1. Introduce us to your project!
We’re The Hellfreaks, a band from Hungary, Budapest, which is quite in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. We’re a punk rock band and are pretty unique in our country. There are just very few bands who are into rock music with a girl in the front, but definitely no punk rock bands with a female singer. But somehow, with a bit of luck and hell lot of work, we managed to play way more shows over the border than in Hungary. We played over 200 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.
Our only former band member is our singer, Shakey Sue, who literally grew up with this band. Not only the line-up has changed, but also the music. It started as a hobby band, with music that was way more ’billy influenced, but by this time this band has climbed up so many levels and now we’re able to do our modern way of punk rock that we call our own. We’ve released 3 albums and a couple of video clips, which count more than 6 million views together. We’re very happy about how things turned out, but we swear that we’re still far from the finish line!
2. How did you guys start out?
Everything started with Sue, who came to music literally by accident. She was a professional gymnast, sport was her life – but unfortunately, she just landed once wrong on her feet, which ended up in a spine operation. So, she had to recalculate her life and fill the gap that the accident left behind. She was pretty lost at that time and it was extremely hard to accept that even if she was going to do her best, some dreams just can’t come true anymore. That was the time when she found her way to music and found The Hellfreaks after a couple of years in 2009.
In 2014 the original band split up for a while, but right after that, an invitation arrived to play in the USA. At that time Sue decided to stitch up the wounds from the past and restart the band with a new direction and new band members.
Our drummer Béla, and our guitar player, Jozzy, had known each other before they joined the band, but in the end, it was the band itself which brought all of us together.
3. Describe your band’s sound.
Modern punk rock with a healthy touch of f*** off.
4. What influences your craft?
We’re all very different but quite the same at the same time. We all love loud rock music, so it was not a question that we would do and create what we love. But we wouldn’t say that our music is based on musical influences. Of course, you can hear our roots in it, like the love of The Offspring, or the Distillers, but every one of us has different musical influences- the mix of it makes us unique.
5. What makes your band different? Why should people listen to you?
We have many punk and rock bands all around the world, and all of them try to motivate you to rethink your life or talk about historical or political situations which are becoming forgotten. Most of the big bands are looking back on, back to the past, back on history, play a lot with fictional theories.
But we don’t have to look back. We don’t have to look far over the borders. Our hometown is a beautiful place, we love it, but without going into details, we’re by far not living our best days. And this is not just one of the 100 clichés punk bands like to use. Just read some news and you will see that we’re talking about a fact. But being surrounded by all this negativity, there is one very positive thing about it: Fear can be pure inspiration. And for us, it is! This kind of true inspiration makes us unique.
6. When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
We would definitely let you pick a song from our new generation album “Astoria”. But it’s hard to name one, as it’s like picking out one of your children. But at least we know “who” we would send out first to introduce our little freak family. The song is called “I’m Away”, and it’s also the most popular video clip of our album. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guaEK62mxno)
7. What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
The biggest challenge was and still is time management. You might think that having a band is basically just about writing and playing music. But that’s just (the best) part of it. To be able to record, do shows, be heard, you have to move mountains and not just the musical ones. We have the full management in our own hands. It is like a full-time job without having “full time” for it. Having a successful band is a dream that many talented people dream of out there – so you have to give it more than the rest do. This is especially tricky in a country where simple life is harder and takes more effort than in any Western European country. If you want to be someone, you just have to do 3 times more than the others. We don’t want to whine about that, but that’s just the situation that needs to be accepted and this takes an extremely lot of passion, power and belief, especially when you want to realize such kind of a dream.
8. What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
If we look back, the best part happened in our darkest hours, when the band announced its breakup, when all the hope was lost and when all the negative things were just too much to handle – because that was the point when we got our dream delivered in an email: the invitation to Ink’n Iron in California. This invitation brought us back stronger than ever and this was the moment when all the shadows were left behind and things just turned better and better again.
9. How bright is the future of your project – what are the plans?
2018 is going to be a very important year for us, as we are finishing our 4th long-player. Our fans will get something really unexpected, as there’s never been an album we’ve worked on so intensively as this time. We’ll see how it turns out, but we are doing everything to have those lights on our side.
10. When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
As loved, or hated. As unique, but nothing in between.