INTERVIEW WITH FULL OF HELL – “IT’S ALL PUNK IN THE END”
Full Of Hell is one of my favourite current Hardcore bands. They take influence from everything that’s good, put it in a blender and turn it into something wickedly heavy. They will release an album later this year on A389 Records. I did this interview with Dylan, Full Of Hell’s singer, in March 2011.
I guess Full Of Hell might be still unknown to some people, so maybe a short “who is who” would be appropriate.
Hey Chris, my name is Dylan and I sing in Full of Hell. The other members are Spencer, who plays guitar and does a lot of the power electronic stuff, Dave, who plays drums, and Skylar who plays bass. Skylar does jenkum, Spencer never bathes and Dave is an ignorant fucking teenager. I don’t know what I am.
In a review of your split 7″ with Goldust I read that your drummer is only 12 years old. Even though it’s not exactly true, Full Of Hell is in fact a very young band. How did you guys get together?
The joke is that Dave is 12 since he’s the youngest member. This used to be a much bigger deal, because when Spencer first started jamming with Dave he was like 15. At this point, he’s 18 (I think?) and graduating high school this summer. Which was a close thing, he almost got expelled for going to Europe. More on topic though, I met Spencer when I was in another band and we hit it off even though he didn’t really say anything. Full Of Hell was touring with another singer at that time, so when that guy left I stepped in. Skylar is an old friend. He doesn’t speak much English, and he wanders off sometimes, but he enjoys the vibrations the music makes against his body.
If you’d have to put a label on Full Of Hell, what would it be?
It’s hard to say, man. I really enjoy Full Of Hell because everyone in the band is into a lot of different styles of music. When people I work with or my family asks me what kind of music we play I just say Punk. Since we mix Hardcore, Grind, Screamo, Black Metal, Harsh Noise and Power Violence and a million other stupid genre names, its hard to really give it a name. It’s all Punk in the end.
Do you think that “over-pigeon-holing” discourages a lot of people to listen to music they might like? E.g. die-hard Sludge and Stoner heads won’t listen to Full Of Hell because you’re labeled as a Hardcore band, although they could totally dig it?
I think its unavoidable that certain people are going to make quick judgements based on how they perceive us initially. My personal opinion is that since it’s so unavoidable to please fringe crowds or crowds in the middle, it’s important that we play exactly what we want and what makes sense to us. That’s the only way to remain honest as a band.
You toured Europe just a few weeks ago, and so at a very early point of your “career”, how did that come together?
We were really lucky to have that opportunity. It was a huge deal for all of us. The band we toured with, No Omega, did a lot to make sure the tour was as good as it possibly could be. They spread the word about us a lot in Stockholm, so those shows were so great. Dave Heck of Get This Right Records helped initially get the ball rolling, and helped with some of the shows. It was an incredible experience to say the least. I never expected to have the reaction we got.
The German cops put your van in impoundment – not a very comforting situation while being on tour. What happened and how did you fix the problem?
The van that No Omega had rented was pretty cheap to rent, I guess. It had a lot of things wrong with it from the start. Not enough seats, no seat belts, no door lock, no brakes, no power steering. Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen until the end of tour. We were an obvious target for the police. They pulled us over to search the van, then impounded it and left us at a gas station. They took our driver in to fine him and tell him that they were taking the van. We had to run all over nowhere, Germany, to find where they took the van. Eventually we agreed to just get our gear out of it and leave it. We rode home in a new van. It sucked.
Why did you choose a German title for the song “Kopf meines Vaters?”
Partially because we were doing a split with Goldust. I thought it would be a cool thing to do. The title I had in my head, “Head of my Father” just sounded to obvious. Haha.
Would you say you’re a frustrated person? While reading the lyrics you write one might get the impression.
I don’t believe that I am an angry or frustrated person. I think that the medium provided allows me to fully express myself and helps to keep my thoughts clearer outside of the music.
Have you ever ruined your vocal chords? The first time I saw you guys perform you screamed so loud everyone could hear you – and you didn’t even use the microphone. What makes you lose your mind in those situations?
Last summer we did a US tour. I pulled something in my throat the day before tour that kept me from being able to scream almost at all. It really sucked because the next day was our first 7″ release show. Of course, before we played the PA broke. Any other time I’d try and just yell over it, but I was in bad shape. It stayed that way for 3 weeks of tour. The other time was in Europe. We all had terrible flus, so my throat was completely fucked up. I just hacked shit up every night when we played. Totally gross.
You guys tour a lot, what do your parents think about this whole “being in a band thing”?
All parents are out of the picture, minus David. His parents are erratic and kind of go insane sometimes when he drops bombs on them about leaving for a long time. I think that they’re pretty proud of him though, as they should be. Sweden is a long ways away from Bland Acre.
Ok last one, your biggest disappointment last year in music, movies and politics. Thanks!
All movies and music suck and politicians are pigs.
OK man, then the other way around: one record of last year you’ll totally recommend if someone asked.
An album that I hadn’t heard until this past January was Okkultokrati‘s “No Light For Mass”. This album has been on repeat for a while. As far as my home state of Pennsylvania goes, Agitator released their 7″, Enter Vice Lords last year, which I still love, and this band from Pittsburgh called Code Orange Kids has a demo floating around the internet that everyone needs to check out.
I think that might be it, thanks a lot for taking the time! Any typical shout outs at the end, you know the game. Peace!
Thanks for the interview, Chris. Check out Hang the Bastard and Wayfarer from England. Shout outs to Pittsburgh for so many of our friends living in one city and to Dom (A389 Recordings) and Dave (Get This Right Records) for making everything possible.