• Voices In My Head

Interview with Igz Kincaid Erik Michael from Hessler

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SPR (VIMH): With the downtime, are you currently writing, or are you sharpening your chops? Igz: Haven't had much time to sit down and write an actual song (due to navigating everything that's going on and how it affects the rest of the world) but finally picked up a small at home recording unit to fully demo new songs. REALLY excited to get this going.

SPR (VIMH): What are your plans for 2020 as a group? Igz: The main goal is to release a vinyl of our upcoming LP titled 'When the Sky Is Black'. Initially we had hoped for an April release but this terrible virus and the subsequent trickle down affect to all industries has slowed everything down. SPR (VIMH): Is there any new music that we can look forward to coming soon? Igz: We just released a single of the title track 'When the Sky is Black' via streaming services. If delays persist to put out a physical release, we might put out the album earlier and the physical release when things get back to normal. SPR (VIMH): What are your musical icons/influences? Erik: Everything from Motley Crue to Dimmu Borgir. Slayer to Slipknot. Misfits to System of a Down. Igz: From the Heavy Metal World: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, W.A.S.P. and then Rammstein, lots of punk, and a variety of artists from different genres. SPR (VIMH):Coming up in the Chicago scene, what are some memorable shows that you have been a part of? Igz: We've been fortunate enough to have played many a memorable show, but one that stands out in particular for me was this open air one big stage festival called Rockin' the Farm where the reformed RATT was the headliner, and Eddie Trunk hosted. They had this giant placard printed where they forget to list our band name, so I climbed up on a ladder and wrote Hessler bold and thick in black sharpie. Guerllia tactics and we kicked ass that day. Afterwards we played an afterparty at some bar at 1am, at which point everyone was pretty sauced and I finished the set with random fans singing the vocals to one acoustic guitar. Good times SPR (VIMH): If you could tour with any band, past or present, who would it be? Igz: Maiden on the Powerslave tour, just cause of the number of dates and size of the venues SPR (VIMH): Coming out of Chicago, how do you feel that it’s evolved over the years? Erik: Chicago has a decent metal and rock scene, but I don’t think Chicago has a specific sound. It’s always been ambiguous. It’s not like an LA sound or an NYC sound or a Swedish sound. It just manifests into some sort of abomination of the universe. SPR (VIMH): Other than the cost, what is the most difficult part of touring? Are there any plans of touring internationally in the future? Igz: We've been close to going on a decent European tour many a time, but it just hasn't manifested - primarily due to cost of doing so. We're still up for the challenge to go overseas (we've played Canada for what that's worth to the globe trotters), but we'll see how that is impacted by the virus and current world affairs. SPR (VIMH):Over the years the sales of physical music media has declined. How has the rise of streaming services impacted your schedule of how you release music?

Igz: I feel that you can put out a release as fast as it's uploaded to streaming services. This can be a double edged sword, but it sure worked well for Eminem when he broke YouTube with that Killshot single diss. SPR (VIMH): What kind of venues do you normally play at? Erik: We’ve played big theaters and stages only a foot off the ground. I’m equally at comfort both. Hell, I’ll play a basement with the right energy. SPR (VIMH): What was a “Rock Star Moment” that you can tell us? Erik: We opened for a relatively “famous” band and at the merch table after the show, I asked one of them if he had a Sharpie. He thought I wanted an autograph, but it was so I could sign something for one of our fans. The look on his face when I returned the marker was priceless. Igz: I was walking past the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago and a group of people stormed me holding out all sorts of things to sign and taking pictures with phones and cameras. I was perplexed and took one of the items and the sharpie and looked at it. It was a group of fans of the band The Pretty Reckless. I handed the thing back to the kid and I said "Sorry man, I can't sign this, I'm not in this band, I'm in Iron Maiden." As I started to walk away one person said "Who is that?"........ Check please. SPR (VIMH): Are there any venues that you haven’t played yet, and want to? Igz: In Chicago, I'd love to play the Aragon Ballroom and the Riviera. Out of town, I'd love to play at Red Rocks outside of Denver - that's one of the coolest venues you will EVER see. SPR (VIMH): Give us a rundown on gear you use on tour, and what you use in the studio. Is there a difference? Erik: I love BC Rich Warlock guitars. Nothing looks better. I’ve also got the nastiest sounding Marshall amp imaginable. Igz: I've used an assortment of guitars live and in studio. Currently my main workhorse for both is a Fernandes V. My amp for the past seven years has been an ENGL Blackmore - and am extremely grateful to be endorsed by such an amazing company.


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