HardTimes.ca conducted an interview with HELMET mainman Page Hamilton when the band played at Studio Juste Pour Rire in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on October 19, 2010. You can now watch the chat below.
HELMET released a new full-length album, "Seeing Eye Dog", on September 7. The band's first LP since 2006's critically acclaimed "Monochrome" and its seventh album overall was made available on the indie Work Song label (with physical distribution by Redeye and direct-to-fan digital delivery by Topspin). The CD was produced by Hamilton, with additional production by Toshi Kasai and vocal production by Mark Renk.
In a recent interview with The Skinny, Hamilton stated about "Seeing Eye Dog", "I knew I was going to make a record. I mean, I wanted to make a record, but it took some time because we got burned by the last record company — so I was a little bit gun-shy. That had never happened to me before, my relationships with [previous labels] Amphetamine Reptile and Interscope were both excellent, respectful and they were men of their word.
"It's a really bad feeling. You write your songs and they go out there to the world, you fulfill your end of the bargain or the contract or whatever and [the label] just go 'Hey, we're going bankrupt. Sorry, but we can't pay you, and we're going to hold onto this for a while cause we're making some money off it.' And that's what happened. So it's been a pretty lean couple of years for me and I'm in debt right now because I paid for this album with my credit card and my manager's good faith.
"Once I was clear last summer I sat down for a couple of months and just started writing songs, and it came together. I felt very comfortable and confident. I think you reach that point where you just do your thing."
Regarding the evolution in HELMET's sound, Page said, "Every day you live your life, you work on your guitar, you work on your singing, you read books — you have more life experiences. So theoretically, as a musician, you should grow and things are going to progress. But to take a complete left turn and try to reinvent yourself is more of a self-conscious approach, and that works for some people."
Hamilton is joined by drummer Kyle Stevenson, guitarist Dan Beeman and bassist Chris Traynor; HELMET's live bassist is Dave Case.