XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Sue: We are on fire!
We’ve just released our first two singles – Red Sky and Men In Grey taken from our upcoming album God On The Run. The next big bang is just around the corner as we’re going to release another song with a cool music video in the beginning of December. The song is called Witches Heal and it’s a mix of heavy rock, poppy vocals & metal screams to bring the witchy, voodoo sisterhood vibes alive. It’s made for dancing naked under the moon.
In January 2020 our new album “God On The Run” will come out on CD and a super deluxe Vinyl which will be a dream for any collectors and of course our booking agency is already working on our album release tour for 2020!
You can already pre-order your copy in our shop: www.thehellfreaks.com/shop
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Sue: More than a decade now, the band was formed in 2008.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Sue: The short answer to this question is that I wanted to have something that gives my life meaning. Something that protects me from ending up like someone whos first thought of the day is: “Hope this day ends soon”.
I got into music literally by accident. I was a professional gymnast and sport was pretty much my everything. I, unfortunately, I landed badly on my feet which resulted in a spine operation when I was 14 years old. I had to recalculate my life and fill the gap that my sports career had left behind. It was a difficult reality to accept at the time. The physical pain was nothing compared to the hole in my soul that I tried to fill. That’s how I found music and a couple of years later ended up forming The Hellfreaks in 2009.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Sue: The Hellfreaks was the first band I sang in. Before that, I played drums for a couple of years in a just-for-fun band, so basically everything I learned, I failed at and learned better with my beloved Hellfreaks.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Sue: We’ve written more than 50 songs with the band so far. If I was, to sum up, the messages in just a couple of sentences here, it would make me really sad to see that I might be wasting my time on something I’m really not good at. But luckily I can’t.
Every album has its own “atmosphere” because each of them is a little “mirror piece” from the time in my life when it was written and as time goes by, my life changes. So did my lyrics.
Lyrics wise, our new album is focused on imperfection. It’s about our own imperfections and those of our surroundings. It’s about the feeling of drowning and at the same time, standing our ground to win the fight … it’s a mix of honest thoughts.
The instrumental part is a mix of metal, punk and rock music. Something which is impossible to categorize even though we know that most people just NEED categories to know what to think of it … But we’ll never fit in and this is one of our best qualities and that’s what we want to share with the audience: don’t force yourself to fit in. Doesn’t matter what the topic is.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Sue: To play more and more and even more.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Sue: I love both the same and could never choose between them!
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Sue: Answered above.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Of course, there are thousands of little puzzle pieces in a band’s life that you need to work on to make it worth it. But for myself, if I wasn’t able to learn something new, to get better, to get closer to a potentially unreachable goal, then I couldn’t get through the hard times because I wouldn’t be able to believe in myself anymore. Why should I walk on a road which has a dead end?
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Sue: Once a guy was begging me from a female social media profile for weeks to send a photo of my feet in the strangest way. He never asked for it directly, but it was clear what he wanted. I know that foot fetishes aren’t that rare, but he was really pushy.
Another guy came to me between 2 songs to ask if I could kiss the paper he was holding in his hand. Of course, I fulfilled his wish, why not? Weeks later we got an emailed picture of his hairy ass with the kiss-print tattooed on it. That’s pretty cool, even when I’m dead, my kiss-print might live longer on this hairy butt. Loved that!
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Sue: My parents were always very supportive, it didn’t matter what kind of idea popped out of my mind. My uncle played in bands in his youth so it was totally normal for my Mom and not a thought from “outer space”.
On the other hand, I didn’t put my whole life on the “band card”. I finished my studies and went to work the same as any other. So there was nothing that would freak my parents out in a traditional way.
Unexpectedly, I’ve lost a lot of friends because of my choice. But my close circle, my true friends, those who really matter and who care about me are very supportive and proud of how far we’ve come with the band.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Sue: A long list is running through my head right now. I think one useful piece of advice is something that unfortunately no one told me in the beginning: Aside to the music, you will have a LOT of extra stuff to work on, usually more than the music itself. I won’t list it all here because you will face it on your own in time. My advice is to do as much as possible on your own, not necessarily because you’re the best person for that but because no one will take better care of your band than you will. No one will fight for a gig as hard as you do. No one will put in as much time to prepare your social media channels as you will etc.
There are a lot of professionals out there for booking, management, etc. but they are only 100% there for you when they can make money with your band and it’s a long road for everyone to get to this point.
On the other hand, it’s better if you learn as much as possible about the music business when you’re “small” because this knowledge will help a lot later on to make the right decisions.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Sue: I should probably say I enjoy playing all of our songs equally, but that’s just not true. The fact is that I really don’t feel comfortable anymore playing songs from our first album. It was a different me writing those songs. I always burn to play our new songs and it’s always been like that! I can’t wait to play the first tracks from our upcoming album!
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Sue: I hate to use the term “female-fronted bands”, but that’s how I’ll deliver the point: I love loud rock bands with tough women at the front. They are a pure inspiration to me.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Sue: Ignite, Mad Ball and The Distillers
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Sue: There are a lot of festivals and shows I could mention here … but one of the biggest accomplishments for me personally is that after all this time, my passion still burns for this band with all my heart and I’m 100% convinced that we’re getting better and better with each album. I see so many great artists doing the same thing year after year. That’s so sad. Where did they leave their creativity? We always find the inspiration to reinvent ourselves in a way without looking back. I think that’s something we can be proud of.
All that is manifesting at the moment in our upcoming record, God On The Run. The presale has already started on our webshop! (www.thehellfreaks.com/shop) I’ve never been so proud of a record and I’m 100% sure that this is the best one we’ve ever written. Now I just hope that our fans will think the same.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Sue: The reason I ended up in music was my spine injury so I guess if that hadn’t happened, I would be doing something with sport, perhaps acrobatics and circus art. Who knows. 🙂
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Sue: For the main vocal, we use a Telefunken M80 microphone and a Sennheiser in-ear monitor system.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Sue: It makes me sad that the marketing is way more important than the music itself. Of course, writing and performing good music is necessary to ‘make it’ but good music alone doesn’t really cut it anymore. You need to be able to stand out from the rest. The listeners – or maybe we should call them users nowadays – are inundated with new music via countless platforms every day, so it’s really hard to get the listeners attention. It’s hard and it’s very expensive.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Sue: I have a degree as an environmental engineer. I live with 4 cats and I suffer from Misophonia.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Sue: Stay tuned, follow us, like us, subscribe to our YouTube channel as there is so much coming right now and hope to see you all someday personally at a Hellfreaks show!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Sue: Thank you for having us!
The Hellfreaks Are:
Shakey Sue – Vocals
Jozzy – Guitar
Domján Gabi – Bass
Budai Béla – Drums