Belgium djent quartet Hybridism launched their self-titled debut EP back in February, and in a new interview for Rocking Charts they tell us what it took to create this fine release.
Hey guys. How are you doing?
Hi folks! Yeah, we are doing great. Thank you very much for having us. It’s a pleasure.
You have launched your self-titled debut release back in February. How do you feel about the release?
At the moment we feel pretty comfortable with it. We have gotten some really nice feedback since then, in the press and the media. A few webzines wrote some awesome reviews, so for us personally, as a young band, it feels very great reaping the rewards now.
How much of a challenge was to work on the album?
It was quite a challenge for a few of us who were not so familiar with this particular „DJENT“ style and it’s challenging approach. I mean in this kind of music genre you have to respect a whole bunch of aspects. The sound, the amps, and instruments you are using, the techniques, the songwriting, etc. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for this kind of style we had to learn to think differently.
When we came together as a band most of the songs had already been written by our guitarist Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project. But we developed them together as a band. Everybody was free to bring some input so we all felt very satisfied with the result. Initially we planned starting out with a singer, we tried a few of them, but the idea was dropped at the end. After this experience, and after the working process, we were ready to hit the studio.
What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Belgium are you friends with?
As far as I know, unfortunately there’s no other instrumental „DJENT“ band from Belgium. I mean not in that kind of style we are playing. Maybe they are in the making, who knows 😉 I know about a few djent influenced bands from Belgium like „Bear“, „Ocean Encounters“, or maybe „Vermillion“ (don’t know if they still exist) just to name of few of them. I think the genre is more prevalent in France and Germany.
What is your opinion about the current metal scene?
From my personal perspective, I think metal is not dead yet and so is not the scene. Metal is still one of the major music genres out there. It’s alive, it’s real and it’s true. The metal scene nowadays is so multifaceted with a lot of subgenres and an countless number of bands. But people should stop arguing too much about these subgenres, which is the best, the heaviest and so on. Just go out and enjoy the beautiful art of noise. Radio stations should stop playing just the pop songs or hits. This platform should be increased for metal bands, even for other styles.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
I would say that our main influences are coming from the progressive rock scene. Everyone listened already to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Rush, etc. Bands which blew our mind at first-listen. I mean everything started with them. Even the late progressive metal acts with more dynamic and complex song structures are a huge influence. Decades later we’re spoiled by modern djent acts bringing metal to a next level, introducing the „DJENT“ genre like Meshuggah, Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Modern Day Babylon etc. It’s completely different from everything you heard before just like they were trying to reinvent the wheel. The whole approach of playing your instrument, the sound, the atmosphere, the polyrhythmics, etc. were brought to a whole new level. The pursuit of new sounds and all kinds of melodies are the real challenge for us.
What are you listening to these days?
Obviously we are all listening to a lot of metal music all the time. As far as I know our french band members are listening a lot of Kadinja or even As I lay Dying these days. Jeffrey is listening to Stephen Taranto, an extremely talented guitar player and fast-rising star in the „DJENT“ scene. I went a bit back to the prog scene, listening to Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree but also to Night Verses. They are a really cool instrumental power trio and definitely worth a listen.
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
Animals as Leaders: Self-titled album /Joy of Motion
Pink Floyd: Animals
Frank Zappa: Overnight Sensation
Funkadelic – One nation under a Groove
Van Halen: 1984
As I Lay Dying: An Ocean Between us
Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Plini: Handmade Cities
Animals as Leaders: Joy of Motion
Muse: The Resistance
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Rush: Moving Pictures
Liquid Tension Experiment: LTE 2
Dream Theater: Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Porcupine Tree: Deadwing
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Hybridism”?
It’s not surprising that we were using 8-string guitars for the lower tunings, just as most of all the „DJENT“ bands out there. Longer scale length instruments are favourable for the heavier stuff. Concerning the amps, we used modeling amps like the „Axe fx“, by fractal audio systems which is somewhat the holy grail in „DJENT“ history.
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?
Yeah! The release of another album 😉 But first we are trying to play concerts as much as we can to get that touring routine as a band, which is not always that easy beside our jobs. Three of us have permanent jobs, but we are all trying our best to manage everything. Another important thing is doing our promotional work to share our music in the best logical way. We need our music to get listened to.
Of course, there are a lot of future plans, a few small tours are already planned, we got some nice offers for a few festivals and the songwriting mode is always ON! We are already looking foreward to release another album in the next 2 years.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Yeah of course. Just listen to the music. This is who we are. We even want to invite you to our website, and our social media pages to get an idea who we are, what we are doing and where we want to go with our music. For the real hardcore fans or collectors, we have a merch shop on our Bandcamp page with a lot of different goodies. So if you want to support the band just check it out. Thank you very much in advance. Cheers!
You can support Hybridism by getting their self-titled EP from Bandcamp here.