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INTERVIEW: Bang Bang Firecracker

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’m really good right now – thank you!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hellbent For Pleasure”?

Hellbent was the first song I wrote after taking a long break away from the scene. I was just going to write that one song and record a video – 12 months later, I’ve a full album recorded and I’m working on the 2nd video now.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes. This song is very specific – it’s about a situation that I found myself in around the time I was touring with Chris Holmes (Mean Man/W.A.S.P) … I can’t say too much or elaborate further than that – it’s basically about falling for the wrong person. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that kind of thing.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The organisation was tough as there were a lot of people involved, so there were weeks of planning. I had people bail last minute that I had to replace. I’m sure most bands experience the same issues.

A real good friend of mine is one of the Wildside girls (the dancers from Nottingham uk) she helped organise and recruit the Wildside girls and pole duo Hell on High Heels for the video shoot – we shot that video in the middle of winter in Sheffield, in a disused aircraft hanger… It was so cold, the dancers could barely hold onto their poles. But it all turned out great, video shoots are always a lot of fun! It was definitely worth all the hard work.

How was the recording and writing process for the new album ‘Welcome to the Slaughter’?

“Welcome to the Slaughterhouse” is essentially me playing to the gallery. It’s me kicking back to my roots of glam and sleaze…. It’s me stood, arms out stretched beckoning the sleaziest of women out of their limousines into my penthouse apartment. ????  There is a line early in that track that says “We lionise debauchery”…. That’s kinda the attitude I adopted when I wrote that song.

My writing usually begins with a riff and a basic idea of feel and tempo. I then piece together some simple drums and brainstorm musically over the loops…the songs build section by section.

I kept this album fairly standard with the arrangements as I wanted catchy tracks that you could bang your head to – more old school but with a modern twist and sound.

I wrote the tracks in their entirety at my home studio – I then passed the tracks to my bass player and drummer and they interpreted the tracks and played the songs as they felt when it came to recording day… There were NO rehearsals, no gigs, it wasn’t that kind of project.

The tracks always develop once the members put their twist on top.

I recorded with Shaun Lowe at Prism in Stoke On Trent. Shaun is local but he records some big artists and guests at much bigger studios. (Abbey Road) The process was spread over many weeks – we’d just do odd days and some evenings, mixing took about a week and Shaun had a lot of input and ideas that really added to the finished product.

How AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses has influence your writing?

I always go back to DC – it doesn’t matter whether I’ve been audio-feasting on Lamb of God or Faster Pussycat because at some stage Powerage is going back on and I’m totally in love again!

Earlier DC has always felt timeless to me – those songs are classic in every sense of the word, and those songs are MASSIVE anthems. There are tons and tons and tons of them – pure quality.

My songs are all about riffs – it’s all guitar based and I’ve been undoubtedly influenced heavily by bands like DC, GnR, WASP, Ozzy etc… I think it’s just basic – guitar driven hard rock… That’s how I do things.

What other aspects of classic rock did you get to explore on this record?

Other than the obvious bands I always had a particular liking for more obscure artists – I am a huge fan of Shotgun Messiah and Life Sex & Death and even Ugly Kid Joe!  Anything Glam or Sleaze, I would always hunt down.

I also have a heavier leaning, I go through phases of listening to Exodus, Slayer, Lamb of God and Anthrax. I’ve played in much much heavier bands myself too…

With this record, you can hear those influences on tracks like Devil Dolls and Immortalize.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The songs are quite varied…  Hopefully the myriad of influence comes across as original in its style.

The lyrics mostly stem from real life experience, worldly observations and various relationship turmoil.

I think if you’re somewhat musically gifted and have a penchant for the fairer sex – as long as you swap out your subjects with reasonable regularity, then you’ll never be short of lyrics!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yep – I’m piecing the live band together as I type this!!

What else is happening next in Bang Bang Firecracker’s world?

Video number two is being organised and Album number two is now 5 tracks in! Hopefully things will run good with the live band and gigs will commence in 2019.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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