In the fifth part of our coverage of Hell’s Heroes, for the first time a musician who was on stage himself has his say: Rüsty, whom many of you know from his other band Fer de Lance, was able to rock the fans in Houston with Midnight Dice. Rüsty kindly provided us with the pictures you see here. We are already looking forward to seeing him live with Fer de Lance in Oberhausen on Tuesday!
André: Where are you from? And how long did you travel to get to the festival location? Was it your first time there?
Rüsty: This was my first time at Hell’s Heroes and my first time in Texas. It was just a 3 hour flight from Chicago. However, it was one of the more turbulent flights of my life as we flew in over weather systems producing tornados. It seemed fitting to start the heavy metal trip off with a bit of danger.
André: Which bands were your highlights at this year’s Hell’s Heroes festival?
Rüsty: There were so many great performances. Hällas was the band “I had” to see. They really blew my mind with an intense set focused heavily on their first album. It seemed the crowd was all in for it, too! It was high energy, emotional, and a bit freaky. Their big hit “Star Rider” really brought the place to life. Ross the Boss was one of my favorite sets. It was an absolute pleasure to see Dirk, their new bass player, on the stage. He plays in Gamma Ray, one of my all-time favorites, and the one that really got me into heavy metal music. It was the best I’d ever heard any of those Manowar tunes and the whole band and the crowd was on fire. Morgul Blade keep getting better and better. They played a couple new songs that sounded great. Of course, Pagan Altar live is always a gift. They played in full daylight with the sun blazing and a big monarch butterfly flew right through the crowd and right through the band on stage. I’ll never forget that.
André: How did you experience your own performance with Midnight Dice?
Rüsty: We had a blast rocking out on that lawn stage in the open air. There was a threat of heavy thunderstorms for the hour around when we played so it was a bit tense as we were setting up. They would not let us put up our banner because of the wild winds. In great luck, the storms held off and we got to rock in Houston as scheduled. Another gift!
André: What do you think of the location? Please also tell us something about the atmosphere on the grounds.
Rüsty: The venue, White Oak Music Hall, was great. As a band playing, the staff took great care of us. My favorite part: the sound was great for all the bands I saw, both inside and outside. There was always plenty of space to spread out. It never felt too crowded, which was nice. It seems like there will be room to grow for the festival. It was a heavy party scene, especially outside around the lawn stage. I had heard they know how to party down in Texas and I can confirm that yes, Texans know how to party! That said, it never really got too out of hand. People seemed to be taking care of each other, which is always nice to experience. The party scene at our hotel, Heights House, is worth mentioning. It was out of control almost 24/7. Two nights in a row around 3 am, I was awoken by energetic metal party people screaming “DIAMONDS DIAMONDS AND RUST!”. Awesome!
André: Which bands would you like to see next year?
Rüsty: I’d like to see more bands from Europe. To name names… how about Atlantean Kodex!