HELSTAR Guitarist Talks About Classic 'Nosferatu' Album

Full in Bloom Music recently conducted an interview with HELSTAR guitarist Larry Barragan. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Full in Bloom Music: What are your memories of your classic record, "Nosferatu"?

Larry: My memories of "Nosferatu"? Hazy! No seriously, that CD was hard work. The music was quite complex. I remember really having to rehearse and practice quite a bit before we went into the studio. When I listen to it now I can step back and see what a nice piece of work it was.

Full in Bloom Music: Yes it is. I would have to say it's the one album I like the most out of all of them. I loved the whole Bram Stoker storyline. It's certainly the most technical album. I notice that there is only you or Andre playing on a few songs, tell me about that.

Larry: I think that was kind of the beginning of the end. I love that album, we put a lot into it. However, I think that's when Andre and I started going in different directions musically. I hated the instrumental "Perseverance and Desperation". To me it was guitar masturbation and I wasn't into that and I'm still not into that. He said he'd do all the parts for it when it came to recording it. I said go for it. Putting that song on the album was a huge mistake and I wish I would have stuck to my guns and told him "no." Whenever I listen to the album I always skip that song. That song is a good song but it belonged on the Andre Corbin solo album, not "Nosferatu". I did all the guitars on "Harsh Reality". I don't really know why. If you notice, that song doesn't even have a solo. I've never really worried about being featured in a song, to me that's just egotistical bullshit. If a song needs a solo; great, if not... shit, even better. I don't need to put a part in a song so that I can stand in the spotlight and have someone tell me how great a guitarist I am. I've never thought of myself as a great guitarist. I'm an average guitarist really. I'm not a shredder. When I solo I try to make my solos interesting and tasteful. But if I had to play rhythm all night long I would be just fine with that. That's where Andre and I were so different.

Full in Bloom Music: What was touring like? Any fond memories there?

Larry: Well, all the tours we did were scraping the bottom of the barrel tours. All of us packed up in a van and running out of money. I remember one time we didn't know if we were going to have enough money to eat the next day so we hit this buffet and just scarfed down like no tomorrow. I'd look down the table and everyone had like five empty plates in front of them. The shows were always great but the shit that went on behind the scenes was always classic "Spinal Tap".

Full in Bloom Music: What happened after "Nosferatu" Why did you leave again?

Larry: You know, "Nosferatu" was our fourth album and we all poured our heart and souls into it. We felt like it was going to be our turn to make the next step. In the end we just ended up not doing anything because issues with the record company and what not. I had to make a change.

Full in Bloom Music: Can you elaborate on these issues?

Larry: Well, for one, Metal Blade and Roadrunner where parting ways right as "Nosferatu" was about to be released. Roadrunner didn't want to bring us over because we weren't going to be part of their label. We couldn't hook up with a booking agent here in the States and touring was just a fiasco. The album died without any momentum and Metal Blade eventually dropped the band.

Full in Bloom Music: You've also got this new band, ETERNITY BLACK. Tell me more about that.

Larry: ETERNITY BLACK was formed a few years ago by Rob Trevino and me. The band features Russell Deleon on drums. Russ is also the drummer in HELSTAR. On vocals we have Ryan McKnight and on bass we have Carlos Fuste. This band is nothing like HELSTAR. It's very riff oriented just straight-ahead thrash metal. It's the heaviest thing I have been a part of. When you come out to see us you'll see the energy is through the roof. At first we caught some slack because people were coming out expecting us to do old HELSTAR tunes or thinking we were going to sound like HELSTAR but we nixed that from the beginning. ETERNITY BLACK is very much its own band and stands on its own.

Read the entire interview at www.fullinbloommusic.com.

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