Hell in the Club – A Decade of Decadence ReturnsTuesday, 5th April 2022
Those who wish to relive a lot of the melodic hard rock heydays of the 80’s and early 90’s will find plenty to champion in Hell in the Club. This Italian outfit has numerous ties to other notable metal acts: Elvenking, Secret Sphere, Archon Angel, and Eternal Idol to name a few. This quartet though hone in on a fun anthemic style that features plenty of melodic hooks and easy to retain choruses ready made for party appeal. To celebrate the 10th anniversary as a band, they recently released a five song EP Kamikaze- 10 Years in the Slums. We reached out to bassist Andrea ‘Andy’ Buratto to give us details surrounding this special release, why 80’s music is the foundation of their sound, his personal approach to bass as well as influences, favorite records/concerts, and future plans with this band as well as his other work in Secret Sphere and Eternal Idol.
Dead Rhetoric: Kamikaze – 10 Years in the Slums is the latest EP for Hell in the Club. Tell us about the decision to release something to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the group – and the choices made between new songs, cover tracks, and revisiting an early Japanese bonus track for the EP?
Andy: Yes. This is an EP that celebrated an anniversary – our first ten years together. There are two new songs, two covers, and another original song taken from the first album that was a bonus track from Japan. This is a gift, first of all, to us, and to the other people who believe in us and have followed us all these years. It’s a limited special edition product – 300 copies on vinyl and 50 tapes. We are back to the 80’s! (laughs). And in a digital version of course. For now, it will not exist on CD – this is a particular gift. It’s a collector’s item, you know?
There are two original songs – “Kamikaze” and “10 Years in the Slums”. The last song is about us – it’s our journey through the passion of us and all the musicians around the world. There are two covers – one with Alice Cooper and one of W.A.S.P. These are two bands that we love, and in my opinion these covers are original – not the covers that all the bands usually play. The last song “In Your Eyes” is a ballad, a new version. On the first album it was only an acoustic version, now we created a full version of it with all the instruments, and a new arrangement.
Dead Rhetoric: You are a part of the Frontiers Music roster after being with Red Pony and Scarlet Records in the past. Do you feel this is one of the ideal, premiere labels to be on because of the style of melodic hard rock/sleaze metal style you’ve developed – and how do you feel about their staff, marketing, and promotion they do for the band?
Andy: Yes, I think we are lucky to be on Frontiers now because they are a very professional label. We have a good relationship with the guys at the label, and they have been working with bigger names for many years. They know their job, they know how to do good promotion for the bands. We are happy to work with them. Scarlet Records is a good label, but maybe Frontiers is better for us, and for our kind of music.
Dead Rhetoric: What are the specific qualities that you believe are important to inject across any Hell in the Club record? How would you assess the growth of the band over this past decade?
Andy: I don’t know. Quality for us as a band. We are a simple band. We are four guys with a passion, a strong passion for our music. We try to do this kind of music as best as we can. We find inspiration in many bands of this rock world: Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., Skid Row – but we listen to many different kinds of music. It’s important for a musician to be open minded. You can take inspiration from anything, and as a result you can do something fresh and original.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you balance out your activities between Secret Sphere, Eternal Idol, and Hell in the Club? Do you have solid working relationships so that there is enough understanding of your responsibilities as to avoid scheduling conflicts?
Andy: Yes. We all within Hell in the Club also play in other bands. We love rock and metal, and we want to express ourselves musically in all these different styles. It’s not easy, but over time we have learned to organize ourselves and managed to do everything with all the bands. We have many songs ready with our other bands. At the moment, we have some live shows with all the bands. We had the last two years without concerts, and now it’s time to come back on the road. The future for me is doing live shows with all these bands.
Dead Rhetoric: You also work with Truck Me Hard booking agency. How do you believe work with the company has helped you with your knowledge and understanding of the music industry – and aided the cause for your own musical endeavors?
Andy: Truck Me Hard is my agency. It’s simple for us – we organize all our shows with this agency. We can schedule well with all the other bands. I can make sure that we don’t have the same shows on the same days.
Dead Rhetoric: What is your approach and outlook on the bass – and who have been some of the influences, mentors, that you use as inspiration and fuel your abilities at the instrument?
Andy: Yes, I play bass. I started playing bass when I was ten years old, very young. I started because I saw a Queen show on television. I was in love with the riff of “Another One Bites the Dust”. My first inspiration is John Deacon from Queen, and then Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses, Rachel Bolan from Skid Row. I’m not a technique bass player. I prefer playing simpler bass lines.
Dead Rhetoric: How would you say your views on life have changed over the past couple of years due to the extended downtime with the pandemic? Where do you see society going coming out of this as far as personal well-being?
Andy: It was a very difficult time for everyone. No concerts, no contact with people, no people in the clubs. Many clubs are closed as a result. I hope that there is now a strong desire to be entertained in a great way. We have been working on new songs during the downtime. We are almost ready for a new album. We will record the new stuff after the summer. It’s madness. I don’t have the skills to talk about things in detail, but the war in the Ukraine is never a good solution. I hope it ends soon, too many innocent people are suffering and there will be some problems in the economy that could affect the whole music industry. After two years of the pandemic, this is not good for us.
Dead Rhetoric: Have shows started to come back in Italy, either club shows or festivals?
Andy: At that moment, only small shows and the small festivals, not big festivals.
Dead Rhetoric: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see musicians making in today’s ever-changing industry model? And what is a big lesson that you learned growing up that applies to your outlook or philosophy when it comes to music?
Andy: I think the important thing is play music with passion. Not for money, not to be famous like this. When there is passion, you can play as well as you can. Maybe the big mistakes are playing music just for the money. For myself, it’s about passion. I understand that in these years, passion is the most important thing. If you don’t have passion, you can’t write good songs. When a musician has passion, it’s all good.
Dead Rhetoric: Playing in a style of music that is associated with the 80’s and 90’s, is it harder to gain appreciation from younger fans who weren’t around during those times?
Andy: Yes, we play music from the 80’s. This is clear. Hard rock is a typical 80’s style. I have seen in these years many young people that love this kind of music. In the 80’s these guys were not alive on Earth – but this is a strong kind of music. Old people can like this sound, because it’s easy, fun, emotional. I hope that this kind of music never dies.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you consider three of the most important albums in the 80’s when it comes to hard rock?
Andy: For me, I think Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses, Greatest Hits Part One and Two by Queen, and Slave to the Grind by Skid Row.
Dead Rhetoric: And what is the best concert you’ve taken in as an audience member?
Andy: It’s difficult because I have seen many concerts in my life. Maybe the first one I saw, Motley Crue some years ago. Many years ago. Or in metal, Iron Maiden, Helloween – the first show I saw is Helloween, The Time of the Oath tour. I love rock, but I also love metal.
Dead Rhetoric: What are some personal hobbies, interests, or passions that you like to pursue away from music when you have the free time and energy to do so?
Andy: I love movies, the cinema. I love sports, especially soccer (football). I love to walk in the mountains – I love to travel. I love to see countries that I have never seen before, I am curious. I love to meet different people with different cultures than I have. I love to read books, I love animals. And I love to make some parties sometimes with my friends. But now I’m a little bit bored from parties (laughs).
Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for any activities related to Hell in the Club, Secret Sphere, Eternal Idol, or any other music endeavors over the next twelve months or so?
Andy: We will play shows as long as we have the opportunity and the passion to do it. We will record the new albums, and I hope to play many live shows now that we can again after the pandemic. The important thing now is the live show – I miss the stage. I want to come back on stage very soon. The first show for Hell in the Club for example will be in May here in Italy. A little festival with other bands like ours, rock and hard rock bands. A family-type of festival. We are working on new songs with all the bands. In the future, I don’t know when the albums will come out. Maybe next year for sure, I will go around with new albums from all my bands.