The Hubris Interview

Could you first introduce yourself/the band and tell us how it came to be?

Jonathan Hohl (Guitar, composition, production) – We are hubris., a post-rock band from the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. Nathan, the drummer, and I have been playing music together for over a decade, but we first started in a metal band which was heavily influenced by post-rock. Eventually, we decided to give a proper “post-rock” band a go, albeit with our own music influences. On March 13th of this year we will be releasing our third album.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

Nathan Gros (Drums, composition, production) – We try to incorporate literally everything that we listen to into our music. As mentioned, Jonathan and I started our first band in the metal genre but before that we both listened to different genres of music (e.g. my father is an African music percussionist). We end up with post-rock that quite clearly is not post-rock in the stricter terms because it is heavily influenced by so many other styles. What is post-rock is that we start all our compositions with a basic post-rock quartet (i.e. 2 guitars, bass and drums) and that the compositions aim to foster introspection. But then the drum patterns that I usually come up with sound very much like what you would hear in a hip-hop tune for example.

Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

JH – Well, yes as we’ve just explained regarding metal music. Also, Matthieu, Lucien – the two musicians that we always play live with – and I studied Jazz. Although they do not strictly have a hand in the composition per say, having played with them – personally for many years – has definitely had an impact on me and the way I understand music or compose it.

Is there a particular process to your/the band’s songwriting?

NG – So far, it’s been nothing but pure chaos. We’ve been trying to improve for every album, but there are always elements that we don’t pay as close attention as we should, and it ends up with us having to kill ourselves eventually to repair the small mistake. For the fourth album that Jonathan is composing at the moment, we are trying to stick to a strict plan, so we do not get caught up with an overwhelming workload towards the end of the production.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

JH – Metempsychosis, our third album is to be released on March 13th of this year. It is very much in the lines of Apocryphal Gravity our second album, although we have tried to incorporate so more styles that we like or play into this genre of music. For example, the track Dionysus contains a disco-like drum pattern for the first riff.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

JH – The one and only big inspiration that I go dig up for is Greek Mythology. I have studied it at University (i.e. at the time when we first started the band) and it remained this way to this day. I like not to get lost in what is available to me in terms of inspiration and the fact that I can go back to a specific and definite source of inspiration is quite liberating actually. I am of course referring only to their stories or themes but going hiking for a whole day is as inspiring as anything else. I simply make sure that I cater this inspiration to myths.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

NG – So far, we have always tried to have our albums be listened to in one go. It means that all the transitions between the songs have to be flawless and very much decided and/or worked on early in the production process. Sometimes Jonathan would compose a song and use the last few chords of that said song to compose the next one, which then makes the transition somehow create itself. It makes performing live a bit more difficult, because then we have to decide whether we play two songs or more from the same album one after the other or whether we abruptly cut one and place another song in-between.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

JH – Probably the experiences and emotions you share with your mates on stage. If I could choose to keep doing only one thing in music, it would 100% be to play live. What I think is the most cathartic experience as a musician is having had the best moments composing a song you love and then present it to an audience for the first time. Release parties are always so paramount because almost the entire audience discovers some of the songs for the first time, so you try your best to give out the best of experiences.

NG – I guess most enjoyable part as being in a band is to have something where you can express yourself and your feelings without being judged. I have so much respect and gratitude for my band mates because I know they give their 100% each time we play music, even for a simple rehearsal at 8am after a short night of sleep. I know I can trust them because they are like family, and I know they will always be here when needed. The most cathartic moment must be when our albums get delivered on my doorstep, simply because I know there is no more turn back on the mixes or anything else linked to the album. I mixed the last three albums, and this was probably my last, because I want to be more focused on the music and less on the small details (that actually gives you bad insomnias…) of the mixing aspect.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

NG – We try to stick to the album quite religiously, there is not much room for improvisation. The only difference with the album – with the exception that it is ten times louder – it that we usually add a lot more dynamics than the actual songs. Some of the lead guitars are also a bit louder, to make it more interesting live. Most importantly, we literally kill our necks on stage every single time. No exception. We always put ourselves in a performance mood and go as crazy as the music transports us.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

JH – Our tour manager in India had been working day in day out to make the tour come to fruition and we did not really know how to thank him as we did not have much to offer except music. It was about 4-5 months before Metempsychosis was to be released, so nobody – except him and the label – had had a listen to any of the new songs. We made the decision the same day of the concert to actually perform one of our new songs live, just for him. We spent hours that same afternoon right after the soundcheck to make sure that all the backing tracks, click track etc. were on point. At about the end of the show, we took the opportunity to say a few words to him and then dedicated this song, Dedalus, to him before we started playing the song. It was the first time we played it live and we had not rehearsed it for weeks since we were not going to play it for the whole tour. Perhaps we did not play it as cleanly as we could, but the energy and emotions were so intense.

NG – I would say it was on our last tour in India when we played in Bangalore at Fandom. We had all the elements that makes a show a great show: good gear, good sound-system, good vibes and the best audience we could imagine. This was the first time I saw people imitating the drum parts, singing the guitar melodies and screaming when we ended a part (not even a song). We were tired and I was sick on that day, but as soon as we got on stage, all the pain went away and who knows how, we played one the best shows of the band’s history.

Do you have live dates coming up?

NG – Yes, a few shows here and there (April in Belgium, May in Germany), but most importantly we have our release party that will take place on Friday 13th of March at Fri-Son in Fribourg, Switzerland.

What else can we expect in the near future?

JH – We are working on our tours for the second part of the year, but we cannot say too much about it just yet. Also, as mentioned earlier, I am already composing songs for the fourth album and we are really confident about the potential of these future songs.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

NG – I take a lot of inspiration from artists such as Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, The Contortionist, Moderat, Young Widows and so many other artists from many genres. This might sound weird, but I do watch a lot of YouTube or Instragram videos from drummers to get inspired. The drumming community is amazing because there are so many people eager to share their knowledge.

JH – The people that influence me the most soundwise are not from the post-rock scene at all. I am a big fan of Queen of the Stone Age’s guitar sounds, but I don’t think fuzz would match that well in our music – I haven’t tried it yet, but who knows. There is that guitar player from Nashville, TN called Jack Ruch who I have been following for quite a while. His tones and ideas are flawless.

And finally, what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

JH – All the songs that I have looked up that I thought sparked my passion for music where released after I believe my passion for music emerged. So, I don’t really know unfortunately.

NG – I started playing music at 6 because my dad was playing African percussions, and at this time he didn’t have any albums but only songs he would play live with his band in small venues in Switzerland.  My parents bought me a drum kit when I was 7 because I transformed my plastic toy kitchen into a drum set (that got broken after a few days “playing it”). The funny part of this is that I didn’t try on purpose to transform this toy into a drum kit, I was just having fun with something that sounded cool to me.

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

JH, NG – A massive thank you to anyone who’s supported us over the course of hubris.’ existence. Perhaps our lives without hubris. would be a bit less stressful, but god knows how grimmer it would be too!

Check Hubris out further @

https://hubrisband.bandcamp.com/   https://www.hubrisband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Hubrisband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 26/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Head On – Robert Christgau/Greil Marcus

Head On

A band we found ourselves hooked on back in 2018 through their debut album Ubik, Greek outfit Head On has so far evaded the major spotlights which we suggested were on their near horizon courtesy of their striking full-length but are back to tease them once again with their new two-track single.

The Athens hailing band again breed their tracks from a post punk heart enveloping both with just as potent post rock atmospherics but swiftly both Robert Christgau and Greil Marcus reveal the band’s sound has embraced a far richer and thicker expanse of flavouring compared to that within their impressive album. Equally there is a bolder maturity to the web of styles and imagination making up its senses entangling prowess, one increasing that suggestion that Head On deserve greater attention.

Both tracks making up the single are inspired by American music journalists and each a tribute with a touch of individualism and rebellion which could be said to equally spice the writers work. A-side is Robert Christgau, a song immediately winding attention enticing guitar wiring around ears. Rhythms gather with increasing intensity too though they never quite find a concussive touch as the track slips into its infectious post punk nurtured stroll. Tofer’s vocals join the canter, his resolute tones firm but with the same underlying off-kilter dynamic as carried by Breathiac’s guitar and Levojohn’s bass. With the equally purposeful beats of Kostas driving and adding commanding manipulation to song and listener alike within the melodic web cast by Breathiac, the track is pure captivation; essences of bands such as early Cure, Unsane, and KEN Mode coming to mind in varying degrees.

Greil Marcus provides the B-side and similarly had us on board from its initial nagging breath as guitar and bass nudges teased and lured before uniting in a more voracious canter with those same virulent hooks at work. There is something akin to a fusion of fellow Greeks SPInnERS and Russian punks Biting Elbows to the song but swiftly Head On stamp down their uniqueness as the cold taunting of the track and its virulent character thick in enterprise got under the skin. Senses scorching eruptions in sound and especially Tofer’s vocals only add to the tension and captivation of the track, its ferocity and disturbed breath adding to the thrilling drama.

Both tracks had us hungry for more and eagerly anticipating the next unpredictable Head On roar which hopefully will have a much larger landscape of ears waiting its unveiling if the band’s new single gets its deserved reward.

Robert Christgau/Greil Marcus is available now @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Tombstones In Their Eyes – Maybe Someday

photo by Cathryn Farnsworth

With a healthy clutch of heavy praise bearing releases already under their belt, Los Angeles hailing indie psych rock outfit Tombstones in Their Eyes have just unveiled their new album; a release destined to eclipse all before in acclaim and success. It is a feeling simply hard to escape as the album smothers the senses in its swampy and rousing, enveloping and seductive textures, and one which intensifies with every compelling listen.

The band’s sound is almost suffocating as it surrounds ears with its spatial bound, haze clouded fusion of psych rock and shoe gaze within post rock seeded soundscapes. Each track within the Paul Roessler (Nina Hagen, The Deadbeats, The Screamers, 45 Grave) recorded Maybe Someday provides a dreamscape of suggestion around a sonorous wall of intimation and all go towards making the new Tombstones In Their Eyes full-length one fascinating and invigorating exploration.

From its opening breath, Maybe Someday began surging under the skin, the stormy entrance of opener Open Skies rich in threat and intimation. Those hues only thicken as the sonic flames of guitarists John Treanor and Josh Drew ignite the subsequent melodic stroll of the song, one instantly catchy and captivating with the equally magnetic vocals of Treanor in full sway within its canorous winds.

With a touch of Spacemen 3 meets My Bloody Valentine meets Birdland to it, the track makes a rousing start to the album which its outstanding title track quickly accentuates with its calmer but no less hypnotic proposition. The rhythms of bassist Mike Mason and drummer Stephen Striegel hit their manipulative stride from the off, inciting song and listener alike as the vaporous  keys of Treanor echo the harmonic resonance of his voice and the guitars. As the first, it is an infectious almost invasive temptation sparking only an appetite for more which I Want You feeds with its somnambulistic serenade. Flirtation lines its melancholy as radiance wraps its melodic reassurance, individual craft and enterprise accentuating all of its haunting beauty as the album spots another irresistible moment in its still short but already impressive presence.

Shadows cast potent intimation upon the following soul searching Today while Down in the Dirt bears a grungier side to its character while circling the senses with its own individual psych rock nurtured squall as voice and words bear their hearts. Both songs expel mesmeric charm from start to finish, each sharing their unique imaginations before The Demon manages to eclipse both their striking exploits with its surf kissed, self-refection bred rapture and beauty.

Through the muggier climate of Behind My Mind and the similarly intense crawl of The One, Tombstones In Their Eyes brought new dramatic shades to their album’s evolving landscape and thicker pleasure to ears, the latter verging on the predacious as harmonic radiance sweep turbulent mercurial skies. Among many major moments within the release, the song especially stands out before I Believe leaves its infectious mark on the album’s imagination permeating body. As with all tracks drama accompanies craft and imagination, this song especially potent with this mix.

I Can’t Feel It Anymore saunters through ears as it draws the listener into its ethereal embrace, keeping itself grounded with dark and heavy textures to compliment the seducing with the following Up and Down providing a seductive kiss on the senses whilst weaving a post rock nurtured terrain of barb carrying textures.

As it began, the album leaves gripping hold of attention through final track Dreams. Its synth pop opening has a Visage scented breath to its electronic mist from which intimacy soaked shadows and rock grounded volatility brews. The song is pure mesmerism, evolving note by note to never let the listener assume or the imagination settle as it brings a simply spellbinding album to a truly thrilling conclusion.

Maybe Someday is out now via digitally and on limited edition CD through Somewherecold Records; available at https://tombstonesswc.bandcamp.com/album/maybe-someday

https://www.facebook.com/TombstonesInTheirEyes   https://twitter.com/tombsinthreyes

Pete RingMaster 12/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Hippies – Resister

®Mathieu_EZAN

Though music constantly sparks the passions whether through new proposals or simply going back to past adventures of pure joy there are some moments which ignite and excite the spirit and imagination like few others. For us one is the new album from Dead Hippies, a collection of tracks which voraciously burrowed under the skin as they inflamed an instinctive hunger for sound.

Dead Hippies is the creative project of Arnaud Fournier, the lead guitarist in The Hint and La Phaze. 2013 saw debut album, Kill Me Sweety, unveiled to a strong critical welcome. Whereas, it had a mainly instrumental landscape emerging from a fusion of rock and electronic enterprise its successor is a thickly bolder affair as noise, post rock, electro and dance-floor sounds collude in a rousing emprise of aural incitement. As with the first release, there is much more to each album’s body than the descriptions given, Resister a tempest of flavour and textures bound in a thrilling contagion soaked trespass further aroused by the diverse tones of Dylan Bendall (Lab°, Schoolbusdriver).

Live, Dead Hippies is unleashed through a quintet of guitars and it is that sonic abundance which fuels the intensity and exploits of Resister. The album opens with Drip Drip Drip, a track which admittedly took longer than the rest to get us hooked once exposed to all yet from its first melodic poking the song proved an itch which had to be scratched and often. Its rhythmic shuffle soon aligned to that initial electronic lure, vocals close behind again picking their shots before it all ignites in sonic dissonance as feral as it is caustic. Bendall switches between hip hop and noise punk dexterity within the repeating cycles of constantly fresh imagination, Fournier’s sounds equally esurient in their challenge and temptation as they evolve through a kaleidoscope of climates.

Get off the Boat follows, the track teasing ears with its opening electronic coaxing around a thick rhythmic pulsing. Melodic wires soon entangle those early seeds, Bendall’s tones moving from composed confrontation to a fiery insurgency as the surrounding enterprise follows suit. Like a mix of Girls In Synthesis and As A New Revolt, the track moves in a jarred shuffle throughout, its eruptions further manipulation of the senses and passions.

Featuring American rapper Mr J. Medeiros (The Procussions, Alltta, The Knives), the album’s title track is next up. It steps from an industrial lined electronic welcome into a prowling slice of Senser-esque rap rock where every second brings stringent observation amidst a consuming galvanic stride of sound. Though unleashed with a certain hand of control it is a ravenous encounter, electronic and punk ‘n’ roll dexterity amassing on a dance-floor bred rapacity.

That Senser like breath continues into the addictively rousing Feel so Freaky, a track which had the body feverishly bouncing like a puppeteer as its mania infested every note and syllable through to each magnetic twist and turn. Its dervish styled antics proved pure virulence from the first breath, a post punk hue only adding to its devilish magnificence before Laugh in Sadness flowered with crystalline elegance in ears. Guitars and keys blossom their intimation hand in hand, tears shared in its imposing shadows as the instrumental spreads and broadens its haunting tension and invasive drama. Compelling from first lure to last, the track eventually drifts back into the darkness for The Little Ones to unveil its corrosive radiance. A PiL tinted toning equips voice and sound as the song strides boldly and menacingly through ears, unrelenting rhythms on invasive manoeuvres as again Dead Hippies burrow deep into the psyche.

Across the swarthy climate of Anna Logue the Alien and the Morricone hued landscape of Tearing Us Apart with a Poisoned Dart addiction to Register only escalated. Once more ravenous electro-dubstep beats pummel as they incite across both tracks, the first of the two entangling that core bait with a web of guitar and electronic intimation as unscrupulous as it is dynamically persuasive, the vocals of Bendall equally as stirring. Its successor takes its time to build to that same rhythmic infestation, but once triggered brings a voracity of sonic turbulence and emotion before expanding both aspects in greater drama and tension.

The album finishes off with firstly the sonically rich ever evolving exploits of Flanger, a dance-floor bred instrumental at times as fearsome as it is incendiary to feet and body grooves and lastly the dystopian realm of Dramatic Control, a piece of music again which invades and provokes as potently as it draws the imagination into aligning its own darkest to that of the track.

Together they provide a compelling end to an album which simply consumed ears and attention not forgetting the passions from the first second and continues to do so which increasing success. There have been numerous striking releases across the year to date but Fournier with Register simply leaves so many of those in the shade.

Register is out now via Atypeek Music / Bruillance.

https://www.facebook.com/deadhippiesdead

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Register – Captive

It is two years since Atlanta outfit Dead Register not only thrilled but truly captivated us with debut album Fiber. It was a collection of tracks bred in the rich essences of doom, gothic, and post rock but equally embraced many more flavours to create something as unique as you could imagine or wish. Twenty four or so months on we still cannot truly define their sound or want to as that would be to sterilise its originality and fertility, both as rampant and captivating in the band’s new offering, Captive.

Every word in praise of Fiber by us and so many others can be echoed with zeal in regard to the Captive EP, but not only repeated but escalated as its five tracks venture to mouth-watering new heights in the imaginative craft and inventive prowess of Dead Register. The new EP sees percussionist/drummer Danny Ryann (ex-Gigan) alongside vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta and his wife, Avril Che on bass synth, keys, and backing vocals; Dan Dixon (Whores, The Life and Times, PLS PLS, Biters) recording, mixing, and mastering their now proposition.

Captive opens up with its title track, a dark mist springing the lumbering gait of the song but a funereal step soon wrapped in romancing melodies as a shadow bred atmosphere descends. Magnetic rhythms are swiftly courted by the ever potent and alluring tones of Chvasta, both in turn hugged by the heavy emotive doom gaze breath of the track. Haunting and mesmeric, the song continues to seduce and impose, drama soaking very brooding note and harmonic utterance trespassing and seducing the senses.

It is a highly tantalising and increasingly captivating beginning to the release and one as powerfully continued by next up Ender. A song exploring love and loss and “a reminder to savor even the most mundane idiosyncrasies that “make” our loved ones who they are”, a premise easy to relate to, it rousingly smoulders in ears and thoughts but a thick simmer with volatility which only enriches its emotional incitement and a sound with Type O Negative/Nine Inch Nails hues. There is also a breath to the track and its successors which reminds of eighties band, The Sound; an instinctively downbeat almost depressive yet rousing dark essence which is especially apparent in the fiercely infectious Heresy. From its predacious nagging bassline to the sonic tendrils and Chvasta’s transfixing vocals, the track is pure temptation as virulently catchy as it is melancholically consuming.

A riveting cover of the Dead and Gone track Blood from a Ghost follows, Dead Register infusing it with a voraciously dark elegance without defusing its raw heart and anguish. Few covers in our experience improve on the original but the threesome certainly flirts with that success before Monochrome completes the aural mastery of Captive with its own tenebrific majesty soaked in emotive dissonance. A breath-taking and arousing yet corrosive romance, the track is a maelstrom of destruction and tenderness and quite irresistible.

It is a spellbinding prowess which devours the whole of Captives and feeds the infatuation we have already found for the band. If in our words Fiber was “dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful”, Captive is pure aural alchemy and one of the year’s essential encounters.

Captive is released November 2nd; available @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

 Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Masiro – Geodesics

Simultaneously teasing and engaging the imagination from start to finish, Geodesics is the new EP from British instrumental metallers Masiro. It offers up six tracks which take the listener on their own inspired journey through realms of creative intimation and magnetic craft; a collection of pieces which provide a straight line to pleasure but across a landscape of adventure which curves and fascinates like an aural kaleidoscope.

A trio hailing from Oxford, Masiro consists of original founders in guitarist Mike Bannard and drummer Chris Pethers, the band emerging as a duo in 2011, alongside bassist Chris Hutchinson Mogg formerly of ex-50ft Panda. Scented by the inspirations of artists such as Meshuggah, Primus, Mars Volta, Animals as Leaders, 65 Days of Static, Psyopus and many more, their music is a tapestry woven from strains of mathcore, progressive metal, and post rock though that only skirts over its varied richness. The band soon drew acclaim once releasing debut EP Technocologist Unknown in 2016, praise and recognition only thickened by their live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Poly Math, Core of IO, Iran Iran, and Kusanagi as well as festival appearances.

Geodesics is surely set to see Masiro lure even greater and broader recognition and plaudits their way, though strangely it is an encounter which with us depended on close attention to be really seduced and enthralled. As background support to whatever maybe needed to be done, it is a certainly fully enjoyable but a touch too easy to have distractions take charge but sit ears down with headphones and record and Masiro had us lost in its riveting web of craft and imagination whilst bouncing to its dynamics and suggestive incitement.

The EP swiftly entices with opener Andromeda Handshake, the track almost instantly a sonic chasm of turbulence but from within which tendrils of melody bred guitar wrap around ears and imagination The snarling almost bestial tone of the bass keeps the threat alive whilst rhythms pick their spots with rapacious intent. The tempest though breeds melodic radiance, it being swallowed once more but only to wait its moment to crystalize air and the rich temptation it ignites. Perpetually evolving, the track transfixes from start to finish with its mercurial flight.

The following K-Ursa is a far calmer proposition from its first breath. Featuring the saxophone prowess of Charlie Cruickshank, the song is a warm almost summery canter but with bold flames in its sultry climate. Again though there is a volatile instinct to the music, one which never fully ignites but brings a thought inspiring temper to the melodic beauty woven and eventually incites it all to come to a fiery head for its finale.

Both tracks also revel in an array of infection spreading hooks and twists, a creative agility just as potent within next up 21:15. With shadows courting its lining and depths, the track is a dark almost predatory controlled waltz, always intimating a portentous outcome even through its melodic elegance; a threat accentuated by the throaty growl and crawl of the bass and Pether’s agile swings. As all tracks it sends thoughts off on an exploration, espionage and danger courting their conjuring this time around.

The sonic displacement of Intermission: Graveyard Orbit with Lee Riley supplying drone dissonance intrigued if not much more and is soon forgotten as the outstanding End Permian emerges from its raw mists. Instantly a nagging groove had us hooked, its guitar lure increasing as the bass seduced as it prowled with slight irritability amidst a shimmering melodic glaze. Subsequently, as you can rightly assume, the piece gyrates with ideation and individual craft aligned to a united imagination, every slip into something new as fluid as it is expectantly unpredictable.

The release concludes with Grand Trine, another inescapable incitement of emotional and physical response. It is carnival of eager bordering rabid enterprise, the band’s mathcore instincts dancing like a dervish around relaxed moments of equally compelling melodic insinuation. As with all tracks, where it takes you will be as individual as the sounds provoking your imagination and as each we suspect leaving little else but pleasure especially the deeper you immerse in its creative emprise.

That is the same for Geodesics as a whole, give it your total time and attention and the rewards verge on the irresistible.

Geodesics is released September 7th, available @ https://masiro.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/masiromusic   https://twitter.com/masiroband   https://www.instagram.com/masiro_band/

Pete RingMaster 07/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright