Tony Zimmerman the guitarist for the Metalcore band Hell Within spoke with me recently about the band’s latest release, God Grant Me Vengeance. This is the group’s third full-length release and I feel it is a tighter, more mature record that really showcases the band at the top of their game. Fans of the genre should absolutely dig this disc. It is a fast, heavy and full on balls to the wall collection of killer tunes. Here is what Zimmerman had to say.
Now that your brand new CD, God Grant Me Vengeance is set is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Tony: I feel great about the outcome. I think everything from start to finish was done right. We wrote the disc together, recorded it together and the disc shows it.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Tony: We wrote this record all together. I’d come up with riffs, Isaias or Derek J would come up with riffs and all of us put them together. The main concern on this record was song writing. It wasn’t technicality and it wasn’t over playing to impress people. Everything has been done before by everyone, so we just said “fuck it,” let’s just write good songs and see what happens.
What were your main inspirations when writing for God Grant Me Vengeance?
Tony: I actually named the record. The theme came out of frustration towards the industry. There are many times we heard from booking agents and managers “We can’t take you on, our plate is full” Then they’d go and take on some shit scene band. Or see band we started out with on Ozzfest and other huge tours and we’re still fighting for decent shows. One day at rehearsal during one of my rants I was like “God Grant Me Vengeance” So that’s what the name is about.
Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Tony: It’s great when a crowd goes nuts. The crowd is really the reason we do what we do. Every metal musician knows people don’t play metal to make a lot of money. We do it because our fans really show how much they are into our music.
Could you tell us where the name Hell Within comes from?
Tony: Well, we all came up with a list of ten names each. Hell Within was on one of our lists and it’s the one that stuck. To me it means inner turmoil. What person hasn’t been torn inside themselves? Or had a personal Hell Within.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Tony: That as a musician you can’t take anything personal. In the studio it’s all about getting it perfect. A good producer doesn’t care about hurting a musician’s feeling. It’s all about getting the best out of you. It’s not always pretty, but it’s for the best of the record. On stage, if you suck the crowd will let you know. Whether you’re in front of 15,000 or two people you have to give them your best.
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Tony: Smoke a lot of dope and drink Jack!
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Tony: There have been tons of stories, some incriminating. More or less people act a lot different around bands, knowing that the band will not be in their city the next day. They just act like animals and I think it’s funny as hell. From getting into fights in the streets of San Fran to boarder patrol, the list goes on and on.
When you are out on the road anything can happen and often does. Can you think of any disastrous events that happened while out on tour? How did you solve the problem?
Tony: I’d probably say when our engine seized in MI. We got a hotel for a day or so. MI has a law they can not rent a vehicle to tow a trailer. We had to call around to rental places and find a vehicle that came from the factory with a trailer hitch. We ended up renting a Chevy Trail blazer, attached our trailer and moved on.
Do you have any touring plans made yet?
Tony: Right now we’re hunting for a good credible booking agent. We’ve done tons of tours and dealt with some very careless so-called agents. So, we’ve been looking for a new agent, but a lot of these agents are ignorant. They don’t return your calls or give you a blow off answer like “My plate is full.” The agent should just level with you and tell the truth, but that’s neither hear nor there. We’ll find a new agent and you’ll be seeing HW soon.
Any closing words?
Tony: We’d just like to thank everyone who has already bought our new disc God Grant Me Vengeance. All the support from our fans means the world to us and we’ll see you soon. Now go buy our new CD, God Grant Me Vengeance. [ END ]