Photo courtesy of Peaceville
Tokyo’s Gallhammer are three hot teenage girls who look cute and play in a band. Big whup, right? Well how about the fact that they play fucked-up crusty punky black metal and are obsessed with Celtic Frost, Hellhammer and Amebix?
From what we heard, they have G-Anx seven inches underneath their beds, Crucifix bootlegs in the kitchen sink and the master tapes to the first ever Bleaaaaauggh! compilation hidden at the back of the wardrobe. They wear shredded Nausea T-shirts to go to the shops and take group baths listening to Anti-Cimex. Rumours also circulate that they each own a copy of the Infest Slave 12 inch where the vinyl is blue on one side and green on the other.
Are any of the crust punks with dogs on strings reading this in love yet? Why not?
Vice: So what music did you grow up on?
Vivian Slaughter (bass, vocals): When I was a little girl I listened to heavy metal. Example, Judas Priest and Metallica. When I was around 14 years old, I found death metal. And then, I had been in the free jazz and noise scene for a while in my teenage years. But when I was 20 years old, I came back to listen to old school metal and UK hardcore.
Why did you decide to release a CD with demos/rehearsals on it? When will a real new album come out?
Vivian: At first, Peaceville wanted to re-release Gloomy Lights. But that was released from Goat Sucker Records of Mexico and Bestial Beast of Finland. People can buy that album still now and we declined label proposal. Maybe the next album will be released this summer. We are mixing it now.
How did you develop such a heavy singing voice?
Vivian: I sang for grindcore and fast punk bands before, so it developed naturally.
Are you trying to create a Hellhammer-vibe with the lyrics too? What do you sing about?
Vivian: I write lyrics about my personal things and my inner feelings. I am not conscious about a Hellhammer vibe. And my lyrics has many Japanese words too.
Risa Reaper (drums): I wrote only one lyrics for Gallhammer (a part of Blind My Eyes). I expressed simply a negative part of my inner feeling. However, I make much of the sense of rhythm than meaning.
It seems that Japanese artists, like you, have this ability that you find only in Japan—to take musical styles and looks from the West, and create a new, original version of it which makes it even more extreme. You always know how to catch the things that are the most important elements of any style, focus only on that, and the result is always a wonderful exaggeration of those styles. I think Gallhammer are also like that. What do you think?
Risa: I think there are Japanese national traits in Gallhammer.
Vivian: I am influenced by overseas bands and by Japanese underground bands that I had watched too. There are a lot of great bands in Japan. And, I think Gallhammer is very unique because we do not fit into a frame of a music scene. Also, I was born in a Catholic family. That is one element that makes our music different from other Japanese bands.
Ok. Here’s a lazy question to end up with; got any funny tour stories?
Risa: We once got stuck on a 12-hour long traffic jam.
Vivian: The other day, we went to tour by public bus from Tokyo to Osaka. At the rest station of a highway, me and Risa was forgotten by driver, we were almost left there two times. That was funny for us. And, we do not yet have a strange experience.
‘The Dawn Of…’ CD/DVD is out now on Peaceville