EMQ’s with HYPERVOLUME
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Chicago, Illinois based Serf Metal band, Hypervolume . Huge thanks to guitarist/vocalist A. Human 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?
A. Human, I play guitar and do vocals. After my last band INTERCONTINENTALBALLISTICMISSILE broke up, I moved to the middle of nowhere to go to grad school for Biology. I spent my leisure time writing songs and messing around with a variety of effects pedals. One summer, my buds in PALE HORSEMAN asked if I wanted to perform at BEARD METAL FEST, a big party they used to throw every year. They told me to just bring my guitar and effects, and that I could use their amps and PA. That was the first time I got to use three full-stacks, two guitar stacks in stereo, and a bass stack. I performed under the name MULTIDIMENSIONALHYPERVOLUME, it was awesome, and ever since I’ve been playing with a three-amp set up. In 2018 I got sick of playing shows with a drum machine, so I asked my long-time friend Fabian to join the band. I knew that he was in 100 bands already, but I needed a professional. So, he joined the band and we dropped the “MULTIDIMENSIONAL” from our name.
How did you come up with your band name?
Like I said, it started as MULTIDIMENSIONALHYPERVOLUME, which is a concept used in Ecology that utilizes mathematics to describe a species ecological niche, the role that they play in their ecosystems. Essentially, the environmental factors that affect an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce can be put onto the axes of a graph (dimensions, x, y, and z), and their range of tolerance for each factor can be plotted on the graph. One axis gives you a range, two axes gives you an area, three axes make a volume, and any more than three we call a hypervolume. Essentially, it’s some nerdy math shit. I learned the term from a teacher in grad school, and when I said, “that’s a great name for a band” he replied “don’t be an idiot.” His dislike of the name only increased its appeal for me. I came up with a bunch of band names then: Stonewort, Prairie Smoke, Adam and the Ass Snorkels… but Hypervolume stuck.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from Chicago, IL, USA. Chicago’s scene is heaving with bands from every genre: doom, sludge, death metal, thrash metal, black metal, punk, stoner rock, you name it. There are a bunch of great venues for heavy music (hopefully they all survive the Rona lockdowns), some are small and intimate, some are pretty big. There is a real scene in Chicago, a lot of the bands are friends with each other, we help promote each other, go to each other’s shows, throw parties, etc. I produce a series of compilations of local Chicago bands called ANGRY PEASANTS. We have 9 volumes available now, and Volume 10 is in the works! Volume 10 is going to be released in December as a fundraiser for the local venues. So far it’s shaping up to be a double-disc with over 25 bands!
I’d say Chicago’s only drawback is that there are a lot of bands and venues, meaning fans have a lot of choices. If there are a lot of cool gigs booked at different venues on the same night, attendance may be underwhelming if a gig has all locals on the bill. Another issue, most of the big touring bands only play Chicago on weekdays, because they know people will show up on a Tuesday in a city that loves metal! They save the weekend gigs for smaller towns that don’t have a 24/7 scene.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We released a song called ‘Orbit’ on “Angry Peasants Volume 9”, and a video for the song is due for release in a few weeks. On Dec. 4th we will be dropping our first album “Conceive”.
Who have been your greatest influences?
That’s a tough question, I like to blend a lot of influences. Of course, I like classic metal bands like Black Sabbath, Death, Slayer, and Metallica, but I’m also a fan of heavier grunge bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and the Melvins. I love old punk bands like the Dead Kennedys, who taught me everything I need to know about politics. I had a European metal fetish after high school, falling in love with bands like Children of Bodom, At the Gates, and Opeth. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started appreciating slower metal more and listening to bands like Crowbar, Witchcraft, and Earthride. My biggest influences are the local bands of Chicago. I love Scientist, Pale Horseman, Deepspacepilots, The Hÿss, and a bunch more. There’s something about knowing the person that’s on a record that makes the music better.
What first got you into music?
In high school I would go to see young punk bands like the Holy Whores and Reckless Youth, kids from my school that were writing their own songs, booking their own gigs, and rocking small rooms at coffee houses and ice rinks. I thought to myself “I could do this. Why don’t I do this?”
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I don’t want to say something obvious like Ozzy (Ozzy, if you’re reading this, hit me up!). I think it would be cool to collaborate with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They are a weird 8-piece band from Australia that defy labelling. I fell in love with their weird-ass music videos and their manic tunes. I think that their two drummers and harmonica player could really add something special to our kind of heavy metal.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d like to play at Burning Man so I could do all the drugs while harshing the mellow of a bunch of hippies.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Stop buying shit, stop breeding. See our shitty culture for what it is, a monument to greed. We destroy biodiverse ecosystems so that the rich can get richer, so that people can raise more kids that grow into brainwashed consumers addicted to convenience. It’s gross, opt out.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I missed Leonard Cohen play in Chicago a few years ago, and I’ve never forgiven myself.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love playing shows! I love rocking a room! I hate spending money and time on press and marketing.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would make cover bands illegal, clearing the way for more original artists.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
I’m a big fan of Nirvana’s “Bleach”. It spoke to me as a kid who got beat up a lot in high school.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl, unfortunately for our new album release, that shit is expensive to get produced.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Hypervolume played FABULOUS FUCKING FABIAN FEST FOUR at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, a birthday celebration for our illustrious drummer, who played six sets with six different bands. It also featured special performances by AMMUNITION, a burlesque dancer who grinds on a chastity belt with an industrial grinder, showering the crowd in sparks. Cobra is also home to ALL RISE BREWERY, one of my favourite purveyors of high-APV brews. This was the first gig Fabian and I played together, and it was glorious!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well, I am a professor at a community college, a job that I love. I teach environmental biology and evolution classes, and I like interacting with students and going on field trips to do ecological experiments. It also affords me the free time needed to be in a band, which I am grateful for.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Sir David Attenborough, Jello Biafra, Dave Chappelle, Wendy Williams, and the Pope.
What’s next for the band?
We’ve got our first video Dropping on November 20th, our first album drops December 4th, and another video will be released in late December. Hopefully, we can gig again in 2021.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Facebook mostly, but we’ve been expanding a bit onto Instagram too. I love Bandcamp too!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
It’s a cookie, right?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Don’t forget about your local venues. Covid has fucked them up pretty bad, donate if you can, order food or beer to-go if you can, reach out and let them know you care!
Thanks for the questions,
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