Tuesday, August 2, 2016

interview: Hellcats

Are you ready for heavy metal from Slovenia? The band actually started back in 2003, so they have years of experience, even though they may be new to some people. Recently this publication sent the band some questions about their current activities and their plans for the future. Sonja (drums) and Sasha (bass) Zagorc answered the questions.
Greetings, Hellcats! We in the U.S. do not know much about heavy metal from your country of Slovenia. Can you tell us what is going on at the moment with your band?
Hello! Heavy metal is quite well developed here in Slovenia, we have many bands and few festivals which is pretty good for such a small country (Slovenia has only 2 million inhabitants). On the other hand having a metal band here is still mostly male occupation. When we had our first concert back in 2006 there were not any other bands like us in this part of Europe. We were the first and are still the only all-female metal band in our country. We have a lot of supporters now, but in the past it wasn't easy, there were some skeptics who thought that women can't be as good musicians as men and that we should rather stay in the kitchen. But we just kept on going and grew stronger. Since than we have released an EP and the full lenght album. At the moment we are working on new songs and having concerts here in Slovenia due to the promotion of our new single. In May we released a new song from upcoming album and the video for the song named 'I Am.' We have plans to release our new album next year.
Are you pleased with the level of success of Hellcats in Slovenia?
Here in Slovenia we play mostly at rock concerts, festivals, bikers meetings and in clubs. We work a lot on our promotion and we can say that magazines and TV like us, so we are well presented in the media.
Is it true that Sasha and Sonja began the band in 2003? What do you remember about when the band started?
Yeah, the band was formed by us two (Sasha - bass guitar) and Sonja Zagorc (drums). We started searching for the other band members in 2003, but we needed some time to realize it and in 2006 we had our first gig and that is the real start for us. Sasha was playing bass guitar before and Sonja just started to play drums in 2003, then we found for a rehearsal space and finally found the other members. Due to the small size of Slovenian music space it wasn't easy to find many female musicians. After a few band member changes, Hellcats line-up was completed by Katja Mavec (guitar) and Dasha Makuc (vocals). All the songs are written by Sasha and Sonja and Sasha is also the manager of the band. In 2011 we released an EP named Hellcats and in 2013 we released our first album named Warrior Princess.
Hellcats has lyrics in English and also in Slovene. Do you have all the songs both in English and Slovene or only some songs? Is it common for metal bands in Slovenia to have lyrics in Slovene?
It's not very common to write in two languages here. Some bands chose English, some Slovene. It's more common to choose English for metal bands. When we started to create songs we had some in Slovenian and some in English language. Since we have a lot of fans here and in others countries, we decided to make everything in both languages. Some prefer English, some Slovene. We recorded our first album in both languages. Slovene version Divja pot was released in October 2013 in Ljubljana (Slovenia), English one Warrior Princess in November in Milan (Italy), where we were on a tour. The new song 'I Am' has also Slovene version, named 'Naprej'. We also made videos in both languages and we intend to continue doing it. The new album will be in both languages as well.
Do your lyrics talk about life in Slovenia or about issues in Slovenia? In your opinion, what are the major problems that a metal band like Hellcats in Slovenia faces?
Our music is a combination of femininity, women power passion and heavy metal. And we believe that is a great combination. The biggest motivation to write the songs is life itself. We talk about good things in life such as love, desire, passion and strength. Our songs are filled with optimism and energy. We have a lot to tell and we want people to feel good when they listen to our music. The main concept of the band is to show the world the idea of heavy metal music from our point of view. We are extremely proud when people say they are inspired by us.
We had some problems with accepting all-female band in the beginning. We had to prove ourselves a lot. But we were stubborn and sure of what we wanted enough to overcome that. Slovenia is small country, too small for us. But we don't limit ourselves. We have a lot of fans outside Slovenia, who supports us and we don't see a problem with going out there. We all have finished colleges and universities and have jobs, it is impossible to live out of metal music in Slovenia.
Your previous album Divja pot is from 2013. In what ways has the album helped to advance the objectives of the band? What has happened since the release of the album?
Our album was very well accepted. Both versions, Slovenian (Divja pot) and English one (Warrior Princess) were critically acclaimed here and in other countries. We received great reviews from all over the world. Since then a lot of things happened. We were touring Italy, Russia, Germany, Croatia. We had some successful performances at our National Television. The main thing is that we proved to ourselves that what we believed in was the right thing, so now we have more motivation to do even more.
What can you tell us about your new music? What other news do you have? Tours? Where can people hear your EP and your albums?
We can tell you only that we are ready to get back into the studio. However, nothing is changing drastically, as Sonja and me are still the songwriters and composers and all the songs will be recorded by ourselves. The new single and video 'I Am' is the first single of the upcoming album and it shows a little how it is going to be.
After our album is out we will go on a tour. We will write the tour dates on our official page and our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can find albums on CD Baby, I tunes, Amazon.
HELLCATS I AM Official video

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