Artist Spotlight – The Hellfreaks

Band nameThe Hellfreaks
MembersShakey Sue – Vocals –
Jozzy – Guitar –
Domján Gabi – Bass –
Budai Béla – Drums 
LocationBudapest (Hungary) 
Founded in 2009
Similar ArtistsIf you would mix Mad Ball with Paramore. Sounds crazy, right?  
First release2010 
LinksFacebook | Twitter | Website | Instagram | YouTube
The Music Addict’s VerdictEnergetic punk-metal from Hungary. I love it!

(Answers from singer Shakey Sue)

How was the band formed?  

We’re not newcomers so we have a pretty long story, with many ups and a few downs. We didn’t start this band together, we’re more like puzzle pieces that found each other later on. The band is over 10 years old, so it’s taken a long time to get to where we are today.

I got into music literally by accident. I was a professional gymnast, sport was pretty much my everything – but unfortunately I once landed wrong 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.

Today, 10 years on from our very first concert, we’re one of the most prominent internationally touring bands in Hungary having played over 200 gigs over the country border. We have toured all over Europe and made it over the big pond to the USA. We’ve recorded 4 albums, all released through German labels, have over 6 million views on our youtube videos, sold over 5000 physical records and are super happy to have a worldwide fan base that we can call our own.

What’s your songwriting process like?   

All of our albums had a totally different writing process. In the last two years we worked on our upcoming album ‘God On The Run’, which is going to be released in January 2020. These songs were not written in the rehearsal room. Most of the parts have been written separated by the members, putting the puzzle pieces together afterwards, so everyone has their own writing process. I’m pretty old school when it comes to the lyrics: I can’t sit down and figure out what I want to write about on purpose. The ideas find me randomly, so I always write down  2-3 words or a line in my phone wherever I am in that moment, otherwise the idea is gone forever.  When it comes to the song I look at my idea board, pick out one of these ideas to work on. When I start to work on the words, I need to be alone and I’m not able to write in digital form,  I need to have a paper and a pen in my hand otherwise my brain is blocked.

What are your influences?

Musical wise: We’re all kids of rock’n roll. All of us have other heroes: starting with me, who comes from an underground rock scene, Gabi, who is an extremely educated musician who grabbed his bass first as a child cause he wanted to be like Flea and our drummer Béla and guitarist Jozzy are metalheads. So the musical influence came from our roots and combined all of that.

We’re not old, but old enough to understand that time is ticking away, it runs out like sand in our hands and if we don’t use it wisely, we will waste the most valuable thing in our life: time. Our lyrics are kind of a shout out for the right questions or even more to HAVE our own questions. A shout out to your brain, to use it wisely, to be aware of the right things and to feel the weight of responsibility of your decisions of the things you do and of the things you say. So all in all, we would say our biggest inspiration is to be able to inspire people, to make the best of their time!

How would you describe your music?  

First of all: if you like rock music, you are definitely walking the right path with us. If you’re sick of those poppy sweet notes, feel free to come closer! We play loud & fast modern rock music with a unique female voice on the mic. We’re way more than just another riot-band.

A mix of punk, rock, metal and hardcore and maybe even with a tiny spice of pop. It’s music for anyone who grew up with rock’n roll and went through any of these “phases” above.

What’s the one thing that makes you/your band stand out from the rest?  

When it comes to the question “to which bands do you sound similar to” it takes me ages to give an answer. This can certainly be tricky but on the other hand, I also think that this has to be a sign, that we’re doing a good job because it’s hard to compare us to any other band, which means that we’re really doing something unique and that is one of the main goals when you’re writing music.

What’s your latest release?   

‘Astoria’, from 2016, but the next one is just around the corner – January 2020

Can you describe your live show?

You can expect loud rock music, sweat, headbanging, honesty and a show without any pauses.

But to use the words of someone who has actually seen our show from outside – “At the beginning of your show I thought I would go out to the bar to catch a beer when it goes down a little, but now your show is over and I’m thirsty as hell!”

What are your touring plans for the next few months?

We’re planning many shows in 2020 as there is a lot of new music coming right now: we just released our very first single called “Men In Grey” from our upcoming album. On the 18th of October we’re going to release our second single “Red Sky” and start the presale of our new album on our homepage www.thehellfreaks.com. And if this wasn’t enough: we’re going to release a third single at the end of the year!

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!

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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