Lariyah Daniels of HESSLER: Rocking It Out Loud And Proud!

It’s always good to hear a band, that plays in the old school heavy metal way. HESSLER from Chicago, USA is a band, that you have to check out, because they really know how to rock your world. Lariyah Daniels is the ultra-cool, blonde sexy vixen, who fronts the band and screams out her lungs on their debut album “Comes With The Territory”, which was released in 2012. The world famous Rocklahoma Festival already put the band on their bill and the rest of the world will hopefully follow soon. All the more reason to introduce this band to you on our webzine. HESSLER will kick your ass and they start it here and now, so you’d better beware!!!! ......

When was HESSLER founded and how did you meet up?
Lariyah: ”HESSLER was founded by Igz Kincaid about two years before I joined the band. I auditioned to be HESSLER’s voice in September 2010, in October I was in and in November we played our first show together. We met up in our past lives. It just took us a little longer to come across each other.”

Who actually came up with the band name?
Lariyah: ”The founding father of this disease, Igz.”

Please introduce yourself and tell us what instrument(s) you play.
Lariyah: ”I’m Lariyah and I’m a grand witch of HESSLER. I’m the lead vocalist. Further we have Igz Kincaid on lead & rhythm guitar and vocals, Erik Michael on bass guitar and vocals, Derek Spliteri on drums and Frankie Sripada on lead & rhythm guitar and vcals.”

Lariyah, being the vocalist for HESSLER, did you have any singing lessions and what do you do to keep your voice in shape?
Lariyah: ’I started singing in a very young age, I’d say my first live show when I was three, tons of stage singing in kindergarden and school, but my first trainings on a vocal controling started in highshool. If it comes to heavy metal coaching, that started a little too late, because I started working with Melissa Cross after we released ”Comes With The Territory” album. I truly wish I have done it right, when I started singing in HESSLER, but that gives me butterflies to start recording our next album, where I’ll be able to unleash my real voice that was hidden for way too long.”

You have also been credited being an actress, a model and for doing a few commercials (f.e. Pepsi and Doritos) and some other stuff. Wow, you haven’t been sitting around doing nothing.... Is there anything, you are still aiming for and you haven’t gotten around to do?
Lariyah: ”There is millions of things I like, I enjoy, I treat as my hobby, but there is nothing else I care about more and take seriously than my band. It stopped being just fun, it stopped being something ’to-do’. It’s my passion, my lifestyle and my future.”

Okay, let’s get back to the band for a second. Who can we see as the biggest influence for HESSLER, and maybe you can also point out some of the influences of the other band members?
Lariyah: ”Everyone in the band has a different influence range. I came from goth, industrial and dark metal nurts such as NIGHWISH, THE CURE, MARILYN MANSON, DIMMU BORGIR, MAYHEM, EPICA, BAUHAUS, etc. Igz is a child of seventies and eigties heavy metal, rock ’n’ roll and probably the biggest fan of NWOBHM, at least that I know of; Frankie loves classic rock and hair metal/glam metal; Erik is a little vampire, yet his music likeliness probably is the closest to mine, while Derek likes it all and additionally is into the new hard rock, so it’s a blend of everything, which is good because it gives us a huge range to create and develop HESSLER the way we want it, the way we feel it, giving a piece of each member’s influence.”

How would you describe your music?
Lariyah: ”Female fronted heavy metal ~ hard rock with deadly twin guitar attack.”

After the release of your EP “Bad Blood” back in April 2011, you released your debut album "Comes With The Territory" in the fall of 2012. What’s the response been like so far?
Lariyah: ”As expected. The band is progressing = fanbase enlarging, word spreading and booking bigger shows. It’s a simple math. You get back what you put in and since this is all we do, all we want to do, we will keep busting our asses to get better and stronger every day. We want to make sure that our fans will always get something new and better from us everytime they see us.”

Who writes the songs for HESSLER and how do you go about, when writing new songs?
Lariyah: ”Our songs before were all writen by Igz. Since we joined the band everything was already done by him, so it would be a complete waste if we just dumped it all and started from a scratch, especially because they were were awesome. Currently, starting from ”Comes With The Territory”, we all put our efforts into song writing. Whoever has an idea, a riff, lyrics, we just bring it up and develop a song from this little spark.”

Who writes the lyrics for the band, and can you tell us what they are about?
Lariyah: ”Some of them I do, some of them Igz does. And what they are about? Everything that crosses our mind at this right moment, that emotion that pushed us to write a song. Some of them are positive, some of them are negative, love, hate, joy and sorrow, stories influenced by very interesting people (i.e. ”Last Alive”, written by Igz).”

Who created the artwork for your debut album? It looks very spooky and the mask could easily be taken from a horror movie….
Lariyah: ”GOOD! Everyone was expecting my ass on the cover or the full band or anything that every band does nowadays, so the mask was just perfect. We use it as our stage prop and the photo was taken by Geraldine Rodriguez, a photographer who did the entire album photo shoot.”

Are you guys into horror movies and that kind of stuff at all?
Lariyah: ”Of course we all are into horrors, who doesn’t like blood? [laughs] I personally prefer Masterton’s books than the actual Hollywood movies, but I enjoy them, too. I’m sure my boys do as well.”

In a short period of time, your career has taken quite a boost. Among the many highlights, like touring and sold out gigs, you recently played at the Rocklahoma festival with the likes of GUNS N’ ROSES, DOKKEN, STEEL PANTHER, CHEAP TRICK, etc.etc. What was that experience for you and did you manage to hang out with some of the great rock stars at all?
Lariyah: ”Yes, so far it looks like we’ve been pretty lucky and that makes me happy. We work very hard for our success. Igz and Frankie are really good in bookings. That’s why we play some really good shows, we don’t settle for low. That’s all we want to do in our lives after all. Rocklahoma is always a blast and the crowd is just irreplaceable. It just sucks that both me and Igz were just swamped during Memorial Weekend, the second year in a row now. There’s always lots to take care of, so we needed to take off right after our set, but next year we are staying for all three days and definitely making it up to our fans and hanging out with other bands.”

The rest of 2013 includes more touring for you, some summer festivals and from mid-June you’ll start your ’Section 8 Tour’, which takes you from Rockford (IL) to Albuquerque (NM) in the States. Any chance you’ll get to tour Europe as well very soon?
Lariyah: ”Yes, it’s a surprise that we are really excited about, but we will announce the details once we confirm our Euro-tour. Hopefully it will happen in November and December this winter.”

Let's take a closer look at your live shows in general. What can people expect, when they come and see a live show of HESSLER? Do you use any show effects (pyro, etc.) on stage?
Lariyah: ”No pyro yet, but certainly tons of energy and crowd interaction. We are a live band as everyone keeps saying. It’s really hard to even describe it all. We are just simply following our emotions. When you are locked in a studio and you know that you are just recording your songs, it lacks this energy that we are able to provide to our fans during shows. We open our minds and hearts and use our bodies to show it.”

Which song is the most difficult one to play live and why?
Lariyah: ”I believe everyone of us has a different song that is the hardest to perform. Vocally, no, not the ballads even that I pitch very high in them, but ”Hate Me Leave Me” off of the new album is the hardest to sing, because of the strength of my voice. that has to be combined with moving and performing, but I manage it well (lol).”

What's the crowd’s favorite song?
Lariyah: ”It’s actually divided between our fans. Some of them love ”Confessions”, because of how different it is plus the visual aspect of it – me singing it blindfolded. Some of our fans love ”Shark Attack”, becasue of the simplicity of it and synchronized movements/headbanging. Some of them love our classic from ”Bad Blood”, like ”Crash n Burn” or ”Windy City Wild Child” that are easy to sing along to and are definitely ones of the most chatchy songs of HESSLER. Some love ballads and some heavier guitars songs – ”Waste Away”, ”Bad Blood” or ”Who Will You Run To”. So I have to admit I am god damn proud of our band, because we tackle a pretty wide range of fans and their preferrences.”

Any ”confessions” to make, while we’re at it? (lol)
Lariyah: ”I dance on my grave and fall with the Sun (laughs).”

I bet, you can tell some nice stories about ‘live on the road’ with HESSLER. I hope, that you want to dig into your memory and come up with some nice stories for our readers?
Lariyah: ”Oh… there are so many of them… What I can tell you guys is to keep your eyes peeled for a documentary about HESSLER by El Jinete Films, called ”The Last Kamikazis Of Heavy Metal’. Once this film is complete and hits cinemas, it will be a one big heavy metal life lesson for everyone.”

What do you think of the metal scene today? Are there any ’new’ bands that you like to hear in particular?
Lariyah: ”I got very picky lately and it’s hard for me to find a band that can top some of the bands that I was raised on, but I find quite a few bands pretty impressive. I really do like HALESTORM (Lzzy is an amazing vocalist) or AMARANTHE (for their style), but as much as I’m trying to listen to SiriusXM Octane (Satellite radio station) to keep up with what’s new in the world, I keep coming back to my old school iTunes.”

I noticed, that you are originally from Poland. How come you ended up in Chicago?
Lariyah: ”Aliens abducted me from there and dropped off at Chicago’s O’Hare airport (lol).”

Are you writing for a follow-up album yet, and maybe you can reveal something here?
Lariyah: ”Yes, we are in the process of the new album writing , but I will keep it as a surprise for our fans (laughs).”

How important is the internet for a band like HESSLER? And where can we find your website?
Lariyah: ”Internet is pretty much the main source for any band’s promotion. People got lazy, no one goes now outside to read what’s on the message boards or what new posters are on street walls, so they just use social media and music portals to find something interesting to do. How to find us? Go to: and all links are there for ya.”

Have you set any goals for HESSLER?
Lariyah: ”Of course! To rule the world!! (laughs) The sky is the limit, so we will stay on the earth at least for now, but definitely play in every country, every province or state and in the middle of a Pacific Ocean as well, when we get a chance.”

Our magazine is dedicated to all the female musicians in the (hard) rock and (heavy) metal. Do you feel you still need this kind of recognition?
Lariyah: ”I might have sounded like a total bitch, but I am really not. Every sort of recognition, Grammy award, website or social media mentioning our name, or a little greeting card from my eight year old sister means the same much to me, as long as it’s honest and sincere.”

We strongly believe, that the metal scene has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years . On the other hand, we also believe the music scene has changed a lot. It seems to be all about the money nowadays and not if you have any talent or not. What's your opinion about that?
Lariyah: ”… that’s why HESSLER is not following the trends. Bands recently try to sound like every other band to make sure they wil hit that same genre that currently is on the charts. We keep it as we want it and we will continue to have the style we created, not producers or labels that don’t care about you but their bank accounts. Why would we care for money only, if all we would do with them is probably just spending them on better equipment, stage props, platforms, transportation, crew and everything that would just keep us going further? Also we learn everyday, we practice, we train. There’s no room for failures, no room for lack of talent. These bands will die as fast as they started existing. We develop progressively, but strong.”

Any final words?
Lariyah: ”Thank you so much for having me on Metal Maidens. It’s certainly an honor. Come to our shows, support our band and spread the word! Thanks.”

copyright: METAL MAIDENS
interview by: Rita van Poorten, Metal Maidens 'zine / June 2013.

Check out the 2013 music video by HESSLER on You Tube:
"Who Will You Run To" (official 2013 music video)

Check out this music video by HESSLER on You Tube:
"Kamikazi" (official music video)

Check out another video by HESSLER on You Tube:
video "Windy City Wild Child"

Visit HESSLER's official website at:
or go to their Facebook page at: