Himsa is an American heavy metal band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1998, their band name is from the Sanskrit word Himsa, which means “harm” or “violence”. The group released four full-length studio albums, two EPs and one DVD before their disestablishment in 2008.
Grim Magazine: First of all, the new album “Hail Horror” hit stores this February; tell us a bit about the album and the work that the band put into it.
Chad: Well we wrote the album last year and flew over to record in Denmark where Tue Madsen recorded and produced for us. The majority of the writing was done by Kirby and a few bits and pieces were from our old guitar player. After the recording, we had to work out some legal issues without old guitar player which pushed the release of Hail Horror back a few months. But all that is over and we are very happy that the album is out and doing well.
Grim Magazine: Tell us a bit about the filming of the “Sleezevil” video?
Chad: For “Sleezevil” we worked with Derek Dale who filmed our first video “Rain to the Sound of Panic.” We ran the idea by him and he was down to do it, so we rented an old TV studio that had a hospital set in it and just worked with what we had. I think it can out pretty sweet!
Grim Magazine: Were the similarities to Anthrax’s “Madhouse” video done as an homage or was that just coincidental?
Chad: That was totally coincidental, although “Madhouse” is a great video. With our video, we tried to make the theme the van wreck and everyone thinking that someone is having major surgery when it ends up just being a guitar. But the moshing patients is very similar between the two videos… good call.
Grim Magazine: How was the tour with Darkest Hour for you all?
Chad: It was great. Probably the best tour we have done to date. Every show was awesome and the bands were amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better tour!
Grim Magazine: As you are a Christian, how do you reconcile your faith with the “evil” imagery that the band uses from time to time?
Chad: I don’t think so. The imagery that Himsa uses is somewhat similar to old Motley Crue. It’s all for show and sometimes even a little humorous, so it really doesn’t bother me. I am the only Christian in the band so I did get outvoted when we did the pentagram hoodies last year… that wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.
Derek: Some of this is a little tongue in cheek. Some of it is silly.
Grim Magazine: I don’t know; every time I came to a Himsa show, I expect human sacrifice and you guys have not delivered so far, goddamn you! (laughter)
Derek: You’re going to have to wait until we’re playing in the coliseums.
Chad: When we can afford human sacrifices. Nightly. (laughing)
Grim Magazine: Alright! I see that Sammi Curr has recovered nicely from that fatal hotel fire nicely; is he going to be shooting bolts of lightning from his guitar into the audience tonight? (see the movie “Trick or Treat” and this will all make sense)
Derek: We had to stop the bolts of lightning because of an impending lawsuit, but he’ll be sending out bolts of light instead.
Grim Magazine: Plus it probably doesn’t help merch sales when he evaporates members of the audience, either.
Chad: Or burns the shirts up.
Derek: We tried to make him pinpoint members of the audience who had already bought stuff.
Chad: Those are return customers! (laughter)
Grim Magazine: Now, if a person has sex with a zombie, is that necrophilia? After all, they’re technically the living dead.
Derek: Whoa… that’s deep. Mike! Help us out!
Mike (of Darkest Hour): I already got my zombie apocalypse escape plan and it does not involve having sex with a zombie. ‘Cause we’ve all seen the remake of “Dawn of the Dead”, where the dude has sex with a chick, she becomes a zombie and has a baby zombie that ends up killing him, so it just not worth it, I think. (everyone laughing)
Derek: But is it necrophilia?
Mike: Oh! (laughing) No.
Grim Magazine: Okay, what if two zombies are having sex with each other? Is that necrophilia?
Derek: No, ’cause the whole turn on in necrophilia is that they’re totally dead; they’re not moving, cold.
Grim Magazine: Well, what if you tie the zombie up so it’s not moving?
Derek: It’s still going to be moving a little bit; it’s a zombie, you know what I mean? It’s just like moving on its own accord. (group laughter)
Mike: I’m not really sure how you could have sex with someone who’s trying to eat your brains, anyway.
Grim Magazine: That’s what a gag is for.
Derek: I would defer it to Pettibone (vocalist), as he has the most experience in this area. (laughter) ZING! (more laughter)
Grim Magazine: Okay, now I’ve got to call you to task on the name of the band…
Grim Magazine: Yes.
Derek: Skip it. I won’t tell you, you know that.
Grim Magazine: I already asked that last time; this is a different question.
Derek: Okay; let’s hear it.
Grim Magazine: Alright… Himsa is a sexist name. Why didn’t you go with Hersa or Him Or Hersa or even Themsa? (laughter)
Derek: Themsa would have been awesome! (laughter) Actually… um… (pauses) I don’t have a response to that. (laughter) Dude, you thought about that one way too long. Actually, in Europe, we are Hersa, so it equals out.
Chad: They never know what we say when people ask what our name is. Someone thought I said “H.I.M. suck.”
Derek: “Oh, I didn’t know you were one of THOSE bands.”
Grim Magazine: No, no, no, no… that wouldn’t be proper English! How could they think you said “H.I.M. suck”? It would have to be “H.I.M. sucks” with the “s” at the end.
Derek: Not in Europe. Anything goes in Europe; we’re actually “Hizma” in Europe. We’ve actually been printed as that over there.
Grim Magazine: I bet that really confused 3 Inches of Blood as to who the hell they were playing with a few weeks ago.
Derek: Well, that was before the 3 Inches of Blood tour. I think they got a little better. They picked up on it after a few years; it was a promoter.
Grim Magazine: Now I asked you this question last time and I’ve got to ask you again; are still down with the sickness?
Derek: Absolutely. (laughter) I will never not be down with the sickness.
Grim Magazine: Okay, now what is the whole story behind that? ‘Cause I was reading about it in the tour diary, you got asked that question a lot down in California; what exactly was that about?
Derek: I guess… Were people asking me that? I thought you were just asking me that.
Grim Magazine: Well I got this off of a tour diary that was put on your website a couple years ago.
Derek: I think at that time… there was one time… (pauses) I don’t even remember. That was so long ago; you can’t ask me anything about that. I just don’t remember anything that long ago.
Grim Magazine: So you don’t remember starting the band, you don’t remember anything up until the last year or so? (laughter)
Derek: Pretty much, actually. (laughter)
Grim Magazine: Were you stranded on a desert island with amnesia or something?
Derek: No, I just don’t have a very good memory.
Chad: Stranded in a van.
Derek: I know that I’m still down with the sickness.
Chad: And will always be.
Grim Magazine: Would you be down with the Bird Flu?
Derek: Um… no.
Grim Magazine: What about SARS?
Derek: No, it’s too old. (laughs)
Grim Magazine: So it’s not just any sickness, but it has to be a specific kind?
Derek: No, it’s specifically ‘The Sickness.’ (laughs)
Grim Magazine: All right, last question – what is the fascination with serial killers on the website?
Derek: That fascination is long gone and is being reworked at this very moment.
Grim Magazine: …okay, I guess that’s it then.
Derek: (laughter) Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you on that one.
Grim Magazine: That’s okay. Alright, thank you!
Derek: No problem, thank you!
With: Derek Harn & Chad Davis
Interview Date: March 18, 2006
Years Active: 1998–2008, 2017–present
Genre: Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal
Website: Band Website
Label: Revelation, Prosthetic, Century Media
Origin: United States
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
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