The Band: Hammercult
Country: Israel / Germany
Answers by: Yakir Shochat (vocals)
Today we chat with German located band, Hammercult. They have just prepared a few covers like a tribute to those legends that will never die because they live in our hearts forever and have made us enjoy so much with their music. Apart of that they will tour around Europe and...well you can read it by yourself....
Hello Yakir, before talking about your last release, we would like to review a little the history of the band. Hammercult was originally from Israel, but currently you are located in Germany, right?
Hi! Great to be here at Metal Brothers!
Yes, I’m originally from Israel, last year I’ve relocated to Germany and have restarted the band with German based musicians. I find the German based musicians more reliable than the Israeli guys, which have assured me that they will relocate as well – but did nothing, so talk is cheap.
Currently I’ve very happy to the new lineup!
You practice a thrash metal spiced with some death sound. From 2012 to 2015 you released 3 studio albums, which one you would recommend for a guy that has never listened to Hammercult?
Well Hammercult is a hard working band – and we always create new music! If someone would like to hear us for the first time I would recommend to check out our 3rd album ‘Built for War’ a listen – as it was by far the most diverse one and most successful so far!
The songs there moved from Thrash to Punk and Death Metal and even Heavy Metal!
In June 17th you are releasing a new EP, “Legends Never Dies”, 5 covers plus 3 songs of your own. How did you get the idea to do those covers?
Originally I had this idea after the passing of Jeff Hannaman from Slayer in 2013.
In late 2015 when Lemmy, Motorhead passed away – it was clear for me that I got to have this mini album as a tribute to Metal legends out there, living and dead – as indeed, Legends Never Die!
Yeah, the title says it all. We get covers from bands so different as Slayer or Accept... How did you choose the songs?
It’s important to cover a broad aspect of Heavy Music, but also all the classic stuff which I grow up listening to.
It’s not only multiple styles – but also from Regions: American, British, German – which I believe to be a good diverse combination!
I would say that in the Slayer and Motorhead covers you sound kind of similar to the original version
I would say that we tried to stay true to the original spirit of the songs – but created a much heavier version there. Last time I checked – Udo didn’t growled, hahaha.
However, in the Accept or the Running wild versions your proposal is much more aggressive than the original version, you give them your own touch
Well you know, sometimes It just feel right to change some of the songs to give it your own twist, but we were careful to make sure that people could always recognize the original track when they listened to the cover.
I’ve heard some other covers in my life from other bands where they butchered the original song. I would never do that. Each cover comes with first and foremost respectful attitude to the original composer.
And you got it right. Have you talked with any of the bands you cover in this “Legends Never Dies” in order to get their consent, advise or whatever?
Not directly, our label likely took care of it with their contacts and copyright approvals
Have you ever toured with any of them?
No, since the majority of the bands there are either inactive or dead. But there is a good story when we toured with Napalm Death 2 years ago we did Ace Of Spades live on stage with Napalm Death vocalist Barny Greenway. I think you can still find this cover on YouTube as alive video.
You have included three more songs from your own catalogue, from the three different albums, are they re-recorded or remixed in some way?
Slightly remastered. But the core of this added songs is to give more value to the listeners in a case that they don’t have our entire catalog, so they got a sample of 1 song from each album. So it brings the entire Hammercult progression overtime in one release with each album got a definitive track.
Are you going to tour around this year?
Yes, next tour starts 3 weeks from now over Europe as we tour with Municipal Waste.
There are other shows later on this year, either with other bands such as Naplam Death and Unearth or Hammercult as headliner in other shows.
We also are going to do some festival performances, including Germany’s own With Full Force Festival this year.
Much activity, that’s great. What are your plans after the release of this EP?
Now that the local lineup was stabilized I think Hammercult should focus on more touring and perhaps working on a new album for 2017!
If someone chose one of your songs to be covered which one you would advise them?
Probably ‘Rise Of The Hammer’ – as this song symbolized everything that are Hammercult!
How do you see the metal scene nowadays?
Metal is still alive and Metal is still kicking hard! There are always new bands coming up and new people getting exposed to this style.
The music business/industry might be declining – but the scene is still strong and will always be!
Thank you very much for your attention, Yakir, if you wish to add something...
I really appreciate this interview and I encourage everybody at Metal Brothers to check out Hammercult – as we bring TRUE METAL to the EXTREME!