Hydraform – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
H: Progressive Groove Metal Quartet
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
H: Jay Streifer (guitar) and ex-drummer Tyler Toth started the band under a different moniker in 2012, but it wasn’t until early 2013 when Carter Pashko joined on vocals that the songs started to come together. We played our first show the night before Thanksgiving where John Jarvinen happened to be in attendance, he joined shortly after. We recorded our first album Dark Adder (released April 2014) later that year and toured the west coast in 2015-16 supporting the album. In early 2019, we went back into the studio to record our latest EP with legendary producer Sylvia Massy. While planning the release and tour dates, Tyler left the band and was replaced by Matt Gotlin-Sheehan shortly after. We just got back from a national 3- week tour supporting thrash icons Overkill and Exhorder and plan to release the self-titled EP in June 2020.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
H: 80’s action movies, 90’s Nintendo games, Tool, Lamb of God, Porcupine Tree, Periphery, Gojira.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
H: Playing shows around the world, getting signed, getting rich and famous, then slowly tearing apart the fabric of our friendship and thus, the band. Or at this point, playing any shows at all… Social distancing sucks, man.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
H: Our songs usually start with an initial idea or riff that someone brings to the table. We like to jam through ideas and arrange the music together to make sure that we each have space for what we want to add. We all focus on our individual instruments (or vocals), however we’re always giving each other feedback and we definitely don’t allow any shit parts to slide through. Lyrically, our songs range from epic sci-fi stories of mass destruction, to ideas we have about how to cope with the human condition – you’ll have to listen to find out more…
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
H: We rely heavily on word of mouth and social media to draw people to our live performances, we don’t have the same clout as a national touring act with a large following. Obviously, the goal is to play in front of as many new people as possible, so we also put together shows with different types of metal and rock bands. We usually get a lot of engagement from people who see us live, so we try to stay in touch with those new fans and update them when we have shows in their area. Our hope is that they’ll come see us again and also bring some friends along for the ride!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
H: We’re all part of the Napster generation and have been downloading (and now moved on to streaming) our entire lives. It’s just changed the game for bands and musicians. There’s so many new ways to present music to the world and I think it just takes strategic focus and creativity to navigate the best way to do it. I think it’s also changed the attention span of our generation and the best way to cut through the noise is to focus on quality songwriting and instrumentation.
Matt: For me personally, I don’t have a problem with it. I think for bands that are looking to get a foothold in the industry you take what you can get as far as getting people to hear your work. The big thing for me is getting to the point where people hear your music and are excited to come see you perform live, and hopefully multiple times. Building an audience and having those opportunities for fan engagement is what is more important than the format people use to listen to our music.
PD: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
H: Carter:I think the record industry has changed and is changing. The way this beast made money is different today then 20 years ago. Honestly heavy music (Metal, Hard Rock, etc..) is the only place that I see where CD’s are still viable. But it’s all just shifting. I think that the live performance is now the most important thing, and that’s great for fans. If artists have to play shows and make them good to be successful then we came along at the perfect time. We love playing live and our live show is only getting better. So our outlook on the industry is looking pretty good.
When was the last time you bought a physical record? The industry should be renamed to band business bank loans.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
H: Matt: Doesn’t a part of all of us wish we had written “Raining Blood” or “Enter Sandman”? You always want to be the one that wrote a song that garnered you acclaim and defined a genre. I think I wish we had written that song. We will write that song. That’s our answer. But also The Thong Song…yeah, that would have been a great song to write.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
H: Matt: I hate when people put their hands on my gear without talking to me about it first. I’m very protective over my equipment. I don’t like ego or thinking you’re too important or special to get your hands dirty and get the job done.
Carter: I don’t like people who need to be coddled. Put your feelings aside and get the job done/ do what you are told.
Jay: Micromanaging (because it’s what I do sometimes). Also anyone who bitches about having pet peeves.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
H: Opening for Overkill & Exhorder on the Wings Over the USA tour. It was awesome to see behind the scenes of the biggest production we’ve been involved in to date and learn firsthand what it takes to be successful as a large-scale touring act. We performed on the largest stages/audiences we’ve ever played.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there
H: We have a lot of pride and put a TON of dedication in our live shows, however Covid-19 has crushed our dreams (and shows) for the time being. We like to say that we bring the same energy and showmanship to an audience of 30 as we would to an audience of 30,000. We love what we do, we love the music we play, and we try to show that onstage night in and night out. Stay “in the know” on hydraformmusic.com or our social media channels for upcoming summer/fall dates!
Band/Artist location – Denver Colorado
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