Kansas City sludge metal outfit Hyborian has a rockin’ new record that just released this past March 20, 2020 on Season of Mist records. We review it here.
Recently, we caught up with Martin Bush (vocals, guitar and synths) and spoke to him about his band’s newest release.
Volume I was about interstellar travel and inspired by the Conan author Robert E. Howard. In listening to some of the lyrics on Volume II (“Today for the Hunt/ tomorrow the feast…”) it seems there’s some more Conan inspiration on Volume II?
While I am definitely influenced by Robert E Howard and the worlds he created, our mythos is not directly related to the Conan stories. We are creating our own mythology, centered around the being/beings called The Traveller. Volume II directly corresponds with the novel we released last May titled “The Traveller: A Hyborian Tale” which you can pick up on our Big Cartel merch store or directly from Season of Mist. Volume II (and the novel) is effectively an origin story for The Traveller, and instead of being set in pre-history like Volume I, occurs in the final days of the universe’s existence.
I’m loving those vocal harmonies on “Driven By Hunger!” Is that just you doing layered vocals or do the other band members contribute vocals there as well?
Both Ryan and I share vocal duties. There is very little overdubbing of any kind on this record, even down to the majority of the guitar tracks being single takes. Almost no layering or overdubbing was done at all. We felt that these songs needed to be presented in a very raw and honest way, so what you hear on the record is pretty much exactly what you are going to hear live.
Can you tell us about the metal scene in Kansas City and in the midwest? For those of us on the East Coast, we have a tendency to think most American metal comes from one of the coasts.
There are actually some pretty phenomenal things going on in the area here, not only in Kansas City but in the region at large as well. Bands like Orphans of Doom, Ahtme, Sedlec Ossuary, The Lion’s Daughter, Druids, Telekinetic Yeti, Origin, and tons more, all hail from the mighty Midwest. And that’s just the underground. I think you’d be very surprised how vibrant the scene is here.
I’ve listened to Volume II a lot since I received it a while back. Some tracks like “Stormbound” and “Planet Destructor” are really fast with lots of intense riffing. Has Hyborian evolved past the stoner/sludge label?
I’m not entirely sure if we were ever aiming for that. We really just write the music we want to hear, and let everyone else worry about labeling it. I’d like to think we ignore genre rules, or at least pay very little attention to them. In all honesty it’s just flattering that it’s even a discussion. It’s nice that people care enough about what we are doing to want to classify it.
The quality of the recording of Volume II is phenomenal. Can you tell us about the producing process for this record?
We recorded at B24 studios here in KC with Josh Barber, who is a ridiculously talented guy. Like I said earlier we wanted this to be a fairly raw recording, so he really fit the bill as far as his ability to capture what we were doing using outboard gear as opposed to a lot of in the box editing and production. We basically just took the time to get good takes, and he made a fantastic board mix, then we printed and sent it off to mastering. It was one of the most fun studio experiences I’ve ever had, I can’t recommend him enough.
Are you going to make some more animated videos for the new songs?
ABSOLUTELY. Our friend Michael Pisano just finished up an animated video for Driven By Hunger (it’s out now) that we think is absolutely killer, and as time goes on I’m sure I will take another stab at it as well. The Maelstrom video was my first attempt at animating anything, and I learned a ton in the process. I’m actually pretty excited to dive back in and try my hand at another one.
You can pick up Volume II along with the accompanying book here – available now!