As I’ve said before: you need to check out Hexis. The danish band is touring extensively this year, so there’s a good chance to have them play a venue close to your home. If you’re into focused, intense live shows combined with excellent black metal, Hexis is your band.
I’ve talked with shouter Filip, who just returned from a month-long US/ Canda tour and still had the tour hangover, but gave interesting answers nontheless.
You’ve just returned home from your first tour in the US and Canada. What will be the lasting memories of this trip?
Filip: Good shows, nice people and too much fast food.
Which show had been the most memorable one?
Filip: For me it was Santa Cruz, we played in the smallest room ever! That show was crowded, hot and intense!
What kind of venues did you play in? Did they differ from the european venues you know from Europe?
Filip: We mostly played at clubs and bars, but we also had a few shows at DIY spaces, which was more similar to the places we usually playing here in europe. We played everything from a small living room to a 800 capacity venue on a big stage.
You’ve performed at the legendary Roskilde Festival before the US-tour. How did you get a spot on the festival? How long was your set?
Filip: They mailed us back in January and asked if we wanted to play, we was in the middle of a boring and cold 8 hour drive from Lithuania to Estonia, so it was a pretty nice message to receive. Our set was 30 – 35 min. long, which is the longest set we have played so far. They normally wanted us to play 45 min. but we convinced them to make it shorter.
Speaking of your average set: it’s usually not longer than 20 to 25 minutes. Why did you decide to play such a short set every night?
Filip: Because we want to make sure that people not is getting tired halfway through our set and is leaving. Of course, there is some people there didn’t get enough after 20 – 25 min. but we are on tour all the time, so that people should have the change to go and watch us again. It’s also very exhausting for me to play 25 min. so if I should split my energy out on a 45 min. set instead of a 25. then it would probably means less ‘action’ on the stage.
Judging from your website, your merchandise, and your album artworks, your’re a band that has a focus on visual design. How does that link with your live-shows, which are usually with stroboscope lights and fog only?
Filip: Thats a good question, we actually started to use the strobe and fog machine before we started to care too much about the artworks. The idea about using the strobe and fog was to make our shows more intense. I actually want our live shows to fit more with all our other visual stuff, I just have to figure how, I have a few ideas, but it’s probably something that we’ll first try out when we have released our next album.
You’re on the road a lot in 2014 – how can you afford that?
Filip: Actually we didn’t do any tours this year where all of us was together, only single shows here and there. The first 4 tours was without our second guitarist, so we did that tours only with one guitarplayer. Our latest tour was without our drummer, so we had a stand-in drummer with us and on our next tour we are also going to miss members. It looks like our tour in Japan in November is the only one we are doing this year where the whole band will be together. Of course it sucks that everybody can’t do the tour. But if we should only do tours when everybody had the time, then it would means that we only could be on the road for 5 weeks each year, so I think this is our only solution if we want to be a ‘serious’ band.
When did the idea to spend most of 2014 touring came to life in your band? Aren’t you afraid that such extensive touring will take a big toll on the relationships between the band members?
Filip: By the beginning of 2013, we spent a lot of time and energy on writing and recording Abalam, so we wanted to give it as good promotion as possible, which in my option is to go on tour and get the word out that way. Of course, it can be dangerous to spend that much time together and sometimes we have some small ‘fights’, but we usually figure everything out. But when that is said, then we are definitely gonna try to minimize the touring next year, so we can relax and write a new album, which probably gonna take most of 2015.
Do you enjoy touring at all?
Filip: Yes! For me it’s the best thing I know. We just came home from our 1 month US tour 4 days ago and I’m already missing it.
What do you do to fight the boredom on long drives to the next venue?
Filip: I usually bring my WiiU or Nintendo 3DS with me, I’m a big fan of Super Mario. Sometimes I’m also spending my time on just thinking, I actually think that I came up with the whole Abalam concept through a long drive somewhere in Europe.
Which jobs and/ or studies do the members of Hexis have when you’re not on tour?
Filip: I work for my father as a paver, he has a company, which is also one of the reasons why it’s so easy for me to take time off. Our bass-player Kenn works at a gas station, our drummer Simon works in a kindergarden, our guitarist Toby is doing some computer stuff for the state and our second guitarist Rasmus is looking for a job at the moment.
Could you imagine to make your life as a full-time touring band or member of a full-time touring band?
Filip: Yes, I would love to do that! To be on the road 10 months each year would be the perfect life for me.
What are your plans with Hexis for the rest of this year?
Filip: Another Europe tour in September/October and Japan in November + we have a split 7” with the swedish band This Gift Is A Curse coming out soon. I think thats it.
The last words are yours.
Filip: Thanks for doing the interview!