Unai, singer for HYBRID, gladly answers this extensive interview dealing with the band's present, past and future shows and plans.
Hello Unai, first of all, the most typical question… When and why does Hybrid come into existence?
HYBRID was formed by Chus Maestro (drummer) two years ago, when he got in touch with J. Oliver (guitar) from WORMED and UNSANE CRISIS. They intended to start an experimental extreme music project. Then, Miguel (guitar) from HUMAN MINCER, Kike (bass) and me doing the vocals, joined them. The purpose was experimenting and trying new things that maybe wouldn’t be accepted by the members’ others bands.
What does Hybrid sound like?
We play polyrhythmic, complex and rather unpredictable music, full of different nuances; we also blend a wide variety of musical influences, so that our songs are varied and sound as a whole in themselves. Our sound is intended to be powerful and a reflection of different emotions and feelings according to the different passages.
“Beyond Undeniable Entropy” has been recently released, tell us about the recording.
It was recorded a year ago by Samuel Ruiz at V.R.S studios. It was a bit hurried and quite stressing, since it was almost impossible to coordinate each member’s personal timetable. So it was recorded during the free time each of us had. And after sending a preview promo to several labels, the late Deadwrong Records from Madrid finally released our MCD on June 2006.
Are you happy with the final product? Is that the sound you expected?
Personally, I expected a sharper sound, a better production, mixing and masterization. There are, for instance, some details from the drums that you can miss. Despite of all this, I think that the quality of the recording is above the average of the national production in this kind of music,
What about the response from the public, press and everything else?
At the moment we have got some good feedback, and even more people, labels and publications are interested in us. Up to date, all comments and reviews have been quite favorable. It seems they are pinning their hopes in us. But unfortunately, the style we play is not very popular in this country, and we lack the support from major record labels.
Which is your favorite song? Why?
“Sleep Of The Defeated” has turned out to be our hit according to the public. It is widely requested in our shows, and it seems to be the highest point. It is maybe because it’s our most complete song: it has technical parts, fast parts, half time dense parts, it has melody too and pure grindcore riffs. It has variety and reflects quite well our intentions.
Is there any common concept related to the band name, design and lyrics?
We try to give a meaning to everything, so it works as a whole. The lyrics, the music and the designs are related. The band name may be a reflection of our tendency to fuse different styles inside the extreme music.
It seems some Hybrid members are veterans and have played in several bands. Tell us something about them.
We all have been involved in the scene for a long time, organizing and attending to shows, writing for zines and music magazines, broadcasting radio programs and playing in several bands. J. Oliver comes from WORMED, an awesome band internationally renowned thanks to their personal and complex vision of brutal death metal. He also plays in grindcore band UNSANE CRISIS, featuring members of LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER and GATO APLASTADO. Chus has been always playing since he was 17 years old. He played with ANOTHER KIND OF DEATH for 5 years, some months with the vegan metalcore heroes JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, and now he also plays with a metalcore band, ONE LAST WORD, who are about to release a MCD. Miguel plays with HUMAN MINCER, recently signed by Unmatched Brutality, and currently preparing the recording of their third album. I have sung for a band from Bilbao called EVIRUS69 when they started.
How do you deal with the fact that almost every member of Hybrid plays for other two groups at least?
It’s hard to agree for rehearsals, shows and all that stuff, but our philosophy is to go little by little and enjoy everything we do, without hurries or pressure.
How was the experience of sharing stage with bands like TOOL or DEFTONES in such a big fest like Festimad?
It’s always nice to be selected for such an event; it’s somewhat an acknowledgement for the music you create. But it is sad to think about the treatment we received from the organization. Some of us even considered not to perform, but in the end we did it so as to satisfy our friends that came to the event only to watch our set. We did our best in spite of the terrible sound and the coldness of the rest of the public.
And what about the experience of opening for CEPHALIC CARNAGE?
It was amusing and quite a pleasure to open for them, especially taking into account that it was our second show, and that they’re one of our main influences. They’re crazy, but aren’t dangerous.
What bands have you played with? Which was your favorite show? And any show to regret?
We have played live with Moho, Moksha, Louded, Adrift, Nashgul, Looking For An Answer, Disturbance Project, Hindrance… you bet I’m missing some!
I really liked last year’s Antichristmas Fest, and I would like to forget the Festimad show.
What do you think about the national music scene of today? Regarding bands, shows, zines, musical press, etc… are you optimistic or do you think the past was better?
I think regretting that any past time was better is pointless. The important thing is to make what you want and trying to evolve. I’ve faced a long time ago that the poor musical culture of this country has no solution. The future doesn’t exist, we are building it everyday. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. The Fact. is that there are a lot of awesome bands doing interesting stuff here. Those interested already know where to look for and what to do.
Please, recommend us some national and international bands.
Spanish bands: Orthodox, Adrift, Apocalypse Empire, NahemaH, and Vórtice.
Foreign bands: Intronaut, Misery Signals, Torture Wheel, Spitfire, Despised Icon, The Ocean, Psycroptic, Decapitated, Textures, Gojira…
What are HYBRID’s influences according to you? And your personal influences both in general and as a vocalist?
There are some common bands we all in HYBRID dig like Gorguts, Napalm Death, Meshuggah, Human Remains, Dillinger Escape Plan, Suffocation, Cephalic Carnage or Hate Eternal, but also stuff like Faith No More o Bauhaus.
As a signer, I’ve been very much into Kart Schubach of Misery Signals and into Joseph Duplantier of Gojira lately. I like the timbre and ambivalence of their vocals.
I’ve been always influenced by people like Mike Patton, Tim Williams of Vision Of Disorder or Glen Danzig. I hope to work deeply on the vocals in a near future, and trying new registers.
I’ve never sung for such an extreme band like HYBRID, and adapting my vocals to their music was hard. Chus helped me a lot with vocal structures and tempos.
What’s the future in the middle/short term for HYBRID? Do you have concerts already scheduled?
First, we are focusing on creating the new songs for our next album, which I hope will be recorded before next summer. So at the moment we don’t have any gig in mind. On the other hand, we are really busy acting as a label distro to distribute the record and trying to get it out of our borders.
And in the long run…?
As a band that only has played in Madrid and its surroundings, it is hard to sign for a major label. Since the contract specifies that you have to tour as much as possible. Besides, major record labels already have loads of stuff with all the bands they have in they rooster. So we actually don’t have too many expectations with labels like Relapse, Nuclear Blast or Earache. As long as our albums are released, be it in underground labels or self-edited, we are happy.
If you could chose a fest, which would you like to play at?
Hellfest, Brutal Assault Festival… I don’t know, any in which we were welcome.
And the ideal tour?
The prospect of touring abroad, which whatever band is already way too awesome.
I’d like to support GOJIRA. They’re good professionals and very nice people. I bet we’d have some great fun and learn a lot!
Since you are focusing on your next album, how’re things going?
We already have 4 new songs and I’m working on the vocals.
In fact, they’re turning out to be quite complex, dark and really inspired. Furthermore, we are adding more influences to our songs, even from non-extreme music bands. It’s the typical statement, but they are way better than the previous songs. We are all the time defining and polishing our sound.
Four of you live in Madrid, but you in Bilbao. How do you create the songs? How can you cope with the distance? Is it worse or better?
It’s probably worst. The fact that I’m not living in Madrid stops us a bit when creating songs. But little by little we are overcoming it. They compose the music, and it is sent to me via the Internet. Then I record my vocals and mix them with the music. When I go to Madrid we try the songs altogether. It’s a slow and difficult process. But such is life…
Tell me 5 essential albums
BLACK SABBATH “Masters of Reality”
METALLICA “Master Of Puppets”
THE CURE “Pornography”
JOY DIVISION “Closer
There are some intros taken from movies. What do I get if I guess correctly?? Nah… seriously, what movies are they from? Do they have any special connection or meaning?
I hope we aren’t fined for copyright!!! All of them have something to do with the lyrics of the specific theme they belong to, or with the general concept of the band. There’re tracks from “Possession” (Andrej Zulawski), “Los Sin Nombre” (Jaume Balagueró), “Full Metal Jacket“ (Stanley Kubrick), “Blade Runner” and “Alien” (Ridley Scott). It’s homage to these directors and these movies, but also evidently there are direct connections with the meaning of the lyrics.
What (kind of) movie should be fit for a HYBRID OST?
Experimental surrealist films??? It would be great composing music for films of David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Christopher Nolan, Takeshi Miike, Alejandro Jodorowsky or Vicenzo Natali.
You are walking down the street, and you see one of those guys who sell illegal copies. Among the last mainstream hits of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera you see some illegal copies of HYBRID records (even with full color photocopies of the cover). What would be your reaction like?
That would mean I can get a living from music, and I couldn’t care less if they sell illegal copies.
And talking about piracy, what’s your opinion about it? That’s to say, p2p programs like Emule, soulseek, etc. Are you using any of them? Do you agree with Metallica when they talk about them like the embodiment of evil, or is it a modernized version of tape trading?
It’s the current tape trading. I use all those programs, and if something calls my attention, I go and buy the CD or the LP, go to their shows and buy merch. It’s a great way to spread music, but it’s going out of hand. Lots of people have more than 300 gbs in their hard drive, and hardly know or have heard what they have. I think some years ago one listened to the records in a more relaxed way and paying more attention. It seems today it has turned into a fast consume: download, hear, erase. Start again.
What do you think about myspace? Has it been useful for the band promotion? Do you feel cooler? Have you flirted with lots of emo kids and girls?
It is an awesome tool for promoting a band. If you have a band, but don’t have myspace, you don’t exist!!! It’s a straight way to make contact with labels, bands, promoters, press and potential fans.
We have more than 8700 visits. The fact that so many people around the world had listened to your music is a success. We usually avoid adding all that people who makes a myspace profile just to show their pictures and ridiculous profile full of topics regarding films and music.
Well, and before finishing, I’d like to thank you for your time. I hope to see you on a stage soon. Here’s a little space for you to say whatever you want.
Those interested in buying our MCD “Beyond Undeniable Entropy”, merch or just information, can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For up to date info www.myspace.com/hybridmetal
Thanks for the interview and the support!