Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Bitchie, the guitarist from Hysterica. “There are not so any girls who are willing to practise or sacrifice as much as necessary.” Hysterica is a heavy metal band from Sweden. This interview is with Bitchie, the guitarist and founder of the band. Besides the fact that Hysterica is good heavy metal band it is also a all women band and they are not afraid to show this.
The first question: with Heavy Metal I think of denim jackets full of patches. Do you have a patches jacket?
No, I don’t have that kind of jacket.
Did you always wanted to become a guitarist?
When I heard Jimmy Page play guitar on the Zeppelin album years ago I decided to learn guitar. My dream was to sound and play like he did. Years after that I have discovered a lot more guitarists. The guitar is the ultimate instrument. The most beautiful, the toughest, the most heavy. So you can really express yourself on a guitar. I develop all the time and love to pick up my guitar at home and play.
What kind of guitars and amplifiers do you use?
I have a: Fender Stratocaster 1962. Beautiful and sounds really blues. Gibson firebird 1964. Jackson V-guitar.And a custom made guitar for metal. I play Marshall but I am still searching for the ultimate guitar sound.
And how did you end up in the music business?
I have been playing since I was 17 years old. How could you not?
Is it easy to combine Hysterica with your personal life?
Yes. At the moment we just live on our dream. (We are not living our dream yet). And the dream is to earn your living on your music and we all are prepared to do so.
And do you have other passions besides metal?
I have a lot of passions. I love to paint and anything creative in art. My family and friends are really important, including the band.
Did you have any other bands before Hysterica and/or are you active in any other bands now besides Hysterica?
I have played in a couple of bands before Hysterica. The last project was a heavy bluesband – A lot of Steve Ray Vaughan covers. This was really enjoying for a guitarist like me.
What is the idea behind the name of the band? It sounds a bit like Metallica but somewhere in the eighties Def Leppard had an album with the same name.
The idea was to create a female band that plays hysterical heavy metal. Couldn’t think of a better name. And a band called Hysterica could, of course, only contain girls.
And how would you describe your music?
The music is hard, melodic and heavy. We hope the music gets right into your body and heart.
And what makes Hysterica different compared to all the other female fronted bands in the world?
We were hoping not to be compared just to women in metal. Think we leave this question open for the readers.
Speaking of women in bands, Hysterica is one of the few all women metal bands. We still have Girlschool or The Donnas (who are more into punk rock) but bands like Hysterica are scarce. Do you have any idea why and was it difficult to get Hysterica together?
Of course, there are not so many women out there who would fit in Hysterica. It is difficult to find good musicians but it is even harder to find good female musicians. There are not so any girls who are willing to practise or sacrifice as much as necessary.
What is your favourite Hysterica song and why?
There are a few favourites. It also depends in what mode you are. If you ask me I prefer the songs “Metalwar”, “Undertaker” and “Girls Made of Heavy Metal”.They are the best songs to listen to. I think “Bless the Beast” is the best song to play.
Your latest album is “Metalwar” released early this year. Are you already working on a new album?
Yes, we have a few songs finished. We played one ballad on our tour. This is coming on our second album. It’s always good to play songs in front of an audience before you record it.
And how did the press and the fans receive “Metalwar”?
Mixed I would say. We are really grateful for 9/10 in Classic Rock Magazine in UK. A lot of reviews can you find at our website. We are getting great response from people that have bought the album.
You are the founder of Hysterica but is song writing teamwork in Hysterica or is there one mastermind behind the music?
We are all writing songs. Sometimes we come up with a finished idea but we are testing and producing it all together.
True Heavy Metal lyrics are usually full of the typical true heavy metal clichés. Were do you get the inspiration for the music and lyrics?
There are a lot of heavy metal bands that are writing like this. No specific. Our first album is very cliché and has this subject as a theme. We will deliver something new on the next album.
Hysterica has done quite a lot of gigs in Holland. What is your opinion of the metal scene in Holland?
They have great audience and we have a lot of fans there. The clubs are getting contribution from the government so bands always get paid well. You never have to take a risk.
Could you introduce us to the other members of Hysterica?
All girls are great personalities and musicians. We always have a great time and we all working hard to make the best out of Hysterica.
An all women heavy metal band is one thing but why did you choose to use these stage outfits?
Because we love it. We love our curves and the crowd does not seem to suffer.
Traditional heavy metal bands from the eighties used to boast about wild parties back stage and in the tour bus. Do you have any party stories you want to share with us?
Can’t remember and I can’t remember why!!
Do you see yourself as a role model for other women?
All women should have confidence to do whatever they want to. (And men). Follow your dream. It would be fantastic if Hysterica can inspire other young girls to start playing in a rock band.
Many female fronted metal bands are from the gothic or symphonic genres. Think of Epica or Nightwish that attract lot’s of fans. What do you think of these bands?
Can you tell us something about the songs on the album “Metalwar”?
Our songs are about celebrations to metal, death and female power. The songs reflects what we wanted to say with our first album; to inspire girls to listen to/play metal and make people get into a “party mood” while listening to our album.
And why did you want Peter Tägtgren from Hypocrisy as producer for “Metalwar” and what was his influence on the album?
He is becoming a legend about his mixing. This was our dream and we contacted him in an early stage. He accepted and we are really happy that he did such great job.
There are many bands from Sweden but is this country an easy place for metal fans?
Unfortunately there are not many metal places for live gigs. But it’s always crowded when good bands playing.
Why did you choose the name Bitchie as artist name? And what is your real name?
I am a Bitch. And that is my name.
To what kind of music do you listen yourself and what are your favourite songs and musicians?
I discover new bands all the time. All thanks to Spotify. That has to be the most ultimate at the moment. And bands get paid. Well a little anyway. This week I listen to Slipnot, Slayer, Opeth and Ella Fitzgerald.
Despite the fact this is the year 2009 there are still a lot of men who do not accept women on stage in metal bands. And did you have any negative experiences with the band?
We have no experience about this.
What more can we expect from Hysterica in 2010 and beyond?
We have been questioned to come to Brazil after next summer. There is more interest in Hysterica from the world than in Sweden so far. We are planning our second album and will record it next year.
What are your highlights with Hysterica so far?
When you come to a town you have never been to before and people know the lyrics. That is awesome. It happened a lot on our European tour. Two of our fans have got Hysterica-tattoos, that says a lot. But the best thing I have experienced with Hysterica so far is definitely our European tour. We had such a good time the whole tour. We had no fights and funny things happened all the time. We couldn’t even sleep in the night because we couldn’t stop thinking about all the crazy things that had happened. For example we got caught by the police in the middle of the night on the Dutch border. We were sitting in our tour bus looking like whores with our managers sitting in the front of the bus. When the police looked in the back they found our swords, which are illegal in Holland. And three of us didn’t bring our passports and I cried; “I thought Europe was one country”. I had to eat that up later… Thanks for your time. Hope to see you in the future.