Julz - Hatchet
Thrash is back and with a vengeance rising under darkening skies. Unfortunately, the market is beginning to get over-saturated by too many lame bands who think Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, & Pantera are the ultimate influences. There's nothing wrong with that type of thinking, it just leaves too many acts all sounding the same, sealing their fate. This frailty of fresh ideas, makes me jaded and less enthusiastic to embrace the latest trend. Enter Hatchet from California, who storm the gates with original material, and evil riffing. I had a chance to speak with guitarist Julz about his band Hatchet and their imminent success.
MettleAngel: Hello, is this Julian?
MettleAngel: Oh fine, I guess, I've bitten off more than I can chew, as usual, but I did want to interview you, when the opportunity arose. I really like the new CD: Awaiting Evil. Let's talk about your band Hatchet, recently signed to Metal Blade.
Have you been swamped with interviews all day, I'll try to not ask the
same repetitive questions.
MettleAngel: Oh cool then, I'm honored to be the one to break the ice. Let me start by mentioning how much I really like the new CD. I first heard a track being played on Bill Peters' "Metal On Metal" show a few weeks ago. Are you familiar with his show on http://www.wjcu.org ?
MettleAngel: I was not really tuned in, until I heard some killer 80's thrash riffs, and then he announced the band. I had recalled receiving a digital promo from Metal Blade, so I listened to it, and was floored.
MettleAngel: I'm surprised you have never heard of the "Godfather Of Cleveland". He owns Auburn Records, the label that gave us Destructor, Breaker, Shok Paris, Purgatory, Black Death, and recently Wretch & Eternal Legacy. He has a radio show which plays metal every Friday from 6:45 - 9:45. People from all over the world tune in to hear him.
MettleAngel: Definitely, I hear so many old school acts, and real thrash elements. Are you familiar with Wrathchild America? The title track, and a few other songs remind me of this Detroit band.
MettleAngel: That's kind of what I assumed. They had two awesome releases: Climbing The Walls and 3-D. They were way ahead of their time. They began as Wrathchild, but had to change their name, because the NWOBHM had the copyright. They later devolved into Souls At Zero, but when they were Wratchild America, they were killer. Hell, I remember when Pantera opened for them! You'd be amazed how similar some of your riffs are. That's just the universal spell of mettle in the air. The parallels are uncanny. Even though, they are not a direct influence upon you, I'm sure you have heard Devastation from Texas, as Hatchet also has similarities with them.
MettleAngel: I can see that, so who else inspired you to play this classic thrash style, which is now becoming so popular? I know you are from the Bay Area, so those bands are a given.
MettleAngel: How long have you been playing guitar?
MettleAngel: You are quite proficient. I enjoy your authentic guitar style. You wear your influences on your sleeve. What type of shows, and/or festivals do you have planned for the future?
MettleAngel: I ask because Merciless Death is doing the US tour with Fueled By Fire, Bonded By Blood, and hopefully Evile.
MettleAngel: I see in the CD booklet you have played shows with Dekapitator, and obviously you are friends with Katon of Hirax. How did this killer Euro package deal come about; especially, for such a young band?
MettleAngel: I'd love to see Heathen. Everytime I see Exodus, I always speak with Lee Altus about the next Heathen album. Does David (White) Godfrey still hit the highs, when he sings? Tell your tour manager to call the gig the "Merry Thashmix" tour.
MettleAngel: Who knows, the success of this tour could be a springboard, and make you a candidate for a future Keep It True festival.
MettleAngel: I sure hope they sound better live now than they did ten years ago. This tour will be the catalyst for Hatchet's success.
MettleAngel: I really dig it. It has a real 80's sound, which is so cool. It sounds like it was made to be pressed on vinyl. It is not too modern, or over produced, like so many bands these days. Many bands just don't mimic live, what the CD predicts.
MettleAngel: I know what you mean there. I respect the simplified approach. This stripped down, back to basics is more authentic, and fits Hatchet's sound.
MettleAngel: With that winter festival coming up, you will do just that. I have already told a great number of my contacts to check Hatchet out, and I know a few have purchased the CD. When I truly believe in something, I will stand behind it. Thank you brother for taking the time out to hang.
MettleAngel: Yes, this is true. I've listened to the new Bonded By Blood, and it's cool, but it's not too original, same with Gama Bomb, and a few other new thrash acts. New Merciless Death is too much like Possessed, and way too short; but, when I hear Hatchet, I'm reminded of such forgotten legends as Revenant, Morbid Saint, Blind Illusion, & Numbskull. Of course, I hear Slayer, and the Bay Area influence, but the riffs and vocals have something more to offer, and the production, just makes the listener feel that this is vintage Metal Blade, when Savage Grace, Hallow's Eve, Nasty Savage, & Pandemonium once reigned supreme. This is why I'm more excited about the Black Tide CD, than the new Iced Earth. These kids just get it, and play true metal with a mix of 80's commercialism. This is why new Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, & Journey have me more excited than so many hyped acts. I lived in the 80's, and I still love the 80's! When Metal Blade has the balls to sign a band like Cellador, Fueled by Fire, or Hatchet, I take notice. I really hope to see you live soon, so we can meet in person. I have also enjoyed this conversation.
MettleAngel: You bet! I can honestly say that after having been a thrash fan addict for over two decades, I can tell the poseurs from the ragers, Hatchet is the real deal, keep the faith!