Monday, April 25, 2016

interview: Hyperion

Hyperion (Sweden)
Even though the band is new to this publication, it turns out that they have been laboring and improving their music for years now. The moment for the debut album has arrived and it is called Seraphical Euphony and it’s all about quality, catchy melodic black metal. Black metal means a lot of things to a lot of people, but in this case it means fast, memorable songs, and skillful instrumentation. Actually, as you will read, the band does not care about categories and they are perfectly satisfied being a memorable band that plays extreme metal to whom quality songs is an important objective.
Greetings! How is the metal life in Sweden?! You are in Sweden, correct?
Hello. Well, Stockholm is a city that has a pretty active metal scene. There are lots of gigs occurring every weekend and even during the weekdays. Many of them quite frankly are boring and uninteresting, but there are a couple of acts that stand out and really make a difference.
Yes, Stockholm, Sweden is our location. The “Metal Life” of Hyperion is the way a life would be for anyone living here, I suppose, except for the fact that we enjoy playing music in our spare time. Then again, metal has always been a bit of an outside sub-culture and that certainly reflects our way of living and our attitude towards the outside world.
Who answers these questions? Can you explain the origins of Hyperion?
This interview is answered by Erik Molnar, one of Hyperion’s 3 guitar players. Here is a short biography of the band:
Hyperion was formed in 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden by former vocalist Erik Thorell, original bass player August Bengtsson and current guitar player Erik Molnar. Shortly after the bands inception, drummer Anders Peterson joined as well. The only 2 members that remain from this line up today are Erik Molnar and Anders Peterson. The original vision was to create melodic music rich in harmony that was also brutal and epic, thus in the beginning Hyperion were inspired by many Swedish bands and still are to this day. In the same year of its formation, Hyperion released a rehearsal demo containing 4 songs. Gigs were performed after the release of the untitled promo demo in Stockholm. After some time, all the band members left except for Erik Molnar. During this period, the band took a darker move towards music that was more inspired by Swedish and Norwegian Black Metal, while still maintaining the original vision of writing epic and melodic music. The result was the recruitment of vocalist Harry Lauraéus, guitarist Mikael Malm and guitarist Efe Guner. Together they and Erik Molnar released the 2010 demo Blood of the Ancients. Gigs were performed after this release as well and the band slowly, but surely started to gain a following in their hometown of Stockholm.
Much has happened since the release of the Blood of the Ancients demo. The line-up has changed to its current state and Hyperion is now officially signed to Black Lion Productions and are about to release their debut album Seraphical Euphony, which contains both new material and more professional re-recordings of the songs on the demo Blood of the Ancients. With this new album marking the first large milestone in Hyperion’s career, the band is now ready to spread their music to all corners of this world with the assistance of their allies at Black Lion Productions.
The album Seraphical Euphony contains 9 songs of epic, melodic, brutal and eventful music that challenges the norm of conventional music. It is also meant to challenge the ears of its listeners, bombarding them with countless, various elements of musical influences.
What is your interpretation of metal music for Hyperion?
Many people label us within various different categories. Some call us melodic black metal, some call us melodic black/death metal, some call us melodic death metal, etc. I personally just describe our music as melodic extreme metal. I don’t have a problem with people putting different labels on our music as long as they listen to it. I know what the music means to me, though, and it’s very personal to me. It is an outlet for the feelings that me and my bandmates want to convey and it reflects us as individuals. Every note within every song and each word within every lyric has been placed there with great care. Therefore, we are not ashamed of anything we have released thus far. The music is also meant to be very motivating with a general positive message, although concealed within multiple layers of metaphors and at times wild and ferocious atmospheres.
I think your 2016 album Seraphical Euphony sounds awesome. What is your recording history and what can the listener expect from Hyperion?
Hyperion has released 2 demos, 1 small live album and 1 full-length album. Our latest full length album can be heard on pretty much every digital platform there is out there. Here is a link to the entire album streaming on YouTube.
Our latest full-length album was recorded in Scarecrow Recordings, Forlorn Halls Studios and on various private locations in our hometown of Stockholm.
As described previously in the biography section of this interview, the music focuses on creating a melodic, epic, but also brutal atmosphere. The keyword, however and the main focal point of Hyperion’s music is epicness. The listener is supposed to be swept away into a virtual world of grandiose dreaming where anything is possible through the force of sheer will.
What led you to become a metal musician? Did it come easy to you or maybe the opposite?! How did you find your audience at first?
Apart from the obvious influence of the first couple of bands I listened to, my cousin Alex (guitar player in the band Descend) was the one that really inspired me to pick up the guitar. Three years my senior, he was a natural role model for me when he made lots of progress in his guitar playing. The song writing came a bit later though and that part is probably the thing I enjoy mostly when it comes playing in a band.
Yes, it was very difficult at first and it still is at times. It’s just like with anything; you take one step at a time, one day at a time. You must also be patient, willing to fail and have a burning ambition in order to make something worthwhile of your guitar playing, or in playing any instrument for that matter. Regarding finding the right people, yes, that was very hard, but I feel that we finally have a strong line-up today. Finding an audience? Well….haha, I think basically we have acquired most of our audience just recently with the release of this new album, so I suppose it was hard, but it was not a priority.
What do you want to see your listeners do in support of your band?
Well, some obvious things they can do is to buy the album, buy a t-shirt, listen to our music, attend our gigs if they live nearby and recommend us to their friends and family should they happen to appreciate what we are doing. Quite a lot of all those things have come to pass since the release of Seraphical Euphony. I could not be more grateful for the warmth, love and support that we have received from the metal community. All I can say about that is; keep it up! We treasure every person that we can reach.
The thing that I hope for the most, however, is for people to get inspired by our music to do whatever it is that they want to do. I want people to become motivated by Hyperion’s music and really get make an effort to dissect the lyrics in order to understand the true meaning of them. Quantity in that sense is not a high priority, though. If our music would manage to only reach say 10 people on a deeper level, I would consider our work a success.
Does Hyperion plan to play shows soon?
Yes, we do. There are no definite plans as of yet, but a lot of hooks have been thrown out so to speak and we are waiting to see what will transpire. We yearn to spread the album for sure!
Where does the passion for metal come from? Is it the desire to take the stage and rage? Could there ever be a financial reward for your extreme metal band?
The dedication comes from a burning love and a deep respect for music in general. Metal music and music in general is very personal to me and it’s one of the few ways I can truly express myself. It is something that is within all of us in the band and we simply MUST create. We have no choice. If I don’t spend time on the band for an extended period of time, I get depressed and anxious.
I did not think that making money of the music was a possibility before, but now since the release of our debut album it seems the tables have turned… I think it is definitely possible to make money of the music one day. One must first believe in the possibility for something to occur in order for it to even have a chance manifest into reality. Why do I think that? I think our music has something real to offer the metal community and I think that people recognize that. And also, I am a firm believer that nothing is impossible. Nothing!
My definition of success is first and foremost artistic success, for lack of a more humble term. Musical success in my eyes is creating the kind of music that you want to create. I want to be able to look back at what we’ve done when I’m older and think that we really gave it all. I want to feel that really made a mark and expressed ourselves wholeheartedly. Financial or more “materialistic” success is secondary priority, although very appealing.
What type of lyrics is important to your band and what type of lyrics do you think work well with your music?
The lyrics we write reflect what goes on within our minds. Each and every song on Seraphical Euphony has a special meaning, or tells a specific story that is linked to one common theme. That theme is for the listeners to discern, but I think if you’ve read this interview closely enough you should have figured it out by now. The lyrics for our songs must be epic and convincing and also have a balance of elegance and rawness to them. Writing a Hyperion lyric is no easy task, but all to rewarding in the end. It tends to become a journey of self-discovery as well as somewhat cathartic, at least in my case.
What other Hyperion news do you have?
As of now, we are trying to handle the enormous amount of orders coming in from all over the world for the physical copy of Seraphical Euphony. The album is selling like crazy and we are working as hard as we can to supply people with the CD: s that they demand - a favourable problem to have. We are also working on a new T shirt design which will be available quite soon I hope. Other than that, there are some plans for some live shows hopefully in the summer as I mentioned previously and every now and then, we work on some new material when we feel like we have the inspiration.
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