Today I talked to George Anderson from in my opinion a monster Super Group they have members from Slayer to Death Angel to Nevermore so enjoy this as much as I did!!
How did From Hell form?
George: “I put FROM HELL together many years ago, back in about 2007-2008 after my last band, Down Factor, decided to wrap things up. I wanted to do something that was heavier, darker and more epic than Down Factor was. I started writing really long songs. I didn’t really care whether or not a DJ was going to play the songs. I wanted to write stuff that was going to take its time and just be musical, but be heavy and metal and the same time.”
How was recording your album Ascents From Hell?
George: “Recording is always the best and worst part of a record. It’s great to be in the studio, but they are long hard hours of tracking trying to bring a piece of art to life that is audial and not visual. And this record was a HUGE challenge! Working with Paul, Steve and Damien was great! Paul is a fucking workhorse and his ethic is super strong, full of great ideas and talent and humble as can be. One of the coolest guys ever to jam with! Steve is just an amazing guitar player! His grasp of melodies and what to play on lead guitar was just incredible. Damien is badass in his on right! Damien has a good sense of feel and style and knows how to find that choice bass line. Other bass players in the past would just follow the guitar, but I wanted more out of the bass than that for this band and Damien was the man to do it.
I worked with Snake the guitar player from Skinlab and Winter, one of the engineers at Skyline Studios and both of these guys did a slammin’ job of capturing great tones of all the instruments. Snake was the main producer, but both he and Winter had their strong points that they would excel in for the tracking and mixing part. Winter, who also does sound for movies, assisted with the “soundscapes” that happen between each song on the record. We also brought in Bryan Matheson, the owner of Skyline, who assisted with arranging and tracking the choir. I brought in a 22-piece choir to sing over four of the songs on the record. Having a real choir was cool, because it kept the recording very organic. And that’s one thing we were really shooting for on this recording was to get a very organic sound. A lot of recordings these days rely heavily on over compression and sound replacement of the drum tones to get that ‘perfect’ tone. We didn’t do any of that. I was adamant about using as little compression as possible so that we could get the most dynamic sound available to us. Paul’s drums are the way he played them and the tones he played. We didn’t replace anything.
All in all, recording was great, but a major challenge. I think it was a challenge for all of us really. I pushed this stuff to areas of music that none of us had played before, with the exception of maybe Steve. This music is all played on 7-string tuned to Bb. It’s low, fast and syncopated. Much different than what Slayer or Death Angel do, but these guys all did an awesome job!”
What are your influences?
George: “King Diamond is my biggest influence for this band followed by Nevermore, Slayer, At The Gates, Fates Warning, Krisiun, bands that write epic songs. Horror movie sound tracks and dark orchestral and choral music too! I used all of that to write this record.”
What shows do you have coming up?
George: “These guys all have tours lined up with their current bands, Slayer, Death Angel and Steve’s new band One Machine and so at the moment, unfortunately, there will not be any shows with these guys. Maybe one day. At the moment, I have an alternate line up and we are scheduling a CD release show for September. Quite some time after the CD release, but sometimes, that’s how it is. We are planning to do many shows here on the west coast. A 2-3 week tour is being planned for fall, but that is still taking shape and I don’t have any information on that yet.”
What made you wanna put a story behind the album?
George: “I wanted to do something that was not political or socially aware or anything like that. That’s what Down Factor was. I decided that I wanted to do a concept album because when I listened to King Diamond albums, I would hear that song and it immediately would take me to that story or place in my mind, like reading a book. I really liked where that put me mentally and musically. I found I could really enjoy the music because it just had more depth to it than just a riff and some political hee-haw over the top of it that nobody really gives a shit about. The music would also tell the story along with the lyrics and so after the demise of Down Factor, I wanted to write songs that took me out of the political mind set. It wasn’t doing anything for me anymore. I wanted to enjoy playing music and not concern myself with preaching to the world my political standpoint. I thought, if I tell stories, then, when people listen to the songs, they’ll be thinking about this crazy zombie story that I wrote instead of political figures, drones and nuclear bombs. Fuck all that!”
If you could fight one public figure who would it be and why?
George: “This band is very anathema to politics. So, there isn’t anything to say here. It’s not part of the philosophy.”
What is life like on tour?
George: “Haven’t toured with these guys yet. Maybe one day.”
Would you guys say you’re a super group?
George: “We just do what we do.”
What would you like to tell your fans?
George: “I would like to tell our fans that if you like it, tell friends and share the links to what we have on our website (FROMHELL.net) and Facebook page(/thisbandisFROMHELL). I wrote this album with music in mind. I wanted it to be something that people could sink into for a long while when they listened to it. I wrote it for me, based on stuff I like. I don’t really care if other people don’t like it. But if you do and you like this type of thing, I wrote it with the intent of being long winded like a classical piece of music that ebbs and flows. But it’s METAL! It’s not about the one 3-minute song. That’s only a third to half as long as these songs. This was meant to be epic! Enjoy!