LoudTrax.com recently conducted an interview with Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann about his new band called Demonica. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
LoudTrax.com: Let's talk about Demonica. This album is killer, it sounds great. What was the approach when creating this album, from the writing to recording?
Hank Shermann: My approach was to kick in a few extra gears from what I'm usually doing and known for. So after deciding to form a new band, after years behind the scene, it was well thought through in every aspect. I liked the challenge of getting the songwriting more brutal. After recording some three or four ideas, I contacted an old friend who had that type of vocals needed for this, we made some demo recordings and it just worked out 100%. Good tone to his voice and the attitude was there from the get-go, let me introduce Klaus Hyr! Then we spent a good year to finish up about 10 songs. During this process, Craig Locicero [Forbidden guitarist] was approached with the idea of joining the band since we knew him from earlier and we are huge Forbidden fans. Mark Hernandez and Marc Grabowski soon joined and Demonica was born.
The album was recorded in different cities. Was it hard to capture the live kind of band feel? Did you guys jam as a band long before laying down the tracks?
Yep, it was recorded in Copenhagen, San Francisco and Denver and in four different studios. No, we did not play or rehearse before recording the album; we layered it up as almost every band does, anyway, and therefore nada difference even if we were recording in the same studio. We simply uploaded the HQ wave files to a dedicated server, damn fast and worked like a charm goodbye, Fedex! When all was recorded forth and back all files were uploaded and beamed down to Flatline Audio in Denver, Colorado for the final mix and mastering by Dave Otero.
You are the guitarist of one of the most respected and long-standing bands in heavy metal. How have you had to adapt from going from that level to starting off a new project with Demonica? Especially in terms of touring and marketing the release.
It's a fairly easy transition as I've been around for many many years. Going from heavy metal to thrash metal is a small adjustment, but in all it's the same set-up with guitar/amp, you just need to step it a bit!! Touring and marketing is a team effort with label and band, you just need to work hard every day if you want results, but too many bands out there makes it tough. You need to play live, you need to be on YouTube, you need to get up early and keep going; nowadays you have all the tools to monitor the daily progress and stats, something labels have kept secret for 50 years and cheated all along the way!
Many of the Mercyful Fate albums were released on vinyl and cassette. Today there are countless ways fans can get your music, like Guitar Hero, for example. Has the creation process for you changed knowing that the means of communicating with the fans have changed?
We are certainly aware of how the music business is changing and the many different ways to get your music out, but the making of music is the same as in 1982, but much more time is spend communicating the band out via the Internet, something we couldn't do back then, so it's almost 24/7!
What are the upcoming plans for Mercyful Fate?
We have a DVD coming out with the early years, likely sometimes in early 2011! Should be interesting with a lot of never-before-seen footage and how it all started. I'm sure we'll record a new Mercyful Fate album in the future; we just need to get the timeframe framed and then some patience.
Read the entire interview from LoudTrax.com.