For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The Hellfreaks? How long has the band been around?
Shakey Sue (singer): Wow, that’s what I call caught in the middle! Now I feel a bit like you’re asking a girl in the red light district about her past… we had a lot! All in all, together we count something around 25 bands, which is definitely way too much to name them all.
I’m the only founding member of the band and all the other freaks joined me later on our 9-year-old road. I am the only one, who has only band on her list as a singer - and it is The Hellfreaks. I learned everything here and became whatever I am in this band. The rest of us are professional musicians and music has been a very important part in their (and of course my own) life. Maybe that’s just like love - for some of us it takes longer to find the right one. ;-)
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Shakey Sue: To be honest there is no big history behind it and also, it wasn’t yesterday, The only thing I can clearly remember is that I came up with the idea at one of my very first working places, where I didn’t even earn 2$/hour in a rockabilly bar, which is located in a hopeless outer rim of my hometown Budapest in Hungary. Thank God (or whoever) these times are over!
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Gabi (bassplayer): The musical parts of the songs are written by me or Tom (guitarist of the band). Sometimes there are just ideas and he's got a verse and I know how the chorus will go, but sometimes I write a full song, and he does the same. After we1ve finished - let's call it step 2 - Sue writes the lyrics and the vocal parts.
Sue: The topics definitely changed a lot in the past and I’m curious how they will in the future. I hope they will! I hope they will get better and better! When we started to write our first record 9 years ago, I was more or less a kid. The topics were much more horror themed; of course, I did my best, but I never thought that this band will grow as big as it is today and that the first songs will ever follow me for so long! Maybe I would not have put down my first intention if I’d known that!
Nowadays I’m working on my lyrics a lot - they always have the kind of punk spirit. Not the one which shouts for anarchy, and not the one who spreads ACAB. More like the one, who would like to inspire people to have the right questions, to change and act, even if no one else does. The kind which thinks that education is cool, cause that’s the way to understand the world enough to make the necessary changes. We’re also not the punk band, who shouts out for drinks and drugs. We wanna make you high with our music & the vibe, nothing else.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Gabi: Well I should say nowadays I am more into punk-hardcore or hardcore-ish stuff, but when we wrote our last album "Astoria", old school Offspring stuff was a huge influence for sure.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Sue: To be honest I never planned to end up as a singer. It literally came to me by accident. I had to recalculate my life after a serious sports injury and as my uncle is a drummer, I thought - why not? Let’s give it a try. But you see how this ended up. But I’ve visited a couple of The Pretty Reckless shows in the last years and they are a pure inspiration to me every single time.
Gabi: The first album I had was Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way. My grandma bought it for me as a Christmas present when I was 11 years old. I’m pretty sure that this was the best Christmas present I could get at all. So after that impression, I started to play bass. That album is still one of my favorites. But it took me more than 10 years to see them live.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Sue: I do some ridiculous sounding (and looking) vocal warm-ups by Melissa Cross, drink a couple of sips of still water with calcium in it and hope for the best.
Gabi: Let’s say I was a “fatty-happy” as a kid and thanks to that, I killed my knees in my early years. That’s why I have to warm them up before each show and ask them kindly to survive.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Sue: My personal highlight was the summer of 2015, when we were invited to the Ink ’n’ Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA. Just because none of us had ever made it to the US before - also because this invitation brought the band back to life. The band split up in 2014 and thanks to this invitation we came back with a stronger line up than ever.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Gabi: In our latest interview to this question I answered Zebrahead for sure because “we wanna party party!”. I think I'll stick with this. :)