About Me

Interview with Hyborian

Hyborian released “Vol II” and this was a pretext for a warming chat with Metal Imperium. They’ve talked about how the process went, how a sci-fi novel inspired this album and much more. Stick around to get to know them better.

M.I. -  Do tell us about the history of the band, please.

We formed after playing in other bands in our native town of Kansas City. Justin, our drummer, and Ryan Bates, played in a band together, that eventually came to an end. Then we all decided to get together and start jamming, around the time period of 2015.

M.I. -  Three years went by since the release of “Vol. I” and this “Vol. II”, which was released on the 20th March 2020, via Season of Mist. What can you tell us about it?

We put an incredible amount of work into the writing of this album. We also feel like it is a much more concise album, that sounds heavier, and more dynamic than “Vol I”. We are very proud of the songs on this record and would much enjoy it if all the wonderful readers of this, would give it a listen.

M.I. -  You’ve worked with Josh Barber. How did it go? What ideas did he have for this album?

He was great to work with, as well as the studio he works in, B-24 studios. We had most of the song structuring put together, for the most part, before we went into the studio. He put some his magic into helping us with the arrangement in the song titled “Expanse”. He is a wizard when it comes to every aspect of recording, he also helped shape some of the vocal parts and how those sounded.

M.I. -  You’ve managed to achieve the difficult-to-master balance of writing complex music within the confines of traditional structures. Does it mean it was a very difficult album to make, in every aspect?

When we set out to write songs, we don’t really try to make the song one thing or another, we kind of just let them take the form that they are going take. Looking back on, it seems the opposite. It really seems like it was very easy to make and it’s kind of flowed through us in a way.

M.I. -  The riffs and vocals work very good together and we can see and feel that there is a fresh sound and harmony between them. How did you make this work so perfect? It’s clear that you three have good relationship and this album shows it.

The songs and riffs were pretty much all written and ready to go when we went into the studio. The majority of the vocals were written and arranged in the studio after the songs had already been recorded. I think this really allowed the vocals to be tailor fit to the songs and structures. In the end it all really works together perfectly, which we are very stoked about.

M.I. -  There’s a bit of a nostalgic thrash element to the songs and, therefore, people tend to compare you to Mastodon, circa the 00’s. What can you tell about it? Is there truth about it?

Yeah, we love thrash stuff and we love bands such as Mastodon! We feel like our music has so much more to offer than to be directly compared to any one band in particular. On the other hand, we take that as a huge compliment, Mastodon, for example, has had a huge influence on so many people around the world. If we can have such an influence on music lovers, we could only be grateful.

M.I. -  How did the sci-fi novel, “The Traveller” influence you in this album? Does this book have something to say, concerning what we are living in these days?

The novel was written last year in the time leading up to the writing of the album, and definitely directly influenced the songs and lyrics on this record; it is pretty much song for song a concept record based on the novel. While the things we are all going through right now are intense and awful, I’m not sure this pandemic is universe ending, and that is what the novel and record are about. If anything, the story we decided to tell could be a nice distraction from our current woes. I highly recommend picking up the novel for a quick, fun read. You can snag that here.

M.I. -  This album is 41-minutes long, but you’ve shown growth and evolution and shows that you’ve entered on a new path. Do you agree?

We would definitely agree. We feel like we have taken our songwriting, musicianship, and style, to the next level for this record! We are very excited to have others notice that too, because if you’re involved in a creative endeavor, and you’re not growing and evolving…then what are you doing?

M.I. -  “Planet Destructor” is the first single which was released on the 7th January of this year. It’s a tsunami in a very good way. Why did you decide to use this track to introduce this album? Will you release another single?

We felt like this track just punched you in the chest right out of the gate. If you listen to this track in order on the album, it has a slower groove that brings the track in as well. We ended up releasing two more singles, and now the whole thing is out.

M.I. -  It’s clear that you are a metal listener. What do you listen to and what are your influences?

Indeed we all are, Here are some of our influences, in no particular order: High on Fire, Melvins, Pantera, Power trip, Mastodon, Meshuggah, Baroness, Exodus, early Metallica and Megadeth, Toxic Holocaust, King Crimson, Black Sabbath. . . the list is pretty exhaustive to be honest.

M.I. -  The album release show would be on March 20th, at The Riot Room in your hometown of Kansas City, MO, in which you would be supported by label-mates, The Lion's Daughter. After this madness, will this event happen?

This event, unfortunately, didn’t happen. We are all under a 30-day Quarantine here in Kansas City. Which is a huge bummer, because we really would’ve liked to get out and play this album for everyone. We will do a release show eventually, as soon as venues are reopening.

M.I. -  Will this album have a tour? Which countries will you visit?

With the uncertainty that surrounds this global pandemic, it is really impossible for us to make exact plans to tour this album right now. We most definitely will tour on the album; we just don’t know when.

M.I. -  Thanks so much for this interview. Do you wish to tell us something else?

Thank you very much for getting into this album, and for interviewing us. Everybody just hang in there and hopefully all this shit will be over soon, and we can start playing and going to shows.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda