Interview – Dwid Hellion of Integrity

 

I had the quick chance to speak with Dwid Hellion, frontman of legendary hardcore band “Integrity”. Read the conversation below.

Hey Dwid, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. How have you been doing?

Dwid : Hello Alex, it is my pleasure. 

I am doing great, thank you for asking.

In 2016, Integrity shocked everyone by announcing you’ve signed with Relapse Records. How did this all come to happen and were you a fan or Relapse previously?

Dwid : I was actually trying to get on Relapse in the mid 1990s, but sadly, that did not happen. 

Relapse is a diverse and interesting record label. I am glad to be a part of their roster.

Along with signing a new album was announced. Is there a release date set for that one yet?

Dwid : I believe it should be June 2017, but the date is not set in stone, and could fluctuate.

As every Integrity album is different than the one before it; what is this new one like? How was the writing and making of it as well? Who wrote the material and who is playing on the new album?

Dwid : Dom Romeo and I began writing the album in August 2015. 

We made some thematic outlines to afford us direction. 
With theme and mood sorted out, we then started creating the music. 

Dom plays a number of unusual instruments on the album in addition to traditional instruments like guitar and bass, and Josh Brettell plays drums on the album.

Having been around since 1988 and going through several breaks, what is is like holding a band for nearly 30 years now? How much different is it in 2017 than it was when you first started?

Dwid : Technology has allowed a lot more freedom towards the recording process. 

We are no longer reliant on the limited technological restrictions that the late 1980s and most of the 1990s offered.

Integrity is headlining “United Blood Fest” with the likes of Agnostic Front, Terror, and more. Are you looking forward to playing another hardcore festival? You did play “This Is Hardcore” last year as well. How did that one go for you?

Dwid : We had a great time at “This Is Hardcore” festival. 

Joe McKay did a fantastic job with TIHC, he has created the perfect atmosphere. 

We are definitely looking forward to playing United Blood, I have heard many great things about United Blood festival.

Can we expect more shows during 2017 or even a possible headlining tour after the release of the new album?
Dwid : We will be playing Roadburn festival in Holland and Hellfest in southern France and a tour in Japan in October. 
We do have a couple more performances planned, but they are not yet announced to the public at this time.

 

Integrity can play bills and festivals with more than just hardcore bands, being able to group into the metal genre. Are you more inclined to play a metal tour / festival or is being on a mixed bill more intriguing for you?

Dwid : Integrity has many different aspects to it, allowing us a great deal of freedom with the writing. 

We have a diverse audience, which also allows us many opportunities to perform in front of a variety of crowds. 

I do not have one specific billing preference, however a diverse lineup is always interesting.

Is there anything new in the books for Vermapyre for 2017?

Dwid : There is a VERMAPYRE “collection” cassette available from Wolfsvuur records that was released this week. 

There will be a split 7” with RAVV BLUES on Sineater records in the coming months.
For those of you unfamiliar, VERMAPYRE is my horror themed musical project. 

I build my own electric guitars from basic materials and I try to use mostly home-made instruments, or altered instruments to create the sound of a forgotten black & white horror film.

What bands would you say inspired Integrity over the years?

Dwid : Quite a lot, I will try to list some influences. I suppose the foundation could be: G.I.S.M., SAMHAIN, BLACK SABBATH, HOWLIN WOLF, SEPTIC DEATH, MOTORHEAD, JOY DIVISION, and many more. 

I enjoy 80s Heavy Metal, Horror Soundtracks, Classical Music, Delta Blues, LLN metal, Alan Lomax Field Recordings  . . .

Are there any modern bands you are really into and would recommend to others?

Dwid : Full Of Hell, Cape Of Bats, VVegas, Broken Cross, ILSA, Rot In Hell, these names spring to mind at the moment.

Anything else you’d like to say before we end this?
Dwid : Thank you for the interview Alex
anyone looking for more information might find these links useful:
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