Interview with Larry Barragan
Welcome to Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia , Helstar The band celebrated your 36 the Anniversary. Did you want to recreate great moments of your past and bring them into your future ?
I don’t think that anyone can actually re-create what they’ve done in the past those moments are snapshots in time and to try to recapture that would be very very hard. We can however play a set list that reflects the span of our career and try to do those songs justice for the fans. As far as recording, I never really want to try to duplicate something that I’ve done before. It would be easy to do part two of any of the albums that we’ve done before. What’s hard is to do something that you’ve never done before and that’s what I strive four.
I’m die hard fan of your music through Helstar can you introducing this Full legendary Metal career to Acier Doux Readers ?
Well Helstar is a band that has been around for like you said 30 years We’ve recorded 10 albums. We traveled all over the world and we had a lot of fun doing it. That’s about it in a not shell. To really tell you the full story of Helstar we would be sitting here for hours and hours and hours I think .
When did you discover Heavy Metal ? What was your first Metal album ? What did you like in this kind of Metal then, and why was it without any doubt better than other genres of music ?
I didn’t really discover Metal on my own. My older brother who has great taste in music actually turned me on to bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and Zeppelin, Rush. I think what I liked about metal back then was the fact that it was very aggressive and I felt like I could channel my anger and my frustrations through this type of music. I think I’ve been a metalhead all my life.
You were teenagers when you started Helstar. Were you ready ? Can you ever be ready ?
You know when we started the band I don’t think anybody had really a dream that we would make albums and tour and have fans all over the world. In the beginning I think we just wanted to play music that we enjoyed. We were just a cover band playing songs of the bands that we idolized at that time. When we started writing our own songs it was just a natural progression for us.
You grew up in Helstar. Is it possible to hold on to some of those feelings of youth ?
I don’t really think that we can hang onto the feelings of our youth. I think more than anything those are just really great memories now. As you get older you move on you have to. Things are much different now, we’ve matured.
You’ve held this together through a lot of ups and downs and personnel changes. How did you retain the essence of the band ?
I think as long as James and I are in the band together we will sound like Helstar. James identifies this band. As long as his voice is on our albums we are Helstar.
Helstar and the bands you grew up on and cite as influences are still making great music and drawing crowds. What’s the key to standing the test of time ?
I believe in order to have a longevity you must above all have integrity. That is something this band has always had.
Is there something you regret doing or not doing with your Metal Career ?
Of course there are many things that I wish we could’ve done differently. But that is life we can’t go back and fix those things. We can only move forward.
In your opinion, which one of your classic albums has been more important to put Helstar among the top class bands of US Power Speed Metal ?
I can’t really pick one album out of the 10. They have all been important at least to me. Obviously the first album is the one that gave us all of our recognition to begin with.
Tell us about your new album ‘’ Vampiro ‘’ . Do you think you return to your ’80s Thrash roots on this album ?
No that was not my intention to write an album that sounded like 80s. My intention was to write an album that had a darkness to it. We have elements of all types of Metal on this album. I love Thrash music. I love Doom. I love Power Metal. So all of those elements are on this album.
Helstar ‘s music is quite seriously brutal and powerfull … Don’t tell me “it’s just how you feel”, it should be directed towards someone or something… So what’s the reason for so much of Heaving and powefull feelings ?
Believe me there’s quite a bit of frustration built up over all of these years. But when we sit down to write an album we always wanted to be aggressive and so that’s a conscious effort.
So many bands try to catch that vibe from the 80’s, and many sound good but only a few sound so real as bands as Helstar . I think that is one of the assets you have never lost and I guess the fans really appreciate it ?
Well thank you. Like I said before integrity is paramount for us. I never want to do an album where are the fans would be disappointed. That is a self-imposed pressure and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for taking some time to answer my questions and keep up the great work with Helstar in the future. If you have any last words of wisdom and experience to finish this chat properly, by all means spit them out… Much Love and Respect Brother !!
I just want to say thank you to you and thank you to all the fans who is stuck with us throughout all the years. Cheers to all of you !
Interviewer: Med Manef Slama