written by Marko Jakob
Pix666: Hello Herma. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of Sick N’ Beautiful?
Herma: Hello Marko, hello Terrans! It’s all good, all things considered… Mankind has been enduring an epochal pandemic – and we’ve been fortunate enough to live through it and tell the tale. We are all in good health thankfully, and we don’t take this for granted. Not everyone has been so lucky, and we all must keep the least fortunate and their families in our thoughts…
Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you meet and how did you come up with your band name? What was your inspiration to become a musician? What kind of music does Sick N’ Beautiful make?
Herma: The New Witch and her rock n roll gang of rejects on the ship of Satan in space! My abduction, along with the origins of the band, is all well documented in our “RADIO SIREN” video of yore – everyone go see it NOW! (https://youtu.be/hSB8e6gWxSE) Music has always been an integral part of my life, and by now I can’t remember a time when it was NOT an obsession… to quote Michael Monroe, it was either “dead, jail or rock n roll” for me – I can see that now!
The music we make is a big mix of all the things we like – you might wanna say it’s modern hard rock with lots of electronica and sick hooks! Very influenced by sci-fi, horror, the occult and pop culture in general, along with our own eclectic nerdy sense of humor. It’s music designed to make you wanna slam and have fun!
Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Sick N’ Beautiful for a few years now. What have been the best experiences and milestones so far?
Herma: Touring is where all the things we imagine come together into the real world! Every show is an experience in itself… For one, touring the UK and making so many friends there was surely unforgettable, and we can’t wait to go back asap! Also the huge stage at the Lucca Comicon was certainly a memorable highlight. There have been many for sure, but all the signs tell us that the best is yet to come!
Pix666: You recently played the “𝗟𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗘𝗡𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘𝗗 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭” streaming show. Tell us where you stood on stage and how it felt to play without fans around you. Can fans still watch the concert somewhere on the internet or even buy it?
Herma: “LIVE ENHANCED 2021” has definitely been one of the highlights we were talking about, interestingly enough. As worried as we were about the whole thing, eventually it turned out to be such an intense experience. To create the type of show that a smaller band like SNB never had the chance or the logistics to put together before, it was just a dream. It took plenty of rigorous rehearsals and a crew of 20 to pull it off, but it was incredibly fulfilling.
The fans responded in kind, and made sure we knew that they were there with us the whole while, to cheer and support from their homes. The show was put out on all streaming channels free of charge, and there was gorgeous exclusive new merch tied in to the show. So everyone got a chance to get some cool memorabilia of the event. And BTW you can still watch it on YouTube – still free, uncut and uncensored!
Pix666: Do you prefer playing on big festival stages or in small clubs with direct contact to the fans?
Herma: We feel right at home in both cases. I would say we haven’t played as many Festivals, as of yet – so when it happens it’s always very exciting. But in all cases, we always end up chumming up with the fans anyways. You know – meet ya at the merch table!
Pix666: You have an outfit in your videos and also on stage, which is a ‚little bit‘ conspicuous and clearly distinguishes you visually from other bands. How important is the visual aspect of your band for you?
Herma: In SNB, the music and the visuals are interconnected. It’s not just a musical thing, but more of a “metal” art project, if I may say so. The costumes, the videos, the music, the lyrics, the graphics – it’s all one thing that takes form in synchronicity. And the fans themselves become part of the experience and influence what it all becomes, with the ways they interact with us – that’s for sure!
Pix666: How important are live performances for Sick N’ Beautiful and how big are the financial losses for your band due to the Corona Pandemic?
Herma: Most musicians no longer make their living from record sales. As an underground artist, we have always reinvested 100% of what we made back into the band. Unfortunately, during the pandemic there has been none of that, so we had to support SNB‘s activity with cash from our day jobs. The show has to go on, somehow…
Pix666: How big is the support from the fans? Do people buy more merch than usual? What do you actually have on offer in the shop?
Herma: Yes – I was just getting to that… Even in these awful times, there has been an outpour from fans all over the planet. From what I hear, even from other bands, music fans are quite aware that their favorite artists depend on their generosity – now more than ever! So yes, we have received more orders, but also donations through our social channels… It’s been amazing and heartwarming. I know how cheesy it may sound, but maybe music really CAN save this planet after all…
Pix666: You signed a contract with the well-known label Frontiers Music srl this year. How important is this step for you with such an experienced partner at your side? Tell us about the main advantages.
Herma: It’s still all very new to us. We have always been very proud and defensive of our “independent” status, and as independents we have achieved a lot, no doubt. But for a project as complex and as “expensive” as SNB, you get to a point where there is only so much we can do.
‘Big Daddy’ Ray (bass player of SNB) and I have the opportunity to collaborate with FRONTIERS as videomakers in our daily life, and we got to know their operations from within. Extremely professional, communicative and precise. So we were delighted of the proposal, especially because FRONTIERS was happy to let us keep our creative freedom… I doubt we’d have accepted any deal without complete artistic control. Therefore, so far so good, and expectations are great on both sides!!!!
Pix666: Two years ago you covered the Queen mega hit ‘The Show must go on’. How were the fans’s reactions and why did you choose this song for a cover? Are there more songs that you have covered? (https://youtu.be/2Wf8dWxn5tw)
Herma: It just happened like that… there was no actual planning for it. I was just jamming a cappella in the studio, and the band thought it sounded great. Ray had this idea of doing it completely acoustic, but with a SNB flair. We used tuned shimmer reverbs on the acoustic guitars and made it sound like there are synths on the recording. In fact, no synths were used whatsoever, a first for us!
There is so much music from other bands we love, but not much time to work on everything! To my imperfect memory, we’ve also covered I WAS MADE FOR LOVIN YOU (KISS), ANIMAL (WASP), ET (Katy Perry), – and of course GOD OF THUNDER (KISS – again!), currently on our setlist and on YouTube. Oh yeah, we also did a Christmas cover of RUN RUN RUDOLPH… if it was good enough for Lemmy, it’s great for SNB! Hahahahahah….
Pix666: Recently you sang a duet with the German band Oversense, a real catchy tune. How did you get in touch with the guys, and can you imagine doing such collaborations more often in the future? Which band would be your favourite for a duet?
Herma: Oversense is such a talented young band, and they were kind enough to invite me through their record label. Such a killer tune, and they are such sweethearts. I’m proud of my little participation – thank you guys! I love to perform – so I’m always ready for action! My favorite fantasy duet? Ah, dare to dream! It would be with Lacuna Coil‘s Cristina Scabbia of course, but I’m afraid she doesn’t even know I exist…
Pix666: Will there be a new Sick N’ Beautiful studio album in the near future? Is there something in the works?
Herma: Of course! FRONTIERS is patiently waiting for the masters and we are about halfway done. As for our previous album, this is going to be once again a steer a new direction. I will not give out any spoilers, but let’s just say – there will be Darkness…
Pix666: What is the current situation in Italy and especially the mood among the people?
Herma: It’s the beginning of summer, and Italy is the Land of the Sun… Maneskin have just won Eurovision – so I would say there is some optimism and rock n roll in the air. We’re all tired of the lockdowns and curfews, and everyone is just hoping and waiting for a new start. We keep our fingers crossed…
Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue?
Herma: Free time??? Are you kidding me??? There IS NO SUCH THING for Herma! Every once in a while I get to watch a good movie, sometimes (more than I’d like to admit!) I go out for sushi, and of course I entertain my cat Proxy… But sleeping is the richest of the luxuries I allow myself!
Pix666: Do you have any other news, that you would like to share with the fans?
Herma: There’s a new tour in the works, thanks to our wonderful partners TKO and The ORACLE MGMT. So keep your eyes and ears peeled, Terrans!
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck and stay healthy!!!
photos © by Elizaveta Yudina – Kinorama Studio