Pulled bloodied, bearded, and screaming from the wreckage of a furious battle with a Japanese cinema company who we won’t name; comes HECK. The violent, angular, and visually stunning band you’ve always loved, but probably didn’t know it. Fresh from kicking and screaming their way across Europe for a month with their “bropotatoes” (their term, not ours) in Black Peaks, HECK have had a busy year. Returning to the Download, Reading and Leeds Festivals for the first time since their name change (see aforementioned battle).
HECK have a penchant for destruction and danger when it comes to music. Their debut album Instructions is chaotic, aggressive, and passionate. However, HECK are a band best served live. The only thing that they prioritise is to have fun. Because… “if we’re not having fun, then there’s no point in going out there playing shows”. Something which anyone who has seen HECK live can attest to. Spending more time off the stage, than on it, displaying some serious guitar acrobatics; it really is a sight to behold.
Given that HECK spent a number of years working under the separate monicker of Baby Godzilla before being crushed by THE MAN and forced into a name change; it was somewhat damaging to their following. The first tour they went on as HECK was “not greatly attended”. In some respects it was like setting the clock back to zero. However, as time has gone on, they have recovered from it and moved onto bigger and better things. People who do still refer to them as Baby Godzilla get “dealt with” in a “tongue-cut-out kinda way”, apparently.
Given that HECK basically had to start from scratch, their debut album has been received incredibly well. Building on their popular live shows, it seems that people have realised it’s not all about thrashing around like a salmon close to death. Much to their appreciation – “we’re just astounded that people like to come and watch us play the damn thing!!”
After 8 years of playing together in both iterations, they’re pretty shocked to find that they haven’t gone further “To be honest, I thought we’d have achieved a lot more. We haven’t even played at Wembley! But all jokes aside, we’ve been lucky. We’ve had our shit times and we’ve had our great times and hopefully we can have both for a long time to come! It’s great though that whenever we play gigs or tours, more people seem to come each time and that is really special.”
It’s fantastic to hear such a down-to-earth and positive outlook on touring – especially with the ability to tour at a DIY level becoming more and more complex and expensive. Couple that with having a reputation for such wild and raucous live performances and it becomes even more challenging. However, HECK remain resolute! Although they admit to being held back from time-to-time because of their rep they have solid working relationships with promoters who are willing to put them on, and if anyone doesn’t want them, they move on elsewhere. Because, in their own words; “like little puppies, all we want is to be loved”.
Speaking of live shows, HECK are performing in Firebug as part of the nationwide independent venue week run of shows. During their last performance, they turned the sofas vertically and stood atop them, which was fantasic. When asked about their plans for their upcoming show they seem to have taken a different approach.. “So this time around we’ve hired an orchestra and bought 4 identical westlife-esque stools so that when we do key changes, we can stand up in unison. The firebug is in for a treatttttttt”. Following this performance, which clearly can’t be missed, HECK are heading back to Europe, followed by a trip to SXSW in Texas, and after that, they plan to write their follow up. Or tour more. Or both. Preferably both.
HECK play Firebug as part of Independent Venue Week on Wednesday 25th January.