International anti-supergroup FRIENDS OF HELL has been lighting up the doomed heavy metal scene since its debut eponymous release in mid-March. Lord Randall wrangles band instigator and man of many outlets Tas Danazoglou for a quick yet informative chat…

Interview with Tas Danazoglou [Drums]
Interview By: Lord Randall

Rebel Extravaganza: So far as I can tell, you’re currently in Mirror (who has an album coming out next month and is pretty active), as well as Satan’s Wrath (which is due for another soon, I hope personally). Why the need for FRIENDS OF HELL? 

Tas Danazoglou: There’s always the need for more heavy metal. It started as a conversation between friends and ended up being a band, but I love a lot of different styles of heavy metal from doom to trash to death metal. I go through periods of wanting to do more. 

RX: You’d mentioned before also the FOH idea being one you’d held onto for nearly 20 years. Why is now the time? The stars finally right (or wrong?) and crooked enough to bring about this sort of band? 

TD: Well, me and Jondix [Guitars] used to play in a doom metal band 20 years ago. That’s why we felt the need of doing something together again in the same vein. 

RX: I’d interviewed Albert last year for the amazing newest Opium Warlords album, Nembutal, Knowing his extensive history, and with two such creative minds already in the band, did FOH take on other dimensions maybe you hadn’t guessed on when it actually became a breathing, living band? 

TD: The truth is that this that we have had already a better response than what we expected. To be honest – it’s now getting a bit crazy!

RX: Being spread out over at least two countries you can’t actually drive easily between, do you think FOH would exist if it wasn’t for the ability to create, transfer ideas online, etc? 

TD: We would exist – but it would be more expensive. Nowadays things are easier. The difficult part is not the distance, the difficult part is to deliver pure steel. 

RX: How was the album recorded? Analog as possible? All over the internet? It certainly sounds like you’re in the same basement or dungeon, and that’s what makes doom doom and metal metal to my ears. 

TD: We tried to record as analog as possible and as live as possible, but some things unfortunately had to be done digital. 

RX: Lyrically FOH keeps it traditional, not veering too much off the path of darkness, demons, Blood On Satan’s Claw, the Blind Dead series, Haxan. What were a few of the movies/albums that gave you “that kind” of feeling growing up? 

TD: Being a big fan of ‘70s horror for many years, I could mention countless films, but I would say my favorites have always been Hammer horror films and ‘70s British Horror Films in general. 

RX: If you would, go a bit into the lyrical inspiration for ‘Gateless Gate’ and ‘Wallachia’. Also, how important is it for you that an album end on a fuckin’ high note, if you’re listening to it, or it’s one of your own? 

TD: ‘Gateless Gate’ refers to persons who pretend to be Satanists but then at night they pray to God for forgiveness. In general, I would call wimps. ‘Wallachia’ is a vampire themed song. It tells the love story of a vampire and his bride. 

RX: Do you have a vision of FOH becoming a more traditional band, as in able to at least do short tours, play the occasional festival? I know you’ve got the three-album deal with Rise Above, and it has to make you confident with FOH that a label of that stature is willing to put that sort of faith in you.

TD: We said if there’s a good deal, or a good offer, we will play live as a proper band that we are. Being on Rise Above is brilliant. Not only Lee is a great friend, but also, it’s an amazing label that treats artists respectfully, unlike many other labels that I won’t mention.  

RX: Hell, remember back in the ’70s and ’80s, labels were willing to watch a band grow, to see them develop and (sometimes) change dramatically. King Crimson, Rush, freakin’ Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Celtic Frost, Bathory. All those bands took wild turns style-wise at some points, but the labels believed in them. Seems rare today to see that, right? 

TD: We won’t change our direction in the slightest.

RX: Plans for the coming year, with FOH and your other bands? 

TD: With FOH, hopefully some concerts and I’m already writing new songs. With Mirror, our new album called The Day Bastard Leaders Die will be released on Cruz Del Sur Records on April 22nd, 2022.