Napalm Records' newest sensation is the US band Hurtlocker. Combining elements of thrash, death and metalcore, Hurtlocker's debut CD Fear in a Handful of Dust is a smoldering metal powerhouse that is sure to gain the band many new fans in 2006. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo caught up with guitarist Tim Moe to get some insight on the bands background, style, and the immediate future of the group.
Read on for the complete interview!
SoT: Fear in a Handful of Dust is a very mature sounding album from what is essentially your debut-can you talk a little bit about how long the band has been playing together, and give us a little history on the formation?
Tim: The core of the band has always been Grant(vocals) and Tim(guitars), we started playing together back in 1998 and have had many line up changes through out the years for various reasons. When we started writing back 8 years ago we were still a heavy band but not like on Fear in a Handful of Dust. When we were getting ready to record the album we decided we had waited long enough for a deal that we wanted to just come out and crush people and thats why Fear sounds the way it does.
SoT: There's elements of thrash, death metal, grindcore, metal core, and progressive metal on the new CD. How would you describe the music of Hurtlocker to someone who has never heard the band before?
Tim: We get this question a lot and I have no clear cut answer for it. I guess I would tell them we sound like a punch in the face, we are old school riffs with Grants vocals and it all seems to blend together nicely. I think this is the first time I have heard progressive metal, we just play what we want to hear and thats the way it works out.
Fear In a Handful of Dust
SoT: Your sound seems perfect for the US metal tour market. Has the band been contacted at all to perhaps open for heavyweights like Slayer, Lamb of God, Exodus, Shadows Fall, etc?
Tim: No not yet , but that would be something that Hurtlocker would be very interested in doing, all those bands that you mentioned are big influences on us and we are fans of those bands. It would be a real honor for us to share the stage with any one of them. I grew up listening to Slayer and Exodus and that would be too cool to be on tour with them. We are currently touring Europe with Cryptopsy and that is just amazing. We are looking forward to getting home and touring the states.
SoT: Speaking of tours, does the band have any touring plans for the new album?
Tim: Yes, like I said we are still in Europe till March 3rd and then we come home and we have kicked around some tour ideas so I would imagine sometime by April we would probably be on the road in the states. We are looking forward to it, the album just came out before wew left and we want to get home and get some feedback on the album from the fans.
SoT: What are some of the band members influences?
Tim: Well, my influences are old school metal like Slayer, and your bay area thrash metal like Exodus and Testament, mix that with the early Florida death metal scene like Malevolent Creation and Obituary, and even Demolition Hammer. Grant is influenced by so much stuff, his main dude is Ozzy. He has been a fan of his for years, mix in some Mike Patton and thats Grant, not that he sounds like these guys just that he draws from them.
SoT: The band has a pretty full and at times complex sound, mainly in part due to the intricate drums and guitar work. Has the band given any thought to perhaps move into more adventurous type material in future albums?
Tim: We arent sure where we are going in the future all I can tell you is that it will be heavy. I have always been a fan of simple stuff, I think that it is easier for fans to get into music that isnt too complex. I know I am very impressed when I hear a band that just is flying all over the place and ripping out some very difficult music but most fans just dont understand all that stuff going on. Hurtlocker is the type of band that wants to play are shows and then hangout and party with the fans and keep things simple.
SoT: You guys manage to sneak in plenty of melodies amidst all the crushing metal-how difficult is it to write material that is both brutally heavy yet melodic at the same time?
Tim: If there are melodies in there it is by accident! ( just kidding) That's just the way we write. We have always had melodies even more than on Fear but at the same time we wanted to just drop peoples jaws with this album and have people say "wow these dudes are pissed" kind of reaction. If you heard some of our older stuff you would see that we have played more melody and even more groove type stuff in the past.
SoT: What does the immediate future, say the next year, hold for Hurtlocker?
Tim: Hopefully lots of touring and selling albums. I think that the album stands up good to anything out there and we just want to take it on the road and play music as much as we can. Maybe a new album before the end of the year but thats not set in stone yet, thanks for the interview and check us out if we come through your town.