Article / Interview by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
Hellion, originally formed in 1982, has been the life’s work of their vocalist Ann Boleyn, the band has gone through many lineup changes over the years, but has always captivated their loyal followers with music that digs down to the very core of the soul. Hellion, whom has had in addition to their numerous triumphs, an equal amount of music industry related heartbreaks and can testify to how the industry can attempt to chew one up and devastate careers all in the name of business. Throughout, Ann Boleyn has never let these issues sway her from her dream and goal of creating music, now in 2014 Hellion has once again taken its rightful place upon the Hard Rock / Metal Throne.
The band started as a cover group, covering songs by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and AC/DC, these performances (or "Mega-Parties") were held at a mansion in Tujunga, California which was occupied by Ann Boleyn. While residing at the mansion, Hellion recorded a homemade demo cassette, which resulted in the band gaining attention in both underground and mainstream music magazines. In late 1982, Hellion was approached by Mystic Records, a Hollywood-based punk label, who wanted to include "Nightmares in Daylight" on a compilation album. Since the early years, Hellion founder Ann Boleyn has worked with many artists, but sought out only the rare few that would capture the essence of Hellion and make it come to life. Now with the present line up, Hellion can now release true Metal Fury and with the announcement of their upcoming “Karma’s A Bitch” tour, there is no stopping now.
Hellion, now on New Renaissance Records has announced a stellar lineup for their Karma’s A Bitch tour including vocalist Ann Boleyn, drummer Simon Wright (formerly of AC/DC, Dio, and UFO), keyboardist Scott Warren (formerly with Dio and Heaven & Hell), bassist Greg Smith (formerly with Alice Cooper, Rainbow, and Blue Oyster Cult), up-and-coming shred guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle, and special guest rhythm guitarist Georg Dolivo of Rhino Bucket. In addition to being known for its stage presence and being one of the first bands to break through the barriers and play the stages of the Former Soviet Union, this will be the first time Hellion has ever toured as a six-piece band.
As a thank you to all the Hellion fans for their overwhelming support, between now and the start of Hellion's Karma's A Bitch tour, Hellion is giving away a free download of a different Hellion song every day, which can be accessed at their website http://www.hellion.us and their full album release coming October 7th of this year!
Tour dates available here: http://www.hellion.us/tour.
We had the pleasure of getting to ask Hellion a few questions about the past, the present and the future of their metal, and what we can expect from Metal’s First Lady, Ann Boleyn!
“I believe that when you follow a dream you carry with you a certain conviction that what you are doing is right.”
2. Being a female vocalist in a musical genre that only until very recently has been singularly “a man’s world” do you find some people don’t think you have what it takes, or do you feel that the world is now ready for you?
“Hellion has always enjoyed great fans, especially among the people that have seen us perform live. Ultimately it comes down to the songs, the music, and the performance. Male, or female, you have to deliver the goods. This line-up of Hellion is the best ever and I have more confidence in the band than ever before.”
“My personal life has not always been easy and it has always been very hard for me to express my feelings. Writing music, and especially performing it, allows me to step into a world of fantasy where I can channel all of my insecurity, anger, and hurt into something positive.”
“The lyrics and title to “Karma’s A Bitch” were entirely different when I first entered the recording studio. Once in the studio and shortly after I began singing, an entirely new idea came into my mind and I went outside to take a break. While I was taking a break, the new lyrics came to me in a flash. When I went back to sing, I entirely changed the entire song.”
“I had a lot of mixed emotions when I began recording the new CD. “Karma’s A Bitch” was recorded at Total Access Studios, which is the same studio at which I recorded some demos in 1985, shortly after the original line-up of Hellion split up. Years later, it seemed odd for me to be back at the same studio, and especially with the same producer, Ken Scott. While I have no ill-will toward any of my former band members, there were a lot of old hurt feelings that returned when I walked into that studio. Those feelings undoubtedly had something to do with the inspiration behind the song. However, no single incident motivated it.”
5. Your reemergence on the music scene has been long awaited and those of us that remember the early years are happy that your new material is not oversampled or “Canned” how was the new line up’s chemistry in the studio? It sounds like all the pieces just fell into place naturally, was it “that easy”?
“The new music came together very fast. Myself, Max, and Simon got together on three separate occasions to write what I call “the bed” of the songs - which is the foundation over which I later wrote the lyrics and melody lines. After that, we went into a rehearsal studio for one or two days, and next we went into the studio. It was a very easy process”
6. I know it is probably way too early to ask, but what can we expect on the tour? Will it be the new material only, or will we hear some of the past favorites, or possible one or two you may have in reserve that did not make the album?
7. For my final question, and I do truly appreciate your time with us – What can we expect from you and Hellion in the months to come, will the tour go international, or will you be coming out with any more albums soon, I would imagine you have more delights in store for us?
“The first part of our tour is in both the US and in Canada. I've never performed in Canada before, so I am especially excited about that. We are also negotiating with a booking agency in London who wants to bring Hellion to the UK, Europe, and beyond in 2015. And, we already have offers for more shows in the US and Canada. Hellion recently signed with HNE/Cherry Red Records, which is based in London. They are planning to re-issue the Hellion albums that are currently out of print. And, we are also writing new music as well.”
Xombiewoof Magazine will be following Hellion and their “Karma’s A Bitch” tour, as well as the album release this October 7th.
Stay “Tuned” for more from Hellion and Ann Boleyn!