It's been just over a month since their debut release "Enter Deception" on Metal Blade Records, but Cellador are taking America by storm. The power metal quintet from Nebraska have launched right into their first full-blown nationwide tour. After their killer set at The Knitting Factory in New York City, The Gauntlet caught up with guitarist Bill Hudson for a behind the scenes look at what's going on with the band right now.
The Gauntlet: What's your reaction to the popularity of the debut album, which has gotten a great response from the fans and the media?
Hudson: Well, it's really surprising. I mean, we expected that people would like it, but wow. We were just blown away by it. This show tonight is proof, I mean; I had no idea anybody in New York knew who we are. We're totally surprised; we're pinching ourselves to make sure it's not a dream.
The Gauntlet: How many songs from the album did you guys write before Metal Blade signed you?
Hudson: All of them. Actually, Chris (Peterson, guitar) wrote all the songs before I joined the band. I mean, it was really his project to begin with. So what we did was we re-arranged most of the songs. You can see the difference between the demo versions and the album. But they were written pretty much before the album.
The Gauntlet: Now, you came here from Brazil to join the band?
The Gauntlet: How recent was that?
Hudson: It was late October, November 2005.
The Gauntlet: Not too many bands from the US play this style. Even though you're obviously not American, the rest of the band is � what got you interested in power metal music?
Hudson: Well, I'm from Brazil.
The Gauntlet: So it's different.
Hudson: Yeah, for me it's totally different. I've seen Gamma Ray like eight times, the first one was when I was 12. I saw Helloween when I was 12 too, it was the same year. I mean, I know that these guys, Chris especially, he was really into thrash metal to begin with. And then he started discovering Children of Bodom and stuff like that, and then he went to the melodic singers. They all got into power metal way more recently than I did because in Brazil it's very popular. I think the main thing that that got them into power metal was the internet. MP3.com back then, stuff like that.
The Gauntlet: I know you don't write the lyrics necessarily, but what are some of the themes or inspirations behind the lyrics in the songs?
Hudson: Well, I don't write lyrics, but we all discuss it. I mean, I'm the oldest guy in the band, I'm 23, and we have to deal with the same issues as you and everyone else. And we are pretty much saying in the lyrics how we live our lives. And we don't preach or anything. I mean, songs like Forever Unbound, some people say that we are denying God, but we just don't believe ourselves. All we want to say basically with all the lyrics is be yourself, don't go after trends and stuff like that. That's just how we are, that's how we live out lives.
The Gauntlet: Instrumentally, for you and the rest of the band, what are the top bands that really influenced you? It's pretty obvious that some like Helloween and Iron Maiden have been influences, but what else?
Hudson: Yeah � Helloween, Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray� there is a Swedish band, not very well known, called Lost Horizon. We add thrash with elements of power metal, because Chris grew up with Pantera and stuff like that � and I did too. Pantera, Slayer, things like that.
The Gauntlet: Are you guys looking to add a permanent keyboard player to your lineup right now?
Hudson: We are considering. For the first album it didn't happen because we had so many guitar solos and harmonies, we didn't want to add more to that. Now the story's a little different with the new songs. If we find the right person and it's the right time and the songs are working with that, yeah.
The Gauntlet: So how are the new songs coming along for your next album?
Hudson: Mike (Gremio, vocals) and I demoed some songs for the album, especially for the first track of the album. And Chris has ideas, I have ideas, Mike has ideas. And I would say we have one complete song, but everybody's working on something.
The Gauntlet: When do you guys hope to release your next album?
Hudson: We are trying to go into the studio in March of next year. So it's really in June 2007, a year after the first one.
The Gauntlet: How does it feel to have your video for "Leaving All Behind," your first video ever made, premiere on MTV's Headbanger's Ball?
Hudson: Incredible. There are two very strong things there. First of all, it's OUR video. We turn on the TV, and there we are. I didn't know we were on Headbanger's Ball until one day I was changing channels and I got to MTV and went "Holy fuck! It's me!" And secondly, because it's a power metal band. Except for us and DragonForce, there are never power metal bands on MTV. There's never anything like that. And basically, it feels great, but it's also surprising for me.
The Gauntlet: Did you guys play the Jersey Warped Tour today?
The Gauntlet: How did that go?
Hudson: It was interesting. It wasn't bad by any means, and we only played like four songs. And we were in a smaller space and everything. But, I was surprised, because when the first song started, people were like "what the hell?" But with the second song, they were into it, they were cheering us and stuff, so I was like, wow, this is weird. So at the end of the show these kids came back saying "Can I get one of your CDs? I've never heard of you guys." There were actually two fans, two Cellador fans � but if 50 people got into us because of Warped Tour, then that's 50 new fans.
The Gauntlet: This is your first big nationwide tour � what's it like compared to what you thought it would be like?
Hudson: Wow, it's incredible. We were honestly expecting like 5 or 10 people � we are all surprised. Turnout has been great, the show tonight was very incredible. In Mexicali, El Paso� the audience, everything was incredible.
The Gauntlet: You said before you're the oldest in the band � you're 23. On your site it says the age range of the band is 17 to 23 � who's the youngest member?
Hudson: Dave, the drummer, he is 17. He dropped high school for the band. He's an extremely talented young guy � it's scary. I mean, I think he's a prodigy.
The Gauntlet: Over the next decade, where do you hope to see Cellador go?
Hudson: I hope it goes as high as it goes. Some people would say "I want to be bigger than Metallica, I want to be bigger than Iron Maiden," but I just want as many people to know about us. We just want to go out there and play.