From page 10 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
It might have taken the best part of three decades, but Hell are finally ready to release their debut album.
THEY MIGHT HAVE an odd name, but Derbyshire NWOBHM-ers Hell quickly became heroes on the underground scene after forming in 1982. Not only was their music powerful and riff laden, but the live shows were always theatrical dynamite.
However, the collapse of Mausoleum Records, to whom Hell were signed, after the release of 1983’s debut single Save Us From Those Who Would Save Us derailed the band. And after the suicide of vocalist Dave G. Halliday in 1987, Hell split. But now the band are back together and ready to release their debut album, Human Remains . This features original members Kev Bowers (guitar/keyboards), Tony Spearman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums), plus Sabbat’s Andy Sneap (guitar and top producer) and new vocalist Dave Bower, brother of Kev and someone who’s made his name as an actor, under the stage name of Dave Beckford.
Sneap, for one, is convinced Hell are about to fulfil their destiny...
You’re the man who’s the driving force over this reunion. Where did the songs on the album come from? We’ve gone through the tracks on the four Hell demos in the early 1980s, and have re-recorded 10 or 11. This is the first chance to hear these in the right situation. To be honest when you hear the original recordings so much seems to get lost, but I think we’ve captured here the essence of what this band were always about.
Originally you had your Sabbat bandmate Martin Walkyier do the vocals. Why didn’t that work out? His voice wasn’t quite right for the songs. Dave Halliday had a high-pitched voice; that’s not Martin’s style. Kevin got his brother down to do a theatrical style voiceover for the song Plague & Fire and he
started to sing along on the playback – his vocals worked brilliantly. So we got him to redo the entire album. He saw Hell loads of times in the old days, so knows what we’re about.
Are you surprised at how people have seemingly got into this album so fast? Considering this started out as no more than a fun project, then yes it is a surprise. People appear to appreciate the bizarre aspects of the band, and we are also a bit progressive, which helps in the current climate. But we’re not prog in the way that Iron Maiden seem to be these days, just stringing together loads of riffs to mask the fact they don’t have any musical ideas. We certainly do have.
Are you picking up younger fans? Odd that. When we posted the video for the song On Earth As It Is In Hell , a lot of kids got confused by the way we looked, what with the make-up, and thought we were a joke band. I think that says a lot about the way theatrical bands are regarded these days. But slowly we’re getting them on our side.
How much of a priority is this band? Let me put it this way. Because of my commitment to Hell, I’ve lost out on the chance of producing the next Megadeth album. Am I disappointed? No. I’m desperate to go out and play again. I want to be a guitarist and not a producer. And I love this band such much it’s my number one priority. It’s true metal. I’m fed up of hearing young bands who are unexciting and uninspired. So, I’d much rather leave behind my Pro Tools production stuff and do something like this. MD Human Remains is released on May 13 on Nuclear Blast.