Just five months after the release of their crushing album ‘Tando Ashanti’ on Init Records, Bloated Veins, Halo of Flies and Alerta Antifascista labels, Danish crusty hardcore / backened death metal hybrid HEXIS has once again taken a turn towards darker and more sinister corners and released their brand new EP called ‘XII’ through Division Records, Moment Of Collapse Records, Crown & Throne Ltd, and Truthseeker Music. We reported it via ur quick news segment called #InShorts and now it’s time to dive deep into its dark abyss! “XII” calls on the same ominous picking that earned them hundreds of great reviews, while diversifying to great effect and laying waste to the senses, and I couldn’t be happier to finally ask the band some questions. See our full interview below.
HEXIS spent 240 days on the road and played 195 shows this year, and they’re not done yet. The band have already announced they have more tours in the making for 2018 and you can always book them via Hexisband@gmail.com!
“XII” was recorded and mixed by Lewis Johns at The Ranch Production House in Southampton, UK, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, USA.
Hi guys! Thanks for joining us here on IDIOTEQ! First of all, congratulations on your new astoun ding record! What prompted you to deliver such a quick follow up to ‘Tando Ashanti’ released earlier this year and how do you feel about it, now that it’s finally out?
Hey! Thank you. We recorded XII at the same time as Tando Ashanti, we felt it worked better to do two different records rather than releasing a double vinyl, we also recorded two more tracks which will be on another record sometimes next year. It feels great that it’s finally out and it’s fun to play the songs live.
Lyrics wise, how does it relate to the concept of XI? From where did you derive inspiration while you wrote it?
The lyrics on XI and XII have nothing to do with each other, we just decided it would be a cool idea to ‘continue the title’, so next time when we do another EP it will probably be called XIII. The lyrics on XI is mostly about personal stuff, while most of the lyrics on XII was written by other members in the band and not me, we decided to jump on a 3 weeks EU Tour last minute right before entering the studio to record Tando Ashanti and XII, some of the lyrics were still not done and I thought it would be no problem for me to write them while I was on the road, but I figured out that I was wrong, so a few days before entering the studio some lyrics were still missing and I simply couldn’t come up with enough text which I thought were good enough, so I showed the other guys what I already wrote and they took inspiration from that and wrote the last missing lyrics. What I wrote about in the last studio session was this excorsism story, which I also wrote about on our first album Abalam.
What is it about the religious and demonic motifs and its imagery that attracted you to it? As individuals, do you follow any particular spiritual paths or philosophy?
I just love scary movies/stories, I think it’s very fascinating, it really scares the shit out of me, especially overnatural stuff, I think it’s interesting to write about.
You’re currently on the road in support of “XII”. How’s it going? Any notable moment worth mentioning?
It’s great! 10 of the dates we did on our latest EU Tour was with a band called Walk Through Fire and they are fucking amazing, really great stuff! The best show we had on that Tour was Sassari in Sardinia, we took a ferry for 14 hours to get to that island and we expected it to be good, but it was actually way better than we thought it will be be, a lot of people came out and everybody was really into the show.
Are there a lot of new places that you’ve never been traveled to before?
Yes! Pretty much every time when we are going on Tour then we make sure that we are hitting new places. For the latest Tour then Calabria, Sicilia and Sardinia in Italy was the new places for us, the most far we previously got into Italy was Firenze. It’s always great to play Germany etc. But we have played a city like Berlin 10 times in the last couple of years, so it’s more interesting for us to hit new places all the time, since we constant are on the road.
With the amount of touring you’ve done through 2017, how have you found your tracks has been able to develop for the crowds now you’ve taken it through so many stages?
I defintly learned a lot from touring as much as we did, I remember running out of energy way faster when we started to Tour earlier this year, I have way more energy when I play live now, which makes it more enjoyable to do the shows.
Why is touring so high a priority for you guys? What does it give to you?
It’s hard to say, but I get this special ‘kick’ from playing a show which I can’t find anywhere else and I guess I kinda got ‘addicted’ to that. It’s nice to be home a little, but I’m usually feeling restless in no time and want to go back on the road.
Both touring and delivering such intense records prove that you’ve never appeared to conform to any typical standards, and always operate on your own terms. Is this something you’ve consciously sought to cultivate in the band? What does extreme art and DIY approach mean to you?
It’s very important for me to do things exactly the way we want to, it’s very rare that I want to go on compromise with the things we are doing, because this band means everything to me. I know if we did a couple of things different, like with promo, touring, art etc. then we could probably reach more people, but I rather do it our way and have a smaller audience. I mainly just have bad experiences from putting our band in other peoples hands + I enjoy to do all this booking, management etc. stuff. So I rather do it my self and make sure it’s done the way I want it to be.
How has your relationship with this extreme art changed over the years?
When we started the band then I wanted to have a monotonious sound, which I still want to, but now I’m also interested in taking it in more different directions and makes it a little more diverse.
Ok, so lastly, after letting loose even more of your incredible work of nihilistic majesty upon the listeners, what is next for HEXIS? What are your plans for the next year? Shall we expect another unholy offering? Even more touring? Any idea at the moment on what you have in store for the coming months?
We will Tour a lot next year as well, not as much as this year, but still a pretty good amount. We are touring Europe in April – May together with Departe from Australia and we hope to do Japan, China, South Africa and a full Scandinavia Tour after that. We will probably first start writing again in 2019, so we don’t expect to release a new album, EP etc. again before 2020.
Perfect! Thanks so much for your time! The last words are yours.
Thank you for the interview!