Hell was full so they came back… Hungarian punk rock band The Hell Freaks are back from Hell to entertain European crowds. We caught up with them to ask them about the European music scene and what they’d take to hell if they ever ended there.
For readers not in Europe, tell us a bit about Hungary, what is the music scene like there?
Hello from the other side of the world!
It’s hard to point out the differences not knowing much – or definitely not enough – about the Australian music scene, but the most important thing to know: the music scene is very different depending on which country of Europe we’re talking about. Normally I always describe Hungary as middle-of-nowhere in the rock/punk scene, but it’s still easier compared to our Eastern neighbours, and still so much heavier, compared to the Western European countries.
It’s easier, cause compared to other countries, we “only” have to travel around 1000 kilometers to Germany or a bit more to the UK, where the huge rock happenings have their home in Europe. Of course it’s not around the corner, but it’s manageable. On the other side, it’s not easy these days – and it was not even in the past – to be a Hungarian punkrock band.
Without going into details: our political situation is inspirational on one hand, but it doesn’t make it easier to be a punk band. On the other hand, it’s still hard to make it with English lyrics over here – as we do. Hungarians are in an understandable way more open for Hungarian lyrics. And the third thing is: Hungary is not living its best economical days. People have to think twice about what they spend their money on – so there is no culture for going out for a show to check out unknown bands. This means you have to find another way to find and get in touch with your crowd, before you can count on having them at your show. Maybe all these things together made us one of the very rare Hungarian bands, who play 95% of their shows over the country border.
I don’t think that it’s easier abroad, it’s just working differently: especially in Western European countries, where they still have a culture for supporting their music scene.
What top five places would you recommend music lovers visit in your local area?
I would love to give a direct answer, but unfortunately we don’t have clubs which are specified for genres. So if you want to inhale history and culture – our hometown Budapest is worth a visit for sure!
But if you want to be in the middle of the European musical movement, your trip should end up in Berlin or London!
Describe your music in five words.
Energetic female fronted modern punkrock
Your new music video ‘Burn the Horizon’ was recently released, what was it like recording in America?
I guess that has to be an awesome experience but we have no idea! 🙂
The video was released in August and it is managed by a really one-off and special teamwork. Steven Shea (american writer, producer who has worked on many videoclips and US movies before), is a big fan of the band. He offered us to make a videoclip with his professional team and manage the writing and production also.
The unique thing about the video alongside the production is the location of the shooting, because only the ‘viral video’ was made in Budapest, all the other parts were made in the United States of America. Unfortunately it was not possible for us to join the videoshoot in the US, but luckily technology can easily solve these kinds of issues.
But we have just released another new videoclip – “I’m Away” – that you should check as well!
An interesting fact about the video is that the financial background for it was partly based on fans’ support through an indiegogo campaign, in exchange for which they were provided with such merch and relics as, for example, my corsette which I was wearing in the video for “Boogieman”, a clip that reached almost five million viewers.
The song is just about this feeling, trying to find your own way, which sometimes means leaving your previous life behind, and is based on personal experiences.
What message are you trying to convey in the song and what was the inspiration behind it?
Burn The Horizon is more or less a wake up call for your inner punk. Not for the punk who wants to be drunk at 01:00PM. For the punk who is thinking, rethinking and asking even when it’s uncomfortable to ask.
We’re surrounded by grey people. People who just made the wrong decisions at the wrong time or just had to make them because of financial issues, but are afraid of or have just forgotten to take steps to change for the sake of their own happiness. I believe that happiness is an ongoing process: a process of asking yourself again and again if you are happy, what it is that makes you happy and if you are doing anything to be happy. If you forget to point yourself out regularly, your time will run out of your hands without even realizing it. The song is a reminder to wake yourself up before you regret not doing it.
The inspiration behind it is nothing else than my own fear of getting older without living up the time I got.
You’re playing some shows in Germany, any plans for an international tour?
Well, Germany is not Hungary, it’s another country, so these are international gigs from our point of view.
There are more & more gigs coming, but there is nothing I can announce right now, so you should better stay updated via our Facebook page.
If you believe in Hell what are three things you’d take with you if you ended up there?
I would take one of my cats, cause I’m sure that she came straight out of hell to make my life a bit more difficult.
A one-way-ticket back cause I really don’t want to stay there.
Another one-way-ticket for my cat, cause damn I still love her.
What’s up next for The Hellfreaks?
We’re working on our new album in a way we never did, with co-operations we never did, with a recording process we never did …. I would love to tell you more about it, but all I can say right now is that this piece is going to be super exciting in every existing way!