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Interview with Diego Valdez - The Somewhere In The Circle
February 2012

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Cover of Helker's album Somewhere In The Circle

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Metal Traveller was in Buenos Aires when Helker scheduled the Release Party for the new CD, called En Algún Lugar del Círculo in Argentina, and Somewhere In The Circle in the rest of the world.

It’s the first record to be released worldwide, thanks to their deal with AFM.
Just before the show at the Roxy Live Club, all members of the band met the press and gave some interviews.
This is what singer Diego Valdez told us about the new record, the excitement about starting an international career, and their future plans.

Metal Traveller: Helker is very well known in Argentina, but the band it’s starting its international career with the album Somewhere In The Circle, released on the German label AFM Records. How would you introduce the band to this new audience?

Diego Valdez: I see Helker as a band that plays the music that we want to hear, the one that comes from the heart. We don’t pretend to create a new style of Metal, but we do play our music the best possible way.
We want to have a good time and make the audience have a good time too. You’ll see later on stage!

Tell us about the beginning of this new adventure, which is the begining of an international career.

Diego Valdez: Helker is a band that likes to takes risks. We contacted a recognized producer so he could tell us what he thinks about the band and about our music. The biggest risk was to end up with a well produced album and then, noting else. Fortunately, things happened as we had planned. Mat Sinner liked our music so much that he even offered us be part of your booking and management agency. He also introduced us to AFM Records, and now this is like living a dream!

Helker the band

How was it like to work with Ralf Scheppers and Tim Ripper Owens?

Diego Valdez: From the beginning, we wanted Ralf and Ripper to sing on the album, and Mat gave us a hand with that. It was surprisingly easy to work with them. One may think that they are unreachable, but they’re actually very nice guys.
They have quality standards and only sing the songs they like. If they don’t like anything, they’ll tell you! Fortunately, they loved Helker! During the latest Ripper Owens tour in Argentina, we had dinner together and he told us that Begging For Forgiveness is his favourite song he has ever recorded as a guest. That’s a big compliment, and we’re very proud to hear the voice of these two legends in one of our tracks.

Does this deal with AFM Records will also give you the possibility to tour in Europe?

Yes, there are plans to play in Europe, and they’re working on it.
We also would like to play elsewhere in South America, for example in Colombia or Chile. We’re looking for promoters. You know, if promoters call me from China, I’ll go, and if they call me from Costa Rica, I’ll go too!

There are two versions of this album, one in English and one in Spanish. This was also planned from the beginning?

Diego Valdez: Well, for practical reasons, it would have been easier to record only in English. But we know that the lyrics are very important to our Argentinean fans, so we wanted to offer the possibility to choose the language. The lyrics were written by bass player Christian Abarca.

What are the lyrics of this album about? Are there any social subjects, like in previous records?
Diego Valdez: The concept of this album is the circle, which represents life and its different stages. Some lyrics can be tied to social questions, but the subjects are more personal.

When touring abroad, will you sing in English some of the songs of the previous albums, or the setlist will be focused on Somewhere In The Circle?

Diego Valdez: In the international version of Somewhere In The Circle there’s a song from the album A.D.N., called Despetar in Spanish and Wake Up in English.
I think we will focus on the latest record, but right now, anything is possible. It’s not easy to be a musician in Argentina, and it’s even harder when you play Metal. There are many problems and with time, you get used to them and you forget about dreaming. When we began, we dreamt about showing our music to the world and Now, we have the chance to dream again.

Diego and Christian from Helker

What has been the biggest difference between working with Mat Sinner and working with a local producer?

Diego Valdez: Well, we were never actually produced. All previous albums were self-produced so I can’t say what the difference. But we wanted to learn how people work there in Germany.
We were very surprised by some decisions, like cutting parts from a song. This was difficult to accept at the beginning, but we thought that these guys knew what they were doing. Now, after listening to the songs, we realized that cutting these parts was the right thing to do. One can’t stop learning and we hope to learn even more during the next album.

What can you tell us about the cover?

Diego Valdez: The cover was the most difficult thing when making this album! We had different ideas about the cover. Mat sees us as a traditional Metal band and he wanted to accentuate this. We sent him some proposals but he rejected them. So, instead of making an artist work in vain, which also costs a fortune, we asked him to submit an idea for the cover. We didn’t like his first proposal, but the second one ended up being the cover of the record. It was not what we had imagined, but we love it! The artist is called Cappo and worked with UDO

Helker Links:

Helker Website
Helker CDs at
Helker iTunes downloads
Helker on Flickr

Helker Line-up:

Diego Valdez – Vocals
Mariano Ríos – Guitar
Leo Aristu – Guitar
Christian Abarca – Bass
Hernán Coronel – Drums

Finally, how do you manage your time between Helker and your other band, Triddana?

Diego Valdez: It depends on the activity of each band. At the moment there is no problem and I hope it stays that way. We all know each other and everything’s alright, so far.

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