we have just recorded a live show in the studio – actually they are editing the video part of the show – and we will release it soon – like a free streaming video for our fans