Friday, 23 November 2012


Many years ago in Newcastle, United Kingdom a band called Hellbastard was formed. This band, whether they like it or not, spawned a genre called Crust - a dirty blend of Punk, Hardcore and Metal. Hellbastard were first interviewed by me in the first edition of Crucifixion way back in 1993. I spoke to front man Scruff to see what's been going on since then... 

Hi Scruff, how's things going?

Well, hi to you too Matt, things are definitely going...wrong. Look at the world. What a fucking mess.
I last interviewed you back in 1993 for the first issue of Crucifixion, what have you been up to for the last 20 years?

Ahhh the normal shit, you know - working and earning a wage and paying the bills. Making a lot of bands.

Musically speaking, you seem to be a perfectionist who is rarely happy with his work, but out of all the Hellbastard material, which is your favourite and why?

 Nothing. I have a really great rehearsal tape from 1988 with Bry on drums, that was such a good was 30/9/1988.

With the Ripper Crust demo you basically invented the whole Crust thing. Looking back, is this something you are proud of?

Not in the slightest.

When I previously interviewed you, a couple of things you mentioned was the 'Situation Violent' LP and 'Procession Of The Blind' 12" which were to be released on the Tombstone label. These never surfaced, can you tell us a bit about what happened?

 Marky the guy that ran Tombstone was found dead, he was selling The Big Issue in the street and I think he was murdered. He used to be in a band years ago called The War Ploys. I used to knock around with that guy years before Hellbastard was even thought of. One time we even dyed his hair black in the middle of the street in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Shit happens.

It's been three years since Hellbastard released 'The Need To Kill' and 'Eco-War'. I understand there is a new album in the pipeline though, what can we expect this time round?

Same old shit, probably......

Thanks to you I have had a sneak preview of some of the new material, all of which sounds killer. You have re-recorded 'We Had Evidence' which originally appeared on 'Heading For Internal Darkness' - what made you choose this song in particular to re-record?

 Erm, because we chose that song.

Ever since I have known you, you have never been fond of 1990's 'Natural Order'. Is this still the case? Was it because of the sour taste left in your mouth from Earache Records or purely the material that you didn't like?
Both, definitely...

Hellbastard t shirts and merchandise seem to be pretty scarce these days, are there plans to do some new shirts and patches?

No plans at present, we have no cash to make merch at all. We can't even afford the fucking rent on our rehearsal room.

When we spoke last, you had a new vocalist called Gordon. These days you're back doing the vocals, I take it things with Gordon didn't work out?

Well, we played one show with Gordon, and it was awful. No, it never worked out at all, not in the slightest, not even a little bit. That was 1992 - a long time ago.

What bands are you listening to these days? Are you still a huge fan of Papsmear and Sindrome?

Yes, I will always love those old bands. But now some jazz and some 16 horsepower does me fine, oh with some Gallows thrown in for good measure.

For you, is the lyrical side of Hellbastard just as important as the music?

 No, the lyrics are far more important than the music.

How do you view the Crust and Hardcore scene these days?

How do I view it? Well, let me tell you this - I'd rather stick my head up a cow's ass, and then play with six fully revved-up chainsaws whilst blindfolded, whilst simultaneously trying to fight off a million nazi skinheads.

How did you originally come up What made with the name Hellbastard?

It seemed like a good mixture of Metal and Punk.

Apart from several compilations and a couple of demos, it was almost 19 years between releasing 'Natural Order' and 'The Need To Kill'. You reformed Hellbastard in 2008, what made you reform the band after such a long break?

I had previously been releasing albums, touring and being busy with graduating from university, a band called Nero Circus, then Sidewinder, then King Fuel, then Heavy Water, then The Dischargers and then a band called Moodhoover. All these bands released albums and got busy, keeping me sane.

The most recent release was the split 7" with Dissent. How did this come about?

I think it was that mad drunken bastard Tom from Dissent, it was his idea. We got copies of that 7" when we were on tour in the USA in 2010. I am sure the idea came around in 2009 when we were on tour in the usa then, as well.

Many years ago, you told me about Nero Circus. This was another project of yours, what happened to it?

We made 3 or 4 demos and toured, got a deal with a USA label, released an EP and then got a better deal and released a full album, then made our best recording after that album which had Troy Dixler from Chicago's Sindrome do some guest vocals on it, that was a laugh. There are 10 tracks or so on that, way better than the 'Nailed Harder' CD and the 'Human Pigs' CD. The one video we made was to the song 'Kicked In The Face', it was filmed in a really old barn in Italy.

Have you been playing many gigs recently? Will there be a tour when the new album comes out?

Well, it seems like a long time ago but we only just played The USA Maryland Death Fest with Saint Vitus, Morbid Angel, Anvil, Napalm Death, etc etc. and we were not too long ago in Belgium at Ieperfest with Corrosion OF Conformity, Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, Nasum, Pig Destroyer and a ton of other bands. Previous to this we did a tour of the UK with our mates from Boston, Massachusetts - 'PanzerBastard', that was a lot of fun I can tell ya. We actually plan on touring non stop in 2013 and 2014.

I am personally very excited that Hellbastard are back together and releasing quality music, what do you see the future bringing for the band?

Well our 'Sons of Bitches' record will be out soon on CD via Selfmadegod
 in Europe, and in the USA on vinyl via Unleash Hell and Patac Records.
Any last words?

Yeah, that was really annoying to be sent an interview and have to make it coherent by putting in the numerical question numbers myself. Stop it. Also we have other guys in the band too, Tom McCoombe who plays guitar and Paul O'Shea who plays bass. I could never ever do something so shitty as this by myself, see?
Cheers Matt.

Thanks Scruff. Don't forget to check out the new Hellbastard LP, and be sure to check out their killer back catalogue too. You can visit their offical Facebook page HERE.

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