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FULL OF HELL: “Art Is What You Perceive It to Be”

"Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation and playing to new people makes you a better, more well-rounded musician."

Full of Hell are one of the most hard working, relentless DIY bands touring today. Hailing from Ocean City, Maryland and Central Pennsylvania, they have toured Europe more than some European bands and are constantly playing shows in North America. Managing to get a few words in with guitarist Spencer Hazard before they leave for Europe, we spoke about touring, working with The Body and their collaboration album One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, the importance of Converge, playing with different artists and being classed as an influence.

Full of Hell Spencer

Jack: Hello, thanks for taking time out of your day for this interview, how are you doing?

Spencer Hazard (Guitar): No problem at all and I’m doing well, getting ready to leave for Europe Monday.

Jack: You’re about to embark on a European tour with The Body, are you excited for it?

Spencer: Excited, but nervous as with any tour that’s abroad.

Jack: What were your first impressions when you first heard The Body?

Spencer: Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan until I heard Master, We Perish. Ever since hearing that album I have been hooked. All of their records seem to be a new step up for them and they keep pushing boundaries on contemporary music.

Jack: How did the collaboration start? Who approached who?

Spencer: We had played a show with them and Thou in Baltimore years and years ago, but I forget how the friendship truly began. We had talked for a few years about touring extensively together, but I think it was Lee (Buford, The Body’s drummer) who suggested to Dylan (Walker, Full of Hell vocalist) that we wrap up the tour with working in the studio together.

The Body & Full of Hell

Jack: You’ve toured with them before, is touring with them different from touring with other bands?

Spencer: Yes, they’re the only band we have even toured with where we’ve gone out to eat more times than actual notes played on the entire tour.

Jack: Dylan said in an interview that you were going to record One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, without writing anything, right at the end of the tour? What promoted this decision?

Spencer: Correct, nothing was written at all before hand. I think we wanted to do it that way so everything came off spontaneously.

Jack: What was the recording process like in the end?

Spencer: Overall it was a very good experience. Everyone involved was happy with the end result and the record overall seems to be getting a pretty good reaction.

Jack: The title to the album is a reference to ‘Doll Parts’ by Hole. The Body said in an interview with Noisey that you never listened to Hole before, have you listened to them now?

Spencer: The Body likes to joke because all of us are 50 or so years younger than them. I’m not the biggest Hole fan, but I really like the first album. I’ve always been a fan of the earlier noisier grunge bands/records.

One Day You Will Ache

Jack: You covered ‘The Butcher’ by Leonard Cohen, why was this song picked?

Spencer: Dylan has always wanted to cover this song and he felt as though the lyrics were a similar theme with the lyrics written for the collab.

Jack: The album has been out for nearly a week now, are you happy with the response so far?

Spencer: In all honesty I am very surprised. Any time you release a record you’re not sure how the public will feel about it. Especially with this record it sound nothing like what either band has done before. Even with the more sub-par reviews it doesn’t bother me because all of the faults they found with the album are what we set out to do. We wanted to make the most abrasive, alienating, painful, challenging record we possibly could.

Jack: Do you pay much attention to reviews?

Spencer: We do because I do like to see how people comprehend our art, but even with the negatives, you cannot let it discourage you. Art is what you perceive it to be and not everyone is going to understand or agree. You just have to be true to yourselves and keep pushing your own boundaries.

Jack: The video for ‘Fleshworks’ is a strange one, what is the inspiration behind it?

Spencer: In all honesty I’m not quite sure. Our friend made it for us and we kind of just let him roll with it.

Jack: Back to the European tour in April, how is touring Europe different to the US?

Spencer: Everything about it is different. Just because you are so far away from home and having to deal with so many different cultures and languages can make it kind of stressful, but it’s still enjoyable.

Jack: You’re also touring with Converge on their Blood Moon dates for a few days, how important are Converge to you?

Spencer: Converge were a band I first heard in 9th or 10th grade that really helped me open my eyes that you can still be punk but push the envelope of what hardcore has to sound like. Even to this day I find the way they write music and just how they carry their band very inspirational.

The Body and Full of Hell Euro Tour

Jack: You’re also playing Roadburn which is a prestigious European festival, does knowing the reputation of the event make you nervous at all?

Spencer: Of course it does but we just have to have fun and not think about it like that. Plus we get to see G.I.S.M, one of my favourite bands ever.

Jack: You’re returning to the UK in November to play Damnation Festival with Enslaved, Nails, Ne Obliviscaris and Oceans of Slumber. Do you like playing with a wide range of artists?

Spencer: I think it’s important that you broaden your horizons and play to as many different people as you can. I think playing with the same types of bands over and over again can be stale. I also feel like putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation and playing to new people makes you a better, more well-rounded musician.

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Jack: As a band you always seem to be on the road, do you have day jobs or is this band a full-time job?

Spencer: We all have jobs that let us tour and create music as much as we want. I would like to be a full-time band, but it’s very hard to do so in an extreme underground band.

Jack: When I interviewed the band Containment (who supported you at the Unicorn in September) cited you as an influence, is it weird knowing bands cite you as an influence?

Spencer: It’s humbling. When you create music you sometimes wonder how people will perceive it, but let alone impacting someone’s life, is very cool.

Jack: Do you have any more collaborations, splits or solo releases in the pipeline?

Spencer: We just finished recording 2 new songs for an upcoming split and we are currently working on a new solo LP.

Jack: Finally, as a band you’re keen on the DIY scene. Do you still find time to go to DIY shows when you’re not on tour, if so are there any bands you want to give a shout out to?

Spencer: The areas we live in it’s pretty hard to get to the major cities for shows, but I try to go out to local shows as often as I can. As for current bands Pissgrave and Gas Chamber are the two best current bands going on right now anywhere in the world.

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Jack
About Jack (874 Articles)
I am a recent graduate from the University of Essex in Colchester where by the luck of Odin I met the editor, Dom. I first got into metal when I was 13 and now I am 22 and own an uncountable amount of band T-shirts. I also regularly attend gigs (local and in neighbouring areas) as well as festivals. My musical taste is varied; I like nu metal (my first love), thrash, black, death, doom, folk, sludge (my favourite genre), symphonic and many more of the multiple genres that metal has to offer, I even like some metalcore (I know it's a dirty word within some metal circles but some of it is outstanding). One of my most memorable metal moments was meeting Grand Magus at the Bloodstock signing tent and having the whole tent to myself, spending a few minutes talking to them.

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