Kuba Olejnik


It was an obvious move to request an interview with this amazing Polish quartet. Why obvious? You'll find the answer inside Hellfire's latest release, Requiem For My Bride - a must have album for the lovers of Power / Techno-Speed Metal. Oley, you must be a really nice guy. Welcome aboard!
By Grigoris Chronis
June 8, 2005
Kuba Olejnik (Hellfire) interview
Hello from Greece and Metal-Temple.com magazine. First of all, congratulations on your Requiem For My Bride latest release!

Hello, this is Oley from Hellfire. Thanks, I hope the CD is OK.

I admit that even I was not aware at all of the band's existence before I received the promo copy form Sonic Age Records, so a brief Hellfire bio would be helpful for all our readers.

Hellfire was formed in Warsaw, Poland. In 2003 the lineup stabilized, that's when we released Recoffination - our debut self-recorded and released CD. There were a couple of reviews in the Press and the Internet, we played some shows; the lineup has changed. In the beginning of 2004 we used the same method to release the single Where Is The Answer? and during the holidays we began recording the second album, Requiem For My Bride. It was released in late March 2005 by the Greek label Sonic Age Records. As of today Hellfire is Twardy (vocals), Eliminator (drums), Arturos (guitar) and I, Oley (guitar).

Let's chat a little bit on Requiem For My Bride: who's behind the compositions and the lyrics in the band? Is it a team work?

The music was written by Arturos and I in the span of four, maybe five months. We had a specific work system - we met at my place with different ideas and we played for a couple of sometimes, even 10+ hours. The whole composition was arranged during the rehearsal and when the track was ready we came up with the vocals. The whole concept idea was designed by the two of us, and all the lyrics were written by Twardy.

I was surprised to witness your high-level technical skills in Requiem For My Bride. I mean, virtuosity excellently combined with a simple approach, no prog-wanna-be attitude and an overall result of first-rate musicians playing first-class Metal music. Out of curiosity: Are you self-taught?

I think that's a bit too much, because we haven't exactly reached first class yet - but thanks for the kind words! When it comes down to musical education in Hellfire, only the drummer has passed elementary music school, but on violin class. We are all self-taught.

Can you give us some details on the recording sessions? I think it was before you came in agreement with Sonic Age Records. Was Requiem For My Bride recorded in Poland?

That's right, we began talking to Sonic Age when we were in the middle of the recording sessions. Same as with our previous recordings, the album was recorded in our home town, Warsaw, in DBX Studio. The producer was Jacek Melnicki. It was another experience for us, we learned some important things.

Since I have not listened to your Recoffination debut, which similarities and differences do you find in relation to your new release? Do you feel satisfied with Hellfire's songwriting progress?

The differences are surely huge, during the time that passed between now and Recoffination we changed our lineup, improved our skills and gained experience. Requeim For My Bride is more polished, the production is also better. The compositions are thought-out and arranged in a logical whole - a concept album.

Really, what did Recoffination achieve? I mean, both in sales and in critics from the Media and the fans worldwide.

Recoffination was our debut, the album got positive reviews from both the listeners and the reviewers. I remember a good response in Germany - magazines like Heavy Oder Was, Rock Hard or The Legacy recognized this CD as a good one, although it was released by us, not by some label.

Requiem For My Bride is a concept album, rather in the vein - combined with the music style - of the mighty King Diamond / Mercyful Fate works. Can you share the basic idea in a few words?

A young girl has big problems and falls into depression. She tries to commit suicide but fails. Searching for help she stumbles upon a strange house in which she is enslaved by a psychopath. He has plans for her - what plans, you will find out when you dig into the lyrics.

Is there going to be any kind of follow-up to the Requiem For My Bride story in some future release? It seems interesting!

At this moment we don't plan anything like that, we've got other ideas, not strictly concept album ones. Possibly in 15 years time, after the reformation of the original lineup we will do Requiem II - The Revenge Of Bride! [E.N.: what a great guy!]

Are you in general fond of concept albums? Really, are there any other concept releases you've so far noticed in the wider Rock / Metal scene?

No, I don't think it is a great liking of concept albums, of course I regularly listen to albums like Operation: Mindcrime or the King Diamond CDs. We just wanted to do a concept album - that's all. As for recently listened concepts I don't recall anything that stayed in my mind.

Back in music: apart from the King's ghost, I think I've noticed various elements from sharp-riffed Metal / Thrash bands like e.g. Annihilator or dark Running Wild. Are you in general fond of the Northern U.S. Metal scene or do you feel more familiar to the mid-European / Scandinavian sound? Which are the basic Hellfire influences, in your opinion?

When it comes down to inspiration it is mainly the Thrash scene of the 80's / 90's and a lot of the modern stuff for example: Nevermore or Testament. I hope that the next material will be a lot heavier than R.F.M.B. and the new tracks reflect that.

It's clearly notable that Hellfire try to focus enough on creating a music atmosphere similar to the lyrics. Does music come first or the lyrics, in an average Hellfire song?

That is right, on R.F.M.B. we tried to create a feeling that would go with the lyrics, that is why the music was created first and the lyrics last. That system of working is tested and is the best for us.

Sonic Age Records - even if it's a new label around - seems to be doing a great job in promoting its roster. Do you feel satisfied by their support so far?

Of course, they do a great job. There are lots of reviews and interviews, some buzz is made around Hellfire. That is very good in my book.

How is Requiem For My Bride goin' so far? What's the response?

Positive, the reviews give us on average 7,5 points out of 10. So we are satisfied. However if we got max points every time that would be ideal.

Really, are there any tour plans? Maybe not some headlining tour but, any support slots? Any summer festivals?

Currently there is no such thing coming up, the holidays have been planned on creating and practicing the new material. After the holidays we plan to go with the gigs, maybe even do a mini tour, we shall see.

How are you getting along with combining Hellfire with your regular jobs? You know, there's not enough time when you have to work for many hours to keep your wallet strong! Do you think you can come up sometime to the point when you will be able to live from your music (I really wish so!)?

All of us, with the exception of the drummer, are working, but the drummer is passing 18 so he is still studying. I don't hope that I could live off my music, however that would be a nice option.

Poland is not that famous for its Rock / Metal bands. I hope Hellfire will also be good promoters for the country's scene! Are there any other bands (from any genre) you feel Metal fans should check out?

The Polish underground scene is very evolved, we have a lot bands playing on a world-class level, but not signed to any label. I can recommend a few bands that I listen to: Horrorscope, Totem and Archeon.

In our days, the Internet seems to be a first-class promoter for music. Tons of info on music, express correspondence etc. Dou you feel comfortable with the Net? I must say you have a great website running! On the other hand, what's your opinion on mp3s, downloading and all that stuff?

Internet is a great thing, it is the only way for young, unknown bands to promote themselves, to be showm to a larger public. The Net has its negative sides of course - I especially mean piracy, however there are shops that offer buyable mp3 downloads so that might be a good solution. But, a leak of an entire CD before or after its release is - delicately speaking - not fair.

Oley, do you keep up with modern Rock / Metal bands / styles? Or do you feel more dedicated to the classic past? Is there any specific band / artist that drew your attention lately?

As I mentioned earlier we have descended from the old school but we like new things. I think this will be heard on the new material. The last albums of Soilwork or Anorexia Nervosa are the ones we really like. I am looking forward to the new Nevermore and I am holding my fingers crossed for Testament [E.N.: me, too...).

Thanks for your time, Pley! The last words are yours, for our readers worldwide!

Best wishes to our fans! Those who are not familiar with Hellfire - I encourage you to download some tracks from our website. Greg, thanks for the interview!

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