Artist Interview: V-HAJD
Tell us about yourself and your music
Alex: Well, my name is Alex and I am the bass player of V-HAJD. My addiction to music began when I was 8 or 10 years old. I was really into AC/DC, and I used to do a good job of imitating Angus Young in front of my bedroom mirror. I got my introduction to guitar on a schoolmate’s old acoustic Gibson at age 14 and began playing the bass guitar in earnest two years later. As a result, I began to play the bass in some bands. V-HAJD has its roots in the year 2013 when I joined forces with drummer Dirk Heidenreich and guitarist Jörn Wilkens. Soon Harry Wilkens, ex-guitarist of German Speed Metal institution Destruction, joined us. The name of the band is made up of the initials of the members’ names in reverse order of the band-entry: V = Vocals (as we had no permanent singer when we started), H = Harry, Holger / A = Alex / J = Jörn / D = Dirk. The band’s name corresponds to the English ” We hate “. Finally, we found a singer in 2016: Meiki Gallmann, who has completed the Line-Up. All the band members have an experienced background in earlier Bands (Destruction, Violent Changes, Menace, Eyehatefish, Frantic on March). Our goal was to be a Heavy Metal band that pulls no punches. I believe we have achieved that. With us, what you see is what you get. If you don’t like your music loud and impulsive, you better not bother with us. But if you do, then V-HAJD has a lot to offer.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Alex: Our 3-track EP ‘The First Strike’ is the first taste of our soon to be published full-length album. My favorite track on the EP is the driving opener ‘Face the Facts’ which gives you an impression of our uncompromised, classic Heavy Metal straight to the eyes and ears. The guitarists’ different way of harmonica playing is a characteristic trademark of V-HAJD. Bass and drums take over the rhythm section in a classical, tight manner. We describe our music as ‘Teutonic Swing Metal’. On the rhythmic level, many of songs are influenced by the Swing music of the ’40s and ’50s combined with hard power chord riffs and melodic guitar solos. We are very proud of this production We pour our hearts and souls into it. Check it out, here’s the link:
What inspired you to write this release?
Alex: Music to us is a way of expressing ourselves and new topics of our everyday life have a big influence on our lyrics and concept. Our inspiration came from what is happening in our lives. Look at what’s going on around us. People are quarreling with each other for no reason and there’s just so much war, terror, hypocrisy, and insanity in these times.
Describe the writing and recording process
Alex: As in the past, the songwriting process was a collaborative effort for V-HAJD. From the beginning, we took care to satisfy our own musical needs and to develop and implement stand-alone songs with hit character. We sat around in a circle and played each other ideas until we end up with the song. Everybody was involved. Lyrically we took a critical look at everyday human madness and the struggle for individuality and authenticity against foreign domination and oppression. The EP was recorded and produced in The Little Creek Studios in Switzerland by V.O. Pulver and the band. We wanted to have a powerful production, which, pictorially spoken, falls like a wall out of the speakers on to the listeners. I think we have done quite well…
Any plans to release a video?
Alex: Not at the moment. We are right now in the pre-production process of our new full-length album. So that’s the main focus for us at the moment. But our guitar player Harry has a really cool YouTube guitar teaching channel. Check it out and learn from the ‘Guitarminator’:
With my other Band ‘Frantic on March’ we produced a cool video featuring our new single ‘Read my Story’. Here’s the link:
Any plans to hit the road?
Alex: Not exactly a tour, but some Gigs in our home area. We will support ‘Devilskin’ on their European Tour on March 4th and on May 13th we’ll play a Gig together with Frantic on March an Ephemera’s Party in Wehr, Germany. And on June 1st we will play in Freiburg/Germany together with Alaska’s Diving Astronauts in the ‘White Rabbit’ Club.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Alex: There are so many elements that make up this group, it’s hard to describe exactly what we are. We’re a band that feels we have something interesting to say and a unique and special way of saying it. We take what we do very seriously and we do the best work we can all the time. You can tell that we all have our own very unique personalities in V-HAJD. But that’s what I like about being in this band. No matter how much we sometimes argue or fight with each other, we really get along. When we hit the stage, it’s like an explosion! Due to our high energy level, the compact structure of the songs and the dominance of the singer, we have so far convinced everyone with our music and our show! People have said we’re a little sloppy onstage at times. But if that’s true, it’s because we’re more concerned with the feel of the music than the sound. Hell, if you want to listen to note-perfect things, go home and listen to albums. If you want to feel the energy, then come see us live!
Who have you been listening to lately?
Alex: To the Birds in my garden. Honestly – I discovered ‘The Shaggs’ and their album ‘Philosophy of the World’ lately. They are unique and play pretty freaky stuff. No conventions, they are authentic.
Who are your biggest influences?
Alex: My early influences are of course AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Kiss followed by harder stuff like Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera. The bands we admire are people like Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Judas Priest who’ve become successful on their own terms. They’ve never felt the need to sell out to radio or MTV in the ’80s. They’ve said, ‘If you dig us, great. If you don’t, that’s your business.’ That’s our attitude too.
Tell us about your passions
Alex: As I live in a hilly area outside Basel, I enjoy being outside, backpacking, and traveling to see friends. Over the last few years, I’ve been developing something of an ultrarunning bug. Running events like the Badwater 135 miles through the Death Valley or the Brasil 135+ are my major passion. Besides that, I play the bass in 2 other the bands called Frantic on March and Sun Drop Diamonds. As you can imagine: I do not know boredom!
What else is happening next in your world?
Alex: At the moment we are working on new material and rehearsing for some gigs we are going to play in spring 2017. We should be in the studio by late fall and our next record should be out sometime in the spring of 2018. Personally, I don’t know where I’ll end up. But I love music, and I’ll always do it. To keep Frantic on March going is a big wish of mine. We have a really nice little creative partnership. We can last a long time. I don’t look at music as something that dries out. I have a whole lot of it left in me.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Alex
Connect with V-HAJD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vhajdReverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/vhajdSoundcloud: https://www.soundcloud.com/v-hajdYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJVr6lfc4txoMX6kjJNb9eQ