Hooded Menace Interview

If you thought that death metal had become a sterile,boring world of kids playing fast music with no feeling,then have I got the band for you.Finland's Hooded Menace have blazed eardrums with their debut full-length Fulfll the Curse,bringing the classic feel and atmosphere of the old days,with a massive guitar sound that you won't find on some demo from 1989.

Guitarist/vocalist Lasse Psyykko cut his teeth in the mid-nineties with death metal sickos Phlegethon,and it is this experience that comes through in the Menace's sound.At once totally classic and completely fresh,Hooded Menace are an ugly force that must be reckoned with.

I had a chance to ask Lasse some questions about the Menace,and if there was any possible way that they could keep bringing music this heavy.Read on.

Hammer Smashed Jazz:So first up,the band name is fucking brilliant.Who came up with it?

Lasse:Thanks! Glad you like it! Billy from Razorback Records came up with the name. He´s pretty good at those things!

HSJ:For those who don't know,you started a killer band way back called Phlegethon,and you guys did a demo a few years back.Is Phlegethon still active?

Lasse:Phlegethon is still alive but not very active at the moment. I just haven´t had time enough for that band.

HSJ:I've seen a few interviews with you already,but no one's mentioned your gear.What kind of setup are you using to get such a thick,massive sound?Also,are you a gearhead or guitar collector,or do you just get by with the basics?

Lasse:I´m not gonna tell you about our set up, heh! Sorry! Many have asked the same question and I never wanna talk about it. I´m not into discussing about gear and such things that much anyway. I have always found it pretty boring. So, I´m very anti gearhead, ha! Well, I can tell you that I own now two guitars and the one I used for Fulfill the Curse was 150 euros worth! So I really do get by with the basics.

HSJ:The vinyl version of Fulfill the Curse was an instant sellout!Have you noticed the positive feedback that HM has been getting,and did you expect this kind of reaction?

Lasse:Yes, I have noticed the great response and it really came as an surprise although we knew the album came out pretty cool. I wasn´t expecting old fashioned doom/death metal to interest people that much and it looks like the interest is only growing and growing. Some kinda doom/death boom is reigning now a bit I guess.

HSJ:No one in their right mind gets into underground music to make a lot of money,but I was wondering what your thoughts are on the state of modern music,especially considering how tough the worldwide economy is?Seems that CD sales are nonexistent and vinyl and t-shirts is about the only way to get any money out of it.

Lasse:Yeah, kids rather download the music than buy it on cd. That sucks. It must be tough to run an underground record label these days. Vinyls and t-shirts seem to move pretty well tho.

HSJ:You've stated before that Hooded Menace will not be a live band.Would there ever be a perfect opportunity that could make you change your mind?I mean,you'd be OK opening for Slayer or Candlemass,wouldn't you?

Lasse:Haha, Hooded Menace/Candlemass gig would look good on paper but would it change the fact that we don´t really enjoy doing shows? Probably not. Maybe some day we will play live. We have been talking about that possibility. Right now it seems unreal but only time will tell... Also we should find a 2nd guitarist if we performed live and finding the one would probably be a pain in the ass. The more people, the more complicated everything gets. But as I just said: we haven´t closed any doors. If one day playing live sounds like a good idea to us then we will find the 2nd guitarist and go play a couple of shows. Touring sounds like a too terrible idea tho.

HSJ:Now that the LP has been out for a while,have you had a chance to just sit and listen to it?In hindsight,did it turn out exactly as you'd hoped?

Lasse:I´m happy with it. I have spinned it maybe two times or so. It certainly looks good and it also sounds good. I have a pretty crappy vinyl player set up and it would be cool to play it on a decent gear someday.

HSJ:I was wondering if you'd been in contact with Coffins from Japan at all?They are right at the forefront of this great doom/death revival with you guys,and it seems like a match made in heaven (hell) for a split release (hint,hint).

Lasse:Yes, we are in contact with them. They certainly seem enjoy a nice following nowadays. A split? Hmm... be careful what you wish for, haha! The split would destroy all!

HSJ:Favorite Sabbath song?

Lasse:Ah, so many great songs.... Hand of Doom is one of them.

HSJ:Do you have any ideas or thoughts on the next Hooded Menace LP and what you'd like it to sound like?Will it be a strict continuation of what we heard on Fulfill,or maybe some different things going on?

Lasse:Almost all the material is already written for the 2nd album. Seems like it´s going to be a nice continuation to the debut. Perhaps some of the stuff is a bit more melodic but then some parts are just utterly dark and crushing. I still need to write 2 songs for the album and it would be cool to add some more different sounding things to them but not too much. Just to spice it up a bit.

I don´t wanna make Fulfill the Curse #2 but then again I don´t want to step away from the path we are on. So, it´s not easy to please ourselves but so far I´m very happy about the new songs. If you liked the debut you will like the follow up album too. It won´t be THAT different anyway. It´ll still be pure Hooded Menace.

HSJ:Lastly,tell us about any future plans for Hooded Menace,or any of the other bands you are in.

Lasse:Three split and the follow up album are in plans for now. That should keep us busy enough until early 2010 or so. My solo project (lyrics by Billy Razorback + some other contributors) Claws will release its debut album “Absorbed in the Nethervoid” on Razorback this year. It goes to “death metal/death metal/death metal” -category, ha! Shrouded (with Elekrokutioner from Decrepitaph and me) should have 10” out on Poveglia Rec. any time soon and Acid Witch 7” EP will be unleashed by Doomentia Rec. during 2009. I hope Phlegethon “Drifting in the Crypt” demo collection will be out this summer on Xtreem Music. I guess that´s all for now.

Go here and buy this bad boy straight away.Amazing stuff!

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