Knees that creak, backs that are still stiff, and instruments of sonic destruction laying in moth balls, well not anymore! Hell Rides North is coming!
Hell is a mythical and patient place. But when it travels, it turns into Hell Rides North. Ryan Arini (vocals), Matt Lewis (guitar), Vince (bass), and Dan Lewis (drums) make up this Detroit band that has been causing “hell” ever since 2003. The clothing-ly challenged Dan Lewis sat down for a few minutes to talk to us about Dirt Fest 2015, knocking off the dust, and the need to stretch before their set. Now, give Charon his coin and let’s get this skiff on the water.
NRR: What’s been going on with the band in the last year since you guys played Dirt Fest 2014?
Dan Lewis: We’ve been relatively quiet this past year. We’re working on new material and believe me, it’s killer. We came out of hiding and played a headlining show in June at The Detroit Pub. It was great to see that after all this time, we still have the most dedicated, kick ass fans who will still pack a venue to see us.
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015?
Dan Lewis: We are looking forward to Dirt Fest period. End of story. We love this festival. Every year it gets bigger and better. It’s always a great time hanging out with all the bands and fans alike. The energy that surrounds Dirt Fest is overwhelming in a very good way.
NRR: Let The Wicked Burn is pretty old by today’s standards. Any chance of hearing some new music at Dirt Fest?
Dan Lewis: Absolutely! Even though we haven’t released anything in the last year or so, we still like to show the fans what’s in the works. We’ve gotten a great response so far.
Hell Rides North – Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
NRR: What is it that you enjoy about doing your own production with Ryan Arini mixing and mastering and Matt Lewis doing the artwork?
Dan Lewis: The freedom. Whether it be music or the artwork. It makes it much easier at times. If we want something changed, boom, it’s done. We don’t have to work around others schedules except our own.
NRR: What are some of the musical influences that can be heard in the band and have you gotten a chance to play with any of them yet in your careers?
Dan Lewis: Our musical influences are all across the board. We all just straight up love music. I always hear a lot of Pantera and old school Metallica really come through in our songs. Well, half of Pantera is playing Dirt Fest this year with Hellyeah and Down being on the bill. Although they’re playing separate days, I’m still going to consider this a chance to play with some of our idols.
NRR: What can we expect from Hell Rides North in the coming days after Dirt Fest is again an apocalyptic dream of a sleeping, passed out giant until 2016?
Dan Lewis: We’ve got big plans. We’re not going back under a rock anymore. We’re working on some big shows. New material in the works. The four of us have been at it for just over ten years, every bands needs a little break once in a while. But we’re done with that ‘taking a break’ shit.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Dan Lewis: Is there an all of the above option here? So many awesome bands! I know we, as a band, are most excited to see Down. Haven’t seen them live in a hot minute.
NRR: How important is selling merch for a band like Hell Rides North at a festival like this, and will there be anything special or short runs for the Dirt Fest faithful this year?
Dan Lewis: It’s very important for a band like us because sometimes, it’s the only kickback we get. But all that money goes right back into buying more merch. We like to go on free CD rampages where we’ll just start walking around handing them out at random times. We worked hard on this stuff and we want everyone to hear it. Whether you buy it or we shove it down your throat, you’re gonna listen.
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what can they hope to get from your sound on stage?
Dan Lewis: Balls out energy. From us and the music. We always leave it all on the stage. We have a hard and heavy set planned for Dirt Fest. It’s going to hurt, we suggest you stretch beforehand.
NRR: What’s been the most embarrassing thing that’s happened on stage so far, that you guys have been through? And if nothing really, what’s been the most bizarre thing to happen?
Dan Lewis: I would have to say the most embarrassing for the rest of the band would be the night the alcohol in my system decided that playing the second half of our set in my birthday suit was a good idea. I should have been slightly embarrassed but I have no shame. I can’t shake my hatred for clothes sometimes. If you know me, this is common knowledge.