Festival Review: Hard Rock Hell

Hard Rock Hell

Well, festival season has been brought to a close by the infamous Hard Rock Hell, being held in Haven holiday park, Hafan y Mor, Pwellhhi, North Wales. This is my account of what Eyes From The Mosh Pit got upto whilst there.

I would like to thank Seven, Jonni, Claire, Jenny, Terry and Fleur and the rest of the HRH team for giving us another opportunity to bring you all the interviews from this great festival.

After a good road trip, we at Eyes From The Mosh Pit arrived at Pwellhi where we would call home for the weekend. The press area moved from last year, so after a bit of negotiating we found our way and started to unload. First to greet us, was Claire and Jenny. It's always nice to meet friendly faces, and were welcomed with open arms. It is like catching up with family, as we discussed our wedding as well as everything else we had been upto. But then we needed to get set up as we already had a few interviews prepared for the Thursday evening.

First on hit list was classic rock band 'Enuff Z'Nuff'. Chip and Johnny came across to our video set up. We had a great chat notably about how it felt about having their songs covered by some great muscians like Paul Gilbert, and how do you choose songs for a set list when you have a tremendous back catalogue and music career spanning 25 years. What great, amazing guys. Next up on our list was Hard Rock hell openers 'Massive Wagons' duely there number one fan, Craig was on hand to watch the interview with Baz. The interview followed on from their set, but most of the interview was takling about how the interview was booked and the manager forgot to tell them. But they are some of the hardest working guys around and deserve the pay off they have got. Now finally on day one was Uli Jon Roth, now you will all know this icon from his time in the Scorpions. The interview was a press conference come filmed interview where we had an honest chat about Uli, the music and the man behind the music. It is always nice when you get chance to talk to someone about their musical inspirations and there opinons of the music of today. It was an Eyes From The Mosh Pit exclusive also!!!. After the interviews we packed down, went for a few drinks and went to watch a couple of bands. A very quiet night for all.

Day 2 started after a bit of rush, and was due to be one of our longest days interviewing. First up on our hit list Logan, a band that has had an amazing year, starting off with supporting Mark Tremonti and Heavens Basement in February. We discussed the gig, current plans and what the band have in store for next year. Next on our hitlist was 'Attica Rage' , and the great things about these guys for uswas the fact they were so enthused about coming to see us again after our exploits at Hammerfest (it made me feel like we are doing the right thing!). Again, its like catching up with friends, as we discussed the UK tour they headlined and what is next in store for the guys. Honest , genuine guys that its a pleasure to catch up with. Following on from Attica was the biggest most daunting interviews of the weekend for me... It was Skindred and the Black Star Riders. First up Benji and Arya from Skindred. I first met Benji last year when we had a great discussion about the album 'Union Black' and the UK tour, so this year I thoguht I would try things slightly different. I usually pride myself on getting to know the band before the music so I am not making pre-conscious decision of them, but with Skindred that is abit difficult to do. But, we started talking about the Hard Rock Hell festival, and were they looking forward to it, then moved on to the new album coming out and the UK tour and the European tour. Then we discussed the announcement that week of the Newport Helli tour, a one off show from the birthplace of the infamous Newport Hellicoptor. But by the time we had that discussion, our time was up they had to move onto there next interview, so I got my picture with the guys and moved on. Then as the time passed, my nerves started to show as I was about to interview Damon from Black Star Riders. I dont normally like to say i get star-struck but in this case I have to hold my hand up and say yes I did. I have loved Thin Lizzy all my life, and now as the Black Star Riders the new album still is a Thin Lizzy album 'All Hell Breaks Loose'. Now, the interview...again we had a limited time with Damon but we started off by how I thought it was an honrouable decision to change the name, but that wasnt my focus so I wasnt hoping to dwell on this. But as we talked we discussed how they got the call for Download, and the the roots of Thin Lizzy and I got goosebumps as Damon said the lyrics penned by the legendary frontman 'Phil Lynott' and we discussed how much of an inspiration and songwriter he was. Then we got onto the UK tour and the album 'All Hell Breaks Loose' and how with Ricky at the helm the Celtic roots which were so important to early Thin Lizzy remained. Then we discussed some of the tracks, and by the time I was letting my nerves subside the time was almost over. I am humbled to have met, talked and had my picture taken with Damon. Following up from this, it was never possible to let up and take stock of the 2 headline bands I had just interviewed we had Skarlett Riot with us next who were in the midst of their headline UK tour, Napalm records finest Alunah and Mia Klose who had a hell of a year which was capped off by playing at the Sweeden Rock Festival. When you actually sit and talk to each of these bands and Mia you can see the energy and passion that these guys bring to every show it is nice to be able to sit back and talk to them about what makes them tick as a band.

Following on, we had Napalm records 'Sister' sit down and talk with us, and we discussed about the? I dont know, but then the interview took more of a flow and we discussed venues, what had happened to them since my last time seeing the guys. It was great catching up with them again. Italian heavy metal stalwarts 'Arthemis' came next to us. I have said it once, and I will say it again it is so nice when bands recognise you for something you are passionate about. So we sat and talked about what happened since we met the band last time, the lineup change and all things Arthemis inlcuding how they were on a quiet night because they were on early the next day. Then to finish the day off we had Stubb and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmis Children of the Night. Both bands have one common denominator and for those that do not know the bands, you will have to watch both interviews to see what I mean. (Answers on a postcard lol). Now Stubb are label mates with Grifter both signed to legendary music label Ripple music.

After the interview we managed to pack everything away in time to see the Black Star Riders and Skindred on stage before we retired and got very very DRUNK!!!! Black Star Riders were amazing, huge sing a longs to classics and new material. I even got to sing along to my favourite song 'the cowboy song' before Michael Campbell from Motorhead joined them on stage for a finale of 'Rosalie'. Oh by I was like a young boy in a sweet shop, I loved every minute. Then before we knew it Benji and Skindred lifted the roof again by a enigmatic headline show. A perfect end to a perfect night.

Day 3, started off a bit worse for ware. A hangover is a little bit of an understatement after a bottle of jaeger was consumed, as well as 1/2 bottle of Amaretto and 1/2 bottle of whisky. Oh yes! sizzled is the understatement eh Scott!!!. A full English was in order. But then as the day was getting on it was time to get ready for our first interview of another long day.

First on day 3, was the infamous booking agent and guy behind the forthcoming 'Global Rock Summit'. Mr Seven Webster... now he has such a pleasant demeaour, I couldnt stop thanking him for giving us an opportunity in showcasing our skills. I think I thanked him way to much. Mr Webster if I did I do apologise but I will be always grateful for you taking a chance on us, like you do with bands you book. I would like to think, we repay you with the honour, respect, and hardwork we have always shown. Now, the interview was a humbling interview where we learn about the reasons behind the Global Rock Summit and the endevaours necessary to make the HRH series work. What a top bloke!!! Next up on our interview hitlist was 'Spit Like This'. Now we learnt that you get what you put back on, and that if you are passionate about something then your passion will shine through and it will happen. For exmple. we discussed the film that they wrote which will be released next year, and the T shirt company they have, and the humility and humour (tongue in cheek) approach to their music. It gave me a fire again to continue with passion in my endevaours. Then we had an interview with 'Gold' where we had an open discussion about technical guitar teaching over picking up a guy guitar and just playing. Now if you ask me I was never taught guitar technique I used Paul Gilbert in a guitar magazine and just played what I felt. But we looked into the time together they have achieved so much including a tour with a good bunch of lads in 'Audrey Horne'. Saturday was flying by, and next up was my catch up with the Treatment, we discussed everything from the Steel Panther UK tour, to the coming of age tour with Kiss and Motley Crue, to Headlining the Anthony Nolan charity concert earlier this year. Up to recent events such as the Airbourne tour and the difficult decision the band unified to make with there close friend and band mate who had to make a decision between family and the band, which is never good. Quickly on from this we met with the guys in Enos for another chat about the HRH family, the band, and HRH fans and how they are pragmatic in their approach to new bands and wanting to seek new bands. Then before we could take a piss, we then came across the classic rock band 'The Jokers'. Now, think of early Bon Scott in AC/DC, mixed with the who, the eagles and all classic rock bands you love and you get where these guys are coming from. Honest, passionate and where their hearts on their sleeves. They even seemed keen to learn about my experiences interviewing bands as they turned the interview on its head. Which still makes me smile, how did they turn it around on a interview about me? watch the interview and tell me. Next came the icon that is 'Pat Mcmanus' who has had a musical career longer than my years. But like interviews I have done with my icons and heroes I cant help but be intrugued about their passions and influences and how the rock/ music scene has gone through a boom and a bust phase. But as we agree we long for the day the boom returns \m/ It is interviews like this and many I have had during my time as the interviewer at Eyes From The Mosh Pit where I love to hear about what bands tick and there thoguhts on music and their passions. And finally on the weekend, we met up with London all-female rockers 'Fake Club' where we discussed everything from music, to headbanging to hard, and how some plasters can be fashion matching accessory (even if it is becasue you have broke your nose). But like all great things in life, time must come to an end especially as we were unable to fit many more bands into our tight schedule. So we went off to prepare for Michael Monroe and Airbourne.

Now I must again give special to thanks to the HRH crew, and all the bands that spend their time coming to humour me on an interview. I can say you have all taught me alot about the humility and fun behind the rock/music scene. If you want to see all the fun and learn what I did, please keep checking back to see all the videos as we slowly show them to the world, check out some pix of HRH below. And we shall see you all at Hammerfest (fingers crossed).

Andy for Eyes From The Mosh Pit

Images taken below are with permission from Mark Lloysd at Amplified Gig Photography. Thanks Mark \m/

Gig Review: 'Hard Rock Hell'
  • Airbourne Airbourne
  • Black Star Riders Black Star Riders
  • Enuff Z Nuff Enuff Z Nuff
  • Fatal Smile Fatal Smile
  • Michael Monroe Michael Monroe
  • Pat McManus Pat McManus
  • Paul Di'Anno Paul Di'Anno
  • Scarlett Riot Scarlett Riot
  • Skindred Skindred
  • The Answer The Answer
  • The Jokers The Jokers
  • The Treatment The Treatment