[Interview] Rick Jimenez Of This Is Hell

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BD Music contributor Sammy Key recently caught up with This Is Hell guitarist Rick Jimenez to discuss the new album, touring, and some of his biggest influences. You can check out the interview after the jump.
The band’s latest effort, Black Mass, came out Oct. 11th. The band just wrapped up a tour with Underoath, The Chariot, and Comeback Kid, and they will be performing at The Metal Suckfest, which is headlined by Municipal Waste, on Nov. 4th in New York. Tickets are available here.

Let’s talk about the new album. How did the creative process for “Black Mass” compare to that of “Weight of the World”?
Weight of the World was written largely on the road and between tours and Black Mass was written in full while at home and living regular life. That difference shows greatly in not just the music but lyrically. 
 
Do you have a favorite aspect of or song from “Black Mass”?
Its hard to choose because there are different parts of different songs that makes me want to be like, “Oh wait, THATS’ my favorite song” both musically and lyrically. If I had to choose one song to elaborate on in that way though as of right now I’d pick Black History. I was real psyched on the structure of that song as well as the key changes and variations on main riffs from intro to verse and under the solos. The structure is very reminiscent of early 90′s metal on the pop side like Metallica black album and Megadeth Countdown to Extinction era.
 
So your new stuff is pretty different from your previous releases. Was there any or sort of anxiety around releasing an album that was sort of a departure from your previous records and are you pleased with the fan response so far?
To be honest, none. Tons of excitement though and anticipation for kids reactions. Anxiety in that way is weak. We never play it safe and I resent bands that do, even if thats the “smart” thing to do. The reaction has been great as far as we can tell. I’m sure there are tons of kids that hate the new stuff but I’m way more attentive to the kids that are siked night in and out on the new stuff and the ones that reach out to us on the net about liking the stuff. 
 
Now you guys are on tour with Underoath, Comeback Kid, and The Chariot right now. What’s that like? Tell us a bit about how things are going on tour.
Its different but its pretty rad. Kids are pretty open minded and we are very different for them in more than a few ways. Our energy is new to them and we make sure we get them involved each night and make them part of things instead of “you be the crowd and we’ll be the untouchable band” that outlook is bullshit and sucks. We encourage these kids to get psyched and stage dive even if they don’t know us yet. Its an uphill battle but we enjoy battling.
 
What are your plans after the tour?
More and more touring always! We wanna go everywhere all the time! 
 
Do you have any major musical influences that shine through more than anything on this allbum?
Metallica. Favorite band ever and I’m also SUCH a mark for Hammett as is obvious in my leads. Always been an influence but now its very prominent and its been so much fun. Anthrax, DRI, Megadeth, Slayer, Cro-Mags… all those are bands I’ve always loved but shine through now more than ever.
 
If you had to pick one hero of yours, dead or alive, from the hardcore or metal scene to sit down and have dinner with, who would it be?
Ian McKaye. His ethics on many many things helped focus ideas I had but couldn’t really zero in on until after I got into Minor Threat. His evolution from angry kid to mature adult on many of the same issues over the years is inspiring. 
 
At Blood-Disgusting we love horror. Is anyone in the band a huge horror fan and, if yes, has horror ever worked its way into influencing your music?
Pieter is a big movie buff but I don’t know if horror is really his main focus. One of my best friends is a HUGE horror fan. Its never really influenced our music but I would love to write some songs with some movies in mind… mainly Kthulu Mansion and Blood Lake.