We are a band based in Elche (Alicante, Spain). We started in 2,013 as Hela. Before, we played under another name (The Sand Collector) with another line up. We used to play a stoner-rock/metal style, but after line up changes and start to write darker and heavier songs, more doomish, we decided to change our name to Hela. That´s how we started.
2.So far you have released a full length and a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings?
Broken Cross was our debut album in 2,013. It was released in cd version by several spanish labels, and released by finnish record label Svart Records a year after in vinyl. It´s a doom rock-metal album. There are a few elements of our previous band, but it´s more doom oriented than stoner. There are also a few elements of prog rock and psych. You will like it if you are in the Blood Ceremony/The Devil´s Blood/Windhand style, but also if you like doom metal style like Candlemass, My Dying Bride or the old Anathema.
The songs from the split sound more doom metal. It was released by Marchalenta Records and Discos Macarras (vinyl version) and Third I Rex (digipack version). It´s definitively doom metal. Heavy, dark, yet melodic and melancholic. There are no elements of stoner rock or something like that in the split.
3.3 of the band members in the band where in 'The Sand Collector', what was the decision behind breaking up that group and starting over again with a new band?
As we said before, line up changes mainly, and then, changing our style of music. We still had some elements of The Sand Collector when we began like Hela, but we sound totally different, as a new band. So...the best was begin again, like a totally new band, and of course, change our name.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We use mainly metaphors to talk about things that we see in our lives, news, etc...We also use mythology to talk about those things. Broken Cross talk about the abuse of power and anarchy. There is also a anti-religious feeling in it. Mainly we tried to spit in the eyes of the people that try to control our lives at any cost. In the split we talk about the extinction and how our life is controlled. We used norse mythology (Ragnarok and Norns) to talk about that.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hela'?
We were looking for a short name. And something that could express the kind of music that we do. We are not fans of viking music and that stuff, but looking for the name we saw information about that underground goddess that is Hela. The duality of her body, beautiful but rotted and how short it is, made us choose that name. We know it´s not very unique or original, but fits perfectly with our music, heavy and dirt (the half rotted), but melodic(the half beautiful).
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played only a few gigs in Spain. We had been forced to cancel some shows because our rehearsal room was closed for various months. The owner has some problems (urban problems about the construction and legalization of the rehearsal rooms) with the government of our city and the police closed the place for a couple of months last summer; after that, Isa, our singer, left the band. When Mireia (the new singer) joined Hela, the place was closed again. We still suffering that legal problems and we cannot do nothing but wait. From summer´14 until today, we only rehearsed 3 months or something like that.
So, we played only a few shows...and maybe there are two that we felt our best shows. One in Castellón and the other one in our city, Elche. We felt very comfortable in stage. We try to sound the best that we can when we play live. That is very the main thing for us. And now with Mireia on vocals, there will be more energy and passion in our shows, that´s for sure.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we talked about play some shows in September. There´s nothing booked and we have to wait because of the problems with our rehearsal room and see how soon Mireia learns the songs, but we try to play very soon. And when we have a new record out, we´ll try to tour, Spain of course, but also we will try to tour some places in Europe.
8.In November you where a part of a split with Lodo, what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
We are friends for a long time. We shared stage together, when we were The Sand Collector and they played under the name of “Bazooka”. They suffered the line up changes like us, so they changed their name too. We love their songs, and we are very happy to be together in the split. Soon we will share stage together, or at least we´ll try.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner and doom metal?
Very good. We are from Spain, a country without tradition in metal bands, especially in doom, we have no big names in the underground around the world. But we think here there are a lot of good bands and the feedback by fans put us in the list of that good bands, not only here in Spain, also around the world. Broken Cross received a lot of very positive reviews and that makes us really happy. Also a lot of people contact us via facebook our email, telling us that they love our music. That makes us feel really proud of our job.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Well, Nahrayan is the oldest band we have (Julian and me) it´s a zombie-undead band right now. It is in stand by and maybe in the future we´ll work behind that name, who knows. The other project that we have together is Quebranto. We have a few songs, but...we need more time to continue with that project and record the album. Hope in a few months we could record, because it´s a nice project. It has influences by bands like Blut Aus Nord, Breach, Terra Tenebrosa, Neurosis, The Secret, Celtic Frost, etc...and it´s really dark and agressive, in the vein of Nahrayan, but more darker, a mix of doom, death, black, crust...
Julian also plays guitar in Muerte por mil Cortes, a grind-death band, they continue playing every time they can, and they have released two albums.
I (Miguel) have a couple of projects more. Neptunian Sun. We play doom metal. Our first album was instrumental, but we are finishing the new one and will contain some surprises. More doom/death/black oriented. And also I play drums in another project, without official name. There are some ex-members of Nahemah. More rock-metal, for fans of Solstafir, Ghost Brigade, etc...
Tano played in a couple of projects in the past, but right now he´s playing in a surf band, called The Bearded Gremmies.
And Mireia has her own band, a stoner-grunge band, called Rosy Finch. They will release very soon their first album, after the release of their ep debut.
11.When can we expect another full length and album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are working in new songs. We have ideas for...I think 4 new songs. We have to work really hard on each one, but with that ideas and a couple more, the new album will be finished. We hope to record at the end of this year, so, maybe at the end of the year or in the beginning of 2,016, there will be a new Hela album. The way to follow will be the same, write the songs we love and continue playing. And, if it sounds doom, we will be happy.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Obviously doom, any kind of doom. From My Dying Bride or Anathema to Electric Wizard or Kongh. A lot of metal, old classic stuff to extreme metal (black, death or whatever). Sludge. Rock. Tons of rock, from the 70´s ´til now. Also grunge or jazz or trip-hop. Even dark ambient bands.
Everyone is listening a lot of different kinds of music in the band and has their own influences, and I cannot talk by everybody, but I can name some bands we like and are an influence to our sound, like Subrosa, Pentagram, Yob, Kongh, Anathema (old), The Gathering, Kongh, Arc of Ascent, Spiritual Beggars, Pallbearer, Neurosis, Candlemass/Krux...and a big etc...
13.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
No. Not really or...not yet. Lyrically, there are a lot of bands talking about occultism. A lot of female fronted doom bands are talking about that and we know it´s not very original. But we are talking about a lyrical concept for our new album and maybe we could try to approach to occultism and witchery. As we said it´s not very original, but if we finally do that, we´ll try to do it in a different way. But that maybe we´ll be the future, and the present is that occultism doesn´t play any role in our music.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Mainly...search for time to rehearse together! Hahahaha. Because our real jobs, it´s really difficult to us rehearse together. And in our leisure...cinema! We see a lot of movies. We all love cinema. From crap movies to big classics. We love terror, scifi, and independent movies. Also some big productions.
We also try to read a lot of books and comics.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Just say thank you for this interview. And thank you to all the people who support us around the world. We have a new version of the split in an awesome digipack released by Third I Rex so...if someone is interested, please visit our facebook and our bigcartel or Third I Rex facebook.