Florida is well known for spawning some death metal greats such as Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary and Atheist. The scene also has some hidden gems, one of the most notable being Hellwitch. Formed in the late 1980s, Hellwitch is credit for being one of the first proponents of the sub-genre now known as technical death metal as well as bridging the gap between thrash and death metal. I was recently able to interview drummer, Brian Wilson, vocalist, Patrick Ranieri, and bassist/newcomer, Julian David Gullen. We discussed topics including their first NYC show as well as their upcoming 7 inch called At Rest.
So Julian what’s it like playing for a classic band like Hellwitch and how did you end up joining this band?
Julian: I used to play in Solstice and they toured with Hellwitch. That is how I met Pat and everyone in Hellwitch . Hellwitch is just tons of fun to play with. They are awesome dudes. Pat called me when they had an opening and asked me if I wanted to play in Hellwitch and I was down. It’s always a good time.
I see your show on November 5th at Gussy’s Bar in Queens will be your first New York City show. What made you guys decide to finally play this iconic city.
Brian: We added this date to our tour because we are friends with this band from New Jersey called Paralysis. They were playing shows in the New York and New Jersey area around the same time we planned to do this tour. We decided to join them for those shows and have a whole tour planned with them
Any new music planned? If so will you be playing any of these new songs on this tour?
Pat: Yeah. We recorded a couple songs last year which will be released sometime on 7 inch and digital download. We will be playing both of those songs on this tour. This new release will be called At Rest. Like in the grave at rest, kill your family so they can be at rest (laughs).
You guys are often credited as being one of the first to play the sub-genre known as technical death metal. Do you agree with this label on your sound?
Pat: Sure that sounds fine. Everyone loves labels nowadays.
Brian: Whats interesting is people always come up to us and say “You guys sound like this band” and every time it’s a totally different type of band. It’s cool to hear what people think we are and it’s nice to know that people interpret us differently.
Pat: I see people comparing us to totally different bands as a way of saying that we sound original. That is kind of a plan that we have.
Brian: To sound like nothing else.
Julian: I mean people can say whatever they want to say or interpret the music how they like. I think with Hellwitch it will always be different since the band has been around for such a long time. But, overall it’s all heavy metal. I enjoy it all really.
Any bands from the local Florida scene you want to shout out to?
Brian: Koroidia. They are one of my favorite current death metal bands.
Pat: I would say Secrets She Kept. I like them
Julian: I don’t want to be here all day, but I love the Caveman Cult.