On January 21st, Music For The Masses dropped HELLFOX’s debut album “The Call”. The band consists of four lovely ladies from Italy: Greta Antico (vocals), Gloria Kaps (guitar), Priscilla Poe (bass/vocals) and Fedy Piscopo (drums). The combination of clean and harsh vocals fits perfectly with the music. Oh well, let’s just say it, “The Call” is a wonderful album! Reason enough for us to have a little talk with the girls. They sometimes answer as a band, but also individually.
INTERVIEW BY: Henk van Nieuwenhoven
HELLFOX’s debut album “The Call” was released on January 21st on Music For The Masses Records. It was recorded in August 2021 at the Ivorytears Music Works Recording Studio. What were the next few steps after the recording?
HELLFOX: After the recordings we started the preparation for live concerts, so doing a lot of rehearsal, not anymore with the intention of recording, but with the intention to play live and create a good show. Unfortunately, Covid cut our wings again. We hope in the Summer of 2022 to play at many festivals.
You wrote on your Facebook page “hear our call” and the album is titled “The Call”. But the call for what?
HELLFOX: “The Call” we’re talking about is the music itself. For us music is such a religion, something you can call home and that can make you feel safe. So we’re “calling” all those who need a home, those who recognize themselves in our music…
HELLFOX consists of four females with different musical tastes and influences. Does that make the writing process easier for you or are there always squabbles?
HELLFOX: It makes it easier because we’re really open minded and we like to experiment new sounds and new way of composing, I guess this is one of our strength points. We have never had squabbles in HELLFOX for now!
My first introduction to HELLFOX was the very impressive official video for “Dead Star” that you recorded with a real audience during the pandemic. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘extremely’, how difficult was it for you to shoot this video?
GRETA: 8! It was very difficult, by my side. The pandemic has put us to the test. It was hard to ask people we love to put themselves at risk, but we are very happy with the result.
GLORIA: 7! Also for me it has been difficult, especially for the Covid situation. A lot of our friends wanted to be part of the video and we didn’t want to put them in danger. Anyway, the making of the video itself was very interesting and it has been a very cool experience.
PRISCILLA: I’ll give It an 8! I was frustrated by the restrictions and I was mad about the fact that some friends of mine couldn’t come, because of the pandemic.
FEDERICA:7! The emergency period required good preparation for checking the health of the participants, checking self-certifications and health devices. Surely, without the pandemic, the organization would have been faster and the participants more, since we had also to limit the number of persons. Having overcome the organizational obstacle, I did not find any major difficulties. The desire to go forward with this project has never stopped us and we continue pursuing our goal.
You describe yourself as an “alternative metal band leaning towards melodic death metal”. The “Dead Star” video makes it perfectly clear who’s responsible for this. Greta is doing the alt metal vocals and bassist Priscilla the growls. Was this the concept from the start?
HELLFOX: Yes, absolutely. We searched for the coexistence of this two visions of music. The clean nearly poppy vocals and the synthesizers stolen from the 80s and on the other hand the growls and other stuff from the darkest death metal.
You signed a deal with Music For The Masses Records in November 2021. Did you get offers from Italian labels as well, like Scarlet Records, Rockshots Records or Frontiers Music? Why did you make the final choice for Music For The Masses?
PRISCILLA: I have been contacted by some minor labels (not the ones you wrote here above), but we decided to sign with Music For The Masses because we are brand new and we need a label with people we know and trust.
Let’s go back to “The Call” and discuss some of the tracks on it. Each of you can pick one favorite track and tell us something about it.
GRETA: “Our Lady Of Sorrows” was the very first track we wrote and I feel very attached to this song. This is a prayer to a unknown goddess that can help you if you sacrifice something to her. We started with guitar and bass riffs and then added all the other parts.
GLORIA: “Haunted“. We wrote it in my room, me and the bass player, and it was a really mystical experience. We are very attached with the riffs of that song. The title of the song is due to a strange episode that happened to me and Priscilla when we were coming home from rehearsal: on the horizon we saw both a very scary house and we both noticed it. Another day we were on that same road again, but the house wasn’t there anymore….
PRISCILLA: At the beginning I fell in love with “Haunted“, but now with the whole album. I choose “Your Name“. It’s absolutely the one we touched the most to make it perfect to us. And I love how balanced it is.
FEDERICA: When I started writing the drums for “The Call” I was excited to finally experiment with the double pedal and I had to find a compromise between creativity and technique. When I wrote the rhythm of “Your Name” I perceived an energy different from all the other songs, it involves me to the point that my heartbeat does a solo for all 4 minutes!
HELLFOX’s second official video for “Our Lady Of Sorrows” was recorded at “Ex Italcementi” in Alzano Lombardo, a place full of mystery and with great historical importance. Please explain why and what’s the story behind the song and video?
HELLFOX: The video represents the protagonist in search of an answer. She hears music and tries to follow it. She needs to find a solution to her problems and she looks for it through Our Lady Of Sorrows. Instead of her, she finds in her path the four of us, who in one way or another guide her towards the ‘Cathedral’ where we are playing. Of course, by the time she gets there, it will be too late. She will be left alone with a book though and… who knows… it could be the solution to all her problems or her worst damnation… The video was shot in the Ex Italcementi of Alzano Lombardo thanks to Richard Milella and Mr. Valsecchi, who takes care of the historic abandoned factory. The lead actress is Sarah Locatelli, a friend of the band. The video was shot by Elia Pavoni.
Italy houses a lot of female fronted metal bands in all kind of genres. Name three Italian bands you would like to do a tour through Europe with as support-act.
GLORIA & GRETA: Deathless Legacy
FEDERICA: Lacuna Coil
PRISCILLA: Hand Of Juno, I hope soon to hear music from them!
If you were the interviewer, what question that I didn’t ask here would you have liked to get an answer to and what would that answer be?
FEDERICA: Have you ever thought of giving yourself to horse racing?… Maybe sometime.