FRANK HETZEL (BELTFED WEAPON): “That Is My Goal To Keep Improving As A Guitar Player And Songwriter”

Frank Hetzel promo photo

Seattle Thrash Metal outfit Beltfed Weapon are set to release their new EP entitled Darkened Demise on June 25th. Frank Hetzel, the mastermind behind Beltfed Weapon took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about the new EP, working with the late Tim Aymar (Pharaoh), plans for Beltfed Weapon’s next EP, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, Beltfed Weapon are set to release their fourth EP entitled Darkened Demise on June 25th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Hetzel: This EP is the best work I’ve done yet, something I’m very proud of it, it is top notch in my opinion all the way from the music I have structured out to the musicianship the production the art work etc. Everyone involved really put a lot of effort into their parts, and it shows I couldn’t be more satisfied with what everyone did.

MER: How was the writing and recording process for Darkened Demise?

Hetzel: The writing process starts with me taking a couple riff ideas and building from there as I put the programmed drums to the idea then my ears tell me what to do when I need a another part I’ll put on Metal drum beats from YouTube and jam to it and vibe from it and come up with new riffs and incorporate them into the songs, I write my music out as a listener which really helps me define the structure, then I went in to record my guitars once that’s done it went to Bryan to track drums at his home studio then Jason, JD and Dagna recorded there bass then Kragen and Jeff did the solos once that was all done Tim and Steve tracked there vocals, gave Tim the concepts on three of the songs and he took it from there and really delivers exactly what i had in mind, i gave Steve the concepts and wrote part of the lyrics to darkened demise then he added his own from there he took the concept of killing machine and did his own thing and really gave the songs justice everyone really put 100% into their parts, then once all tracks were done then it went to Juan Urteaga (trident studios) for mix.

MER: How was it working with the special guests?

Hetzel: It was great and went very well its not an easy task to have eight different people on five songs it took some time as everyone has things going on with their current bands they are in  but I had no problem working around their schedule as I knew it would be worth the wait everyone felt the songs and the structure and truly delivered the only thing I would change about this EP is x2 making it a full length.

MER: You recently released a video for the song “Eternal Fire,” what kind of feedback have you received?

Hetzel: I am very impressed by the response from eternal fire it’s had over 2200 views in two weeks which is really good had some very positive comments and feedback I really wished Tim was still here to witness the release of this song and EP this was the last song he ever recorded and i know he would be proud it was an absolute honor to work with and very easy to get along with him and I sure wished we could do it again, the EP is dedicated in memory of him (R.I.P.) TIM AYMAR.

MER: What do you see as plans for yourself and the band for the remainder of 2023?

Hetzel: I have already written 2 new songs and just tracked the guitars so the process will repeat by going to Bryan for drums then Jason for bass and Kragen for solos the plan is to have Dean Sternberg do vocals on one of them, he sang on the last EP Raining Plague and have Steve sing on the other, these 2 new songs are very good in my opinion and would have fit perfectly on the new EP and I will release one beginning of 2024, and the other by mid summer 2024 so all is in motion, I will possibly put together a show and two by 2025 if all goes as planned.

MER: Is there anyone specific you hope to have guest on an album in the future and why?

Hetzel: There are so many I can think of that I would love to work with, but I am 100% happy with the line up I have to date so as long as they want to keep working with me and are available won’t change that because the chemistry is too good and they are great people.

MER: Who do you hope to tour with and why?

Hetzel: There’s so many I can think of on that as well, would be cool to tour with Exhorder and Overkill, I did a guitar tech gig for Marzi when he was in Exhorder and they were on tour with Overkill it was such a great experience all the guys in Exhorder and Overkill are awesome people and would love to have the opportunity to open for that bill.

MER: What have been some of your favorite memories since the band’s formation? 

Hetzel: In 2005 we played a festival in Allentown, PA called louder harder faster festival put on by Tammy Taylor, after the release of Peacekeeper EP we played a northwest death fest in 2009 this was a show I used to do every year, then when we did a mini tour in 2017 we played 2 shows with Ghost Ship Octavious and one with Morbid Angel, and also when I recorded the EP Raining Plague I got the chance to work with Steve Di Giorgio (Testament) and Fredrik Widdigs (former Marduk drummer.)

MER: Out of Beltfed Weapon’s four EPs, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why? 

Hetzel: I would definitely suggest the new one darkened demise as its the best complete EP I’ve put together yet I seem to keep getting better at my songwriting and that is my goal to keep improving as a guitar player and song writer, Darkened Demise also has a lot of different elements put into the 5 songs and is a great listen from beginning to end.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.