Katon W. De Pena of HIRAX - Back
Welcome Katon!! I’m honored to have Katon W. De Pena of HIRAX here to answer some questions. It’s great to have you and HIRAX back together and thriving! Lets start…

1. What did you do during the 10 years that HIRAX was no more?

Katon W. De Pena: I’ve always remained involved in music. Even while HIRAX was on our hiatus, I worked at record labels and record stores as well as putting on rock concerts. Music has always been a big part of my life. It was only a matter of time before I would return to performing with HIRAX.

2. Do you see any major musical differences now compared to what was written in the 80’s?

Katon W. De Pena: Not really. I mean the music business is still as cut throat as it always was. It’s just like in the old days. Only the strong survive. Nu Metal reminds me of the poser metal of the early 80s. I like heavy metal that has integrity, roots, and balls! No wimpy stuff for me!

3. What difficulties did you encountered after the band got back together? Have people responded to you as they did back in the day?

Katon W. De Pena: It’s better for us now as a band than it was in the 80s! We understand the business more than we did when we were young kids. You just have to work really hard and be able to take the good with the bad. It’s a pretty even playing field. It also depends on where you want to go with your music. For us … there are no boundaries. We are an underground band who still are able to do major concerts with bands such as: Judas Priest, the Scorpions, Twisted Sister, Dio, etc. And we still do underground shows. We will never forget where we come from!!

4. What musical influences do you have? Favorite bands? What influences do you think HIRAX has had on metal or music in general?

Katon W. De Pena: My influences/favorite bands are many! But here are some: Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Motorhead, the Ramones, Venom, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix, … there are many more…

My band, HIRAX has far exceed everything I thought we would! To have such bands as Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, the Haunted, Municipal Waste, Deceased, Abigail, etc. acknowledge us as an influence, makes me proud!! I also like their music as well!! None of them play wimpy shit!! It’s all HARD AND HEAVY!! If I helped to influence that kind of music… then I think I’m doing a damn good job!

5. I’m sure you have had a lot of amazing stories from your years on the road, could you enlighten us with one of your favorites? Any upcoming tours or festivals HIRAX is playing at?

Katon W. De Pena: For me that is a pretty crazy question to ask… many, many stories and many, many years of being on the road. From the early days of playing with such bands as Nuclear Assault, Wendy O Williams, the Mentors, COC, DRI, Exodus, Slayer, Death Angel, Metallica, Dark Angel, Possessed, Testament, Megadeth, Overkill, … to now a days playing festivals with such acts as Udo Dirkschneider, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Montrose, April Wine, Foghat, Helloween, Sodom, Angel Witch, … it has been an incredible heavy metal ride! The fans are loud as hell! We have a very die hard following. Our popularity is growing more and more… and it just keeps getting better! Plus… we are LOUDER now than ever before!

UPCOMING FESTIVAL is the Seattle Metal Fest which we are headling. It will be a kick ass show! European and American tour dates are being set for 2005. Check out the HIRAX tour page www.HIRAX.org

6. How has the equipment, which you have used, change throughout your music career? What do you currently use?

Katon W. De Pena: We’ve always been a band that uses Marshall amps, double bass drums, and Ampeg bass equipment. The biggest PA that we can get our hands on. We use the same now with the exception of Crate amplifiers, Blue Voodoo. Our guitar players have endorsements with them. Crate also owns Ampeg gear as well. We like to have a WALL OF AMPS BEHIND US!! Because we play on 10!

7. Any hints or quick tips you can give to new thrash vocalists? Any important lessons learned?

Katon W. De Pena: I’m not a saint… nor a preacher… but I will say: Get plenty of rest when you can. Whether it’s in the tour van/bus or on the airplane. Drink plenty of water! Keep those vocal chords wet. Also… if you smoke it effects the way you sing. I’m not saying don’t party… just be responsible with your voice because it’s your instrument. Remember… you owe it to the people who come to your shows to sound good 100%. They deserve their money’s worth.

8. I have never heard how the band got the name HIRAX Is there a story behind it or special meaning?

Katon W. De Pena: You have to remember we are total beer drinking, denim and leather wearing heavy metal freaks. I was in a bathroom and I saw the name on the wall. It’s a true story. I like the way it sounded so that’s where I got my band’s name.

9. If you had to select only one kind of beer to be the only one left of earth, what would you select? What would you have to eat with that beer?

Katon W. De Pena: Well, you can’t tell by my skin color… but I’m total white trash. I drink Budweiser… unless I’m on tour in Europe. It’s an import over there… so it costs too much money. I like cheap beer. As long as you can get a buzz off of it… that’s all you should be worried about. Best food that goes with beer is Mexican food and Pizza. Everybody knows that.

10. Favorite vacation spot or place that metal has brought you?

Katon W. De Pena: Sweden, Germany, Holland!! Great beer, great people. 100% METAL!! They know how to have a good time in those countries. I will probably retire there with my girlfriend, Anne one day.

11. Do you have any superstitions?

Katon W. De Pena: I always do the sign of the cross when I pass any church. No matter what religion it is. The same applies to graveyards. It’s a very personal thing with me. It’s my own way of showing respect to the gods.

12. It’s been great! I could ask questions forever…but, time to wrap up the interview. I have one more questions…what would you like the Metal Fanatix of the world to know?


HIRAX CD/Vinyl, Merchandise, etc. available at: www.HIRAX.org
write to us @ HIRAX • PO Box 1474 • Cypress, CA 90630 • USA

Thanks for the killer interview! May metal run through your veins for eternity!!