From time to time there are surprises…from a Band that was active way back then and found together again after a long time to produce something new. And if these new Songs are the best the Band ever did, the suprise is perfect! Fitting in this positive picture is that the guys replied to my Facebook-Message within some seconds (!) and answered the mailed questions within one day. Enjoy the Interview with the fantastic Hittman, here we go:



Have to start in the past – do you think the fact that your Debut album was available through Import in the US only stopped you before you could really start? Or were you glad to be represented on the european market on a german label, as the underground scene here was very strong?


Dirk- Hello! Well, thats always a Place to start. Well we didnt sign to a german label at all. SPV had opened a USA office and it was run by a guy we knew and loved. Mike Schnapp. They had  distribution and everything. However, on the actual day oft he albums release. SPV USA closed their doors and the album went into limbo for months. We, of course, were very upset as it killed all the timing. We now had to find an amaerican deal but since the contract included the USA we were in a bad place. We did get a major deal with POLYGRAM. However SPV wanted a million dollars to free us from the contract. This lead to a very bad releationship with SPV.

JIM : Yes….the whole SPV USA debacle was what messed everything up for us. They ended up licensing our record to Roadracer. In hindsight…I wish we would have worked with Roadracer records as they did a pretty good job of getting the record out there.We just got starstruck by the major label thing, and decided to fight SPV instead of just working with Roadracer. It was a very valuable lesson…
Work with what you have, not what you MIGHT get.



Why weren´t there any Tours? Can remember attending gigs by lots of US-Bands way back then, from Possessed through Crimson Glory to Leatherwolf – didn´t the Label support you with this? If I remember correctly Bands toured to push album-sales, so where´s the use to not support a Tour to sell more albums? Should ask this at the Label I guess What´s your oppinion to this?


Dirk- Again SPV. We got zero support on that album. Even though it was critically acclaimed and we were featured on the cover of Kerrang, SPV for some reason ( known only to them) didnt give us anything, no help us get tours, budget for a video etc. We were dead in the water.

JIM : We were fighting SPV legally (again, a bad idea in hindsight) so I don’t think we were even speaking to them at that point. As much as I blame them for the whole situation, I blame ourselves too…. Had we just decided to ride out the situation, work with Roadracer and SPV in America and Europe respectively, we could have lawyered up and sorted out our legal situation for the second album. Again…lesson learned.



What happened in the time until „Vivas Machina“? Would you agree that it came out in a time no metal album stood a chance, no matter if it was good or bad? This was the 90s, after all….this cursed decade where noone seemed to want metal bands anymore…


Dirk- Well yes, the 90’s Nirvana , pearl Jam and C..C Music Factory. LOL.  We tried to get all the legal things out oft he way  and that took years. By that time the music tastes had changed and so did we for better or worse.  Had it come out in 1990 we might have had a chance. It was also too far away in direction from the debut to make whatever fans we had happy.

JIM : The 90’s sucked for being in a metal band. Even the bigger bands were forced to change and adapt to that current market.So, yea, not a good time for a record like “Vivas”.



Will you stop answering the questions when I  compare „Say a prayer for me“ to Bon Jovi? Would you say the musical direction on the album was too diverse  and / or too far away from your Debut?


Dirk- I think Say a prayer for me is a great song (For me, too! – Frank). Perhaps its my fault. I grew tired oft he Geoff Tate comparisons and worked on dirtying my voice up a bit. I was looking for new ways to sing  Im really good at mimicking singers and have a bunch of party pieces. I can do Jon, Klaus, Dio, Geoff and even Tom Jones and Neil Diamond. It’s just a fun thing to do and ultimately that lead to Bon Jovi Comparisons. I was intentionally  doing that AOR style.  The song itself is not them at all maybe just the vocal. P.s. I stopped doing that LOL.

JIM : Yea….I think at that point, for me it was either go in a heavier, more thrash direction, or go in the more commercial hard rock direction. The hard rock direction made more sense for us, because it was still driven by melody and song structure, and not  about how “Heavy” or “fast” the music was. So, Bon Jovi was selling millions of records at that time, so my attitude was “Lets just get a major label deal” so we at least will have a career. Again…in hindsight..not a god choice. Keep in mind , that we live in America, and things are different here than in Europe, where, at that time, traditional metal was still more acceptable. Bands like Manowar were selling huge amounts of records and tickets, whereas here in the US, they would play clubs, but in places like Portugal, they played stadiums.
There was no internet to show us what was going on over there, so….we just didn’t know how popular we were…we just assumed no one cared, like ion the US.



Please tell us what you guys did during all the years until reforming Hittman – I guess you had to do regular jobs or were you still involved in music for a living?


Dirk- John started his own business, I wrote for TV and commercials , did VO and jingles. I did a non metal solo album and kept the profile low. Jimmy has had quite a good career as a producer, engineer and composer for just about everything. He also has had many bands, Ill let him explain that.

JIM : Pretty much what Dirk said…I moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and pursued a career in music….both as an engineer/producer and songwriter/performer.
Ive don tons of stuff…records, engineering gigs….got to work with some really cool people, and continue to do so.


How difficult was it to bring all the guys back? I think you really love the Band as it´s not promising big financial rewards (my respect for this attitude, guys!). Did everyone got on Board right away? Who was responsible to get back together initially?


Dirk - Easy and Hard. Jimmy and I were on board right away.  We both have studios, we both engineer etc. but Chuck was a big problem he didnt have the time and wasnt on the same page. John needed cohersion and that took some time but he eventually came around. Greg  happened upon us in  a natural way and he knew mike as a kid and his style is pretty close. Getting the drums done was a process. Weh ad our friend Jai Es play on it as well as the studio player Joe Fugazi. Now we have Mark Jenkins back, arent we lucky?

JIM : Basically , what Dirk said….for me it, it was just adjusting to playing that style of guitar again, which took some work….I tend to me more of a rock player these days, but as soon as I pick up my 1985 Hamer Flying V, the guitar I recorded the first Hittman album with, those riffs just come out.
Writing took a bit of work to get back to that style, but it was definitely fun.



Let´s get to the new album which I absolutely LOVE, more than all you did before… are the Songs all new or did you work on ideas that have been around for some time?


Dirk- They are all new save for  out in the cold and „ code of honor“ we demored about 20 songs.



I think the guitars are fantastic, the double-leads are great, full of melodies and the vocals are brilliant as well as the rhythm section – how important was it for you to keep it Metal despite the melodies and not getting too soft as so many other so-called „Power Metal“-Bands do with all the Synthies/Keyboards and stuff?


Dirk- We did that on purpose. We listend to the first album. The elements, the songwriting, the  style and remembered what we sounded like. What was most natural. We kept the keyboards and orchestra stuff to a minimum becuse they werent there on the debut. We have plenty of time to experiment in the future, this one had to be straight up HITTMAN.

JIM : Yes…we really decided to keep it as traditional metal as we could. 2 guitars, bass drums, vocals. A few keyboards for texture but otherwise, keep the pure essence of what we started as…a metal band.



I wonder how Bands can survive nowadays with the bloody Covid-19 when you aren´t able to tour? CD-Sales/Downloads won´t be enough....did you think to maybe hold the album back until touring is possible again?


Dirk- No  we did hold it back a bit, but now there is nothing to do but listen. Maybe by the time we get to  play live these songs and possibly more new ones will be fan favorites.

No one is thinking about getting rich believe me. Ist just about the music and the fans.,

JIM : We delayed the release from May until September…which, in the world of releasing records, is pretty normal. Im not sure if it mattered or not. Luckily, the record seems to be getting a good reaction from everyo   ne, so I’m happy about that.


Would love to see you guys live, how difficult is it for you to rehearse when the members live far away from each other? There might not even be rehearsals possible?


Dirk- Near impossible. We only rehearsed a few times for both european shows. Now, to be absolutely killer you need more time to get it all right, especially as a singer who has to sing those kinds of songs. I will admit to being intimidated by them and instead of going all in i timidly held back.  When this is all over I’d like to have a months worth of rehearsals. This way I can get back to 100% olympic fit.

JIM : Yes, being 3000 miles apart means, when we DO get together, we’d better all have done our homework and come in prepared, because we did those 2 festival shows on about 4 rehearsals each. Imagine not playing those songs for 27 years, then getting together with a new new members, and having to get to together in 4 rehearsals. I think we pulled it off pretty well, considering….



Being from the US, I have to ask you about the election as well of course I was shocked to see so many (70 Mio people) electing a dictator like Donald Trump and he won´t even admit defeat, just like some 5-year-old stubborn kid….do you think Joe Biden will be able to unite the people in the US? If I look on some of the Trump-Voters this might be difficult…’


Dirk- Destroy all humans indeed. Well... He certainly is acting like a dictator now isnt he. What kills me most personally, is that his supporters dont see the wolf.  He is telling lies and blaming everyone for his loss. He is actually undermining the very democracy  the right  believe they support. Hes not a man of the people, hes an autocrat. Not recognozing the election is what Dictators have done throughout history. The peoples votes dont count, its fake its fraud, i dont like it etc. But the far right is so indoctronated they cant see it. His current actions could very well mean the end of the United States democracy as we know it.

JIM : What Dirk said….and I will add that, as much as I would like to see it, I don’t think Joe Biden will be able to pull those Trump fanatics back from the ledge (no pun intended) and unite everyone…they’re too far gone. Were too divided as a nation. You have to think that this is a very big country, with a very diverse populous and many differing mindsets….I don’t see the United States ever really being “United” ever again.
What I predict is more turmoil, and being that these people love their guns, love to dress up like they’re in the Marines, and hate anyone who doesn’t look or think like them, we will see a sort of American version of Al-Qaeda rise from this….radical acts of domestic terrorism and the like.  More mass shootings, only they will be politically motivated, not just random metally ill folks shooting up schools.
I hate guns….I wish they’d never been invented. I know this sounds funny coming from a guy in a band called HITTMAN, lol….but it’s how I feel. More guitars, less guns, please….



Have to ask about Stranger Things, as a total Fan of it I´d never forgive myself if I wouldn´t ask you about it...How does something like that come together? Were you directly involved? Must be a real Metal-Fan checking out Hittman and including it in the Show...being featured in such a massive successful Series, did it bring you attention in any way? The guy in the car should have listened a bit longer to "Metal Sport" though!!! :-)


Jim: I do production music for a living. I have a few people representing my library and pitching to shows. So, one of my people specializes in period correct music, so he asked me to give him all my old band demos and albums….being that Stranger things takes place in the 80’s, they wanted all music from the 80’s…not music that sounds like its from the 80’s…it had to be specifically from that era. The best part about that scene in Stranger Things is that they’re using the DEMO version of Metal Sport, not the album version. So, if you had told me when we were recording that song in  1985 that it would be used in a hit tv show in 2018….you know….I would have said “Get the F*ck outta here….” haha.



Anything else you want to say? Your chance


Dirk- We’d love to thank the fans for all the love and support they have given us over the last 30 years and the surprise of a lifetime is the success of the new album.

JIM : Thank you for interviewing us, and thanx to everyone who still finds a reason to put our records on. It’s nice to know that what we did, and now continue to do it still appreciated. Hope we see you all soon.


Thank you so much.  For the interview and fantastic review



No problem, it was a pleasure for me to do…haven´t heard such a great Metal-Album for a long time and it would be nice if the Band would get support with CD-Sales / (paid!) Downloads from all of you out there.



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