Video Interview: Swan Hellion of BlackRain
BlackRain's front man Swan Hellion takes time out of their first ever UK tour to chat with us in London.
Many apologies for the background music in the pub. You should be able to hear everything okay, but just in case you can't, the whole interview goes a like this;
Hi, I'm Alma from Sleaze Nation and I'm here with Swan from Blackrain who are currently on their first ever UK tour. How's the tour been so far, then? Any fun stories to share?
It's been great, We've played only four gigs and it was really cool; especially the one in Grimsby and the one in London yesterday night. So, like you said, very first time in England so we're pretty much enjoying this, It's cool. We don't have any funny stories yet. We're just playing and we're just partying after, like always.
So What's taken you guys so long to come here? Because you have a couple of albums now
It's probably because we don't have any deal in England, actually. So, that's why it took so long. We've been focussing on France and it's doing pretty good for the band, So now we are gonna try to move around.
What's your next sort of 'target' country that you wanna visit?
I don't know yet, but we're pretty much thinking about the next album now. I don't think we are gonna make another tour in the next month.
So the sleaze genre seems to be pretty much dominated by Swedes...
Yeah, pretty much
...What's the rock scene like in France?
It's okay. There's some cool bands, I think. It's prettty much only BlackRain and some other bands like Rakel Traxx. Some other dudes gonna have an album soon - the band's called Frenchkiss, Maybe you know about them?
So how did you guys all meet and why did you decide the name BlackRain?
Wow. We met a long time ago, when we were at school.
Oh really? Wow! So did you form the band back when you were...
No. It was just a cover band, you know. We were playing songs from Pantera, Sepultura,
With you still singing?
Yeah! You know, I started to sing just because we couldn't find any singer. So I started to sing.
So you played guitar first?
Yeah, absolutely. Then we met the bass player. He was a close friend of ours so we started to play together. We had several different drummers. It seems like maybe we are a bit unlucky with drummers, but now we found Frank. It's really good with him, we're pretty happy.
What makes BlackRain different from other Sleaze bands?
Well I think we have our own style. And my voice is very special, so you can recognize this band when you listen to it, and I think that's the... that's why it's different from the other bands. I think all of the songs are pretty much different, you know. Some times it really sounds like metal and sometimes it really sounds more rock n' roll. I think we are original actually.
I agree about the voice. Is it hard making your voice that high pitch?
Yeah, it is. I have to practise a lot, every day. And I have so much to learn. It's getting better and better. I'm pretty satisfied with my voice.
So, you've toured with some awesome bands like SISTER and CRASHDÏET, are there any other bands you want to work with in the future?
Yeah! Guns N' Roses (he laughs), Motley Crue! That would be nice.
Didn't you open for Alice Cooper?
Yeah, we opened once for Alice Cooper. It was one of the best shows ever. The guys were fucking cool with us. It was perfect, I have nothing to say about it. We've been playing with Scorpions as well and it was really the biggest crowd we ever had - like uh, 10,000 people. It's pretty special.
That's the biggest audience you ever played for?
Yeah. We hope we're gonna play with that kind of fans again in the near future. That's what we expect.
So your recent show in Paris with CRASHDÏET was a full on extravaganza! Are your shows always as big and bold as that?
We are looking for that kind of show. It's a BlackRain politic. We try to get to the next step and sometimes we refuse to play in small places, that kind of shit, because usually the sound is bad and when people see the band... it's not good for the band because it sounds bad. We try to make a good selection. When we can do a big show, we do and that's what we want to do. It has to be a show. Like, KISS did it and Motley Crue's still doin' it.
It gives a bit extra for the fans?
Yeah! When you pay for something, you get something back, you know.
So, you recently contributued to the Reborn in Sleaze project to the late Dave Lepard. How did it feel to be part of that?
It's great, you know. I love the band. I love CRASHDIET. Especially the first album, Rest In Sleaze. I think Dave Lepard was ....was a genius.
He was a hero to many, yeah.
I haven't heard so many good songs since Appetite for Destruction. He was just great.
So you chose to cover "Lost Horizons" which is quite an emotional track. Why did you chose that one?
I chose that one because I had this on my mind for quite a long time, actually. I've been asking the guys if I could cover this song really before this project. So I love the song and since they didn't want to use it I thought it was like a waste, a big waste and I had to. I had to make a cover, and then they came up with that project so I gave the song. We have actually two versions. One is unreleased, I don't know when we're gonna use it but I think it's the best one. So you still don't, you haven't heard the best, yet.
So you said you're thinking about next album, now. Have you got any other plans for the rest of the year? Any more music videos?
I don't think so. For this album Lethal Dose Of.. I think it's over now, we need to move forward. We have pretty cool plans for the next album, really. We have a big producer, I don't know if I can... I don't think I can tell the name now, but he's American and he's really well known. So we're, he's gonna record the album in France and then we should mix the whole shit in New York.
It should sound really great. We have like 15 songs for now and I think it's the best songs we have made. It sounds really rock n' roll. Really proud of the work we've made.
The next BlackRain anthems? Like Rock Your City was like ~the anthem.
Yeah, yeah. Of course it's the anthem! It's good for the crowd.
It's fun to sing along at the concerts as well.
So, are you playing any festivals this year?
I have to ask management, but I think yeah. I don't know exactly, I'm sorry. I know we're gonna play in several festivals but it's gonna be in France. I can't tell which one, I'm sorry.
I've got to admit we're curious; Who are the Rain Girlz?
It's friends of ours. And actually at the begining, we didn't ask anything. We were just... we recieved so many pictures from fans wearing BlackRain shirts and it started like this. So we thought like we had to do something with all the pictures. So a friend of ours came up with the idea and she made the MySpace first and then the Facebook and she's managing the whole shit, alone. And I think it's a good promotion for the band.
And you used some of their pictures in the...
Yeah, for Lisence to Thrill we had the idea to use all the pictures for the booklet.
So you can get your fans involved?
Yeah, exactly. We try to have a connection with everybody.
I think it's very important. We're nothing without the fans, so we need to take care of everyone.
So can I ask you to conclude the interview by telling us a random fact about yourself?
I don't know.
I don't know, anything. What's your favourite drink?
My favourite drink...I don't have a favourite drink actually. I drink a lot of Vodka, like yesterday I drank a lot of Whiskey. I love to have shots, I love to listen to Black Metal...
It depends what other people are buying?
(He Laughs) I dunno. There's nothing really special. Just making music every day and party pretty much like four times a week maybe. I like... I love my life
Many thanks to Swan for chatting with us!
Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 February 2012 13:06)