Q&A WITH IGZ AND LARIYAH OF HESSLER

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Photos by John Affinito/Fly Photography

Photos by John Affinito/Fly Photography

CHITOWN ROCKS Q&A WITH CHICAGO’S HOTTEST LOCAL BAND TO HIT THE STAGE!  

 

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CHITOWN ROCKS:  How long has Hessler been together and how were you formed?

IGZ:  I started Hessler with different members, there were prior incarnations of the band, but the core (as has been getting out there) had our first show together in September 2011.

CTR:  You can tell you are Chicagoans and you emphasize it with Windy City Wild Child,…how does it feel representing Chicago while on tour?

 

IGZ:  I moved around a lot, and this is the only place in the world that feels like home to me.  Whether I am walking out of an underground Blue Line stop or chowing down on a Jim’s Polish with fries, Chicago feels like home.

When you’re on the road, it gives you a sense of pride because in my mind I’ve always attached Chicago to Capone, Bugs Moran, and the Bootlegging Era.  Sharp dressed, armed to the teeth, and stealing the show.

 

CTR:  Has there been any record label interest in Hessler?

 

IGZ:  Yes, but nothing concrete so far that could do more than we can on our own.  We’re fishing and doing catch and release.  Hoping to land a River Monster soon.

 

CTR:  For Lariyah:  With there being a big scene lately of bands fronted by women, explain how it feels to front Hessler.

LARIYAH: You mean to deal with the boys? hehehe, not easy for sure, but if it was perfectly good, it would be just boring and without any fire.   We do for sure have some heat in there but we also irreplaceable times that we share and would never want to change it for anything else!   Seems like more female fronted bands pop out every day, but I personally do not follow them and am only truly familiar with a handful. I do not think anybody sounds like us and feel proud fronting Hessler and showing what I can do vocally and from a performance standpoint.

CTR:  What are your influences vocally (Lariyah)?LARIYAH:  I really don’t have any that could relate to what I am doing in Hessler.  Lord, when I came to America I didn’t know who Doro or Lita Ford or Pat Benatar were. It was all taught to me pretty recently – that’s why it’s

funny when people say that I sound like them or base my inspiration on them – total nonsense simply because I wasn’t even exposed to anything besides primarily gothic, power and black metal, and industrial music.

My gods were Tarja Turunen from Nightwish, Marilyn Manson, Shagrath Tompt of Dimmu Borgir, and so on.  If I sang, I usually tried to imitate more of operatic / melodic vocals along with classical music.

I have a big collection of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikowsky, Schubert, Handel, Verdi, Paganini etc.   My biggest vocal influence is silence or sounds of nature. I am a calm person believe it or not, and being in a quiet environment definitely fulfills me.

 

CTR:   Igz, I know you a huge Accept fan, how has Wolf Hoffman influenced your guitar playing?

 

IGZ:  I did not really realize how much of a Wolf fan I am until about 2010.  Janick Gers of Maiden, K.K. Downing of Priest, Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. were my guys as I was starting out on guitar.  As you grow you look

for something different to associate yourself with and getting to see Accept live on the Blood of the Nations tour just blew my mind.  Wolf like Akira Takasaki is extremely underrated.  They are fantastic songwriters, and

fantastic players, and I hope to one day be as good as they are at either category.

 

CTR:  Hessler has been on tour and played with many National Acts, including SXSW, Rocklahoma.  Tell us about one of your favorite gigs.

 

IGZ:  The highlight for me has to be Ribfest with Slash recently in July.  12,000 people, a big ass stage, and my first crowd while still playing the song and looking back at myself on the titantron.

That was the coolest moment of my life.

 

CTR:  You have a new drummer Derek Spiteri, how did that come about and how is he working out with the band?

 

IGZ:  After parting with Marcus earlier this year, we put out the call for a drummer.  I had known Derek for a few years as we played a festival that his family set’s up in Hillsdale Michigan every summer.  I would stay in touch with him as our drummer/band consistency was for the most part uncertain, and just made him the offer for the spot.  Out of all of the video submissions we received he was the only one who took the time to not dress like a jabroni, and play as if he was playing on stage.  Just watch the new Waste Away video.  That was literally his audition submission.  Things have been working out really well.  He is very, very well versed in music and especially younger bands, while at the same time respecting what the band is about.  He was the missing piece of the puzzle.

CTR:  Any new music coming out with Derek on the skins?

IGZ: Working on new tunes now.  Hoping to have something out before the end of the year.

 

CTR:  You have a great reputation of marketing yourself, you seem to be everywhere these days…who manages your band?

 

IGZ:  We hear that a lot but simply put, we’re just relentless and hungry.  We manage ourselves for the time being.

CTR:  I’ve seen Lariyah has promoted Hessler through Mancow and has recently just co-hosted with him,…how was that connection made?

IGZ:  Secrets shall not be reviled as too many copycats are already doing all they can to use our methods of promotion.   I am just waiting for other people to start posting their paintings (or any other type of art), some ‘modeling’ pics, or photos from their gym and fitness personalities … so pathetic.

CTR:  I recently heard a piece where you covered “Send Me An Angel” by the Scorpions.  Being a huge ‘Scorps’ fan myself, I am curious what made you cover that song?

LARIYAH:  It was not really a cover to be considered as officially a Hessler cover. I recorded it with just one take (then added a few harmonies , also with one take) while Frankie was playing a guitar. No editing, no mastering, just mixing and some delay to give it some feel, you know… The reason why I really wanted to do such spontaneous move was for my grandmother who was going through a very difficult and serious surgery on her heart and her lungs. Luckily today, a week later when they finally managed to her up, I found out that she is doing ok, recovering, and said that she had this song in her head ever since I sent it to her. She cried and said that she loves it as is.   To her,  it was the most beautiful thing she has received. Of course whatever you say to your grandma that it is dedicated to her, it would be a total knockout no matter how good or how bad it is, but I think that for a one-take, it was pretty alright!

CTR:  You recently released your new video “Waste Away”…can you tell me a little about the video?  Where your ideas came from, who produced it, where was it shot and etc.?

IGZ:  We wanted Waste Away to be the first music video from ‘Comes With the Territory’ but I am glad we waited until we had Derek in the band and live dates as a group under our belt.  I hate interpreting any form of art for others, but since there are complete idiots who ask “durrr, what is the purpose of the images in the background and the faces and extra”.  “Well I don’t know you dumbass, it is a music video”!   I wonder what people said when Axl was swimming with dolphins?  Anyway, the purpose of the images and facial changes was to represent people’s addictions, whatever they may be, which ties into the lyrical theme of the song.  That is all that needs to be said.

The video was shot inside of a really cool place in the west burbs by WWW.MOTIONSOURCE.COM  and was directed by our good friend Craig Bass.  We went through a variety of ideas of what we wanted to do, and he masterminded the final product.  I love that video because it is the closest thing to properly capturing how we are live.  20,000 views in one week with only word of mouth can’t be wrong.

CTR:  How did you get involved with Revolver Magazine?

IZG:  They begged us for so long to feature us so we finally let them do that :laughs:  It was a big surprise for us that we were featured, a great honor and definitely making a statement that Hessler is on peoples’ radar. Now it’s time to push it even harder and better than ever. No time to Waste Away !

CTR:  How did it come about that you were the only band featured on REVERBNATION.COM  this month?

IGZ:  Waste Away and Confessions received high ratings out of a score of 10 and they put us on the main page.

CTR:  Tell us about your upcoming shows, tours and etc.

IGZ:  We are in the laboratory working on tunes to prep for a planned US Tour at the end of the year.  We will be a part of the annual Double Door Halloween Bash for the third time!

CTR:  What’s next for Hessler?

IGZ:  Expansion and global domination.

CTR:  Is there anything you would like to add to let your fans know about Hessler?

IGZ:  You guys rule! It is an awesome feeling when you play with a national headliner, and the line for our merch table is three times around.  Fly the colors, see you soon boys and girls.U

QUESTIONS BY JOHN AFFINITO(FLY)

 

 

 

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