Hessler's Igz and Derek Discusses New Vocalist, New Music, and New Shows!

Chicago, Illinois heavy metal band Hessler has dealt with some changes with frontwomen lately, getting Jessikill to replace former vocalist Lariyah Daniels. The band has since written and recorded material for a maxi-single and newer material to be released, they will then head out on the road touring about here and there. Guitarist Igz Kincaid and drummer Derek Spiteri  discusses about the new vocalist, new music, and touring.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Igz:  www.hesslerchicago.com/about

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Igz:   Many ask, and we never tell.

3. What happened to your former vocalist Lariyah Daniels, why was she removed from the band? Do you think it was for the better or worse?

Igz:  She decided to move to Atlanta and thus Hessler was no longer her priority.  It was done out of necessity, but we would never do something to hurt the band.  We’re beyond happy with the way things have panned out.

4. How do you go about finding a new member that you know clicks with the band and meshes well with your music?

Igz:  On a normal occasion, you would have to audition people or go through mutual contacts.  In the case with our new singer Jessikill, we were fortunate enough to play a concert with her and see her in action.  The rest just falls into place.

5. Do you think Jessikill has adjusted to being a part of the Hessler family?

Igz:  It is still early in our time together, but we clicked VERY well in regards to our musical desires, ideas, performance, and goals going forward.  She was the perfect fit to not loose momentum and keep the Hessler machine on our path.

6. You've released a single/video for the song "Never Lost My Way", can you tell me about the song and video?

Igz:  “Never Lost My Way” is best summed up by the lyrics in the chorus. It is about not straying from the path, from your goals, regardless of the negativity that may be around you or constantly spoken into your ears.  Like a fully functioning machine, Hessler will keep going and this is our battle cry.  When a component breaks down, you don’t just give up, you try to repair the component, and if you can’t well…. The video was an awesome opportunity to showcase our process of Jessikill auditioning for the band. That was the first time we had been in front of a camera together and I really like how authentic it is.

7. Can you tell me about the Maxi-Single - why go and release this 3-single release, as opposed to an EP or full-length?

Igz:  The original plan for the Maxi-Single was to push for some European dates but I believe now we will do an EP sometime in April.  Doing a full-length is financially very costly, if you want to do it right, and we do not want to be rushed.  Timing is a key factor.

8. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Igz:  For the lyrics that I have written, I write them about personal experiences or something that happens in one moment.  I like to put together a story that any listener can apply toward their own life.  If there was correlating theme from song to song, I would say that we promote self-belief and never changing yourself for another person’s desires.

9. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Igz:  Each band member has their own influences; as a whole we are fans of bands that are genuine, perform their craft live and don’t go through the motions.  Our sound is influenced by bands we grew up listening to as well as our own mental stabilities and insanity.

10. You will be heading out on the March Metal Madness Tour, what do you hope to accomplish while on this tour?

Derek: Spread the disease! The goal of any tour is to play in front of some new faces, and continue to show the old ones why they came to like you in the first place. We are a in a lot of regards a completely different band so more so than ever I feel we have something to prove. Not only to the new ones, but now to the older fans as well, but I have no doubts that people will come to love what Hessler is becoming.
Touring also has a lot to do with how our band grows as people and as individuals. Playing night after night of course is one of the best ways to hone your craft as a musician, but we are all also able to really able to grow and develop and create those bonds that have profound effects on the way we all interact as musicians.

11. What have you guys done to prepare yourselves for the tour?

Derek: We have just been getting together and hashing through all the material we are looking to perform. Right now being able to log as many hours with Jess behind the mic is the best thing we can do to prepare. Just having a naturally developed musicianship and friendship will make life on the road comfortable and easy and having that bond shows on stage too. Also we have been working up a few new covers to keep in our back pockets for some surprises for people on the road. Outside of the rehearsal space, the rhythm section has been trying to prepare our livers for the tour and some of us have been trying to get in shape to avoid the crippling effects of the “beer and pizza road diet” and the sedentary life in the van.

12. Being out on the road, do problems still arise between bandmates from being stuck in the van for too long?

Derek: It just depends on how much sleep we've been getting! I mean we definitely have our moments for sure, but the great thing about this band is you can sock someone in the arm or yell at them and about 5 minutes later we are all over it and having a good time again. That’s what kinda happens in a family, and that’s what Hessler is. Not to say being confined in a box with 5 sweaty rock rollers is easy, but it definitely could be worse.

13. What will your setlist look like for this run of dates?

Igz:  Come see us live and find out.  New songs and old songs, and possibly a cover we've never before played.

14. Once the tour has wrapped up, what do you have planned afterwards?

Igz:  We’re constantly working on new songs.  We want to record more and keep the momentum going.  I think a lot of people are waiting to see how we are live with Jessikill on vocals.  Stock up on Bengay kids, cause you’re asses are going to be sore from getting kicked.

15. If you had to pick one song to show someone who hadn’t heard of Hessler, which would it be?

Igz:  Right now, the new single and video “Never Lost My Way.”  It shows who we are and where we are going.  From the previous material, except with Jessikill singing it, I would say Kamikazi.  That song is Hessler to the core.

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