No doubt some truly amazing metal has come out of Denver, Colorado over the years and although Hydraform is not a new name from this scene, they are still a young band with one full length and one recently released, self-titled, EP under their belts. Their sound falls comfortably between accessible modern metal and cranial prog which allows them to set deep hooks early then dazzle with intricate technicality and groove. We recently had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions and as you read through their responses you’ll get a feel for where they are coming from and how their influences shape their sound. Be sure to hit the links contained within to show them some support.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
We all come from very different musical backgrounds. From east coast hardcore bands, west coast metalcore to funk and jazz. We named ourselves HYDRAFORM for exactly that reason – multiple heads of the hydra, all formed into one beast. We’re happy with the level of success we’ve achieved so far, however it’s all about the journey and we’re always striving to reach the next level!
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We haven’t really sucked any dicks (metaphorically or literally) for press or promos, so we’ll go with option two. We were driving from Los Angeles to Denver on our second tour and three hours in, Carter shit his pants in an attempt to “gamble on a fart.” It was clear that he had lost. The van also contained the lingering stink of poop because of our unwillingness to let in the heat of the surrounding CA desert air. We found a Carl’s Jr. shortly after the incident for him to finish the job and clean up. Upon emerging from the bathroom, he proceeded to beeline it directly to the register and order a Jalapeno Double Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. Apparently, he was hungry…
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
One of the most awesome things in metal is the expansion of the genre and creativity. It’s growing in listenership and is more widely accepted in the mainstream. The lines of what is and isn’t metal are becoming more blurry, which we think is great as it removes some unnecessary labels. One of the negative realities of metal (and other extreme music in general) is the ability for people to spread hate, racist and other shitty views, which unfortunately we’ve experienced first hand. It’s crazy because they’re utilizing music as a tool in the same way we do, to connect with other human beings. We’re just down to connect with anyone and hate to discriminate.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
As individuals, we all hold our own opinions and are passionate about different things. The fact that we might not agree about “INSERT ISSUE HERE” is awesome because we ALL agree that it’s healthy to hear different perspectives and debate issues as a form of growth. As HYDRAFORM, we present a singular opinion that we all feel strongly about together. Some of our best writing comes from hashing some stupid argument out and coming to a resolution.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Carter: My buddy Mick in highschool got me to make the initial jump from rock to metal. But it didn’t really take off until I was in college and my roommate got me into going to Hardcore shows every sunday for like…a year maybe. It was a lot and I was part of a scene. I was hooked.
Jay: When I was in 8th grade, my dad comes home from work and goes “Jay, have you ever heard of the band called Slayer? My co-workers son is really into them, you should check’em out.” Turns out he had never heard of Slayer, and maybe he should have done some research first.
Matt: I had a friend I grew up playing sports with that played “Eyeless” by Slipknot for me; that was my introduction to heavy music. He also was the first person to show me bands like Slayer, Between the Buried and Me, and August Burns Red, who all have guys that are just monsters behind the drums, and their playing was really what hooked me. My family has always been really eclectic as far as music goes, so my mom and dad didn’t care all that much unless I was blasting my music on the stereo or something.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Be careful with who you want to bash, you are the gatekeepers and have a significant amount of control over an aspiring artists career! Be careful not to take anything out of context. We had a critic take a significant amount of “creative liberties” (basically just made shit up) about a show we performed in San Francisco. He wrote that the crowd wasn’t paying attention to us during the show, when in fact several attendees came to talk to us after the show and said we captured everyone’s attention. The moral of the story is to be careful with your opinion as you decide what people listen to.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
We love music and want to make a living making and presenting our art! We want to “take this world by storm” and continue to perform in front of new audiences and meet people from around the world. Next step in our mind would probably be Europe, but we’re playing it by ear for now! We’re all either students or have day jobs, but that’s just boring to talk about… Let’s just focus on world domination for now!
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
This is such a hard question to answer, we’re all so different in our musical tastes. As far as genres go, we listen to metal, rock, jazz, electronic, classical, rap, etc. (hopefully this isn’t a bullshit copout answer). We just started releasing weekly Spotify playlists every Monday with artists we’re currently listening to, that’s the best way to get to know us. To answer your question… Some of our favorite albums are Magma by Gojira, The Mark Tom & Travis Show by Blink-182, any album by Sting, and Option Paralysis by Dillinger Escape Plan. Damnit, this is hard and I want to list more.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
As far as live shows are concerned, we’re in a holding pattern for now due to Covid-19. We are however excited to release our self-titled EP in June along with an accompanying music video for the single “Chained.” We also have a behind the scenes studio documentary dropping very soon that we’re excited about. We just finished the Wings Over USA tour supporting legendary thrash icons Overkill and Exhorder are excited to get back on the road for another national run as soon as possible! Stay connected with us on Facebook and Hydraformmusic.com (links below) and we’ll keep you posted.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select one for the final publication)
Many thanks to Hydraform for their time!