EMQ’s with HEDRA
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Norwich, UK based Heavy Metal band Hedra. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Sean: I’m Sean, the handsome fellow of the bunch / drummer, and also the new guy! I know the guys have had a tough time in the past with drummers, so I am excited to bring a bit of stability and hopefully be the final piece of a pretty awesome heavy-metal jigsaw!
Jim: I love you Sean but you don’t know what that means as yet, lol, I’m Jim I play vocals, the band started off in Poland by Kamil, they had another vocalist but he didn’t understand English, Kamil moved to England to find a British singer and take them back to Poland where they would be playing huge festivals but he liked it here so stayed, and he auditioned me, I liked it, he liked it and so we stayed together from there on. We love each other indefinitely, you have to have that in a band, Sean doesn’t know that yet.
Simon: I’m Simon, I play guitar. I moved to Norwich in 2007, since that time I played in few projects. I’m quite new in the band. I joined Hedra in late 2019. I can see a big potential in the band and current members.
Kamil: My name is Kamil. I’m the guitarist and one of the formers of Hedra band. I moved to Norwich around 6 years ago. First time in my life I saw a chance to create a serious band. I was looking for members and I met Jim and that was the beginning of Hedra.
Steve: My name….is Michael Caine…just joking, Steve Saunders, Bassist ,Backing vocals for Hedra. I joined the band about eight months or so ago after wrapping up “Spreading The Disease”. Jim and I had been talking for a while and once I heard the bands new music I was sold.
How did you come up with your band name?
Jim: Again that was Kamil, he showed me all these metal names like ‘Chocolate Vag Hunter’ or ‘Stab Christ’, I can’t even remember most of them but then there was ‘HEDRA’, I asked him what it meant, he wouldn’t tell me so I found it on urban dictionary instead and coined a phrase from there, go look!
Kamil: I had a dream where someone was saying Hedra, Hedra so I took that as an omen. Everyone liked it so we stuck with it. Later I found out that is one of the plant species in Latino language. Lol
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Jim: Originally I was meant to be from California, mum was on hols and spat me out here in Norfolk, so yeah I’m a Norwich bloke aright bor, the metal scene is superb here, the rock scene is not great at all, although it does get a bigger crowd its mostly covers or stuff that doesn’t float any boats in my opinion, the metal though is really diverse, some really non influential sounds which is where I developed the need to do the same!
Sean: I live in Norwich, close to one of the big ‘small, local venues’ called the Brickmakers, and it amazes me some of the bands that play there! The scene is super cool and there are some really good local bands doing their thing.
Simon: I live in Norwich, the scene over here is not that bad. There are nice local bands that amaze me. There is a good local venue called the Brickmakers. You can see plenty of local bands and even those from outside of the area.
Kamil: I’m from Poland. The district where I used to live was known for metal bands…Vader , Christ Agony , Nyia!
Steve: I live in Kent but not native to it, I grew up in Spain near Barcelona though am British by birth. Cambridge area.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Jim: We’ve done some singles – ‘Karma in Blood’, ‘Polaris’, ‘Broken Bones’ but that’s all stuff meant for the Album release, we realised people had been waiting a long time, 3 years, for something since our first one so we put those out to show a new sound, I love them so much, we worked hard on them, not some churn out quick mumbo jumbo!
Simon: Since our “Mind Dimension” EP we released three singles, ‘Karma in Blood’, ‘Polaris’ and ‘Broken Bones’. We also did a homemade video for ‘Broken Bones’, it’s available on Youtube.
Kamil: Our recent release is single and video for ‘Broken Bones’
‘Broken Bones’ (Covid-19 Lockdown Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Sean: Growing up I loved Joey Jordison (Slipknot) and Chris Adler (Lamb of God), but as I started to play in bands and learn that it is not all about going 100 miles a minute, every minute! I learned to love drummers like Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour) who has a fantastic presence on stage and most importantly, Ray Luzier (Korn), any time I watch those guys play I want to grab my sticks and play for days on end! – I met Ray last year at the UK drum show, and I totally idolise the guy, I had to go have a pint of beer afterwards to stop myself from shaking I was so in awe of meeting the guy! *Laughs* but in all seriousness, his playing always reminds me why I love playing drums and without that I wouldn’t being playing anymore.
Jim: I have so many but Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, I’m not really a vocalist you see, I’m a guitarist but that’s good because it means I don’t want to be like any vocalist as such although saying that I’ve always loved Devin Townsend since the Sex & Religion Album with Steve Vai and would often change the vocals in my mind whilst on my cycling deliveries when that came out so there’s always going to be him in my voice, I also really got into Will Haven, that was mostly after I discovered my voice then found someone similar doing the same thing, if you listen to ‘Lost I Am Hate’ off our first EP, it sounds just like Will Haven but Kamil had written that song before I even joined so I just added that sound to it, its fucking great but now I just don’t want to sound like anything!
Simon: I started my adventure with guitar after listening to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. After that I get in to Megadeth and Dream Theater. I was so impressed by Dream Theater that eventually I get in to Liquid Tension Experiment. Guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Lukather, Andy Timmons, Steve Morse, Kiko Loureiro and many others. I just want to grab my guitar and start to play, also bass players like Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller and Brian Bromberg. There is that magic when you hear that bass…
Kamil: Mnemic ! This band is my all-time favourite running in my veins. Every time when I hear them, I have Goosebumps. Also, Kobong , Slipknot , RATM, Machine Head , Fear Factory, Born of Osiris, Korn , Tool, Decapitated , American Head Charge, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki…
Steve: I grew up with Sabbs, Slade, Quo, Zep, AC/DC, moving along into Metallica, Soundgarden, Ramstein, Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed all have influenced my music over time.
What first got you into music?
Sean: Music in general?! Listening to Richie Kavanagh (Irish comedy singer) hanging out the sunroof of my Dad’s car. My Dad is Irish and a complete nutter. We used to fly up and down the single-track road with this ‘diddly-dee’ music blasting out the speakers and I would sing at the top of my voice. It’s the earliest memory I have of music. Getting into drums?! My best friend at school wanted to play drums or bass, and I thought ‘screw you! I will have the cool instrument!’ – Begged my Mum to get me a drum kit and one day this kit rocks up from Argos. I shat my pants a bit, I had no idea what I was doing, but I got pretty good pretty quick just teaching myself, and then 16 years later, here I am!
Jim: To be fair it was my sister, she was dating a guy that liked metal, he claimed he was in a band called Praying Mantis, Matt McRoberts, I remember him well and the noises he made with my sister in the next bedroom, but yeah he’d bring me Raw Magazine £1 or Kerrang £1 and some mix tape always featuring Praying Mantis and bands like Metallica so that’s where the love started, realistically though he probably gave me those to listen to drown out those sounds next door at the time.
Simon: That’s my brother’s fault and his collection of Iron Maiden CD’s and Cassettes. I remember when I sneaked into his room to grab some of that treasure. I was like 10 or 11. I remember when I first listened to “No Prayer For The Dying”.
Kamil: First album of RATM. I just love that album. It was something new and so powerful. I listened to that album and felt that music, that is what I wanted to do.
Steve: Some people I knew, older than I, used to listen to Black Sabbath in an ol van they had but they would not let me in on it, so I asked my ol man to bring back some Sabbs albums from the UK to Spain when he travelled. He brought me back Sabotage (To this day my all-time favourite album), We Sold Our Soul For Rock n Roll, Quo live and Zep one album, I was hooked. That said, I was first introduced to music by my Uncle John, a true Rockabilly , he gave me an old record player and a bunch of singles that I played to death, Old Shep by Elvis, Flowers To San Francisco, Stupid Cupid, My Ol Mans A Dustman were some of them.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Jim: I’ve asked before, Robb Flynn, Devin Townsend, Phil Anselmo, the bastards don’t come back to you though do they, one day they’ll be asking me though, I’m joking, as I said I’m no vocalist.
Sean: Corey Taylor: For sure! Is there anything that guy can’t do?!
Simon: Kiko Loureiro, Jakub Zytecki, Nick Johnson, Steve Morse and many others. I will keep my list short.
Kamil: Devin Townsend. This guy is brilliant, John Browne from Monuments , Tom Morello from RATM! It’s only top of the pick. There are so many musicians that you could learn from!
Steve: Either Ozzy or Slipknot.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Jim: I’d just like to play Bloodstock to be honest, so many friends have asked when we will be playing it, I love the Family that run it they’re all ace, unfortunately they’ve chosen a shit show of a protection barrier that’s missing all the decent bands, I shouldn’t say it because that flattens my chances I know but ffs, stop putting on bands that only want to play and then split up and look for dedication please!
Sean: Wacken, or maybe Hellfest, I have some friends in Finland that I made through Twitch and it would be great to see them! Plus, I have another friend who works in a brewery there, so I reckon we would be well looked after, if you get my drift…
Simon: Bloodstock and Wacken, I would love to get to Budokan to play there one day.
Kamil: I would choose all of them from the smallest one to absolutely gigantic. I love playing. Stage is my home but obviously if it’s a bigger house , then more comfortable you will feel.
Steve: I have many tbh, including Download, Bloodstock, Sweden Rocks, Wacken, Knotfest, Ozzfest, list is endless.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Jim: Never received a weird gift, or anything from a fan to be honest, 2 in a bed, does that count as a gift?
Sean: I had someone throw a paper aeroplane at me mid-gig with my name and loads of hearts all over it, I couldn’t wait for the gig to end and get some nookie, until I found out it was from a guy.
Simon: I don’t think I have a fan, so nothing yet.
Kamil: Bag of biscuits and I don’t know why lol.
Steve: A Scots lass with big tits offered herself to me at a gig, does that count??
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Jim: I really feel uncomfortable with the word fan, I always have, it’s like your ego is to big to accept music friends, so nah we have HEDRA friends (check the group) I’ve always wanted to be a friend of Iron Maiden not a fan, change that phrase please, my message is you’re all my friends that’s why I do music.
Sean: Cliché, but thank you and I love every one of you – this is my therapy, to play drums with awesome people, have fun, put smiles on people’s faces, I will be eternally grateful for that.
Simon: Thank you for supporting and love you all!!!
Kamil: I will say Thank you all for your support.
Steve: I consider all our “Fans” friends. Enjoy your music, look after yourselves and those near to you, help and support others when possible and as far as the band is concerned we are honoured that you like what we do, you are our friends and we appreciate you very much thank you.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Sean: Dimebag Darrell, that guy was a fucking genius!!
Jim: Jimi Hendrix, I know we really would get on so well!
Simon: Randy Rhoads!
Kamil: Dimebag Darrell!!! He was a legend. The Harry Potter of musicians. Absolutely brilliant guitarist!
Steve: Chris Cornell.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Jim: Creation, to think outside the box, be something no one else is even thinking about, not following the masses, the spoon-fed, meeting likeminded people from all over, being proud to produce a masterpiece in my mind, stress relief from normal life, always hated normality, I’d give that up in a heartbeat, buy house, new crap car, have kids, die, nah fuck that, let’s live shall we?
Sean: I love being able to express myself in ways that you can’t with your vocal chords. And hate is a strong word guys, but I strongly dislike that you come across other musicians who are only interested in what they want from you. Thankfully, I have finally found four other guys that when they say ‘Hey, we should do this!’ they actually mean, it instead of ‘Hey Sean! You should do all of this for me! And wipe my ass while you’re at it!’ *laughs*
Simon: The way you can express your feelings and emotions. Freedom that music gives you. There is nothing better than that freedom.
Kamil: I love being a musician and playing gigs, writing music. I hate not being a musician which is 75% what is currently happening to music now.
Steve: I love writing music, being in a band with great people, playing live, recording. The artwork creation etc. the feeling you feel when milestone achievements are made, meeting people, making friends.
I hate that musicians have always been treated like a cheap commodity using them and abusing them and providing livings for so many and yet barely able to feed themselves. it is disheartening.
I also hate to watch this industry dissolve very slowly into an absolute mess over the years, through the golden era to now. I feel very sorry for the future Musicians and industry. Just my view of course.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Jim: Ban streaming that is continuous, yeah streams are good but stop it somewhere and tell people to fucking buy it, I still think it’s the same people that show lack of appreciation for others making effort that leave their crap on the beaches, Spotify emphasises that type of person to the point where we all give up and leave crap on the beach, if someone said ‘right that’s it no more crap on this beach clear it up now or £1000 fine they’d do it.
Simon: Once you get big in industry you will stay big, there is not much opportunity for smaller bands and artists.
Kamil: I really don’t know.
Steve: that’s a tough one, but it would have to be either “Arrogancy/Self-importance” or “Support for each other/tolerance”.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Sean: Dude, I would be here for days…I will give top three: “Great Southern Trendkill” (Pantera), “Ascendancy” (Trivium) & “Audio Secrecy” (Stone Sour).
Jim: “Passion & Warfare” by Steve Vai. Again, there’s no other album or sound like it in the world, you can’t beat it, must have bought that album 5 or 6 times over the years in different formats.
Simon: “Scenes From A Memory” – Dream Theater.
Kamil: Mnemic – “The Audio Injected Soul” 2004.
Steve: “Sabotage” – Black Sabbath.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Jim: Vinyl, I use to buy it as a Junior, back in the day they were crap though so cd was a blessing for quality, there was an oil shortage so they used to get pressed on wafer thin wax, but now you can get greedy bollox 180gm but the sound is so immense it’s like bands are in my front room, of course the nugget generation don’t care about that, that’s another thing that fucking pissed me off about streaming on Spotify, unless you’re a cunt and go for monthly subscription to fund another cunt that won’t help music you won’t get the quality of sound that you really don’t deserve anyway by putting money in a Limewire cunts pocket.
Sean: Controversial, but downloads, Spotify is the best tenner a month I spend.
Jim: @sean cunt!
Simon: I Love CD’s but downloads are more practical these days.
Steve: I am dead against streaming and downloading until it is fair for musicians. I love Vinyl for obvious reasons, but the durability of CD’s is probably my preference.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Jim: For me probably the Astoria in London playing my own songs as a headliner with a balcony of people and a sea of cheers below it was amazing, I think that night motorhead had played to less people on their first gig!
Steve: Headlining the “Bulldog Bash twice” and Playing Bloodstock. Though have toured arenas way back in another life.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Jim: I’d probably be into cars to be honest I love painting them up anyway.
Sean: Probably still stacking bricks in the middle of a four-acre field! Being a drummer got me out of the shithole and surrounded by my passion which was drums, working in a drum shop!
Kamil: I’ll open Beauty salon lol.
Steve: Footballer or Motorcycle racing.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Sean: Corey Taylor, Dave Lombardo, Phil Anselmo, Matt Heafy and George Forman (as long as he brought his grill, I like steak).
Kamil: Max Cavalera, Jim Root, Corey Taylor!
Steve: Billy Connolly, Ozzy Osbourne, Lee Evans, Jeremy Corbyn, Dave Allen.
What’s next for the band?
Jim: For me it’s a case of getting everyone in the same boat, not following the obvious and working hard to support each other, once that’s done, we’ll be churning out the songs to get the Album out Some videos and gigs etc.
Kamil: Gigs , music writing, gigs and more gigs. Improvement of all aspects related with the band!
Steve: From my point of view finish the new album, tour and look for the support the band needs to take further steps. There’s a fair bit going on in the background too.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jim: Spotify lol, no we really do but only until Jan then it’s gone, we’ve got Facebook, ReverbNation and YouTube just look for hedrametal. We’re everywhere really, I hate it, but that’s modern life isn’t it?
Kamil: iTunes , Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Jim: Biscuits crunch ffs, so Cake, like it says on the box ok?
Sean: They’re just shit!
Simon: Jaffa Cakes? I’m done…Simon Left…
Kamil: It is evil lol. I have never tried them to be honest.
Steve: Without a doubt a biscuit. And no, I don’t particularly like em.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Jim: If I sound harsh during this not meant to be, trying to have a giggle but yeah support the music buy the stuff, say hello, we love you all!
Sean: Thank you! It’s a pleasure talking to you guys and hopefully see you out on the road!
Simon: Thank you and hopefully see you soon.
Kamil: Thank you 😊 and hopefully see you soon.
Steve: I wish to thank all the many people including yourselves who have supported, helped, trusted, work with , become friends with myself and the people I spend my time with, thank you everyone for everything it means so much.
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