|Welcome Katon!! I’m honored to have Katon
W. De Pena of HIRAX here to answer some questions. It’s great
to have you and HIRAX back together and thriving! Lets start…
1. What did you do during the 10 years that HIRAX was no more?
Katon W. De Pena: I’ve always remained involved
in music. Even while HIRAX was on our hiatus, I worked at record labels
and record stores as well as putting on rock concerts. Music has always
been a big part of my life. It was only a matter of time before I
would return to performing with HIRAX.
2. Do you see any major musical differences now compared to
what was written in the 80’s?
Katon W. De Pena: Not really. I mean the music business
is still as cut throat as it always was. It’s just like in the
old days. Only the strong survive. Nu Metal reminds me of the poser
metal of the early 80s. I like heavy metal that has integrity, roots,
and balls! No wimpy stuff for me!
3. What difficulties did you encountered after the band got
back together? Have people responded to you as they did back in the
Katon W. De Pena: It’s better for us now as
a band than it was in the 80s! We understand the business more than
we did when we were young kids. You just have to work really hard
and be able to take the good with the bad. It’s a pretty even
playing field. It also depends on where you want to go with your music.
For us … there are no boundaries. We are an underground band
who still are able to do major concerts with bands such as: Judas
Priest, the Scorpions, Twisted Sister, Dio, etc. And we still do underground
shows. We will never forget where we come from!!
4. What musical influences do you have? Favorite bands? What
influences do you think HIRAX has had on metal or music in general?
Katon W. De Pena: My influences/favorite bands are
many! But here are some: Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Motorhead,
the Ramones, Venom, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Flag, Minor Threat,
Bad Brains, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix, … there are
My band, HIRAX has far exceed everything I thought we would! To have
such bands as Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, the Haunted,
Municipal Waste, Deceased, Abigail, etc. acknowledge us as an influence,
makes me proud!! I also like their music as well!! None of them play
wimpy shit!! It’s all HARD AND HEAVY!! If I helped to influence
that kind of music… then I think I’m doing a damn good
5. I’m sure you have had a lot of amazing stories from
your years on the road, could you enlighten us with one of your favorites?
Any upcoming tours or festivals HIRAX is playing at?
Katon W. De Pena: For me that is a pretty crazy question
to ask… many, many stories and many, many years of being on
the road. From the early days of playing with such bands as Nuclear
Assault, Wendy O Williams, the Mentors, COC, DRI, Exodus, Slayer,
Death Angel, Metallica, Dark Angel, Possessed, Testament, Megadeth,
Overkill, … to now a days playing festivals with such acts as
Udo Dirkschneider, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Montrose, April Wine,
Foghat, Helloween, Sodom, Angel Witch, … it has been an incredible
heavy metal ride! The fans are loud as hell! We have a very die hard
following. Our popularity is growing more and more… and it just
keeps getting better! Plus… we are LOUDER now than ever before!
UPCOMING FESTIVAL is the Seattle Metal Fest which we are headling.
It will be a kick ass show! European and American tour dates are being
set for 2005. Check out the HIRAX tour page www.HIRAX.org
6. How has the equipment, which you have used, change throughout
your music career? What do you currently use?
Katon W. De Pena: We’ve always been a band
that uses Marshall amps, double bass drums, and Ampeg bass equipment.
The biggest PA that we can get our hands on. We use the same now with
the exception of Crate amplifiers, Blue Voodoo. Our guitar players
have endorsements with them. Crate also owns Ampeg gear as well. We
like to have a WALL OF AMPS BEHIND US!! Because we play on 10!
7. Any hints or quick tips you can give to new thrash vocalists?
Any important lessons learned?
Katon W. De Pena: I’m not a saint… nor
a preacher… but I will say: Get plenty of rest when you can.
Whether it’s in the tour van/bus or on the airplane. Drink plenty
of water! Keep those vocal chords wet. Also… if you smoke it
effects the way you sing. I’m not saying don’t party…
just be responsible with your voice because it’s your instrument.
Remember… you owe it to the people who come to your shows to
sound good 100%. They deserve their money’s worth.
8. I have never heard how the band got the name HIRAX Is there
a story behind it or special meaning?
Katon W. De Pena: You have to remember we are total
beer drinking, denim and leather wearing heavy metal freaks. I was
in a bathroom and I saw the name on the wall. It’s a true story.
I like the way it sounded so that’s where I got my band’s
9. If you had to select only one kind of beer to be the only
one left of earth, what would you select? What would you have to eat
with that beer?
Katon W. De Pena: Well, you can’t tell by my
skin color… but I’m total white trash. I drink Budweiser…
unless I’m on tour in Europe. It’s an import over there…
so it costs too much money. I like cheap beer. As long as you can
get a buzz off of it… that’s all you should be worried
about. Best food that goes with beer is Mexican food and Pizza. Everybody
10. Favorite vacation spot or place that metal has brought
Katon W. De Pena: Sweden, Germany, Holland!! Great
beer, great people. 100% METAL!! They know how to have a good time
in those countries. I will probably retire there with my girlfriend,
Anne one day.
11. Do you have any superstitions?
Katon W. De Pena: I always do the sign of the cross
when I pass any church. No matter what religion it is. The same applies
to graveyards. It’s a very personal thing with me. It’s
my own way of showing respect to the gods.
12. It’s been great! I could ask questions forever…but,
time to wrap up the interview. I have one more questions…what
would you like the Metal Fanatix of the world to know?
Katon W. De Pena: METAL RULES!! NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
IT IS IT’S OWN RELIGION AND IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER! METAL
HAS NEVER CAUSED ANY WARS… CAN ORGANIZED RELIGIONS SAY THAT?
HIRAX CD/Vinyl, Merchandise, etc. available at: www.HIRAX.org
write to us @ HIRAX • PO Box 1474 • Cypress, CA 90630
Thanks for the killer interview! May metal run through your
veins for eternity!!
THANK YOU JEFFREY MY METAL BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!