When a band is able to gain a lot of attention just by releasing a simple demo tape these days, there obviously must be something special about ’em, and Germany’s HATESPAWN is the living proof for that! This unholy three-piece is definitely one of the coolest and best ancient Death Metal hordes ever to pop up in our fucked up country and their "Ascent From The Kingdom Below" demo without a doubt destined to become an alltime classic in the years to come. To bring you their entire story we hooked up with guitarist Angel of Death and drummer Raelin for the following lesson in history…
HATESPAWN vocalist / bassplayer Andreas Kaufmann (as known as "A. Deathmonger") and guitarist Patrick W. Engel (better known as "Angel of Disease") originally used to be part of Germany’s IMPENDING DOOM until the band split up back in 2004… Could you tell us a bit more about why IMPENDING DOOM actually split up and what happened to the other members?
Angel of Disease: "Hell awaits!!! Well, I try to make it short cause I am not interested to talk about IMPENDING DOOM anymore, if somebody wants a HATESPAWN interview… When we finished the “Apocalypse III.” album, some differences between the bandmembers grew up and Andy and me decided to bury the band. All other members stopped to play music and all activities in the Metal scene and they changed their priorities to leave it completely. That’s all…"
The first two songs that were recorded as HATESPAWN then (‘Murder In Mind’ and ‘Death Cult’) originally were supposed to appear on the fourth IMPENDING DOOM album, which never got finished… So, is HATESPAWN somehow the logical follow-up to IMPENDING DOOM or would those songs have sounded differently when they would still have been recorded with IMPENDING DOOM?
Angel of Disease: "HATESPAWN is a different band and not a follow-up of IMPENDING DOOM. The release of these two tracks was only the birthgiver for the new band and at the time we recorded both tracks, nobody thought about a new band. Andy and me were sure that the tracks were too good to let them rot in our sick heads, so we recorded them to release the split-7” with SIGNUM DIABOLIS. At this time HATESPAWN was just a short studio project, not more, not less…"
Both got released as the "Death Cult" / "Spell Of The Fullmoon" split 7" EP with SIGNUM DIABOLIS in August 2005 (on Obscure Abhorrence Productions, limited to 500 handnumbered copies)… So, were they intended to appear on that EP right from the start or how did this whole release come together?
Angel of Disease: "It was a very funny thing – I met the guys from OAP on a festival and I gave them a tape of the SIGNUM DIABOLIS recording. We took some beers and listened the track over and over again on my car stereo and in the early morning when we were drunk as hell, the guys gave me the contract to release my solo project on a 7”. Some days ago, they contacted me to ask for more material, but I recorded only one track with SIGNUM DIABOLIS and I thought about the HATESPAWN tracks we’ve recorded some months before… I asked them about a possible split release and they were not really euphoric about my idea, but OAP is a real Black Metal label and the HATESPAWN tracks sounded more Thrash / Death Metal. After some telephone calls they agreed and released the split 7”."
Was HATESPAWN still a two-piece act at this period of time? I mean, who played the drums or did you maybe use a drum machine in the early days?
Angel of Disease: "We never used a drum machine!!! At the time we were only a two-piece with Andy on vocals and me doing all the instruments. It was very easy to me, cause I play guitar, bass and drums since nearly 20 years."
So, when and how was the unholy trinity known as HATESPAWN completed then and did many drummers try out until a guy named Markus Peez (better known as "Raelin" now) stepped into the picture?
Angel of Disease: "Hehehe… we never had an audition with many drummers and Andy and me never thought about completing the line up. The only thing we wanted was to record some new tracks in the regular two-man-line up. Some day Andy told me that he met a really cool guy how played drums in a very boring band…This guy was a real Death Metal maniac in the same age as we old bastards and I listened to an album were Markus played the drums. It was KILLER!!! Some days later, we met and celebrated our first rehearsal – unbelievable !!! It was a magic moment in our lifes and we decided to complete the line up with him and since this point we are a real band!!!"
Was HATESPAWN supposed to be a three piece band right from the start or did you settle for this line-up because you didn’t manage to find a suitable second guitar player (yet) maybe?
Angel of Disease: "At first it is very hard to find the right musicians who are in the same things as we – the most of them are involved in different bands or have some stupid attitudes… In the beginning of our short history nobody thought about a final line up, but I think a three piece fits perfectly. We arrange our songs for one guitar, in the studio I play some more different tunes and licks on separate tracks, but in the rehearsal room it sounded great with one guitar and we never want a second guitar player."
In September 2007 you entered RMK Studio to record your debut demo "Ascent From The Kingdom Below"… Tell us a bit more about the songs that are featured on it, if you faced any difficulties during the recording session and so on…
Angel of Disease: "It was a very great time at RMK!!! We know the guys since many years and it was a pleasure to do the recordings with them!!! The entire demo was recorded on a 8-track reel-to-reel machine!!! The sound is awesome and it is unbelievable that we used such simple technics, but maybe it is the only way to reproduce this old and rumble sound!!! The entire demo was recorded in 8 hours, straight to the tape machine!!! When we finished in the early morning, everybody of us was drunk and out of energy, but we were really satisfied with the things we banned on tape during last night. All the songs (except the ACHERON cover) were written and arranged in 6 months by all four members (four?? – Ed.). Most of the riffs were written by me between 1996-1999, some riffs are from different projects in the middle of the nineties, where a good friend and me were involved. These projects existed for a few weeks and split up before they recorded or released something… Andy wrote the lyrics and we rehearsed very hard to record our first demo tape."
What actually made you include a cover of ACHERON’s ‘Prayers Of Hell’ on that demo as well? Don’t you think it’s a bit unusual to come up with a cover tune on a debut demo already?
Angel of Disease: "I don’t care about usual or not – we just play the music we want to play and ACHERON is one of our main influences, that’s the reason that we included a cover version. Besides bands like MORBID ANGEL, IMMOLATION, GROTESQUE, POISON (Germany), NECROVORE or AUTOPSY, ACHERON is a very special band and was very important to all three members and with our version we honour their great work from the early beginnings!!!"
The cover artwork for that demo was done by legendary underground artist Chris Moyen… How did you get together with him? Was he your number one choice? Did you have any other artists in mind as well, if Chris would not have done it for some reason?
Angel of Disease: "It was very easy to get in contact with him, but our drummer is responsible for all business in HATESPAWN, so better he should tell the story…"
Raelin: "I only dropped him an email and asked for the price and gave him a little taste what we want on the cover! A few days later I received the first artwork and after a few little changes the cover was done, btw. on our demo you only see a tiny piece of the complete full coloured artwork, for me one of the best he ever had done so far. We don’t really had any other artist in our mind, we all fucking LOVE his artworks since the beginning and it was a easy decision for all of us! I heard Chris only drew artworks for bands he really likes and I think this is the right way, also he’s a real down to earth guy and he live 1000% for Metal!!!"
What I don’t really understand is why you limited that release to just 100 copies… I mean, there’s most certainly way more people interested to hear your stuff, so tell us a bit more about the band’s philosophy in this department… Would you consider a re-release of that demo on CD sometime in the near future maybe or is that no option for you at all?
Angel of Disease: "The main intention to record the demo was to listen to our own stuff for the first time, banned on tape!!! When we recorded the tape, we were not sure how the sessions will work, but when we finished the recordings, we decided to release a very limited edition for friends and comrades. It was just a small sign after the split 7”. In autumn 2008 we will record our debut album and most of the songs featured on the demo tape will be included on the album in re-recorded versions. We are not interested in a re-release of the demo on CD or so… it sounded like a tape, so it should be included on tape forever!!!"
In the meantime you have also recorded material for an upcoming split 7" EP with Greek’s DEAD CONGREGATION, right? Tell us all necessary details about that!
Angel of Disease: "This time we used my studio to record one track for a new split 7”. It is a very well-known studio in East Germany and sessions went well and very fast!!! It was not easy to manage the old and rumble sound in a studio were some high end equipment was used, but we are very satisfied with the final result!!! Otherwise we had the option to do a very professional and clear and perfect sound, but we are not interested in a modern sound with triggered drums etc., so we tried to reproduce the sound of the demo tape with a bit clearer drums – and it worked fine!!! This song was the first new one we wrote after the demo sessions and it is a real KILLER!!!"
Raelin: "The Split 7” will be released on Nuclear Winter Records from Greece, actually we don’t have a release date but we think in the next few months you can order it! We recorded the song ‘…Of Unspeakable Cults… (Invocations From The Wasteland Of Misanthropic Bloodshed)’ for it and we are very proud that Mors Dalos Ra (Necros Christos) has done the intro and outro damnations!!!"
There was also talk about an underground Death Metal compilation that shall include HATESPAWN as well… Tell us more about that one, like which song(s) will appear on it, which other bands participate and who’s going to release that…
Angel of Disease: "This is another question for our drummer…"
Raelin: "Yeah, you are right! The compilation is called “Death Metal Power From Beyond” and will be released this year! I still have no exact release date so far! The sampler features KILLER bands like: BLASPHERIAN (USA), COFFINS (Japan), FUNEBRARUM (USA), SLUGATHOR (Finnland), FATALIST (USA), PHLEGETHON (Finland), DENIAL (Mexico), MUTILATED MESSIAH (Ireland), EXORCISM (Germany), RIBSPREADER (Sweden), DENOUNCEMENT PYRE (Australia) and HATESPAWN of course!!! The guy from Final Punishment Records from the Netherlands will release it, so watch out! You will hear the song ‘Alliance Of The Unholy Trinity’ from our 2007 demo!" (so, at least one of them will appear on a CD ; -) – Ed.)
Which releases / bands actually had the biggest influence on all three of you? Have there been different influences back in the IMPENDING DOOM days? In reviews you already got compared to a whole bunch of underground legends, like Sadistic Intent, Morbid Angel, Asphyx, Autopsy, Necrovore, Acheron, Immolation, Incantation, SACROFAGO, GROTESQUE or NIHILIST… How does that feel? Is that a direction you had in mind when you originally started out with the band?
Angel of Disease: "We never thought about any direction etc., as I told you before we want to play the music we want to play and we don’t care what other people say about it… for us it is real Death Metal as it should be, like the old bands in the early days. Well, our influences are mostly the same. This is the reason that we write our songs in a very short time. For sure, it is great to read reviews were HATESPAWN gets compared with the old ones and it shows that we are on the right way!!!"
By the way: have you already played any live shows or is something planned in this direction?
Angel of Disease: "At the time we don’t think about any live activities."
I suppose the next major step in your career is the HATESPAWN debut full length which is supposed to be released through Fog Of The Apocalypse Records sometime this year… Have you already decided on an album title? Which songs will appear on it? Who’s going to produce it? Where will you record the album? Will Chris Moyen do the artwork again? Just feed us with all necessary info about it already!
Angel of Disease: "Yes, when we thought about an album release, we decided on an album title and also the album artwork is done (by Chris Moyen). The album will be recorded in my studio again (as the split 7” with DEAD CONGREGATION or the older IMPENDING DOOM albums since “Signum Of Hate”), cause we can manage the exact sound we want to hear on our album. I think the recording sessions will not become longer that 2-3 days for the entire album, cause we want to catch the ancient spirit of the old demo productions!!!"
What actually made you sign with such a small label as Fog Of The Apocalypse Records? I mean, considering all the great reviews you’re getting already, I bet you easily would have had the opportunity to go with a more established company as well, so…
Angel of Disease: "We are not interested in a big company and the owner of F.O.T.A. is a good friend of us. He was the only one who was interested in us short after the release of the split 7” with SIGNUM DIABOLIS, and before he ever heard our drummer or any new material, he signed us. We thank him!!!"
The only official HATESPAWN website on the net at the moment is your myspace address www.myspace.com/hatespawnofficial… So, do you value the whole myspace community higher already than a regular website?
Angel of Disease: "I am not interested in that internet shit, so our drummer has to say somthing, cause he is the owner of our MySpace site…"
Raelin: "Nope! The only reason to create a Gayspace site is, it’s for free! Also it’s damn sick to meet cool bands there! We have a few good contacts with kller bands like DEAD CONGREGATION, MEFITIC, SPUN IN DARKNESS, GODLESS, GRAVEYARD, CRUCIAMENTUM etc. Hail to all u fukkers!!!"
Ok, I guess that should be enough for now… If you’d like to add something to this interview feel free to do so now. All the best and thanks for taking the time!
Angel of Disease: "Okay, thank you very much for showing interest in HATESPAWN!!! We also want to thank our label and the RMK crew!!! Await more brutal assaults in the future!!! Look forward to the upcoming releases!!!"
Raelin: "Thanx for your support Frank! Hail the true Metal of Death!!! Praise the Goat…"