Our interview with HELLBEYOND (Bandung Death Metal)
By: Kieran James, Popo Demons Damn, and Ryan Outright
Expert Comments by: Butche (THE CRUEL vocalist)
Date: 11 December 2014 @ Funhouse Studio, Bandung
HELLBEYOND is: Edo aka Edz (guitar), Rory (vocals), and Reza (drums).
[Note that Ryan and Irvan from OUTRIGHT left HELLBEYOND in 2012. Luke’s position in the band is uncertain at the moment.]
|Popo Demons Damn and Butche
Popo Demons Damn: Luke’s perception is that people do not invite HELLBEYOND to play at gigs because HELLBEYOND: does not nongkrong [hang-out] with the death-metal scene people. What do you think about this?
Edo (HELLBEYOND guitarist): That is only Luke’s perception about this.
Kieran James (BLACK HAMMER WEBZINE): At the moment is the band still active, it still exists?
KJ: When was the band formed?
KJ: Is there just one album The Strongest Stand Last?
Popo: How is the progress for the second album?
Edo: We have just built the structure of the songs. We have seven songs ready.
KJ: Is there any change to the sound?
Edo: We just want to explore more. We are not just a DM band. We incorporate influences from bands going back to the 1970s, not just DM or just metal bands. We want to make the second album different from the first album in terms of sound and composition.
KJ: The album title for the first album The Strongest Stand Last is very HC genre but the band logo is DM style. It is confusing…
Edo: We don’t deny the HC influences. The first album is mostly DM with some strong HC influences. We don’t want to be exactly like other DM bands with hyper-blast, etc. We just choose the groovy side.
KJ: It seems people respect HELLBEYOND but it has a low profile. Why?
Edo: We did many gigs from 2010-12 but most of the gigs were in Central Java and not in our hometown. We are not a low-profile people. “Introvert” is a more fitting word for us.
KJ: Do you agree with your band member Lucky Luke that it is hard for you to get gigs in Bandung?
Edo: The truth is we don’t care so much. I think, as you say, maybe the genre of music we play makes us less popular here. Perhaps we [play] too slow [speed] to please the DM people but we don’t care as long as we enjoy playing it and we do great gigs.
KJ: Do you want to find a new bass player?
Edo: For the last gig the bass player was Dimas Damn, the guitarist for DEMONS DAMN.
KJ: Do you think Dimas will join permanently?
Edo: No, I don’t think so.
KJ: Why did Luke leave the band?
Edo: He officially did not sign out from the band but now he likes to play different styles of music with the other bands.
Ryan (OUTRIGHT drummer): What is the plan to start to record the new album?
Edo: The problem is me and Rory (vocalist) feel that we have not yet found the new formula for the second album. We keep changing the riffs and lyrics. But it’s good for us and we make progress. We don’t yet have a schedule for the second album; we just flow.
KJ: And you need to get a bass player before you can record?
Edo: Perhaps we can ask Irvan (OUTRIGHT bassist) to play on the new album.
Edo: We think the new material is very different from the first album. We explore a lot of European influence such as MESHUGGAH and GOJIRA and lyric influence from THE CLASH and BOB MARLEY. We will make the lyrics more cynical.
KJ: From The Strongest Stand Last to The Strongest Can’t Stand…
Edo: We are influenced by KREATOR lyrics but we want to make the lyrics more straight and direct. We have a new single “Arrogance is Futile”. It is a prototype for the new album. It is available on YouTube.
KJ: Have you any touring plans?
Edo: In February  we play at Sukabumi Death Fest but it is not yet confirmed.
KJ: Will the OUTRIGHT bassist Irvan tour with HELLBEYOND?
Edo: Yes, why not?
KJ: Can he fit it into his schedule?
Edo: I will ask him later.
KJ: Who wrote the lyrics to the new single “Arrogance is Futile”?
KJ: Is it about any person in particular?
Edo: No, there are many people like that [please read the song lyrics to understand]. Our influences for the single are ANTHRAX and DECAPITATED.
|Butche, Kieran James, Nenx Girlzeroth, Wong Die
KJ: Are there any influences from Indonesian bands?
Edo: We are not very much influenced by local bands.
KJ: Butche, what is your comment to HELBEYOND?
Butche (THE CRUEL vocalist): Stay true and stay brutal!
KJ: Do you have any record label for the new album or will it be self-released?
Edo: We may self-release but we don’t know yet.
KJ: Do you want to use a guest vocal or any other guest musician?
Edo: I don’t know yet but I don’t think so.
KJ: Have you toured in East Java?
Edo: Yes, we played in Surabaya and Malang.
Popo: Do you have any plan or formula to promote the next album?
Edo: We just want to focus on the music. A lot of bands now focus on the marketing perspective.
Butche: One hundred f****ing percent you are absolutely right, mother****er!
Popo: Do you think it is important to have a band manager?
Edo: The manager is important as long as the band needs a manager. If the job is well done by the band itself I think the answer is “maybe yes and maybe not”.
Popo: A lot of bands in Bandung do not have managers because the bands can organize their own affairs.
KJ: On metal-archives.com it says on your band page that the band’s status is “unknown” instead of “active”? Do you think you need to improve the marketing of the band and update your band profile more often?
Edo: No, we just want to improve the music of the band. The goal is music.
KJ: Butche, do you want to release the album on your DA-THRONE RECORDS label?
|Popo Demons Damn and Bobby Hydro
Butche: My label collapsed because I release underdog bands. I just wanted to give the underdog bands a chance. Most record labels are money-oriented and money-talks. It should not be all about the money. In 2015 we will start again. I will release an album from a new band on cassette [only]. The band name is DISAX. The CD format is too expensive.
KJ: Is your vocalist the same vocalist as on the first album?
Edo: Yes, same singer but with a different style.
KJ: Do you want to say any words to the fans of HELLBEYOND?
Edo: The Strongest Stand Last!
KJ: Of course!