FeaturesHelion Prime: Yeah Science!

Helion Prime: Yeah Science!

Dead Rhetoric: Last summer the band participated in a short tour of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and other sections of your home state California. What were these shows like, and how would you describe the live show philosophy of Helion Prime? How is the band accepted in your home base compared to out of state- as I would imagine power metal can be a tough sell where thrash and stoner/doom seem to be gaining ground?

Ashcraft: The tour was a lot of fun, also another learning experience for us. We will certainly do things differently next time around. The shows were good though and each place had a good response from the crowd. So for a band who wasn’t even six months old and only had two songs out at the time it wasn’t bad. We definitely seem to do better out of town then at home. The power metal scene seems to be growing though as I have noticed more bands pop up which I am very happy about.

Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the current state of heavy metal? There seems to be so much product and information flooding our sightlines and coming from all directions, it’s tough to keep up with it all and absorb albums maybe in a way that happened pre-internet and instant communication technology. How does Helion Prime stay on top of social media and build a fan base to keep up with signed bands who have more resources?

Ashcraft: I think the state is strong especially with the underground scenes. I have met and become friends with so many talented bands the last few years. Especially with power metal I can strongly say there is an uprising in the underground power metal scene here in America. We do our best too with social media to stay as up to date as we can, posting something every day if not almost every day. We have also recently started with a PR company Online Metal Promotions. I worked with them with Dire Peril for a while and was pleased with their performance. Word of mouth is really the best course of action, friends, fans, whoever is willing to help spread the word. We are fortunate to have some amazing friends who do a lot to help us.

Dead Rhetoric: What would you consider the top five power metal albums of all time? And if you had the ability to put together a dream festival together for Helion Prime to play on, who would be invited (can be any lineup of any band past or present)?

Ashcraft: Oh man, this is a fun question. Okay let’s start with my top five power metal albums. Some of these bands aren’t even my top favorite bands but they happen to have made what I consider some of the best power metal albums:
1: Edguy – Hellfire Club
2: Nocturnal Rites – Shadowland
3: Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side
4: Avantasia – The Metal Opera Pt. 1
5: Iron Savior – Condition Red
These of course are personal opinions and maybe in the sense of most influential I wouldn’t say all of these are the top power metal records of all time, but as far as influence for me absolutely. Honorable mention would be: Iced Earth – Alive in Athens. It’s what started me down my path to power metal.

As far as festival that’s easy:
Demons and Wizards
Iced Earth
Blind Guardian
Star One
Devin Townsend presents Ziltoid
Helion Prime
Not sure if six bands count as a festival but this would be a dream come true for me.

Dead Rhetoric: How much activity takes place with Helion Prime in comparison to Dire Peril and Graveshadow? Is it a delicate balancing act between all of these musical activities while also maintaining careers, family, and friends?

Ashcroft: Right now there is more activity in the Helion Prime camp for me then Dire Peril. Dire Peril is slowly rebuilding itself and working on its debut album. However, going through a lineup change and now having members in other states it’s a slow process but it will pick it up. Heather seems to balance herself pretty well between the two bands I know Graveshadow is always busy with something but things don’t seem to interfear to bad. For me it’s not a delicate balance if you want something bad enough you will always find the time for it. I don’t go out much. I spent time at home with my dog a lot or at work so I have plenty of time to work on music.

Michele: It can definitely feel like a balancing act sometimes, but I’m fortunate enough to have a strong support system. My family is extremely understanding and encouraging of me and my music. They always have my back. Balancing the bands is all about respect, all projects are very understanding of the other, and we all do our best to work together.

Dead Rhetoric: Where would you like to see Helion Prime develop over the next 1-3 years? Are you hoping to gain the attention of a record label to elevate the band’s activities or are you content to continue on a more self-released, independent basis to prove the band’s worth?

Ashcroft: I would love to see Helion Prime get on a label at some point and be able to tour with bigger acts, festivals, etc. I try not to think about it too much and just go with the flow. I always give it 110% and hope someday it will pay off. No one knows for sure there are so many hard working deserving bands out there who will just never get that break. Luck is a major factor so let’s hope we get lucky.

Dead Rhetoric: Have you seen the latest Star Wars movie, and if so what are your thoughts? Can you give us some of your favorite sci-fi films and /or books that you’ve enjoyed?

Ashcraft: I enjoyed the new Star Wars it wasn’t perfect but hardly anything is. I had my own personal issues but I tried not to make them judge my final opinion of the movie. After all is said and done I give the movie a solid B-

If you want to know a further catalog of my favorite sci-fi movies keep an eye out for the debut Dire Peril album which theme is exactly that but for now I’ll give you my top three.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
2001: A Space Odyssey

The Space Odyssey Series
Alien Vs. Predator Series

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