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Hellscream's Dave Garcia: " Without getting to deeply into the issue it was evident that Manowar were very difficult to work for. Too much drama!!!! Really too bad, the fans really got the shaft! At the last minute really!..."

Interview with Dave Garcia from Hellscream
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 24 August 2019, 2:10 AM

Probably every artist, which holds a side project, has that itch to get back to work on it every once in a while, throughout being busy in his main thing. I can imagine that burst of ideas that don't fit the main attraction, yet do like glove for the side show. It is possible that it has been running in the mind of Cage / The Three Tremors guitarist Dave Garcia with his Hellscream project. Well, he actually came back to work on it, and here we are with a second album, via Pure Steel Records. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to the busy Garcia on "Hate Machine", signing with Pure Steel, songwriting, Manowar and more…

Hi Dave, it is good to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. Last time we met was at The Three Tremors show in Tel-Aviv last year. How have you been doing sir?

Great! Definitely staying busy for sure!

Finally, after six years, which I assume due to your busy schedule with Cage and The Three Tremors, another one of your side projects, Hellscream, issued a new album, “Hate Machine”. Do you actually recognize Hellscream as a project or is it a full time band, in and outside of the studio?

Hellscream is a project that Norman Skinner and I have been working together for quite some time now. We are both extremely busy with our other bands and our personal family lives. Some how we find the time to create music for this project.

How do you feel about the turnout of “Hate Machine”? Did it end up to be as you expected?

I like the album, as Norman and I continue to work together we are learning what works for us and due to time constraints how to transfer files effectively to keep the flow of the project going.

How has the album been received by your fans and listeners?

I have heard good things from people who have the album. Even the vinyl was a great option for fans to hear the album "Hate Machine"!

Has the Hellscream lineup always been supported by Cage musicians throughout its lifespan? I am asking because the same goes for The Three Tremors.

The Cage gang is very supportive! Each of them also have their own additional bands and projects. We all work together to help each other out. I couldn’t ask to be involved with a better group of exceptional musicians! They are just awesome individuals!

Listening to “Hate Machine”, I have to be honest with you, its musical direction doesn’t sound any different than Cage or The Three Tremors. Therefore, I ask, what in your opinion are the differences in “Hate Machine” in particular, and Hellscream in overall, in comparison to your other two bands? And I mean other than your superb frontman in Hellscream

With Hellscream the writing is mainly between Norman Skinner and I. Norman has a large influence on the arrangements and lyrical content. For me the music is something that comes from turning the record button on and exploring riff combinations however that is finally determined by Norman depending on how his lyrical content works best with the music.

What does the “Hate Machine” title represents? Does it concern the inner upcoming combustion in the American society or it is a rather wider phenomenon that is being dealt with?

What I find interesting in working with vocalists is that there is an underlying direction that flows with the writing of the music. We usually determine the album title later as the collection of music continues to grow. There is a creativity factor that shapes and directs the content of the musical pieces. I don’t believe there is any constraint in the writing process that says we have to be like our other band’s formula. In general, Hellscream is a release for me to express what comes out. I would like to be able to have the time for us to record a third album as I believe we are just getting started! We rarely see each other in person! All collaboration is solely done via e-mail. I think I have in person met Norman three or four times since the beginning of the project! Crazy!!!

Was “Hate Machine” also a joint effort with the Cage boys while writing the songs?

Sean Elg will interpret the drumming somewhat close however his incredible drumming ability is clearly his signature! Hands down! He’s a monster drummer!

I never asked this question throughout my interviews, yet, I guess you will be the first. I have been used to ask about the songwriting process of a record, but I think it would be great having your personal input regarding how do you come to writing a song? What hits you out of nowhere, that energy generated to make play a riff or come up with lyrical ideas?

As far as lyrics, it is a vocalist thing. Sometimes if there is a hook line in the chorus that strikes me, I can get motivated. I used to sit and try to write something without the recorder on. I soon realized however by the time I got to the recorder to capture the idea, it was gone or sterile, the magic was gone! For me this works! After the initial riff or phrase is recorded, I can build upon that or it begins to be imprinted in my mind after playing it back a few times. This helps me later when I return to the recording desk as now, I may have additional ideas to execute. Everyone has their way of expressing; this is best for me.

What is your album’s favorite track? That one song that made a major impact on you more than the others. Please elaborate on your pick

I have to say I like quite a few of them, the one that does stand out for me is “Zero Recall” I remember sitting down and writing that music after seeing King Diamond in concert in San Diego. Not that I was trying to sound like them, but I was really pumped after seeing that concert! Who wouldn’t right?

Signing with Pure Steel Records ensured you the rightful European exposure, which I believe will be warmly welcomed in my view. How did the contact with Pure Steel Records began? Was there a handed offer by the label or you were the one interested? I know that Cage had dealings with Pure Steel Records in the past, is that the basis of the connection?

I was aware of Pure Steel Records as we have worked with them in the past. They are a very respectable organization that clearly has a very professional approach to marketing on a world- wide scale. We approached them about our second album. I have to say it has been a pleasure working with Pure Steel Records!

Going off topic here, you probably remember but there was that Manowar deal in Hellfest Festival and their cancellation at the last minute. A lot of stuff went on behind the curtains I am sure, yet I couldn’t help but think that this may as well be the first step of the fall of the Metal Gods in general. Do you think that it is the beginning of the end for the current Metal Gods?

My band Cage has a history with Manowar awhile back as we were entertaining the idea of being on their label. Without getting to deeply into the issue it was evident that Manowar were very difficult to work for. Too much drama!!!! Really too bad, the fans really got the shaft! At the last minute really! I think the main character that causes all the drama, and we all know who he is, should step down and let a professional organization, maybe like Pure Steel Records, handle these issues so that the fans can enjoy their music! Just my opinion!!!!

It was found by various studies that Metal music is actually making people better. Do you honestly believe that Metal music, with all the stereotypes charted about it throughout the years, can really do that for a person? Aren’t we supposed to be the angry people, letting everything out?

You know, here in America, we got a lot of liberal people that think they know what’s best for us, at the end of the day I grew up liking and playing metal. So did a lot of my buddies, and they are also normal people that just like me, prefer to listen to metal! Basically, what I’m implying is don’t believe everything you hear!!!!!!

Connecting this one with a previous question, are there plans for future Hellscream shows in and outside the US?

Norman is as busy or busier than I and it will probably not happen any time soon. I think after the next album for sure we will play some shows!

Dave, thank you for your time, which I am sure is precious, all the best to the guys and you made quite a record right there. Cheers mate.

Thank you!



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Edited 30 May 2020

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