Hirax's Katon Plays 20 Questions about the Band's Legacy Release


Thrash metal titans Hirax has been around for 30 years and to this day are still going strong! They have released their latest album "Immortal Legacy" and will continue to thrash their way til the end of time! Vocalist Katon W. De Pena discusses about the band's 30 year run and latest release with plans for this year and many years to come!


1. You guys have been around for over 30 years if you count the time of the band's broken up, then gotten back together, what comes to mind, did you ever think that from day one you would have gotten to this point and time?

Katon: Yes we HIRAX have been around since 1984 three decades and we are still going strong after all these years back in the early days we could've never predicted that we would still be releasing albums and touring well into the year 2014 it is amazing and the future of the band only looks brighter.

2. Do you ever see the original line-up getting back together?

Katon: No because I am quite happy with the lineup that I have now (The Harrison brothers Lance and Steve have been with me the longest), this is the strongest unit we've ever had.

3. While you guys have been around for over 30 years, you've only released five full-length albums, don't you think with this year span you would have had a little more?

Katon: We are not like Most Thrash metal bands we take are time writing our Records, we believe in Quality over quantity. I think that we are one of the few bands that has proven you don't need to release a ton of records to become popular, We let our music do the talking and our fans decide the rest.

4. Through the years you've been through numerous labels one of which was Metal Blade Records but you're now a part of Steamhammer Records, why walk away from a label like Metal Blade? Their roster has acts who have been around for as long as you guys or longer.

Katon: Back in 1987 we left Metal Blade/Roadrunner Records when we broke up we have total respect for Brian Slagel and his great heavy-metal music company but it was time to move on now we are with Steamhammer / SPV Records and they are doing a great job with our new album "Immortal Legacy" we have been quite fortunate in our music career to work with great people who love our music.

5. Can you tell me the story as to why you wanted to call this band Hirax? Does the name have a meaning or representation?

Katon: I got the name off of a bathroom wall, I liked the way that it sounded. We have officially been called HIRAX since 1984! That same year Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost/Hellhammer Fame designed our logo we have been using it ever since.

6. What are your lyrics about this time around, do you stick to the same context for every album or does it vary on each release?

Katon: Each release / album the lyrics take a different direction there is always something different to inspire me. No matter what I write about I always try to put my own personal spin on the subject or concept we always include a lyric sheet in each record that we do so that our fans know what we are singing about.

7. What bands are you drawing influence from right now?

Katon: To many to list but I will try to write down some of the artist who have influence me over the years: Deep Purple, Lizzy Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, AC/DC, UFO, Venom, Motorhead, Luciana Pavarotti, Trust, Loudness and many others... The list goes on and on.

8. What was the recording process like this time around? Was there anything different that happened or was it the same old studio thing?

Katon: The recording process was very different this time around we had A short list of three producers Andy Snape, Jeff Waters from Annihilator and the legendary producer Bill Metoyer, Metoyer had come out to see us play a few concerts in the Los Angeles area with Armored Saint at the Key Club and Evildead at the House of Blues in Hollywood, California  after having a few production meetings with Metoyer we decided he would be the producer for the new album Immortal Legacy it was great working with him again he made us work hard and he got the best out of us. We also brought in three legendary guitarist to do special guest solos on the record Rocky George - Suicidal Tendencies, Juan Garcia - Agent Steel, Jim Durkin - Dark Angel The guitar performances that they have included to this album are amazing! Also the album cover was done by Philip Lawvere (Celtic Frost, Kreator) it is his first oil painting in over 25 years since he came out of retirement and the cover artwork is unbelievable. When our fans here this record I know that they will be very proud to own it.

9. Can you tell us how this album differs from the previous ones? What can we expect and what is the message behind it?

Katon: It is our best sounding record to date the production is Altra mega epic, killer guitar tones and sounds the drums are brutal and the bass guitar is thunderous The vocal approach is screaming sonically this album is completely over-the-top and will hit the listener in the face like a ton of bricks! The true message behind this record is one of no compromise no sellout pure Heavy-Metal meets THRASH Metal in a back alley.

10. Could you describe your song writing process? What comes first the music or the lyrics?

Katon: It differs from time to time sometimes it's the music first or sometimes it's the lyrics first depending on the mood. On this record we spent a lot of time in pre-production writing the music first at my house in Los Angeles California building guitar riffs one at a time then arranging the music before we would step into the rehearsal studio this saved us a lot of time and the songs came together much faster. We are quite happy with the final product/music.

11. What's your take on "Immortal Legacy" as a whole?

Katon: 1000% wicked THRASH Metal.

12. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Katon: Yes there must be a Konstantflow in order to draw the listener in this album is a perfect example of that let "Immortal legacy" take you on a thrash metal Odyssey.

13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Immortal Legacy"?

Katon: Look up the movie Rollerball that is the equivalent of our new album! Old-school yet futuristic.

14. You guys say that this album is your most diverse album ever can you elaborate?

Katon: This album is like a tank it has a lot of different weapons heavy, fast, slow, melodic, Parts dual harmonies, epic guitar parts. There is a lot of musical diversity on this new disc.

15. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Katon: That is a hard question to answer all of these songs are like my children it's hard to pick one.

16. You guys have toured a lot over the years but where hasn't Hirax set foot in?

Katon: We haven't played in Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, China, Finland, Australia, Bolivia but we will soon.

17. You released a couple of live DVDs but we have yet to see a live CD when will this be happening?

Katon: Hopefully this year 2014 or next year 2015. I think the time is right for a really killer HIRAX live CD.

18. Do any of you have any side projects going on that you would like to discuss?

Katon: No this band is our main focus HIRAX forever.

19. What else do you guys have planned for this year and as far as shows and touring?

Katon: A lot of touring we are preparing now, we have dates already booked for Europe April / May 2014 and we look forward to seeing all of our fans on tour very soon..... Our new album Immortal legacy is available on Steamhammer / SPV Records Worldwide now.

20. Have you heard of Hirax?

Katon: Yes for more HIRAX. Please check our official websites for information and updates,

http://www.blackdevilrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KatonHIRAX

http://www.hirax.bigcartel.com/

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