Interview: Spencer Hazard of Full of Hell

Full of Hell is a four-piece band out of Maryland and Philadelphia. It’s difficult to really pinpoint a specific genre for Full of Hell, as they tend to push things to extreme levels in multiple directions rarely seen in modern music. There’s clear influences from grindcore and powerviolence, but they throw in touches of hardcore, black metal, and doom metal — just to name a few. Since their inception in 2009, they’ve toured and released music nearly non stop. They’ve collaborated with multiple artists, including both The Body and Merzbow, and continue to put out split-records with a plethora of other bands — all while putting out full-length albums. I talked with guitarist Spencer Hazard about how he got into music, the band’s relationship with The Body, and what the future holds in store.

Clear Noise: This is kind of a uniform question I tend to always ask first, but at what point in your life did music start to play a big role? Were there any specific bands that really kick-started your passion for music?

Spencer Hazard: I think I started trying to take music more serious around the time I was 16 or 17. That’s around the point I started jamming with people and trying to start bands. I think a very pivotal band for me was Botch, because from them, I discovered Hydra Head, which introduced me to more experimental and extreme bands. Another band that completely shaped my interest was The Locust. I remember getting the one Hellfest DVD and thinking it was a joke, but something about them piqued my interest and helped me discover different grind and power violence bands.

 CN: Why did you choose guitar over other instruments?

SH: I didn’t really. My parents bought me a super cheap Sears guitar when I was 12 or 13 but I didn’t really care about it much. Looking back, I really regret not taking it more serious. Or even looking at it with a closed mind even at 16 when I tried to be more serious. I hadn’t really tried to push my limits of writing or learning until like maybe the last 4 or 5 years. I feel like having limited knowledge of the instrument forces me to try to be more creative with the skills I have but at the same time I wish I had progressed more as a player.

Photo by Mike St Onge
Photo by Mike St Onge

CN: You guys have had a ton of releases over the years, is there any one of them that you particularly like more than the rest?

SH: The Merzbow release will always probably be the most important in that it helped the trajectory of the band. It was an honor being able to work with such a legend and it got our name out there to a lot more people, but there is also a lot I would change about that record. I would like to go back eventually and remix that record. I know when we first created that record, we mainly used Masami’s sounds to make the songs sound fuller. But I feel like he’s a little too buried and not represented enough.

CN: You seem to have a unique relationship with the guys from The Body. How long have you guys known about them? How did you originally decide to start writing albums together?

SH: We first interacted with them around maybe 2011 or 2012 when we played with them and Thou in Baltimore. From that point on, Dylan and Lee started communicating together and we decided to do a tour and at the end of it write a record together. We have stayed best friends ever since that tour.

 

Christian Barker
Photo by Christian Barker

CN: Do you think there will be any future releases with them?

SH: No plans currently, but we can never rule anything out.

CN: Your sound has evolved drastically from “The Inevitable Fear of Existence” to your latest LP “Trumpeting Ecstasy.” Do you think you have finally found your sound, or will you continue to experiment with different stuff in the future?

SH: I feel like the difference now and from when we first started is that we’ve just become more focused and more proficient at our instruments. Our influences may have shifted, but I think the core idea of the band has stayed the same for the most part. I don’t think we will ever try to settle for one sound because the most fun part of playing music, for me, is experimenting and trying new things.

Damien Dissonance
Photo by Damien Dissonance

CN: You toured last year and had noise artist Limbs Bin play on a few of your sets. How did that all come to be?

SH: I forget how we became friends actually haha. I know we just started talking on Facebook one day, and somehow it came about him doing merch on a tour for us. We just thought it would be cool to have him play before some of our sets, and the last tour we just decided to include him in our live show.

CN: News was just announced about the Full of Hell and Gatecreeper tour. Do you guys anticipate on playing any new tracks on that run?

SH: No new LP tracks, but we will be playing some songs from a release we have coming out later this year.

CN: Last question here for you. You signed with Relapse Records and have plans on a new LP. Is that something that we’ll probably see towards the end of 2018? Any plans for smaller releases before that?

SH: Most likely sometime in 2019. We are trying to take our time with writing this record. We do have a new split coming out though later this year.

Full of Hell can be found on Spotify, YouTube, and Bandcamp.

 

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