Monday, April 4, 2016

interview: The Shiva Hypothesis

The Shiva Hypothesis
The Shiva Hypothesis is an extreme metal band from Holland. They sent in their “Promo 2015” recording, about which this publication reported not too long ago. Given the suggestive title of the recording, curiosity led to finding out more about the band’s plans, which indeed does include an album coming up. MvS, the band’s vocalist, explains more about The Shiva Hypothesis.
Thanks for sending your music. What can you tell us to introduce the band to the readers? Who is answering this interview?
It was our pleasure! To introduce ourselves; we are The Shiva Hypothesis, a four piece blackened death metal band from the east of the Netherlands, formed in 2012. The singer will be answering your questions today.
You all live in Holland, correct? How are things for your band there?
Correct, we all live in cities in the east of the Netherlands. I suppose we can say that we live in a favourable country to base a metal band in, one that allows freedom of creative expression and also has a somewhat active metal scene. We’ve played in several venues around the country, eliciting good responses all around. There definitely seems to be an audience for the specific kind of pandemonium we provide.
You sent in your "Promo 2015." What are your plans in terms of recording?
The promo serves as a teaser for the album that we’ve got coming out this year. It is going to feature 7 tracks, but we’ve still got plenty of other material lying around. Plans are to immediately start recording an EP after the album is finished.
How would you describe your extreme metal?
We’ve taken to adopting the moniker “blackened death metal”, which is a relatively accurate description of the music. In addition to the typical metal instrumentation for this genre we also make use of some more ambient sounds for added atmospheric emphasis. Since we’re all music-lovers first and foremost and have been around for some years there are many bands that have inspired us, ranging from bands in the black metal genre, like Behemoth, Gorgoroth and Ved Buens Ende, death metal bands like Death, Nocturnus and early Sentenced as well as non-metal artists like Fields of the Nephilim. Judging by the reviews we’ve received so far we have however succeeded in not sounding like a clone of any of these bands.
What does your name mean?
The Shiva Hypothesis is a theory that identifies patterns in mass extinction, followed by a period of fast evolution. To us, it symbolizes the concept of destruction and creation and how the two are intertwined. This very concept is the main philosophy of the band and can be found in artwork, lyrics and indeed, the music itself.
Recently, in Europe, terrorism has been a problem. You have lyrics about philosophy, mysticism and esotericism. How do you view the problem of terrorist violence?
My personal view, which I think many Europeans share, is that this recent surge of violence is best left unacknowledged. These assaults on the democratic lifestyle would succeed if we would start living in fear and avoiding the things we love to do. To link the situation to our theme; perhaps the world will be ready for a more peaceful time of creation, when this wave of destruction has passed.
What would you say are the goals of your band?
Our main objective will always be to create things that we believe meaningful and think worthwhile to share with other people (which can be music, lyrics, visuals, etc.) and in the meantime keep developing our means of expression and delve deeper into our musical and lyrical interests. If world domination and eternal glory can be achieved in the process that would of course be marvellous (!), but we much rather create something that is special to a select group of people than follow trends and/or compromise on things that are important to us to achieve short lived “success.” The future is hard to predict, but we will keep on making the necessary arrangements now to ensure a future in which The Shiva Hypothesis thrives. There are more releases on the way and we hope to cross the border for some gigs in the near future.
In your opinion, can record companies help your band or would you prefer to be independent?
This is a delicate question. There are positive and negative sides to working with a label. We would be inclined to sign up with label, but would need to make clear arrangements about artistic freedom.
Having a band consumes time and money. Is it frustrating to invest money in your band?
I reckon the band is a worthy thing to spend time and money on. The important thing to realize is that making the music that we like is above all a necessity/passion, in the sense that we would keep on doing it, whether or not we would make money. This however doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of hard work involved (that most people who simply click download probably aren’t aware of), so it is always great to hear that someone has enjoyed something you’ve created.
Since none of us are dependent on income from any of our musical endeavours, financial benefits only carry weight for us is in that they allow us to invest more and work faster. We do aspire to spread our music as far and wide as we can, but that stems from a desire to be heard, rather than a need to fill our bank accounts. In this attempt to distribute our music around the globe, we have found social media to be a helpful tool even if it can sometimes be a nuisance.
What types of lyrics do you have for your future songs? Are there particular ideas that you seek to convey to the audience?
As the lyricist, I find inspiration in many different fields. While the songs on the promo tackled mostly esoteric and mythological topics, the more recent works draw inspiration from works of psychology and anthropology.
As for conveying ideas; we have deliberately chosen not to adopt a strong political, social or religious agenda (for various reasons which would probably require another interview). We try to create experiences that we hope will affect and inspire people. If this makes someone pick up a book on one of the subjects and/or to think the lyrics through and create their own interpretation, that is of course great.
Finally, what news do you have?
Thanks for taking an interest in our music and offering us this interview. Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming album and live shows!

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