Long Island, New York’s This Is Hell have just embarked on a world tour that will soon bring them to Australia for Soundwave. Guitarist Rick Jimenez talks Eli Gould through their new 7” EP and his plans on “creeping out Metallica”.
"Oh dude, it's 100 per cent, honestly the most ridiculous thing that's ever happened in my entire life. You know something crazier might happen later on, but probably not,” so begins Rick Jimenez, guitarist of Long Island thrash metal band This Is Hell. Jimenez is grasping at the reality that in less than a month he and his band will be sharing the stage alongside their heavy metal idols Metallica at the Soundwave festival.
This Is Hell last graced Australia in 2010 when they were here twice as part of that year's Soundwave line-up as well as a secondary tour with close friends Comeback Kid, but Jimenez concedes the two-year gap was too long. The previous trips to our shores blew away all expectations with the band believing that the Australian crowds were some of the biggest and craziest they had ever seen.
Along with their exciting stage show and enterprising style of trash metal/crossover/hardcore, This Is Hell are also gearing up for their latest release which comes in the form of a 7” EP entitled The Enforcer. The EP is the band's follow up to 2011's Black Mass and is set for release the day before their Soundwave shows kick off. However, in writing this newer material and backing up their previous work, trying to recreate a new sound is something that Jimenez and his bandmates have found relatively easy. Where some bands struggle to find a completely unique sound in a scene that (can literally) scream mediocrity, it comes easy for Jimenez and co. When quizzed whether he finds it a constant uphill battle to write new and refreshing material Jimenez quickly rebuts “You know what, not even a little bit,” with a stern sense of confidence in his voice. He then contemplates: “But it's not like I sit down and I'm like 'I have to write something new' – it's just natural. Which is cool. Everything we've ever done has been natural and that's why we sound very different.”
But perhaps where The Enforcer differs from their past releases, although containing three new original tracks, it also features a cover of Metallica's Whiplash, a song that the guitarist has wanted to attempt for over a decade. “Whiplash has always been a song I wanted to cover; just cause it's like simple, rad and just made for circle pitting and banging your head and acting like a maniac,” he explains. Jimenez's love of Metallica stems from when he first heard them way back in 1988, and they have remained his favourite band ever since. “If I spoke to any of them I would be way too comfortable like 'Hey, I already know you, like we're friends',” the eccentric guitarists considers, before he jokingly admits “and I'm just thinking about tracking them down and trying to creep them out and be like a regular fan, it'll be fun.”
Their current world tour see's them travelling through North America, including Hawaii, then Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, but Jimenez believes the Soundwave festival will be the biggest highlight out of them all.
“Yeah, its nuts, this will definitely be the biggest thing, and you know we've played some festivals; we've played Reading and Leeds twice each. Hell, we've played some crazy things, we've even been able to say we've shared the bill with the Foo Fighters, we've shared the bill with Guns N' Roses, we've done some crazy festivals and we've played with some crazy bands but nothing tops Metallica, man. I'd play with Metallica over everybody; they could be like 'Hey you wanna play with Led Zeppelin or Metallica?' Hey man I'll fucking play with Metallica.”
This Is Hell will be playing the following dates:
Saturday 23 February - Soundwave, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 24 February - Soundwave, Sydney NSW
Thursday 28 February - The Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC
Friday 1 March - Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March - Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March - Soundwave, Perth WA