Helstar a band of vampires or just an actual band? There's no telling really, except founding member and guitarist Larry Barragan, discusses these so called manners, as well as other plans, that these guys have in-store for the next year.
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Larry: I'm Larry Barragan and I'm the founding member and guitarist for Helstar.
2. Where did the idea for the band's name, Helstar come from, does it have a meaning behind it?
Larry: You know a friend of ours came up with the name and we just liked it. We changed the spelling just so it would look cool and have a centered letter. We thought the name was kind of like a star that destroys.
3. Your ninth album to date is called "Vampiro" which takes you back to your tales of Dracula and vampires, like your fourth album "Nosferatu". Why did you want to revisit the whole vampire concept?
Larry: I was a bit more timid about doing it. I mean it really didn't work the first time but James was very admit that he wanted to do this. So once we were all it was actually very natural for us to write on this subject matter. We started reading up and watching some of our favorite movies and taking notes. It was very fun to write about this dark character again.
Larry: No, not at all really. Just the subject matter. Other than that the two albums are very different. Vampiro isn't a continuation of Nosferatu. Nosferatu is very close the Bram Stoker tale. Those songs are all connected on side 1.
Vampiro is an album of different tales about Vampirism. Nosferatu ends like the book. There was no sequel to the book so we had to go elsewhere to find things to write about.
5. Do you see the vampire concept to expand on anymore of your releases in the future, or are you going to put a stake in it?
Larry: Ha, I like that. I would hope that we would be done. But we did recently read something that was very interesting to us that I don't want to say too much about but we may touch on the subject here and there. It's actually quite fascinating.
6. "Vampiro" was released via the EMP Label Group, as opposed to your previous label, AFM Records, what happened there and how is it being with EMP Label Group?
Larry: It was just time for us to move on. I think it was a mutual thing. There were no hard feelings. It was just time. EMP has been great to us so far. I think they were a bit surprised by the reception that Vampiro has been getting. It was like, "Wow a home run on the first try!"
7. Back in the early 80's you played backyard parties and small club showcases, even though it's been quite some time, since those showcases; do you ever seen Helstar to return to that environment and do those small time shows or it won't ever happen again.
Larry: Hmm, I don't see us doing anything like parties. We often do play small clubs from time to time but I wouldn't want to back track to the way it was in the beginning. We've worked very hard just to get to this level.
8. It was probably due to the album's title and concept but is your front man or band mates Vampires, that's what I read and heard for something revolving around Helstar.
Larry: Haha!!! Oh man! No, James likes to be in character for the first part of the show and he wears the cape and the fangs all that but only as part of the show. Actually some fans get upset when they meet him and they ask about the fangs.
9. Do you have any new music in the works, in terms of a follow-up to "Vampiro"?
Larry: Not as of yet. Maybe when we get back from Europe we may start to kick things around.
10. What is your all-time favorite vampire movie, book, comic, and TV program and why?
Larry: Taste the Blood of Dracula! It starred Christopher Lee and I saw it when I was a little kid with my brother at the movies. It was just the coolest thing I'd ever seen and the funny thing is when I brought it up to James it was one of his favorites as well.
11. Since you have done the vampire concept, will you take that approach with the vampires vs. werewolves or has that been already by you guys?
Larry: No, I love the Underworld movies but I don't think we're going to go that route. I think it may be time for something new.
12. What are the plans that you have for the rest of this year?
Larry: We have a tour planned for Europe here in the next couple of weeks and then after that I'm sure we'll do some one of fly in gigs as well. Then it'll be time for the next writing cycle.
13. Do you have any last words for fans, or potential new fans?
Larry: For that fans out there, thank you. Thank you for your energy and for supporting us throughout the many years.