Productively pissed – an interview with noisy screamo band HIVE MIND!

8 mins read

HIVE MIND, a new squealing, creepy grind screamo band from Bloomington, Indiana, have recently released their noisy, boring-into-the-brain demo recording that will be soon release on tape via Friendly Otter and our friend Canadian label Zegema Beach Records! We’ve decided to break their silence recently announced through the message below and present their wild, forbidden art for the masses. Jump onto this high speed train, but be warned – it feels like it’s going to crash.

As of April 30, 2016 Hive Mind will enter a period of dormancy while our sonic mouthpiece goes on a soul searching journey to grow vegetables outside of the matrix. We expect to be rebooted and back online by September. (…) We have archived two new media files into the database. They are scheduled for public release at an unknown time in the future.

Photo by Eddie Price

Hey guys! Your new demo sounds like it came from hell. What on Earth prompted you to create such a devilish, noisy offering? Please introduce HIVE MIND to the readers, tell us how you started this band and how you came up with the idea of hitting this raw sonic direction with your music.

Steve: I’m Steve, I play guitar

Cory: Cory here, I yell.

Decker: I also play guitar.

Steve: I guess Hive Mind started with Cory and I wanting to start sort of a “fast grindy” band. We knew each other both growing up in Northwest Indiana and had been friends a few years. I had just moved to Bloomington at the time and Cory was living in Indianapolis an hour north. I’d send them riff ideas and we’d meet up to brainstorm. Eventually, we started finding others to play with and by that time Cory had moved to Bloomington. After a lot of line up and sound changes, we finally got the solid lineup we have today.

Dwayne: Cory asked me to be in HIVE MIND a couple of years ago. I had never really met Cory so my initial response was kind of flighty. The initial drummer that they had found ended up dropping, so Cory ended up asking me again. I think their words were “So long as you love blast beats!” from then on it was history.

Do you often go to the nearest woods to get some creepy inspiration? :) Tell me more about Bloomington and it’s area? How has living there affected and influenced you and your work?

Cory: Bloomington is great. It’s right smack dab in the middle of lots of wonderful parks and natural areas. I definitely try to get out there as much as I can. Bloomington as a city is interesting. It’s quiet small town America meets wild crazy college town, the best and the worst parts of both worlds. Living here has definitely influenced my worldview radically, and that gets reflected a bit in the lyrics. Strong punk/queer/radical scenes make for a very creative and diverse range of experiences. At the same time there’s a lot of bigotry, gentrification, sexual violence, and otherwise unsavory things, a lot of it brought in by Indiana University. Some of the newer songs we’ve been writing are explicitly about frat culture and the university, so yeah, definitely a big influence.

Dwayne: When I first moved here I didn’t fully realize how culturally different this place was from my hometown. I went from being one of many people of color to usually but not always being the only one. As a result I never really clicked with the college crowd or the ever present Greek culture. My biggest moment of culture shock ended up being the night I was out riding my bike and large Ford F-350 bearing a confederate flag attempted to pelt me with eggs. I ended up dodging them all but it’s was the first time I ever encountered hate on a racial basis. It didn’t change me, but definitely made me a lot more socially aware which tends to carry over into all projects I’m a part of.

Do you often leave for bigger cities? What do you miss about Bloomington when you’re away?

Steve: We haven’t really branched too far out from Bloomington yet. Only out of state show we’ve played so far was Warp Zone Fest in Peoria, Illinois. We have plans to hopefully tour this coming fall though.

Dwayne: The key to maintaining sanity in such a small town is to get out every once in awhile. Going to bigger cities kind of puts the town into perspective you realize the world isn’t all zines, shows, and the stereotypical people who annoy you. The one thing that I do miss when away from here is how everything kind of starts to feel like an episode of Cheers.

Ok guys, so were there any artists you really looked up to when you were growing up? Tell us about your first exposure to hardcore and extreme, heavy or experimental music.

Dwayne: When I was younger someone bought me Rock for Light by Bad Brains. At first I could only take in the reggae stuff, but after a listen or two I was thrashing in my bedroom like some kind of angry prepubescent pitbull. Later in high school I had the opportunity to help run a local venue and met a ton of people who are to this day still out doing the damn thing! Much like Cory people like, Bobby Markos, Tom and Karly from slingshot, and especially my friend Cameron along many others kind of showed us the ropes and it’s been lit ever since.

Cory: Growing up in NW Indiana, my first introduction to DIY/punk/whatever you wanna call it was from the bands NATIVE and BRIGHTER ARROWS. Those guys really took me under their wings, showed me tons of great bands, taught me how to book shows, gave me a job, everything. I can’t thank them enough. I remember the first time Bobby from NATIVE played me DAUGHTERS. It blew my mind at 17.

Steve: I spent a good amount of time with family growing up and all my uncles were all really into a lot of metal and rock which had an impact on me. One of my first bands was a death/black metal band. I was 15 at the time and all my band mates were like 21-24 so they kind of took me under their wing and introduced me to a lot of music as well. I got more into the DIY Punk/hardcore etc more towards the end of high school/beginning of college.

Decker: When I was a kid, Indianapolis featured/attracted a really great diverse group of bands that showed me all the different things punk/hardcore can be. Seeing bands like BOLTH, PHOENIX BODIES, IN THE FACE OF WAR, and THE SORELY TRYING DAYS was a really formative experience for me. I also saw COMADRE a couple times and that shit changed my life. These bands helped shape my interest in the sub-genres of punk I still love today.

How do you personally define DIY punk / hardcore / screamo or whatever you call what you guys do as HIVE MIND?

Dwayne: Trying to make the people who come to our shows feel some type of way.

Decker: I think we try to avoid identifying as a specific genre label, but our goal is to be chaotic and loud, and keep finding new ways to achieve these ends. With some mathy influences as well I guess.

Steve: It’s nice because I feel we all bring something different to the table that helps shape our sound. We kind of just let people throw us into whatever genre they want to call us.

What issues do you choose to portray in your lyrics?

Cory: Whatever I’m most pissed about at that moment I guess. While writing that EP I was thinking a lot about the peculiar cultural moment we find ourselves in. Fighting senseless, unwinnable wars, global politics are fucked, climate change and ecological destruction, the ubiquity of technology, how capitalism has successfully colonized every aspect of reality, our bodies, our minds. I was starting to challenge how I conceptualize the world in a big way, breaking down binaries, recognizing internalized and normalized power dynamics. I think I ended up stealing part of the lyrics for Meat Hook from White Noise by Don Delilo, which really captured the particular strain of late-capitalist paranoia I was affected by.

Do you try to reflect your world view through these tracks? Also, is there a specific philosophy underlying your music?

Cory: I think our philosophy is get pissed, stay pissed, and turn it into something productive.

Decker: My biggest takeaway from this group is that deconstructing labels, binaries, and other social codes can produce some really worthwhile results. And riffs.

Are there some particular artists you admire in this field of vicious, noisy grind violence you’ve been practicing lately?

Dwayne: This is a hard question for me, probably all those terrible bands that never break up. Realistically bands that just go. TERROR, TRAPPED UNDER ICE, SOUL GLO, LOMA PRIETA, GAZA, YAITW, DEAFHEAVEN, LORD SNOW.

Cory: Can’t not mention PHOENIX BODIES here, Indiana legends (RIP). Our friends in CLOSET WITCH from Iowa have really been tearing it up lately. OSTRACA’s LP from last year was great. COMA REGALIA get better on every release (and they have so many). Our buds in LEFT ASTRAY from California are probably the best hardcore band in the country. They’re not active anymore but BRIGHTER ARROWS’ record Dreamliner is mindblowing. If you haven’t heard it, you need to. So many bands out there that make me wanna quit with how good they are.

Steve: CLOSET WITCH and LEFT ASTRAY definitely. SNAKEHOLE from Florida as well, AMAZING two piece.

What has been a help in spreading your art to unfamiliar territories? Are DIY labels like Zegema Beach the best solution to reach out to listeners like me, sitting in a comfy chair here in Warsaw, Poland, thousands of miles from Indiana?

Cory: We’ve kept our presence pretty low-key. Anyone who’s a fan of our band has probably found out via word of mouth or seeing us play. We can’t thank Dave at Zegema Beach and Olin at Friendly Otter enough for wanting to put out this EP and being so excited about our band. They both run killer labels/distros and Dave in particular has been responsible for getting bands from both sides of the Atlantic fans across the pond. His blog Open Mind/Saturated Brain has so many great, unknown and forgotten bands on it. Dude’s like a screamo historian. Olin’s dedication to DIY has always impressed me too, he eats, sleeps, and breaths weird, heavy music.

Is there a goal in mind for the growth of HIVE MIND?

Cory: Keep getting weirder, heavier, faster, noisier, pushing ourselves and our songwriting abilities. Maybe have some fun and make some friends in the process.

Steve: Buy more amps. Just keep the momentum we have going and keep writing what we feel. Playing out more is definitely on the list.

Ok guys, so what does the future look like for you?

Decker: Cory is leaving for upstate New York this summer to continue their romance with plants. We want to pick back up as soon as they get back and start working on more material. We’re constantly learning about ourselves and this music as we go. I think that’s one of the benefits of shrugging off genre labels. The parameters we set for this project are fluid and that allows for some creative freedom. Also yea more amps.

Dwayne: I’m moving into a house with Cory and Steve so hopefully more impromptu practices and eventually getting picked up by Feed the Beat.

Steve: Visor caps and lanyards.

Cory: I’m spending the summer in New York farming and reading sci-fi. When I come back I should have plenty more cyberpunk fantasies to work into HIVE MIND.

Many thanks for your time. Take care and good luck with the band!

Thank you so much!

HIVE MIND Facebook
HIVE MIND Bandcamp
[email protected]

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