Stephan Gebédi  - Hail Of Bullets

Hello Stephan! How are you? Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me. Obvious place to start would be to ask how the new album is coming along?

Hey Harvey, I'm fine, thanks for asking. Right now we're facing the final weeks of stress to get the album done in time before the deadline. Martin is laying down his vocals this week and we have to add some little stuff here and there before we let Mr Swanö do his work with mixing and mastering

Who has had the most input into making the new album or is it pretty much even between all of you?

Our drummer Ed still comes up with most of the riffs, but I also contributed a handful of songs and Paul wrote a few. Even Theo contributed some riffs this time. We don’t really care who comes up with the most songs as long as they fit into the Hail of Bullets concept. Someone can come up with a more or less finished song, but if someone dislikes a certain part and comes up with a better riff or idea, there are no ego problems or anything. The lyrics are Martin’s cup of tea although we have discussed the concept for the album all together.

 How does this album differ from the previous releases, musically and lyrically? 'On Divine Winds' was more technical, atmospheric and epic sounding than 'Of Frost And War' which was more 'in your face' and doomy so would the new release be an in-between sound of these records?

 Musically you could see it as a return to the the 1st album more or less. More in your face than On Divine Winds, but less doomy than Of Frost And War. Personally I think On Divine Winds was more doomy than the first one as well, but OK ;-) This time there are more uptempo songs and some songs kinda remind me of Repulsion a bit. Lyrically it’s also a bit different this time around. We’re not focusing on a particular battle or one part of the war in particular. It’s more focused around a certain person… can’t say anything more about it right now…

 Do you have a release date for the album and will there be a full tour to coincide?

 We’re aiming for a late October/early November release, but it will quite tough to make the deadline for that. We’re trying really hard to get everything recorded and mixed before the end of July. There are still some things left to do and we have to deal with tight schedules from both the producer and the record company so it’s gonna be quite hectic the next couple of weeks…

 What has it been like working with Dan Swano and is this a partnership you wish to continue with on future releases?

So far we’ve been very happy with the collaboration; he’s quite easy going and open to suggestions and of course he’s able to produce this massive wall of guitars that we want to hear on our albums. It’s hard to say if you’re gonna stick with the same producer for the rest of your career, but right now we don’t see a reason to look out for another person to mix our albums. As a matter of fact Ed is the one who produced the album more or less and Dan is doing the mix and mastering.

 How do you decide which war's to write about? Does someone in the band have a deep interest in history?

That’s Martin’s cup of tea; he has a deep interest in war and history and he reads tons of books about war. Paul is also really interested in war-movies, whereas Ed and me are the big horror fanatics in the band. But when we started this band we decided that Hail of Bullets would not be a band about horror, gore or zombies, the war theme was there right from the start and the band name was also chosen with that concept in mind

 What is your personal favourite HOB song? I think mine would have to be Tokyo Napalm Holocaust. Its an epic monster of a song.

Well, that’s one of my songs, so thank you! It definitely has become one of the favorite songs within the band and I’m pretty sure it has a secure spot in our setlist. My personal favorites are ‘Ordered Eastward’, ‘Tokyo Napalm Holocaust’ and the 3rd song on the new album, haha

 What are your current plans for Thanatos?

Well we just signed a new deal with Century Media records and as soon as the work on the new HOB album has been completed, I will be concentrating on new Thanatos songs. I already have two songs written and I already have 7 or 8 lyrics written, so hopefully we can finish the song writing process before the end of this year and start recording in the beginning of 2014. Century Media have planned the re-releases of both 2004’s Undead.Unholy.Divine. and 2009’s Justified Genocide for this Fall and if all goes well the new album will be out before the Summer of 2014. It’s our aim to make an album with the same intensity as Darkness Descends and Seven Churches, but obviously it will still sound like Thanatos.. And yes, it’s a pretty high aim…I know

 What artists do you get inspiration from and is there any new bands on the scene that push you forward?

We still get our inspiration from the bands we grew up with; Death, Autopsy, Massacre, Celtic Frost, Bolt Thrower etc are still the main ingredients for our sound I guess, but I must admit that the last 2 albums by Black Breath definitely kicked our arses!

 Thanks again Stephan and I wish you all the best with the new album and I look forward to seeing you on the road soon.

 Thank you!