Bands like Gojira and Godflesh might be major brand names ‘round these parts, but mention them to your average Metallica-loving broseph and you’re likely to get a squinty-eyed, the-fuck-you-say? half-nod. But Decibel just won’t quit. We dig deeper, danker, darker and dirtier (though rarely fitter or happier) to turn up a few otherwise overlooked gems. Throw Me a Frickin’ Bone scribe Kevin Stewart-Panko and I have teamed up to bring you the stealthiest bandcampiest demos, EPs, singles, one-offs, full-lengths, and start-up acts that catch our attention and give us goosebumps. We’re like a superhero duo, where KSP’s the superhero and I’m the kid in the homemade cape who won’t leave him alone. He’ll round up jamz and slamz for your perusal in the magazine, and you can turn your attention to the Deciblog every Friday for even more label-less craziness. Consider it official: here’s your first installment of Frickin’ Bone 2.0: Bonin’ the Interhole.
If the Unspeakable Territories EP by Hello Jackie doesn’t frighten you a bit, then you’ve been spinning too much Stolen Babies at wedding showers, or maybe Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at four-year-olds’ birthday parties. Wondering why your well planned surprise bashes never retain guests past the obligatory stop-in-say-hi stage? You gotta cut that shit out. Your friends and family can’t stand your SGM records. They smile awkwardly then duck back into their minivans, roll their eyes, and drive home to relax with an Unexpect LP.
Back to the topic at hand. Hello Jackie. Innocuous name. Scary freaking music. And solid as hell. Zuza’s thunderous riffage, Soha’s tasty percussive patterns, Nowy’s bruise-dark bass work, and Ashka’s haunted piano plinking and alto-croon-to-psychotic-caw vocals turn all of their Unspeakable Territories EP into an alluring/repulsive horror show. Want a better description? Write it yourself. Click below to fill your brain with the best extreme Polish-Irish collab you’ve never heard.
What is the Hello Jackie story? How did the band get together and decide to create hackles-raising death noise?
Zuza: Ashka and I are sisters. We had a band together back in Poland but it broke up and we moved to Ireland. We always knew that music is exactly what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives so even though beginnings in a new country weren't easy, [the] first thing we have done was a search for musicians. Although it didn't take us that long to meet Soha (drums) with whom we got along really well from the first rehearsal, it was a good while before Nowy joined us on bass. We played with several random bassists until 2010 but with Nowy on board [it’s] just a perfect match.
What music have you been heavily into during HJ’s lifetime?
Zuza: I personally never really stick to one music genre for a long time. I get bored pretty quickly. As far as I'm concerned there's always something new and I try [to] search for some unusual stuff. Today it's black metal, tomorrow it will be 80's disco. But there are bands like Led Zeppelin, early Korn, DCD or Faith no More that I always come back to. Anyway it's different for each one of us, everyone is into something else and I guess it really works out for us as a band ‘cause so many influences reflect on our own music as an quite interesting mix.
What is songwriting like for HJ? Is it jam/collaboration or individuals bringing ideas to the group?
Ashka: Basically me and Zuza are creating general construction: riffs, [motifs], vocs, etc, we can say “backbone”. For us every song is a story so it needs a beginning, developing [middle] and the end that make sense, that work with lyrics. We bring it to the guys and then on rehearsal we all work on this, getting the final ''look'', changing, polishing it. Often everything changes when Soha comes up with unexpected rhythms and drumming parts or Nowy adds some atmosphere with his bass lines.
Ashka – what vocal preparation/throat lubrication/demonic possession allows you to spit your potent venom?
Ashka: Every morning Soha and Nowy have to deliver their blood samples so I can mix it with my morning cafe [that’s coffee for us American savages] and there it is. :) No but seriously for me is just one word – passion. I have a whole spectrum of emotions inside of me and rage is a big part of it so that's the way I want to express myself right now.
Where are the Unspeakable Territories? Can you reach them by public transit? If so, how does one acquire a ticket if they can’t be spoken of?
Ashka: Fragile soul is the only transit. There are some areas in our lives that simply can't be reached by words so you have to search for different medium to explore it. Also...[a] CD player won't hurt as well. :)
Who did the artwork for the EP? Does the image represent a particular idea, or is it just aesthetically cool?
Ashka: So far I've been in charge of all [the] artwork side of Hello Jackie, like flyers, posters, photo editing, CD covers. It's something I just really enjoy doing and that lets me complete my vision of what Hello Jackie represents. Like with [the] ''Sick'' video [see above], I spent over a month creating all the costumes. I was running off my feet but at the and of the day it brings a lot of satisfaction.
What is HJ’s live experience? How have the shows been?
Soha: Each new show brings better experience for both us and the fans. We played few great shows this year, including Metalfest Open Air in Poland, which featured some [of the] biggest names in the metal world. We're hoping to organize another tour this [year] or next year, possibly around [the] UK or Germany. We're also planning to make our shows more of a visual experience, but what exactly will it be, you would have to see it yourself.
What comes next for HJ?
Zuza: We are currently looking for a label and gathering songs for debut full-length album. We actually have some more material already recorded for the second EP which we might release soon. But what we love the most about playing music is doing it live, so, like Soha just said, we really hope we will be able to get out there and play a bigger tour next year, and who knows, maybe hit the States one day? We get a lot of positive feedback from our US fans, so we would be absolutely delighted to make it there and kick your asses soon. Plans and hopes for the near future are big! So all Deciblog readers, keep watching our Facebook page for the news. We are sending a big HELLO to all of you! :)