Already out since February the new Demonica album 'Demonstrous' with leading man Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate) and with members of Forbidden. A motherfuckin thrash record in Old School Bay Area kind of style. It will be one of the better ones this year, together with the new Exodus, Nevermore, Overkill, Heathen and Forbidden. Although the band is new, the musicians are not just guys that come along. We had the honour to ask Hank Shermann about the new record and their future plans.
A cool band name, easy to remember, who's idea was it?
Hank Shermann: Klaus Hyr, our singer, sent me an SMS with the name DEMONICA, I immediately liked the name and did some check on the internet. After this we decided it to be the band name!
Can you tell us how the co-operation between the 2 Danish and 3 American artists started? Do you know each other from being on the road?
Hank Shermann: We wanted to have originalBay Area metal thrashers in the band to give a good blend of the European influence and the American style, we knew Craig Locicero from Forbidden so it was natural to ask him to join. He was into the idea right away and suggested to use Mark Hernandez as the drummer since he was playing with him in Forbidden. We have all been fans of Forbidden music and Craig, Mark (Hernandez) and Marc (Grabowski) has also been fans of Mercyful Fate, so that kind of fitted well!
Why did you choose thrash metal, not a style you are used to play?
Hank Shermann: Well, it's not that different from what I'm used to do with Mercyful Fate, but sure it's a bit more aggressive and the drumming is certainly more thrashier. I admit I had to adjust a bit and rehearse to get into the comfort zone! But I liked the challenge of turning it up a notch and do it more brutal than expected.
There are a lot of Slayer, Machine Head and Grip Inc. influences in the songs, do you agree?
Hank Shermann: I'm sure since we are old school trained, that the song-writing style will get in there with Slayer and bands like that. We really haven't aimed at any other bands direction, it just comes natural like this.
Who was responsible for the song-writing?
Hank Shermann: On this album I did write all the music while Klaus Hyr is responsable for all lyrics. On the next album we will all contribute and I'm looking forward to that combination.
Can you tell us something about the lyrical subjects?
Hank Shermann: Generally it's about Life, Love and Death! But there are also pure standard Old School thrash lyrics in there as well. For more in depth on lyrics Klaus is the one who would know!
I read that the American and Danish artists never played together when recording the album. It certainly is cheaper I guess, but isn't that boring?
Hank Shermann: Yes we actually never recorded this album together, but were on different locations. Craig and Mark recorded in San Francisco, Marc Grabowki recorde his bass in Denver and Klaus and myself did all vocals and my guitars here in Copenhagen, Denmark. It felt pretty - as usual- since we used Layer-technique approach, which is one musician at the time. It really worked well with the internet as the connector and live cameras for visuals. Next time we will likely do a different approach, more of a garage recording? To get it more ambient and raw!
Can we call Demonica a real band, or is it just a project for one of two records?
Hank Shermann: Sure we are a real band, certainly this is not a project, but you'll never know how the future looks. I'm sure we'll do more records but just have to work our way through clubs and then start all over.
Are there plans to get on the road?
Hank Shermann: Currently we are working on a US tour in October, and we have just confirmed the Alcatraz Metal Fest on August 7th with Kreator and onthers. A few shows in Holland as well, more details soon!
What's going on at the moment in the Forbidden and the Mercyful Fate camp, time enough left for Demonica?
Hank Shermann: Mercyful Fate are pretty inactive right now anForbidden have just started recording their new album, but we can manage to play in other bands since there will always be a lot of left over time with only being in one band. Also you must survive and therefore you see many musicians that have several bands just to be able to pay the rent!
Almost every thrash band that started in the 80's is back, or is still there. Do you have any idea why they all re-unite? It couldn't be the money I think...
Hank Shermann: Don't think it's the money, but if you can turn it into a business that's great! Could be the particular style and song writing level that still keep all of us Old School bands alive! I think it is great that a lot of the 80's bands are out there and pretty much dominating, how cool is that!
What are the goals for Demonica over the next years?
Hank Shermann: Well we have to work hard on the song writing for the next album and play as many live shows as possible. Then we'll see where it all brings us!
A new year has started, what were in your opinion the 5 best albums of 2009?
Slayer - World Painted Blood
Kreator - Hordes of Chaos
Megadeth - Endgame
Mastodon - Crack the Sky
Behemoth - Evangelion
Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Hank Shermann: Check out the DEMONSTROUS album, I'm sure you'll be surprised!! Live shows coming up!
Interviewed by Reinier de Vries