Posted by .

MidniteHellion
Shortly after reviewing their brand new EP Hour of the Wolf, I reached out to the guys of Midnite Hellion to express my enjoyment of the album. Drummer Drew Rizzo was the man I got in touch with, and reached out for a possible interview with. I shot the questions over via Facebook over Christmas, and he got them back to rathr quick. Below is what he has to say about the new EP, future recordings, and more!


I know you guys are working on a full-length, but why did Midnite Hellion decide to record a two song single this time around? Any reason in particular?

Drew:
Greetings! When we secured our current lineup, we wanted to get something out there as soon as possible including the new members, as the band has a new face and voice at the helm. Originally, we had planned to record the single during the summer of 2012 with a full-length to follow shortly afterward, but due to lineup changes, it was not possible until now. While the plan of action was slightly delayed, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as not only do we have two new excellent musicians, we’re now also getting to work with one of the best labels. The single is also a preview of things to come later in the year with our full-length.

I saw footage of the song “The Morrigan” on Youtube from last year. How long has the band been playing it and “Hour of the Wolf?”

Drew:
“Hour Of The Wolf” was originally known as “Disbeliever,” and we debuted that song live at our third show in November 2011, which was our demo release show and also supported Obituary that evening. Over time, it has morphed into the monster that it currently is, with Pamela christening it with its current name. “The Morrigan” came to life in a live setting in February 2012, and like “Hour,” it was perfected with the current lineup. Going back to the first question’s answer, the intentions for this release were delayed, hence why the songs are a bit older.

Before Pamela, you had a male vocalist, Sonny Zackeo. Have you noticed any change in the band, the music, or even the fan’s reception since switching from male to female leads? If so, please explain.

Drew:
There’s also Scott Alpert, who was with us after Sonny and before Pamela, and who was on our 2012 EP, “Enter The Unknown.” While Sonny did an excellent job during his time with us, Pamela has brought a new light to the material. Pamela sings the songs the way they should have always been sung, and the audiences have expressed the same opinion. Musically, we haven’t had to really change too much, as we try to allow allow a lot of room for the vocals to breathe freely within each song. Sonny summed up the early days the best, having once said that the audience started out going crazy at our first three shows, but then soon quickly started focusing and listening to what we were doing. Throughout the time among all three of them, it’s been pretty much the same, with the fangs, as we affectionately refer to them, focusing on the music while headbanging but just not trying to kill each other anymore, haha. When Pamela first came on board, there were some skeptics, but all they had to do was see her live once and instantly after seeing the show, they ran up to us expressing that they were incorrect about their reservations. To quote almost all of their responses, “she fucking rules!”

How about with the addition of Nick DiGiovacchino on guitar? Has he been catching on the earlier material quickly? Also, did he contribute anything new to the two songs on this single?

Drew:
Nick is a great asset to the band. He is like a chameleon, having learned all of the early material quickly and with precision, but also adding his own flare to it. While the material was penned prior to him joining, he greatly helped to perfect it prior to putting it on tape. We’re very excited to write together for the full-length.

Are either of those two hired guns, or are Pamela and Nick permanant members of Midnite Hellion? Please explain if possible.

Drew:
Both Pamela and Nick are permanent members, full-time, and ready to rock!

How did it come to be that Midnite Hellion are releasing Hour of the Wolf with Witches Brew? Also, was it their idea to release the single on strictly limited vinyl?

Drew:
I’ve worked with Witches Brew while in a previous band, so Cheryl, the label head, and I have an established and solid foundation. Cheryl contacted me in May informing me that the label has been reactivated and expressed interest in working with us. I’m extremely pleased to be working with her again, as she goes above and beyond for all of her bands. When we signed on, I informed her about us wishing to issue a single first, which she was on board with instantly. The idea for issuing it on vinyl was ours, but it was her idea to include a limited colored vinyl as well as the production of the extras. We worked together closely on the entire product, and the outcome is truly incredible!

Will Midnite Hellion be continuing to work with Witches Brew for future releases, or was this a one-time only thing for now?

Drew:
Yes, we will continue to work with Witches Brew, with the next order of business being the full-length. That is, unless one of us has a cool idea in the meantime!

So, how far along is Midnite Hellion with putting the debut full-length together? What can we expect, and will it feature any of the songs from Hour of the Wolf single or the Enter the Unknown EP from last year?

Drew:
Currently, we have ten songs written for the full-length and we will be starting preproduction in January. We are going to be working with Len Carmichael again, and we hope to head into the studio with him in the spring. We have decided to not just write enough material for the record, but to write more than what will be included so we can select which will make the final cut and which will be worked on further for a future release. At this point in time, we plan to include both songs from the “Hour Of The Wolf” single, but they both will be re-recorded. As for the “Enter The Unknown” material, we may include a song or two, but it will truly depend on how the songs flow and sound together overall on a cohesive record.

How about this live cassette I read about? Care to shed any light on that? Any way we could expect that before the full-length or after?

Drew:
The live cassette was recorded at a show in November in Trenton, which was recorded by and will be released by our friend Jon Norberg on his label, Contaminated Tones. They are releasing a series of bootleg-style cassettes in terms of layout, but are official releases. The a-side features the full performance with the b-side containing an interview conducted shortly after our set. The official release date is to be determined, but it will be released prior to the full-length. Also, Jon’s included the first draft of the Midnite Hellion logo gracing the front cover, which was modified into the second version which you see today. I’ve seen the finished product, and it’s cool beyond words!

I see Midnite Hellion also got put on the tab for the 2014 Ragnarökkr Metal Apocalypse. How did this come about, and are you all excited? Also, have you played any fests before?

Drew:
Bob Byrne, one of the festival organizers, and I have been in discussion since last year as we were attempting to participate in the 2013 edition of the festival, but this proved to be impossible due to lineup issues. When the lineup for the 2014 edition was being put together, I reached out to Bob with the good news about a secured lineup and he included us on the bill! Excited is an understatement; personally, three dreams are coming true that weekend. First being that it will be our Midwest debut, second being that I get to see Grim Reaper live, who I never thought I’d get to see, and third being that we actually get to play the same bill as them, Hallows Eve, Picture, Riot, and many more killer bands! This will be our third festival appearance, with the first being the Dark Ascension Fest 2012 in Brooklyn, NY headlined by Artillery, and the second being this past October when we headlined the Rocktoberfest in Brooklyn.

Is there anything else on the horizon for Midnite Hellion we should know about or expect?

Drew:
We will be back in Philadelphia on January 18th at The Fire, our first time back in the City of Brotherly Love since our 2012 Tour with Prime Evil. There are more shows in the works, but nothing that we can announce currently. The full-length will feature some surprises, again, nothing that we can’t disclose just yet, haha! Upon release of the full-length, we will be touring again, and we hope to find ourselves overseas in support of it. Also, we have some killer new merchandise available, including a very cool t-shirt of the “Hour Of The Wolf” single available at http://www.midnitehellion.com, as well as more excellent wares to check out. More new items will be available within the next month or two on our web shop.

Hey thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I really appreciate it! Take care!

Drew:
Thank you for having us and for the support! Everybody can keep up to date with us at http://www.midnitehellion.com, http://www.facebook.com/midnitehellion, http://www.youtube.com/midnitehellion, http://www.youtube.com/strunza, http://www.reverbnation.com/midnitehellion, and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/midnitehellion. Keep the flame of Metal burning strong!

Midnite Hellion: Midnite Hellion
Midnite Hellion
Interview conducted thanks to Midnite Hellion.