JAMES RIVERA (HELSTAR): “The Fans Do Not Want A Photo Of Me Unless I’m Out Wearing The Fangs”


Listen to Them, The Children of the Night. What Music They Make

U.S. underground legends Helstar recently released Clad in Black for their blood thirsty fans. The release is a combination of of new tracks, a previous EP release, and a reissue of their 2016 album Vampiro. Helstar embraced the vampire culture shortly after the release of their 1989 album Nosferatu. Or, front man James Rivera was bitten by a vampire sometime in the late ’80s. He has fangs you know.

Helstar’s music isn’t all about soulless bloodsuckers. It’s peppered with some of the best dark Metal music and dark themes that will ever pass through your ears. I had the chance to speak with Helstar vocalist James Rivera who may or may not be able to see his own reflection in the mirror.

Highlights Include

  • HELSTAR - Clad In BlackDiscussion of their EP Clad in Black
  • While Rivera is a fan of vampire culture, not all lyrics pertain to them
  • A new Helstar album is finished, but delayed
  • How Rivera got entranced with Vampire stories and movies
  • Trying to wrangle a fruit bat to care for
  • Memories of recording the first Helstar album Burning Star (1984)
  • The origins of his alias “Bill Lionel”
  • The chaos that ensued when Helstar opened for Stryper in the ‘80s
  • Is Helstar going to be able to tour in 2021-2022?
  • … and much, much more!

Helstar is

James “Vampiro” Rivera – Vocals
Larry Barragan – Guitars
Andrew Atwood – Guitars
Garrrick Smith – Bass
Michael Lewis – Drums


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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