My name is Paula Nelson, I am the bass player and vocalist of British thrash metal band Helgrind. Our music crosses all genres of metal and appeals to all metal music fans. We were tagged as “One of the heaviest bands in the contemporary scene” with heavy diverse melodic rhythms and aggressive vocal
2.What do you classify your sound as, Who do you tell people you sound like?
We are a thrash metal band, music crosses between Thrash, Death and Black Metal, fast aggressive sound and no-nonsense brutality. We say we are for fans of Kreator, Exodus, Death, Sodom, Sepultura and Slayer
3.With digital music in today's world would you vote to keep or eliminate physical media?
We love physical media, the opening of the wrapper and the look of the album sleeve artwork
4.What is the reason you decided to be a musician and has that reason paid off?
I was sitting in an apartment in Luxembourg at the age of 7, my mum put on some John Lennon and my mind was totally blown, I knew from that moment I wanted to be a musician. That night she also played me some Sex Pistols, it was a great summer of 1979. For me personally I think yes it has paid off, I have recorded with some great musicians since I was 9 and managed to compose loads of different genres.
5.How do you feel about females in metal getting special attention? Do you feel it is fair?
I don’t think its right to say the band is female fronted. It doesn’t matter what gender or sex the members of the band are as long as the band is good. Also…fellas, leave the girls alone, they are on stage to entertain musically not be groped by idiots
6.In the world climate with hatred being at an all time high and metal being an “ angry” music
Do you think your music contributes to anger and hatred?
Traditionally people will turn to metal when times are tough as a voice to vent their anger. It happened in the 70’s with the punk movement and then again in the 80’s when thrash took over the style. Metal is an angry music but the people playing it in the most part are not angry people. It generally is an act, look at Tom Araya for example, extremely angry music and lyrical content and by contrast off stage an incredible human being
7.Are you opposed to religious beliefs or politics being used in music?
I was never a big fan of the political motivation in music with the Dave Mustaine rants or the Rage Against The Machine rants, but those musicians are incredible and believe in their message and I like their music. These days I have no real opinion on the matter, if the music is good then what the hell….enjoy it
8.We have dive into some pretty deep issues here do you think your music sends a message and if so what is it?
Music will always send a message and even in songs you don’t expect music fans will find a meaning to a song that is personal to them. It may not be what the original idea is about but that is really cool about music and the music fans, you can really get lost into it. Our lyrics don’t have hidden messages; most are fictional situations and stories
9.The market has changed and many bands believe that record labels are a thing of the past, with many labels now charging bands to “sign” how do you think a band can make it in todays scene?
The majority of new bands are able to release music themselves without the backing of a label, most of these are digital releases and it’s an easy format to release on. The problem I see is the bands lose out PR and marketing skills of the label, unless of course they can find a decent PR company to look after them. Then of course in the physical sense there is the distribution to hit the outlets in other countries, its hard for bands these days, but if they have the vision and determination they can do it.
I honestly believe that most bands who self-release lose out on a lot of sales and it wastes their talents, good video campaigns and social media campaigns can do it, but its not enough for a band to make it. They have to remember success isn’t coming to them, they have to go and get it
10.Why with the thousands of options including netflix , sporting events everything on demand
Why do you think people should take the time to listen to what you have to say in your music?
If you’re a music fan, it doesn’t matter about the other interests that are out there. Music has always been against these other media, although they were never in your face as they are today. Music fans will listen to music; they will look for new music and will listen to trends their peers are listening to.
We get new people listening to our music all the time; they come from listening to internet radio stations or have seen us on a night out. It really is about advertising and marketing
11.How do you feel about pay to play? Do you think it is fair for a band to have to pay money to play?
I have never done it; it is a bit of a con on the bands and the fans really.
12.It is fact that you are the talent and the entertainment explain what you think is the most important key to success?
The key to success is to be entertaining, if a fan is spending five bucks to come to see a show they don’t want to see a group of people starting at their guitars and not moving. Strong songs and talented musicians is only part of it, it’s the whole musicianship and working as a team that makes you stand out from everyone else. Learn your craft and be good at what you do
13.In country music and even in some cases rock music is written and performed by different people would your band perform a song written by someone else?
We close our shows with a punk cover sometimes, it’s a good ending to a show. If someone came to us with a great song that suited the band we would look at it
14.If you are pro female in music are you pro using sex to sell your music?
It’s a well known fact that sex sells. If it’s done right it can really work well, but there is a fine line of looking trashy and looking elegant. It’s true to say not many people understand the difference between classy and trash, but the ones that do really sell well and good luck to them. Just so you know, I have never bought an album on the basis of the member looking hot, but I have bought albums if the artwork looks great
15.What is your view on the lawsuits against people saying lewd or unprofessional things to women or men and how does that affect an art described as sex drugs and rock n roll ?
There is a fine line in right and wrong behavior of a musician or people that are in the limelight. People have to remember they are selling a brand everytime they go on stage or hit an interview, being lewd to the opposite sex has no place in that area, but like I say it’s a fine line, if you are joking and laughing about stuff it’s ok, but don’t push it too far. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore, the world has changed now from when that stuff was in its heyday. New bands coming through are more tea, energy drink and rock ‘n roll! Us old school metal heads are left with the crate of backstage beer which suits us
16. Ok lets lighten up a bit. What is your favorite band of all time and why?
For me personally I think Overkill are my favourite, they never release a substandard album, they hit it hard every night they play and they are all good guys with time for their audience.
17.What would you be doing if you were not in a band?
I would probably be working in IT or something crazy like that. Outside of the band, I am a producer, label owner and composer so I may not have time for IT afterall
18. Do you have a favorite sports team?
Oh yes!! Tottenham Hotspur are my football (soccer) team. I used to go to all their games back in the 80’s but don’t have time anymore to go see them. I am now an armchair fan……come on you Spurs
In NFL I like Dallas Cowboys, when I lived in the US back in ’84 for the year my friend in West Virginia was a Packers fan and showed me a book of all the different teams, the big blue star won it for me lol Don’t hate me, I was 12 and am very loyal to my team even though I don’t get the game too much
19.If you could get on stage with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
This is too hard a question. There are so many people I would love to share a stage with or write a song with. I always said if Tom couldn’t make it for some reason I will wait for Kerry to call lol it never happened. You know what I have spent at least 10 minutes thinking about this and I can’t pinpoint it to one person
20.This is your shot to let loose, Throw down your biggest complaint about the music biz
Agents who take money of musicians, promise them the world and give them nothing. They are the music industry scammers and there are a lot of these people worldwide making a living off unsuspecting people. The music industry is one of the only industries that isn’t regulated and I think it could be time for legitimate agents, managers, producers etc to be associated to a governing body. There are plenty of regulatory bodies out there but generally the music industry self-regulates which causes an issue. An agent doesn’t need to belong to a regulatory body to get work, that agent can take money from bands and not do any work and still not be prosecuted because the band has willingly given money over for the service.
My advice to bands is, if you are not sure about an agent, get a contract and get that contract checked out. Make sure you are getting something for your hard earned cash