HESS is an Instrumental project, and they have released a high quality melodic progressive heavy rockalbum sometime ago and are about to release a new CD soon. I think this is an easy winner for fans of the LION MUSIC releases (TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN, MASI), because HESS offers the same kind of quality music. If you read this interview, you will know a lot more about HESS...
Please introduce us your band, when did you form HESS?
Tom Hess: The current HESS lineup is:
Tom Hess -
Mike Walsh - Guitars
Mark Carozza - Bass
Scott Hess - Percussion
Opus 1 CD, Chris Dowgun was the drummer and I played the bass and
did the keyboard sequences. Hess was originally formed in 1995
under a different name. Bassist Chuck Hamilton (former bassist
for TD Clark and Fretfire) and guitarist, Joe LaBanco (of
Fretfire), along with my brother on drums were the other original
Can you tell us all about your debut CD?
Opus 1 is a combination of three styles: Progressive Rock,
Neo-Classical metal and and highly dramatic art music. The fusion
of these styles in one CD is very unusual and has started a new
genre of high-caliber guitar music. The combination of the
different stylistic elements makes the Hess sound very unique.
Your music is high quality instrumental progressive melodic rock, which bands influenced you?
Lots of bands over the years. The earliest influences were bands
like Def Leppard, Metallica and Iron Maiden. Around 1988 or so, I
really began to love the great electric guitar virtuosos of the
late 20th century, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Marty
Friedman, George Bellas, Andy LaRoque among a few others. I also
like the progressive bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X. In
college, I was exposed to the masters, J.S. Bach, Beethoven,
Chopin, Debussy, Mahler, Wagner, Brahms and Liszt. The most
important influence for me is Chopin.
Are you popular in your area?
The United States is country were high caliber guitarists are not
popular at all. It is extremely difficult to do what we do and to
be popular here. If this was 1985, things would be totally
different for us here, Iım sure. We are more popular outside of
What are you favorite albums at the moment?
Dream Theater - Images and Words
Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2
Jason Becker - Perpetual Burn
Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen - Trilogy
George Bellas - Turn of the Millennium
Any major labels you tried to get in touch with?
No. We are not interested in signing Opus 1 with any label. After
Opus 2 is released, we will be pursuing a deal then.
I heard you're working on a new CD, can you tell us all about it?
People can expect Opus 2 to be a continuation of the HESS sound
that we established on Opus 1. There are going to be some changes
on Opus 2 though. We have a new drummer, my brother and the
original HESS drummer, Scott Hess. We have a new bassist, Berklee
School of Music graduate, Mark Carozza. Mike [Walsh] now plays 7
string guitars exclusively in Hess. My compositional style has
not changed but has grown, I think the music of Opus 2 is like an
exaggerated version of Opus 1. On Opus 1, I played about 65-70%
of the guitar solos and Mike played the rest of them. For Opus 2,
Mike will be playing a larger role in the guitar department. He
is a great musician with a totally original and exotic guitar
style. He is always becoming even greater so we want to use him
more and take advantage of all that he has to offer to the music.
Any plans for a vocal CD or songs with vocals on it, or are you gonna keep playing instrumental rock?
Opus 2 will be instrumental. I love the singers that I love, but
I dislike the other 99.9% of them. So working with a singer is
not in our plans right now. We are not looking for a singer. but
if the right guy came along we would be open minded to the idea.
My favorite singers are: (in no order) Fabio Leone, Michael
Kiske, Bruce Dickenson, Dio, Geoffe Tate, King Diamond.
Basically, what are the plans for the next coming months?
The Opus 2 recordings are going to begin very soon and that will
take many months to complete. That will be our focus for the next
Finally, do you have anything to add to our readers?
We invite people to contact us if there are any questions,
comments, etc. Interested persons may e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org People can hear mp3 samples and
order Opus 1 at our web site: http://hess.4t.com
Our mailing address is:
PO BOX 113
United States of America
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