Since its formation in the politically-charged country of Israel in late 2010, HAMMERCULT has created a violent mixture of extreme thrash metal with a nasty punk approach, delivering crunching riffs, furious vocals, pounding drum skins and sickening lyrics. In a matter of months, HAMMERCULT has managed to gather a loyal hardcore fan base through the band’s intense live show attitude – NO BULLSHIT, JUST METAL! Hammercult are: Yakir Shochat – Vocals, Arie Aranovich – Guitars, Guy Ben-David – Guitars, Elad Manor – Bass, Maayan Henik – Drums.
1. Hello, Yakir, how are you? Welcome to metalshockfinland.
Y: Hi guys! Great to be here.
Y: As always, it has been an amazing day. The thing I love the most about each day is waking up in morning. Morning comes, morning always comes. Every morning by the time I get my ass from the bedroom to the kitchen here he is: MR. Resistance. You know him, everyone who reads this interview have his own MR. Resistance. He is cynical bastard, a lazy and stubborn son of a bitch. Every morning he is poking at me, mocking me, already convincing me to get back to bed, abandoned my agenda for the day, and give up already on all challenges that the new day brings. He is already trying to convince me that all those things that I planned on doing today don’t mean a shit.
For me each day have an agenda, a goal, a purpose and a challenge. Every day I rise to the challenge – to fulfill my day to the max. I focus: Paying attention to my inner voice, not the voice of MR. Resistance. This is the best part of the day – Kicking MR. Resistance ass morning after morning, day after day!
Rather if it’s in the gym, with the band, or my personal career: In every aspect of life I listen to my inner voice, take no prisoners and kick mother fucking ass.
3. Tell us how Hammercult band came about?
Y: As a concept Hammercult was created by me in late 2006, after my band at the time, Hangman, has been disbanded, yet the project really took life, came into flesh and become a full time band only in late 2010 with the arrival of my brother-in-arms Elad Manor, which was followed by the addition of the entire band line-up: Maayan Henik, Arie Aranovich and Guy Ben-David.
We are kicking ass and taking names ever since.
4. All musicians of the band have rich musical histories. Tell us a little bit about the times before the creation of Hammercult
Y: Well, as pointed out before, I used to play in the now disbanded Thrash Metal band Hangman, who gained their name in the underground scene in the first half the decade. Other band members are also playing or played in bands that are familiar in the Israeli local scene: Elad and Arie plays in Melodic Death Metal band The Fading, Guy plays in Metalcore band called Demented Sanity and Maayan used to play in an Alternative Rock/Metal band Align.
While I never liked the term, we are considered in the local Israeli scene as a ‘Supergroup’ – however it is safe to say that while other local band have claimed the term to themselves – Hammercult where the only band who actually delivered results.
Y: Each member in Hammercult was influenced by different groups – but I guess that this is what makes us sound unique, as we gather mostly Thrash influences, but also Black & Death Metal and a lot of Punk. You can certainly hear the influences of Destruction, The Crown, Venom, Bathory, but there are even some less heard influences like Manowar and Judas Priest.
6. This year your have written your first EP “Rise of the Hammer”. Tell us a little bit about the recording process.
Y: The EP contains tracks that were recorded in 3 different sessions. Actually ‘Stealer of Souls’ is the only track that contains the entire running line-up in the studio. I do remember us mixing into the night, trying to find the ‘right tune’ for the mix, as it is a challenge to work with 3 different sessions and make them sound some-what similar. But like every recording – it was fun as hell. Can’t wait to record our debut album.
7. After recording you went to Wacken festival and took the first place in “Wacken metal battle” which led you to receive your contract. Tell us a little bit about this competition, because I don’t know much about “Wacken metal battle”.
Y: Well, the W:O:A metal battle is a competition between metal bands from 28 different countries. The rules are simple – each band have to play a 25 mins live set, best band – wins. Bottom line – we kicked ass, kept the circle pit burning, and gave our best show so far that gave us the victory.
8.Next month you are leaving for a big tour in Europe with the legendary D.R.I. . How did you meet these guys?
Y: We didn’t. The tour was arranged in courtesy of our record label Sonic Attack Records and M.A.D tours booking agency. It will kick off this November and include 16 dates across 5 countries all over Europe. We could not ask for more in our first major tour. It’s going to a blast!
9. Now that you’ve beaten so many countries on Wacken Metal Battle, you’re planning on recording your first album, right?
Y: We will start recording our debut album soon after we finish our first European tour in late November. The album is scheduled to be released in our label Sonic Attack Records.
10. I must confess that I don’t know a lot of bands that in one year of their existence went to Wacken and then on a enormous European tour =)
Y: Hahaha. Yeah! Well I guess that this is what makes us unique in the worldwide Metal Scene – but you know, this is what Hammercult are all about: Full speed ahead – and not just musically.
Y: Thanks to all the brothers and sister who support us – we owe it all to you! See you on tour – Raise your hammers, and stay the fuck out of the mosh pit if you ain’t got the balls to take it!
Interview by Kostya Aronberg
Hammercult – Black Horseman (EP 2011)