I've got an incredibly special Thanksgiving treat for you tonight my friends... an interview with Mr. Katon De Pena, lead singer and founding member of the amazing thrash metal band, HIRAX!!
One of the original thrash metal/speed metal/crossover bands from California, HIRAX exploded onto the metal scene in the mid-'80s along with Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, among others. HIRAX's brutally fantastic first album, "Raging Violence" debuted in 1985 on Metal Blade Records, which was then followed up by the classic thrasher, "Hate, Fear and Power" in 1986. HIRAX never received the fame and noteriety they deserved, but thankfully are still going strong today after reforming several years ago. I recently had the great privilege of doing an e-mail interview with Mr. Katon De Pena:
1.Mr. De Pena will you please tell us a little bit about the history of HIRAX How did the band come into fruition?
Katon HIRAX: We HIRAX started in the early 80s alongside bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Armored Saint, Megadeth as well as many others.... Playing concerts in Los Angeles and up in the bay area - San Francisco. We recorded our first demo tape in 1984 and soon after in 1985 got our first record deal with Metal Blade Records. I am the founding band member and we have been going strong ever since then!
2.Who came up with the name of the band and what is the story behind that?
3.I don’t want to dwell on this too much, but I think it is important to note the incredible influence regarding you as an African-American front man in a heavy metal thrash band... especially when the band first hit the scene in the 1980s. You obviously helped open a lot of doors for many other heavy metal and hard rock musicians of color like Black Death, Doug Pinnick of King’s X, and Living Colour to name a few. What was the scene like for you in those earlier days of the band in terms of acceptance from thrash and hardcore fans?
4.What bands/musicians have been the most influential on your sound and on your stage shows and why?
5.Your music obviously has roots in thrash metal and old-school hardcore and punk, but how would you describe the HIRAX sound?
6.What can you tell us about your current project?
7.Can you tell my readers a little bit about your songwriting process? Do you usually start with lyrics first or with the music?Is this a collaborative effort between you and the band or is there a primary songwriter?
10.What is your favorite song in your repertoire to play live and why?
11.If you could tour with any band, who would that be and why?
12.What does the future hold for HIRAX- both short-term and long-term?
13.My blog, Brews and Tunes pairs craft beer with music. So Katon De Pena gets home from a hard day of thrashing, what beer do you grab and what album do you spin?
14.Anything else you would like to add, discuss, or announce?
New Single on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/la-bocca-la-bestia-mouth-beast/id573059846
HIRAX RETURNS TO BRASIL! HIRAX Live at Zoombie Ritual Festival Brazil.
Ratos De Porão, Vital Remains, Malevolent Creation, Nervo Chaos, Volcano, Violator, Bandanos, Comando Nuclear, Battalion and many more...
local: fazenda evaristo rio negrinho – sc City: Rio Negrinho State: Santa Catarina South of Brazil. http://www.facebook.com/zoombie.ritual
Saturday December 22nd 2012.
HIRAX and Agent Steel, Midnight (from Cleveland, Ohio), Bonded by Blood, Demolition.
Venue: the Key Club West Hollywood, CA. 9039 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA. PHONE: (310)274 - 5800 http://www.keyclub.com/event/170151/ — at Key Club.