INTERVIEW: TAMAS STEFAN OF METALCORE ACT FAMINEHILL ON THE BAND, UPCOMING RECORD “ASCEND”, TOUR AND MORE.
SICK AND SOUND presents to its readers an interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with Tamas Stefan (clean vocals/guitar) of FAMINEHILL metalcore outfit hailing from Kazincbarcika, Hungary.
Active since 2013, Faminehill have been announced by their freshly signed label Famined Records. Along with the announcement they gave the world a taste of their new music via the official release of single RUIN in later January and brand new TORN, both belonging to their forthcoming record ASCEND due out on April 5th, 2019. Album can be pre-ordered here: faminedrecords.lnk.to/ascend.
We are now catching up with Faminehill to find out more about the band of Milan Rockov, Tamas Stefan, Gergely Kovacs, Adam Sarog and Zsolt Baranyi and discuss in depth their upcoming album.
- Hello Tamas and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s introduce FAMINEHILL and talk about the meaning of your name and influences.
Hello, thank you for having us. We are a metalcore band from Hungary, originally formed in Kazincbarcika, currently based in Budapest/Miskolc.
The name, ‘faminehill’ is a real thing actually, there is a village here in Hungary, where you can find the hill called faminehill. The story is, back in 1780 people suffered there of famine, and they asked help from a seignior, who decided to help if the citizens build him literally, a hill in return. They made the artificial hill for him, with no animal help, just buckets and a lot of hours of hard work.
We get influenced by anything, honestly. Musically, we all grew up listening to mostly heavy music like Slipknot, August Burns Red and stuff like that. Metalcore works the best for us, it comes naturally.
- Who are Milan Rockov, Tamas Stefan, Gergely Kovacs, Adam Sarog and Zsolt Baranyi outside of their FAMINEHILL outfit?
Milan Rockov is our vocalist, 26 years old, living in Budapest, front office manager in a hotel.
Gergely Kovacs is playing guitar, he’s 28 and living in Miskolc, Quality Engineer at an automotive company.
Adam Sarog is our bass player, he’s also 26 and living in Budapest, he is a roadie/guitar technician for some Hungarian bands.
Zsolt Baranyi our drummer, he’s the youngest in the band, 23 years old, living and working in Miskolc, as a dental technician.
I’m Tamas Stefan, doing the clean vocals and playing guitar in the band, I’m 24 and currently working at a quality support company, in Miskolc.
- After debuting with your very first EP Heart is The Strongest Bone dating back to 2013, you have released a second EP What Have We Done To Each Other in 2015. On April 5th, 2019 you are dropping your full-length ASCEND. Let’s talk about the main shifts that took place in terms of writing since your early materials and how your sound has changed or progressed since then.
Well the most important thing here, is that the first EP Heart is the Strongest Bone was written by our former guitarist Peter Braun who part ways with the band in 2014. He was more into melodic hardore and hardcore-punk things. When I got into the band in 2014, I tried to pick it up where Peter left it, tried to write similar sounding songs but since then, we just write what we want to play. My opinion is it’s good to always try new things, I don’t want every release to sound the same. I wanted to keep some things from our older songs, but also wanted to play a little heavier stuff.
- Let’s talk about the lyrical themes discussed in ASCEND, or any messages you wish to spread with this record, if any.
Lyrically, the album is mostly about mental illness. The album title „Ascend” refers to overcome different feelings which makes our everyday lives harder. For the 5 of us in the band, writing out every story and situation that makes us feel uncomfortable really helped us in this last few years, so that’s where the title coming from.
- I’ve been meeting many bands belonging to metalcore and –core soundscapes mainly located in UK/AUS/USA. Bands such as FAMINEHILL, are proving that those genres are not just an exclusive of those geographical boundaries. I would love to discuss your view on Hungarian metalcore, the challenges and opportunities that your country is currently offering.
We are very lucky to have a strong a supportive metal scene here in Hungary. There are a lot of cool bands and ambitious promoters, great shows every month so we are doing great.
- On the heavier side of things, your sound is intense with explosive breakdowns and riffing. But heaviness is also combined with soothing and soaring melodic injections. So I would love you to describe your sound, its staples and the mindset behind creating a heavy-melodic formula.
Being honest, there is not much of thinking behind our sound. I’m always experiencing with our sound, and the heavy-melodic formula was always my thing. As I said, this is what comes naturally for me. It’s a really good way to express emotions, bitterness usually comes with anger.
- You have released two singles off ASCEND, RUIN and TORN. Let’s talk about them and what kind of insight on your album they are able to give.
‘Ruin’ starts softer than the rest of the record, but alongside with Torn, these two is a good answer if someone wonders what to except from the album, but there are a lot of breakdowns, riffs and melodic choruses left on it.
- What were the most challenging aspects working on your new record?
This one is easy to answer: Recording. I decided to do the guitar and vocal recordings by myself, so we can work on it as much as we want to make it the best, and it turned out great, but it was a ton of hard work for me, sleepless nights and days. That was the most challenging part.
- Your live experience. You have shared the stage with bands such as Bury Tomorrow, Texas in July, Hands Like Houses, Kingdom Of Giants, Acres, Dayseeker, Burning Down Alaska, Canvas. Let’s share your best on-stage moments and the coolest coolest things you have experienced at a show so far.
One of my favorite, every time we played in Slovakia, there were some people singing riffs from one of our older songs. Every time. I loved that a lot. Also, It’s always a great experience to share the stage with bands you are a fan of. We already have lots of amazing memories, and we’re ready to make more.
- I would love you to share any sneak peeks on incoming news, plans, a tour or anything FAMINEHILL have in store for us in 2019.
Sure! We’re going on a small release tour in April, and planning to tour this fall too if it’s possible.
Here is our April tour:
Apr 5. Budapest, HU / Barba Negra Music Club
Apr 12. Merano, IT / Youth Center Jungle
Apr 15. Fontaine L’evequé, BE / MCP Apache
Apr 17. Prague, CZ / Balada Bar
Apr 18. Kyjov, CZ / Rock N Rolla
Apr 26. Győr, HU / Győr, Dongó
Apr 27. Székesfehérvár, HU / Nyolcas Műhely
Apr 30. Debrecen, HU / Kaptár Klub
May 17. Szeged, HU / Grand Café
May 18. Eger, HU / Zöld Pecsét
Thank you for your time and we wish all the best luck with the release of your upcoming record. We are thrilled for more music to be dropped by FAMINEHILL and will support you into Europe and US!
Thank you so much for having us!
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