Let It Rock: Interview With Heavenly Trip To Hell
Long Beach, California and the Los Angeles Rock music scene in general, have birthed perhaps the closest band to Motley Crue in spirit and party atmosphere attitude with Heavenly Trip To Hell that this Rock journalist on the very scene has at least himself witnessed in recent years. And I was at Motley Crue's 1983 Shout At The Devil performance at the Santa Monica Civic, when most you pups reading this weren't even a dirty thought on your dating parents minds yet. This is a band that I feel is very important right now, in terms of being one of those acts to help get the Rock world back into the hands of the people who actually Rock. They utilize the fury-laden, Industrial-sonic attack of legendary Ministry, while having a steady metal foundation as its overall approach. The band is getting ready for a couple of exciting shows in basically the next week, including a record release party on July 1st at the infamous Whisky A Go Go here in Los Angeles. I am thrilled to have had the chance to get them to tell us more about their crazy ways, along with their socially and politically motivated songwriting stance. Drummer JD and bassist Sergio Natas join us for the conversation.
Rocket: So when did Heavenly Trip To Hell form exactly?
Sergio: June of 1996.
Rocket: I noticed this band isn't signed to a label, correct?
JD: We are self promoted and have now released two EP's and one DVD and we're currently going to release our first full length album called "Who is the enemy".
Rocket: I know you guys have a show coming up soon with Body Count, right? Run us down on when, where and how much beer is going to be involved. Ha!
JD: Yeah. We're playing with Ice T and the boys from Body Count on July 7th at a great new club in downtown Long Beach called the Vault 350. Beer? Where's the Southern Comfort? That seems to be our fuel at the moment.
Rocket: Haha. My mistake. Skip the light stuff! Haha. So tell me more abut the new album. We can get back to the Rock N Roll debauchery in a moment.
Sergio: We're releasing our new album on July 1st at the Whisky A Go Go, which has been our home in Hollywood for seven years. The CD will be on sale at No Regrets in Long Beach and soon to be in most major record stores, Tower Records, Wherehouse Music, etc.
Rocket: The Whisky is perfect for band like HTTH. With all the great history of it all. Mr. Natas, what kind of basses are you playing on live and in the studio?
Sergio: A Fender Jazz Bass with active pickups for live shows and a Mexican made Fender Jazz for the studio with a lighter sound for recording.
Rocket: And what are the specs on your current bass rig?
Sergio: SWR amps and cabs. I've been playing through a Big Bertha 2x15 and one Son of Bertha 1x15 with a Mo Bass head for a big rumbble on stage for about eight years now reconing and blowing multiple subwoofers cause I don't know when to turn it down.
Rocket: I really dig the song Where is God. Tell me more about the songwriting process for the band. Is it a Joe Perry and Steven Tyler-kinda situation or is everyone involved?
Sergio: It's a team effort, with everything involving the band whether it's a song or promoting or chugging down the last case of Bacardi.
Rocket: Haha. JD, are you originally from Los Angeles?
JD: Naw man, I'm from South fucking Texas, bra! Don't mess wit Texas. Hahaha. I came up here with a band from Houston back in the muthafucking day!! After they hit the road back to Texas, I moved to Malibu....Chevy! Get it? Lived outta my fucking car for a bit. "It's fucking rock and roll" got up on my feet, fell off again, got up again, fell off again. Well you get the fucking picture. Now I'm with my true homies from the ghetto, ya-know!!!
Rocket: Dude, you are the heart and soul of what true Rock is all about. It's the only reason I am here doing this. Please give us the specs on your drum kit, if you will grace us with such distinguished information.
JD: Well, let's see, I beat the fuck outta pdp/dw drums, beat the fuck outta Sabian cymbal's and I beat the fuck outta them with Pro Mark stixxx!rrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRR!
Rocket: Somebody get JD a downer! Haha! Now you guys cite Depeche Mode in your musical influences, along with Sepultura, Ministry, Motley Crue and Prong, but I need to be straight up, I don't hear it. Where do they exactly fit in? Is it because of the keyboard and sampling you have layered into your music? Not to shoot down that being an influence, it just doesn't truly seem relevant to the HTTH sound I am familiar with. I totally hear Ministry and Prong, most apparent in Designated Enemy.
Sergio: Those are just bands that influenced us to pick up our instruments and create a sound that we thought would represent where we were coming from and what we were feeling but we love all styles of music that have an edge and make you move your feet or feel something in your soul.
Rocket: Right on. I feel that. What is the song Desginated Enemy about in your opinion?
Sergio: It's about everything from false advertisement to controlled media to being in a situation that won't let you speak your opinion and through music you can tell it how it really is.
Rocket: I love that about this band. Not afraid to talk some shit! So onto Myspace, the internet form of crack cocaine. Who runs the HTTH Myspace music page? And do you guys actually take time out to answer any of the messages yourself?
Sergio: JD runs it and so does Juan FL our OG stage manager/physical therapist/"medicine man". We answer everyday.
JD: When I can see straight!
Rocket: Hahaha.. JD's a regular Nikki Sixx behind the damn drum kit! I love it!! What's the funniest thing that's happened on stage to this band? And I expect a whopper from you crazy rockers! Haha.
Sergio: Everything from throwing up on stage to breaking your platform shoes or having crazy lesbian sex on stage by the fans.
JD: Yeah, man, once we start playing 69... crazy shit always goes down on stage.
Rocket: You guys are killing me. Haha. How can a fan join up as a HTTH street team supporter?
JD: Just contact HTTH at NO REGRETS @ 562-901-1904 or Mike Madaras Management @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring some beer and some weed.
Rocket:Thanks for spending time with me on this, brothers. What a blast. I can't wait for the show at The Whisky, for which you have done the honor of putting me on the guest list. I will do a show review for the whole world to read afterwards as well. Go ahead and give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
JD: Our true fucking friend's/fans that have been there from the fuckin beginning and some dude named Rocket!! Hahaha!! Yeah, man, Rocket you fucking rule, man. Thanks to The Metal Fucking Den for letting the people know true fucking metal and hard fucking rock music! So, support it bitches!!! Time for my beer and chronic, adios!
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