Old School Music

dealing with punk rock, speed/thrash and other music styles of the 80ies and beyond, a webpage connected to Red, Black & Green

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tu te souviens peut-être d'un groupe qui se nomme HIRAX, et de son line up de 1985-86, Katon W De Pena (chant), Gary Monardo (basse), Johnny Tabares (batterie) et Scott Owens (guitares)..et bien on en a retrouvé un de plus, Scott Owens, qui a un groupe, SUBVERSION, depuis 2 décennies à peu près, hein, enfin lis l'interview et tu sauras ( c'est la suite d'un fragment paru un peu plus tôt dans le temps). Action!!

How did you meet the Hirax guys? Would you say you're the instigator of Hirax metamorphosis ( from power metal to thrash/ thrashcore)? If not, what happened then ?

Through a mutual friend I had known from Long Beach (California..well if people don't know they never heard "What's my name" by some dog called Snoop ,ndm) years earlier,he moved away to another town and I lost track of him. Well I had moved from Long Beach to a town called Cypress. One night i was out driving and partying with some of my new friends and we drove past a crowd of people and it was my old friend from Long Beach.So we stopped so I could see what he had been doing all those years.He told me he had been working with a band called Hirax and asked me if i still played guitar because they were looking for a guitarist to replace the one they had lost(Bob Savage)at that time he didn't want to go in the thrash direction.As far as being the instigator of the changing of Hirax's sound I think me and Johnny played a big part in that.I already had some songs like demons ( "Demons Evil Forces", ndm)and "Bombs Of Death" before I ever met them they still play that today that was my first song I wrote when I was 16 or 17.

What do you remember from the gigs back in the days ( 84-87)? When did you get the feeling that, according to you, the band was becoming more and more popular/huge?

The shows back then were fuckin crazy but fun.I loved playing with some of my favorite bands at that time like Slayer, Megadeth,Exodus, C.O.C.,D.R.I.,Sacrilege b.c.,Exciter etc...I knew things were changing or us getting bigger when we played with Venom and Exodus at the Santa Monica Civic Center in front of 5,000 + raging thrashing fans, that was a awesome night I will never forget.

What would you say about "Raging Violence" and " Hate, fear and power" recording sessions? Where did it happen? Do you have any special stories about that?

We did those sessions at Track Recording in hollywood, CA with Bill Metoyer at the helm.I remember just every thing being so cool and being blown away at the people that had recorded there before us.The Beach Boys gold records on the wall and oh yeah beeeeeeerrrrr.Another great time in my life.

Could you tell me where ( I mean which record shop) the picture at the back of "Hate Fear and power" was shot?

I think it was Wild Rags but not positive, lost a lot of brain cells since then. But I do remember a human skull that we signed while we were there as well as a lot of other bands he kept them in a glass case on display in the record store.Ours was going to sit next to Anthrax's and I saw that Scott Ian signed his with "NOT" at the end so I signed mine with the word "pot", true story (pour les novices, Anthrax est un groupe thrash, enfin pas selon le boss de Snakepit mag :-), de New York, et Scott, le guitariste légendaire, a pour surnom "Not"...et "pot" c'est l'herbe, la weed, la marijeanne, enfin tu vois, quoi...ndm)!!

As it's one of my faves, could you tell me who wrote "The Last War", and how ( I mean how came the inspiration for the music and the lyrics)?

Me and Gary wrote "Last War", I had most of it wrote before we started practicing for the songs on "Hate, Fear, and Power". Me and Gary would put our riffs together and get the drum parts down and Katon would make up lyrics so we could record them on a cassette recorder then he would take them home to write his actual lyrics it would never take him long."Last War" came about like all the others,fairly easy we knew what we wanted to play.

About the chemistry within Hirax, could it be said that the team Monardo/ Owens can be compared to Lennon/ Mc Cartney, Harris ( Steve)/ Murray( Dave) or Conrad Lant/ Jeff Dunn (Cronos/ Mantas) ?

(je ne pouvais pas prévoir la réponse à la question précédente, hein...ndm))I guess so, me and Gary just wrote good original songs together,pretty effortlessly. We always had some kind of idea for a song who knows what we would have come up with if we hadn't broken up.Hopefully we will write together again in the near future.And thanks for compairing us to such great artists that is a honor (de nada, ndm).

Let's talk about the first split, between June 86 and let's say Summer 87 you were the keeper of the Hirax House, how was it as the others went to Cold Blood or Phantasm? And how and why did everyone come back?

After Gary left me and Eric were not ready to give up yet so we got Sherman Jones from Insecticide to play bass and I sang we had a pretty awesome band with brand new songs. I would say 10 or 11 songs we were just about to put out but Hirax is all four of us me Gary and Johnny and Katon and time healed our wounds so we wanted to give it one more chance to work it out.Plus we were writing better then ever and finally getting along so we went for it again.

la suite un peu plus tard, pour voir si vous suivez...

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