Helios Creed Interview
Incoherent House Zine
I usually draw the line at any band that does guitar solos. But there is an exception to every rule, and these guys are definitely exceptional. Just the sheer volume, the driving rhythem, and the weird sounds that happen when Helios runs his guitar through his complicated array of effects puts me in awe. Makes me want to move around' too. Oh, yeah, they also put on a great show...I especially like the obscene things H does with his guitar sometimes…Grux helped me with a couple of these questions, the ones that relate to Helios' old band, Chrome. This interview is with Helios and Mark Duran (bass) - there's also John (synthesizer) and Bill (drums) but they weren't there. Anyway, go see this band. You won't be at-all disappointed. Mitzi
What is the song "X Rated Fairy Tales" about ?
H - It's about a dream I have. About being washed up on a desert island and having no responsabilities, no job, having everything be provided for you. Kind of a cool dream. So I thought I'd take that inspiration and make a song out of it. It sort of has that spaghetti western vibe. Sort of dreamy, haunting.
M - It's really pretty but it's funny too.
H - It's twisted in the context of the record. What they'll be getting is a cover with a mannequin with no arms and a mattress and they won't know what the song's going to be about. They'll go through the first three songs and by the time they get to this song, which is the title song...
How did you get that neat (slow, growling, metallic) voice on the LP ?
H - Just fucking around with what we had - echo, digital delay, phlange. Using different tracks.
You said there was a lot of science fiction influence on the lyrics..
H - Yeah, I tried to keep it within a fictional realm.
What kind of science fiction do you like, besides your own ?
H - Like 50's kind of science fiction films. I liked Alien, that was cool. . .the kind of stuff the world's getting into now. like Star Wars (weapons) is kind of sci-fi-ish. .
Do you find that whole thing depressing or optimistic ?
H - I find it. . .evolutionary. Educational.
If someone gave you tons of money and said you had to spend it all on one show, what would you do?
H - I'd buy another amplifier. We'd have. . .good lights.
M - Tons of "fog,..flames- leaping from every corner. . .mega stacks. . . everything' wireless. . .film. .we'd just have the Kiss show all over again !
H - Seriously; the thing I saw one time that I'd like to do was a neon light design. But that was just sort of a fantasy. But if I was rich I guess I'd be able to do that. But, yeah, we'd also do the Kiss show thing too.
Why did Damon Edge (ex-partner in Chrome) change the titles of the old Chrome songs he used on his live LP ?
H - I don't know. I didn't listen to it, and I don't know anything about it. I heard that he took old Chrome songs and changed the names of them...I don't care what he does anyway. I'm doing something else.
What do you
think is the lamest thing about the
M - People are not friendly towards other musicians. A lot of Petty rivalry bullshit. A lot of labeling.
H - I have mixed feelings about that. . .I've always thought the San Francisco scene seemed pretty lame but that's only because I've experienced different music scenes that I thought were cooler.
M - I think a lot of people fake this blase attitude. Even if they think a band is hot they're too cool to get into it. I haven't found that at our shows. Seems like everyone that comes to our shows is really into it. Other crowds, they just sort of stand there and go "duuuh". .they don't even dance.
You mentioned labeling - my roomate says you sound like heavy metal. What's your reaction to that ?
M - (laughs) Why not? That's as good a label as any.
H - I guess it could be called anything.
M - It's probably because of me and Bill.
You and Bill what - have long hair?
M - Yeah! We just have a driving, metal. . .try to get a real rock and roll sound. Not to mention Helios - when you're Playing at those volumes, of course that's going to come up.
H - It all depends on what they classify as heavy metal. What they used to classify as heavy metal, five years ago, was a very limited sound. Now it can sound like hardcore. But I don't think we sound like heavy metal necessarily. I could see how somebody would get that idea. .I always hated that term "heavy metal.” I hate categories.
M - Labels.
H - Yeah, labels - sort of limiting. That's the way industry sells shit. Brainwash people with labels.
What tends to inspire your lyrics ?
H - The world, I guess. Point of view, the way I was seeing it at the time. The way it seems like things are going in MY head. Dreams. Politics.
What is "Static Gravity- about ?
H - The song's about, sort of. . .looking into the future, projecting prosperity. Sort of magic. . .Actually, I could tell you something interesting about that. . .the song's a magic spell.
Who influenced your playing style/musical tastes the most ?
M - Everything from the Beatles to Elmore James to Zappa. Bass players - Chuck Dukowski. I try to get that Chuck Dukowski tone in general.
H - Me, it'd be, like, Hendrix, Robert Fripp. ..the guitar player in Killing Joke. Different things that I've heard.
What kind of future plans do you have for the band ?
M - We have to have a band meeting (laughs). . .
H - I would like to get weirder on the next record. I'd like to get into effects more. (outbreak of laughter) Into tones more...
You're gonna invent some, huh ? How many boxes do you use ?
H - Seven Off and on. Not on all the time.
M - You gotta include his setup.
H - My setup ? Two Peavey bass amplifiers. Stereo.
M - And how many watts apiece are they ?
H - 160.
M - Now you know why people would think, "yeah, they're metal". Fuckin' loud as hell.
If you could invent a guitar, what would it do ?
H - Probably I'd connect a guitar to a keyboard. Have it all in one kind of body. So I could play the guitar and have it repeat itself like Chuck Berry's guitar does and then play keys. On his he can play a rhythm and then press a button and it'll repeat itself, he can play a lead on top of it. So I’d like to do something like that. Be able to play keyboard on top of it or lead on top of it. And maybe have another version with bass...
There goes your job, Mark !
H - No, I like having a band.
If you could go play somewhere else, where would you like to go ?
H - Shit,
I'd like to go to
What do you do besides play music ?
H - Well, my hobby is trains, model trains. But I like other things, too, like videos. I'd like to be able to make films.
What kind of films would you make ?
H - Like old movies. Films that look like old movies but make 'em like videos.
Would you do a video if the money was available ?
H - Yeah, we're going to do a video. I don't have much information on it.
One thing I've noticed about the stuff you do is that it has this trance-inducing quality to it. Do you have a calculated reason for doing that ?
H - Well, sort of a hypnotic reason. A motion effect - more hypnotic, you can move to it better. ..more primal. keep that primal essence without getting too structured. . .
The new LP, X Rated Fairy Tales, will be out around the end of November on Subterranian Records. I've heard the test pressing, I'd give it four stars easy. Check it out!
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