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This Months Metal Maiden of the Month is SONJA ZAGORC of the Slovenian all female Metal band HELLCATS. Sonja is the drummer for this 4 piece old school style Metal band. The band also features a past Metal Maiden of the Month in bass player SASHA who just happens to be Sonja's sister and she was also a Metal Maiden for the Month of June! The rest of the HELLCATS is Guitarist Katja Mavec and Lead Vocalist Ajda Kovačič

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THE METAL PIT: Hi Sonja. Thanks for being the Metal Maiden of the Month at THE METAL PIT.

SONJA: Thank you for choosing me to be the Metal Maiden of the Month. It’s an honor.

 

    Tell us about the HELLCATS?

Hellcats are an old school heavy metal band from Slovenia. We are the first all-female metal band from this part of Europe and the first female band in Slovenia which recorded an album. The band Hellcats was formed in 2006 by my sister Sasha (bass guitar) and me. The thing that motivated us and it still does is love and dedication to the music in general. But the main thing is that Sasha and I besides that we are sisters; we are also the best friends. We always listen to each other and talk about everything what we wanted to do. We are also the authors of all Hellcats songs, while Sasha also manages the band. Due to the small size of Slovenian music space it took us a while to find the right female musicians willing to play and create music in such a genre. Five years ago we met Katja (guitarist) and since then we are inseparable. At the end of the year 2013 we released our album in two languages Slovenian (Divja pot) and in English (Warrior princess). We had a lot of concerts all over Slovenia, Croatia; we were in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2012 we were touring Russia and last year Italy. In near future we are planning to tour Germany and UK.


You have released an album titled WARRIOR PRINCESS. So far how has the fan and media response been for the cd?

The response was great. There were several reviews and all of them were filled with compliments. We got a lot of new fans and we’re sending our CDs all over the world (England, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, all over USA, Canada, Australia etc.). Just last week we got another order from Japan. We are really happy that people accepted us so well. It’s the thing that we wished the most. We believe in our work and we are sure that people will like us even more when they will all see us performing live. People can find us on itunes too.

 

    Do you have any favorite songs from the album?

Each song on the album represents a moment in our life, a thought, a feeling. It took us quite some time and effort to make them and because of that all of them mean a lot to us. I really enjoy playing our songs. Each day another one is the favorite one. One day it might be “The Master of the Night”, another day “Warrior princess”, or “Now is My Time”, when I feel emotional I like “Stillness in Time”. It’s all about how I feel.


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Are the songs all a group effort or does each member bring their own song or lyrics to the band?

All the songs are written by Sasha and me. We also do the arrangements. We first record an acoustic demo then we all go to the rehearsal space and practice. Then each one records their instrument. Sasha and I were also the producers of the album together with our producer Davor Kontić. We recorded the whole album by ourselves; we didn’t hire any professional musicians.  

   
You and your sister Sasha (a past Metal Maiden of the Month) formed the band. You used to play the flute and then switched to the drums. Why did you choose the drums?

When I was 5 years old I started to go to the music school. Sasha was playing classical guitar and me flute. At that time I was too young to be aware of all of the options I could choose to play, so I agreed to play the flute. But my teacher was also teaching drums and there was a set of drums in my classroom. Later in teenage years my wish to play drums became so big, that I had to make it come true. The music school taught me a lot about the music and those experiences still help me today. At that time Sasha and I started to perform together in music school. We had a lot of performances as a duo not just in music school but all over the region where we lived. We motivated each other even then in our early childhood. We are best friends since I can remember and I love her very much.

   
What drummers influenced you?

First drummer that had a big influence on me was Tommy Lee. Besides he is a great drummer he is also a “showman” and since I’m also a show dance dancer (jazz ballet), I really like to see a drummer who is dynamic and connected with the crowd. I also admire Roxy Petrucci (Vixen), Mike Portnoy, Lars Ulrich and many more.

   
What is happening with the HELLCATS right now or in the near future?

Right now we are focusing on a promotion of our album. We also made a new video and are planning to release it this month together with the new single. We are also preparing for the summer, which will be full of concerts and planning to go on a tour in Germany and UK in near future.

Next weekend we are celebrating the 8th anniversary of the band. We are going to the seaside where we’ll have a concert and then take a weekend off to relax and have fun together. It’s important to us to be friends and to get along. We like to spend time together.

   
What is the Metal music scene like in Slovenia?sonja3

If you consider small size of Slovenia (2 million inhabitants), metal music scene in is pretty well developed. We have a lot of bands in different genres of metal from death, black, heavy to doom metal. We also have one of the best metal festivals Metaldays which is well-known all over the Europe and every year more and more people visit it.


Why did you get interested in listening to and then playing Metal Music?

It was that era in music development – the 80’s and 90’s that had a big influence on me. I love all about 80’s music from pop to metal. On pop I dance, metal I play, listen to both. 


What are your favorite Metal bands out there right now?

I still like old bands the most like Pantera, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, AC/DC etc. But I also like to visit a lot of concerts and festivals and there are a lot of great new bands which can impress me. That happened two years ago with Grand Magus – a great heavy metal band from Sweden.


sonja5What would someone expect from a live HELLCATS show?

I don’t know what they would expect but I can say what they would get - a show full of energy, good music and great emotions. A well spend time if they go out.


When you’re not playing music what do you like to do for fun?

Dance. I train jazz ballet in dancing school for 13 years now. I simply enjoy dancing. And I like to travel too. I like to meet new people, new cultures, to see how they live, what are their habits. I want to see the world.

But when I’m home I like to play with my cats. I have 3 cats – Mina, Roxy and Stella. I got them from the shelter and they are just amazing.

 

 

It is not unusual anymore to see women in Metal bands like it was 20 years ago. Which female Metal performers do you think led the influence of more Females getting into playing Metal music?

There were a lot of female performers which has an influence on women to play rock/metal music. In the 70’s an 80’s there were Suzi Quatro, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, The Runaways, Pat Beneatar, Vixen, Doro, Rock Goddess and many more.

   

If your band could play with any other band in the world that would it be?

sonja4There are some of them – Iron Maiden, Metallica, AC/DC. I could count much more of them.

 

 

Thanks Sonja for taking the time to talk to THE METAL PIT. I wish you and the band much success and hopefully you’re able to make it to North America one day.

Thank you The Metal Pit. I hope that we come there as soon as possible.

sonja6***Photos used by permission of Sonja Zagorc***