HIRAX has a long and winding road behind them, starting in 1984. What do you remember most about the metal scene back in the 1980s? What would you say most influenced the sound of HIRAX back then?
In the 1980s, when HIRAX first started out, it was a wild frontier of thrash metal. Basically, we were all trying to outdo each other by playing faster and heavier than ever before! We were influenced by a lot of different bands—I’ll name some of them: Motörhead, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Trust, Thin Lizzy, Loudness, and many more. We just wanted to do something different. We were based in Los Angeles at the time—we wanted to make sure that people knew we were a fast and heavy thrash-metal band! We didn’t want to be compared to any of the hair bands or the poser bands. We wanted to play real metal and to this day . . . we still do!
Looking back to the band’s breakup in 1989, what would say was your biggest regret both back then and now?
My only regret back in the late 1980s with the HIRAX breakup was stopping. I never wanted to stop playing, but I took some time off and that’s my only regret. I am so glad to be back playing thrash metal! We want to give the fans the best music possible and I never want to let them down. I think breaking up was the wrong thing to do, but hindsight/looking back now, it probably was the right thing to do because we needed a change. We needed to realize how much playing music meant to us. We are very fortunate—we are one of the luckiest bands on the earth because we have the best fans in the world!
Despite breakups, personnel changes, and the evolution of the music scene throughout the years, HIRAX has persevered. What would you say is the band’s greatest strength when it comes to forging ahead and never giving up?
I think our greatest strength is our loyalty to playing this kind of music. We are dedicated to thrash metal. We love it and we live it! This is our life and our religion. The other thing that has kept us going all of these years is our loyal and diehard fans. We must continue on playing music obviously because we love it and it is our passion but also to make our fans proud because they have supported us for almost 30 years now. We want to make the best music possible for them 100% TRUE THRASH METAL!
Tell me about your 2004 release ‘The New Age of Terror.’ Looking back on this album, what would say you most like? What would you rather do without?
Looking back on the ‘The New Age of Terror’ released in 2004, I am still very, very proud of this album. I wouldn’t change anything! I think it’s a great testament as to where the band was at that time in our career. It includes a lot of classic HIRAX tracks like the title track “The New Age of Terror,” as well as “Hostile Territory,” “Diablo Negro,” “Killswitch,” and many, many more. It is still one of our biggest selling records today. At our live concerts we play quite a few songs from this album. I wouldn’t change anything about it and I am very proud of this record!”
Now comes word that you are releasing a new single, this one titled “La Boca de la Bestia” (“The Mouth of the Beast”). What can fans expect to hear when exposed to this new release?
A special upcoming release is the new HIRAX single “La Boca de la Bestia.” We are very excited for this release! It is the future of where HIRAX is going musically—it is more technically advanced and the songwriting has only gotten better. It’s a very strong song and I think it’s great!
Of course, a new single could mean the release of a new full-length studio CD, possibly in 2013. What can you say about this, particularly when it comes to an album title, release date, and HIRAX’s sound for 2013?
This single is a great teaser for the upcoming HIRAX album, which will be released spring 2013. Prepare your neck to be wrecked by HIRAX!
We are still working on the album and recording songs as we speak. I can tell you this record will be epic and will blow your mind! The production will be better than ever! We have Bill Metoyer (of Metal Blade Records fame)—he is known for his work with Slayer, Armored Saint, Cryptic Slaughter, and many others. We are very excited about this new album—the fans will be very happy once they hear it!
Expect at least 10 to 12 songs, all of which are total thrash metal 100%! We want to give the fans their money’s worth and we are working very hard to do that.
As veterans of the stage, what goes through your mind seconds before taking the stage? What about seconds after the first song starts to blast?
As always, HIRAX is full of mega energy before we go on stage. We are like a bomb set to go off, so I wouldn’t say that we are nervous, just very, very excited to see the fans and to get on the stage! The shows are always very wild and out-of-control crazy, but we love it! HIRAX fans are very loud and they love to stage dive, mosh, and go crazy in the slam pits—that is a typical HIRAX show and we are very proud of that!
What’s the best part of being in the studio recording an album? What is the worst?
I don’t consider anything about the recording studio to be bad—it’s just work and you’ve always got to keep that in mind. There is a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it! I love going in the recording studio because of the creative process and the results are always good. You just have to put in the time, be focused, and love what you do. Obviously, I love creating thrash metal and singing vocals; it has been a big great thing in my life. I love to be dedicated to the craft 100%!
Every time that we record a new album, it’s a new journey in a new chapter in our history as a band, so I always look forward to it.
As to HIRAX tour dates, we will finish up 2012 shows in December. We are playing three shows: 2 shows in Brazil on Saturday, December 15, and the final show in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, December 16. Then we fly back to Los Angeles, California, for the final show of 2012 at the Key Club (West Hollywood) on Saturday, December 22. We are going to do a very special concert for the release of our new single, “La Boca de la Bestia,” and then we will finish recording our new album for 2013. Once that is done, we will tour the rest of the world in support of the new HIRAX album.Any plans to tour in late 2012 and in 2013? Please provide any details.
What do you think about the modern metal scene, particularly the thrash-metal scene? What role do you see HIRAX playing in this modern-day scene?
As to the modern metal scene, I think HIRAX has a very big place in it. Even though we are from the 1980s, we continue to move forward and create new uncompromising thrash metal. There are a lot of new young bands, and that’s great! That helps this whole thrash-metal scene. But HIRAX has always and will always be a part of this movement. It’s like the saying /motto that we’ve used for many, many years: THRASH ‘TILL DEATH!
A special note to all the fans who have supported HIRAX for our very long career: We like to say THANK YOU/MUCHAS GRACIAS for your diehard support! We will see all of you on tour soon. Check out the new HIRAX release in 2013. Thanks again for all your support—true thrash will live forever! Thank you, brothers and sisters!