Lawrence Duran Gomez – guitars, vocals, main composition, concept
1. When we last spoke you had said you were still writing the overall concept/story arc for Hell Ever After. Are you any nearer to completion?
The story is finally complete. However, We still have several songs to finish. Luckily over the course of the last year we have chosen to break the record up into 3 parts as opposed to 1 triple LP, which was always very ambitious. So we will be releasing each part as an “Act” which will ease the pressure to complete the entire opera NOW. We can then focus on finishing up the first Act and releasing that as a record. While simultaneously giving us a stress free environment to work on the other acts and the stage production.
2. If you were to play all of your current material, including covers, front-to-back and without stopping, how long would your set be?
With all of the songs we have complete, or nearly complete, along with our “Phantom” cover… I’d say we have about an hour and fifteen minutes. And that is about 2/3 of the what I hypothesis will be the entire Opera. Though when it comes to the “Musical”Production there will not be any covers.
3. How long did it take you guys to finalize your cover of The Phantom of the Opera?
It came along pretty quickly with everyone’s musical background it took very little time to figure out and play together. The most difficult part was the end which had a few tricky things going on.
4. What can we expect from your first album? (how many tracks, number of full songs vs number of instrumentals, etc.)
Like I said before we are going to release each “Act” as a record. Act one is looking like it will be 6 tracks. Some tracks will be standard Metal songs and generally of modern music song length. Others will be more “Opera” structure and much longer.
5. What are some recent investments you’ve made into enhancing HEA’s live show?
We have built two custom (what I like to call) “Rock Star platforms” as well as purchased a new smoke machine. We also finalized our “Satan” look. The mask made by local cosplayer, Malakai Miller, and the jacket designed by local artist Kyle Kaczmyrczak and made by my girlfriend, “Debbie_is_Adopted” herself, Debra Sands. We are very excited to debut it for a live audience very soon.
6. How do you think the back-to-back shows in May 2022 went?
You know how when your coming up on an event your excited about and you have a certain idea of how you would like it to go……?
Well both nights exceeded that for me. Both crowds, Stamps the bar and the Rocking Buffalo Saloon, were super into us. We sold a very good amount of merch and recieved a ton of great feedback. I feel for only our second and third shows as a group we really left an impression. It was definitely a “we’ve arrived” weekend. I want to thank the other bands that we shared the stage with that weekend Spud, Claymore, The Red Letter and Pollock.
7. What is your favorite metal release of 2022 so far?
I am going to have to go with “Impera” by Ghost. I’m not up to speed on a whole lot of new stuff. But with Ghost being one of my favorite bands of last 5 years, of course I picked this one up. And it is fantastic! I seriously Recommend checking it out. It has a strong 80’s vibe throughout, which is probably my favorite era for music.
8. Who is your biggest influence when it comes to the hardcore element in HEA’s sound?
I discovered the “Hardcore” genre well after it blended with various other metal genres. Around 2000/01 with Snapcase being my gateway to the genre. I’ve known Snapcase since about 96(I was 13) but prior to 2000 I just thought they were a unique metal band. In 2000 I discovered it was an entire genre. With that said, My hardcore playing is definitely influenced by such HC bands as Sworn enemy and Unearth. Which I are know both actually only hardcore-esque bands. But that is what I like. My favorite of which would be poison the well. But I’m not so certain that I write in their vein myself.
9. What has been your top concert experience so far since “shows” have been back?
I did get the chance to see Ghost this year. They put on an amazing show. I believe they are the current front runner for best arena concert going today. But I would not say they were my favorite. Probably because Deb and I were in about the 300 level. We also saw Gojira with Alien weaponry and that was amazing as well. Gojira being another of my favorite bands. But I still wouldn’t put it as my top experience. Not because I have any complaints but because I feel the best experience is split between 2 much older bands that I never thought I’d get to see. Those 2 bands being Atheist and Voivod. I love these 2 bands and it’s probably because I thought I’d never see them(or see them again in the case of Voivod, but I wasnt as into them the first time with when they had Jason Newsted on Bass, probably the only reason I saw them then) as well as both of these shows being in a small venue. I loved both these shows and am sticking to that choice for this question.
10. What kind of longevity are you looking for with Hell Ever After? Are you trying to perform with the band for as long as possible, or is there a specific timetable you’re working with?
I truly, in my heart of hearts, believe we are creating something that can have a long life in both concert form as well as theatrical production. My ultimate goal is to run the musical portion during the fall. That would leave January through August for the band to tour or play festivals. As well, it would leave the members of this band that time to do the same with their own groups. Those groups are the time of this reading being Short Attention Span Theatre, Grizzly Run, Inertia(NY), Prepare for the Mindscan and Seplophile. Which are all amazing bands and if you’re reading this you really need to check out. We hope you enjoy our stuff as well and look to YouTube for future live releases on from on us.