Interview INSANITY ALERT
Kevin « Heavy Kevy » (vocals) & Don Melanzani (drums) – Saturday 17 June 2017
“It’s not about saving the world, we aren’t Havok!”– Heavy Kevy
So what do you love about alcohol?
Kevin: That’s the hardest question! I didn’t start drinking until I was 20 before that I just was smoking weed. But for me it adds another dimension to the party. I don’t drink a lot when I’m home, but I love to do it when I’m at shows and stuff!
Don: I just love beer. If it’s non-alcoholic I’ll still drink it! I love the taste. I’m not into the hard stuff.
After playing a great show like today how do you feel?
Kevin: I’m ecstatic! I was really nervous, for a band like us this is a huge chance. I didn’t sleep well I was so nervous, but when I was in the show I was like “I have to pull through” but when we finished there was a ton of people out front! We are from a shit town in Austria so for me this was special!
How does it feel to have this pay off after six years?
Don: It feels great!
Kevin: It’s what we worked for. At first it was a joke, the first year we barely played. We barely did anything. Then we started to do some more, it’s something we believe in. We tried to make everything fit in and not just do random stuff, we wanted to have a plan and have strong presentation. We played here last year in Nantes with Iron Reagan and the organizer of Hellfest came up and was like “Do you want to play Hellfest?” and that was that. That’s the only sort of opportunity a band like us with no label can get outside of winning a contest, but we aren’t that kind of band.
Both of you recently quit your jobs, how does it feel to be going down that full time thrash metal musician path?
Kevin: I’m a bit worried, but I always try to rationalize and I always have my parents and sister and girlfriend who will support me if I hit rock bottom. I’m healthy and I’m not afraid to do shitty jobs. We live in a part of the world where you can get a job if you want to. You have to try it, if we don’t do it now we might as well just call it a hobby band and we can do that whenever.
So what’s your plan going forward?
Kevin: Well now as more people know us we can keep our overhead low. We don’t have to pay drivers and stuff. We split the money fairly. We don’t want to get rich for this but if this can pay for the basic bills like phones, cars, rent and insurance then we have come a long way. Everyone in the band can work part time. How much do you need in a month? I could spend a lot, but if I cut down I can live!
Your stage show is really unique, how did you develop it?
Kevin: It was born in Italy because people couldn’t understand our lyrics so we made signs so they could know what we were singing. So now we use signs for a lot of our songs, like Straitjacket Mosh. We also had that drawing of the crazed skater done in a straitjacket and that attitude really came through. It adds to the image of Insanity Alert. When we discovered it works we decided to push it and make sure everything tied into the 80s ideas. “Run To The Pit” was the first thing we came up with and we thought it was the funniest thing.
When I first heard that song when I was 15, that was my life at the time! You capture everyday metal life in a silly way, how?
Kevin: I write a lot of what I think. Like today I was thinking about how there’s a lot of idiots, and I decided I need to write a song about that eventually. I think a lot about outcasts and people who don’t fit in. It’s not political, it’s not about saving the world, we aren’t Havok!
Why do you paint yourself green when you play Don?
Don: It was the first time! We thought it would be funny to be green!
Kevin: It worked well, it got a lot of people talking about him. You don’t get the chance to play Hellfest every day, so we figured we should put something special on top. This festival is 130 bands of white guys with long hair. This is a stage to present yourself to the western European metal scene, you have to differentiate.
Hellfest is a dream come true, what’s the next step?
Kevin: Wacken would be the crown! We are from the German area of Europe, that would be amazing for me. It’s a big festival. We want to play cool tours too, we have stuff coming up with Suffocation and DRI, I’m from a shit town in Holland, not a lot of people get to do that kind of stuff! Maybe one day we can headline too!
How does being from shit towns in Holland and Austria impact your music?
Kevin: I don’t think it impacts the music. But you get a sense that you have to work harder for it. If you’re from Sweden or England in Europe it’s a lot easier than to be from Holland or Austria. On the world scale there isn’t a lot going on. There aren’t a lot of legends or big things going on. If you’re from Germany you have Sodom and Wacken, names you can refer too. In Holland and Austria that’s really nonexistent. There are a few bands you might know, but not a lot.
What do you love so much about thrash metal?
Don: It’s fast and kind of extreme. I love the pits and the crazy crowds. I love to challenge myself to play harder and faster. I grew up with this music and I’m really into this shit.
Kevin: For me it’s the perfect blend of all the genres I like. If you play in a thrash or powerviolence band it’s a limited audience, but with thrash you can basically integrate everything at once from any hard music genre, you can have beatdown parts, punk parts, riffs, everything!
Interview: Matt Bacon.