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Hail Of Bullets (Ed Warby)

Interview with Ed Warby from Hail Of Bullets
by Manolis Alifieris at 06 December 2010, 4:12 AM

When you hear the names THANATOS, ASPHYX, GOREFEST combined in one sentence, the meeting point is one: HAIL OF BULLETS, ladies and gents! By default you would expect nothing more that pure classic Death Metal. And that is the case with their second full-length album, “On Divine Winds”. Let's see what drummer Ed Warby had to tell us about it and a lot more.


Hey there guys, Manolis from METAL TEMPLE here and I would like to welcome you first of all to our page.
Thanks, it’s good to be here!

So, second full length album for HAIL OF BULLETS. How do you feel up to now about it?
Proud as hell, and incredibly pleased with all the great reviews we’ve been getting. After working on an album for such a long period it’s hard to keep perspective sometimes, but it looks like we did alright!

Once again we are talking about some top notch, classic Death Metal here. Not that we were expecting something different from you. Were you absolutely sure that when you first came up with the idea of HAIL OF BULLETS it would be nothing more that pure death metal?
As sure as I’ve ever been of anything in my life HAIL OF BULLETS will always keep playing old school Death Metal. It’s what we do and what we love, and none of us feel the need to expand or change our style.

When did you guys decide that the whole concept and lyrical themes would have to do with major wars that more or less made an impact on the world, weren’t you concerned that they would maybe accuse you for using war and history for your music like they do in some other bands nowadays?
I’m not sure I understand your question correctly… If you mean were we afraid we’d be accused of glorifying war then I’d say no, because Martin’s lyrics are so obviously anti-war they need no further explanation. If you mean the fact that we use something as non-entertaining as war for entertainment, then I’d say we’re partly guilty, because no matter how you slice it, it’s still “just” music and nothing compared to the human suffering we sing about. But I do notice that people appreciate the care Martin puts into his lyrics, especially in Germany where we get the warmest reactions.

Concerning the musical part, would you say that there are any differences between your first two releases and your latest album?
It was important for me that we didn’t deviate too much from the HAIL OF BULLETS template, but I think there are still some differences. For one there’s more variation whereas the debut was a massive slab of concrete both in sound and songs. And there’s some more melody this time, nothing that takes away from the brutality mind you! And lastly because of the subject matter the overall feel of the album is a bit different, more “plane”, less “tank”.


Once again the album artwork kicks major ass and fully depicts what’s inside! Who is responsible this time? I believe that you are satisfied with the result, right?
Extremely satisfied! I think it may be the best cover I’ve seen all year, so I’m happy it graces our album! It was done by Mick Koopman, our resident artist. He also did the previous 2 releases, great guy and easy to work with. We just gave him a list of songtitles and some short explanations and this is what he came up with. Originally he was only going to do the cover due to time restrictions, but he ended up doing the entire lay-out and booklet and it looks stunning.

Up to now, since “On Divine Winds” is kind of a fresh album, are you satisfied with the critics so far? How do you see the reviews worldwide?
It’s always scary to put something out there to be judged, but so far we have nothing to complain about. I was hoping for a general “as good as the first one”, so I’m really pleased to read so many reviews saying it’s even better! There’s always a few reviews that make you go “huh?”, but those don’t seem to come from a particular country. I do notice a certain “let’s see if they can live up to it” mood here in The Netherlands, but that has to do with the Dutch attitude towards anything successful.

Judging from the fact that this is your 3rd release with Metal Blade records, I suppose that you are fully satisfied with the guys. Did you have any other offers for the release of the album?
Metal Blade has been very good for us and we feel completely at home with them, so there’s no reason for us to look elsewhere. Their distribution is great, the guys we work with are passionate and driven, come to our shows, wear our shirts, what more can you ask for in a label? Sure, there’s offers sometimes but we’re not in it for the money and you never know how a different label will treat you after the courting period is over.

For those who still haven’t purchased the album, in any format available, would you like to tell us a few words about the different versions of “On Divine Winds”? The vinyl version is the best one for me…
There’s a regular jewel case edition which has the full 11 track album, then there’s a deluxe limited digibook version which has a bonus track and a DVD featuring our 2008 Summer Breeze performance and 2 video clips and the vinyl is a rather gorgeous gate-fold double LP containing the full album + bonus track.

What is your opinion about Death Metal nowadays? I know it is a very general question but what about Death Metal now, and what about death metal 20 years ago? Do you see the same passion now as back then?
Not at all. The passion that made the old bands so great is absent from most newer bands. I don’t see anything that comes even close to the old gods like ENTOMBED, AUTOPSY, DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY etc. The sound is there, the chops are there, but something is definitely missing. The old bands were following their heart, creating something new and dangerous, not copying others but carving their own niche with brutal and honest, handcrafted music. This is one of the reasons we started this band in the first place, to bring back the fire!

Another question now. What are the news from the THANATOS battlefield?
They were recently resurrected for a pulverizing performance at the Baroeg Open Air fest and I just finished mixing a SACRIFICE cover they recorded for an upcoming split single with ASPHYX.

Being an all-star band, were you at all concerned that they would first check you for that and then for your music or not?
Not really. If they check us out because of our track record that’s fine by me, it gives a good indication of what to expect and I doubt anyone will walk away disappointed. What does bother me is when people say our success is based on our names and nothing else, do they really think record labels hand out money to semi-famous guys to make a crap album? If our promo had sucked it would have been “thanks but no thanks”, no matter who we are.


Despite you are a “new” band, you have played both major festivals and small venues. Which one do you prefer the most?
We recently did a few club shows after a whole season of festivals and it’s hard to say which I prefer. The advantage of a club show is that you can use your own gear and have more time to do a decent soundcheck, but playing festivals is such a rush! At a club show you can play a longer set, which is especially nice now that we have 2 albums to choose from.

I had the luck this summer to catch you live at Summer Breeze in Germany and I got to say that was a hell of a live! But what amazed me most, was the fact that you guys were maybe the only band that was walking around the beer garden afterwards talking to all fans and drinking some beer with them. You really love your fans, don’t you?
We sure do! It’s all part of the fun of being in a band, meeting new people from all over the world and have a chat and a beer with them. We’re very active on MySpace and our own forum, and people appreciate us all the more for it. We were named the “most fan-friendly band” on the Rock Hard forum, because we always make time to sign CD’s or take a picture.

Any memories from the Athenian gig almost two years ago? You were supposed to play with Enslaved but then you gave a headline show that totally kicked our asses away!
Absolutely, that was a great trip! Too bad about the ENSLAVED gig, but we had tons of fun anyway. I remember the club was really cool too, we were hanging out the night before and SEVERE TORTURE were playing. Of course we also visited the Acropolis (there’s some footage in one of the video clips if I’m not mistaken) and had a pita gyros…

What does the future now hold for HAIL OF BULLETS?
For now we’ll enjoy the great reactions our album is getting and try to play as many shows as we can. We’re booking at the moment and there’s already some cool festivals confirmed. It looks like we’ll be around for a while, that’s for sure.
I wanted to ask you that before but it just popped in. Do you consider HAIL OF BULLETS as a side project or as a full-time band?
Full-time band all the way! Especially now that GOREFEST broke up, HAIL OF BULLETS is my main focus, but it has always been a real band as opposed to just a project. The dedication we all have towards HAIL OF BULLETS was there right from the start.

Last words are yours!
Thanks for your time and we hope to bring Full Scale War to Greece in the near future!



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Edited 24 January 2021
 

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