INTERVIEW WITH HEGEMONY – VALYEN
«Working under a label with feeling that we can do what we love and what we feel instead of what is expected of us or what will sell good is the best thing a band can hope for.»
Polish band HEGEMONY are currently working on what will be their first LP. After a very well received EP in 2013, this progressive/goth band is making a name in the scene. When the chance to have some words with singer Valyen presented, we just couldn’t say no:
For those who still don’t know you, who are HEGEMONY?
HEGEMONY is a progressive/gothic metal band with interesting harmony and rhythm solutions with the addition of classical soprano vocals.
You released the “Awakening” EP in 2013, what can you tell us about this work?
It’s our short way to say ‘Hello world, this is our music, hope you like it!’. We put 100% of our hearts into this and wanted to show what type of music is it. It’s a journey through different emotional states, different moond and deep meanings. I think everybody will find something that describes him well in this EP.
What was the biggest challenge while recording it?
It was our first time when music we composed finally was recorded. As for me, the most challenging part was that I had tons of ideas for improving the songs at once and I knew I shouldn’t realize them all. Also, recording in studio is totally different thing that singing on stage.
Anyway, recirding was fun :)
Your coloratura soprano voice and vocal melodies give the songs an instant symphonic-goth feeling, but song structures lay closer to progressive metal, what would you say are you main influences?
You caught exactly the essence. While vocals type reminds the symhonic-gothic style, the most important part for us – which is overall structure, form and meaning of the lyrics – is very progressive. While many compare us to Nightwish or Epica, we don’t feel much connection with these bands beside obvious vocal ‘color’.
Every band member brought their music tastes – among bands we love the most two most important would be Dream Theater and Opeth. Nightwish and Epica are also important for some band members, but the most inspiring ones are the progressive two. Also, since main composer and vocalist have strictly classical music education, the structures and form of our music derive much from classical.
That was Wojciech’s idea to color the piece a little by some wind instrument. We loved the sound of soprano sax instantly when we heard its sound and felt it is perfect for this piece. Jazz influences are also improtant for us, hopefully we will show more of them in next songs too.
When will we be able to listen some new work from you? What can we expect from a full-lenght album by HEGEMONY?
We are just about to start recording new material, which is known already for people attending to our live gigs.
It will be for sure continuing the moods from Awakening, but it will be more mature, more progressive and more complicated too. I think every fan of both gothic and progressive music will find there something refreshing, new, but also deep, thanks to lyrics written by Wojciech Muchowicz.
When it comes to live performance, how is an HEGEMONY show? What would you say is your strongest aspect on stage?
Of course, we give 100% energy on our live gigs. I think, some of our songs only performed live gain this true energy and feeling, they just became rich in this undefined aspect playing live is.
Our strongest aspect? We have very good musicians in the band and I am sure it is clearly visible. Who wants to experience this should attend to our live gigs.
Are you planning to tour Europe after your LP is released? If you could go on tour with any band around, who would you pick?
It would be awesome. Currently we concetrate on playing live in Poland. Festivals, small gigs – everything and everywhere where we can give our music to people.
As for taking some bands with us… definitely a band who has similar type of sound to ours. Maybe entirely progressive, maybe entirely symphonic/gothic. Who knows what will future bring.
How is the polish scene? Is it a healthy one?
Yes, I think it’s nice scene. We have some good bands, good people to play with and to talk with.
For sure the audience never let us down too – people want to hear something new, react lively and are interested in this a little bit unusual type of music we play.
What would you expect from a hypotetical contract with a label? What do you think are the main duties of a record label nowadays?
To support the band I think. It is mutual profit of course, but freedom for the band is important.
Working under a label with feeling that we can do what we love and what we feel instead of what is expected of us or what will sell good is the best thing a band can hope for.
How do you see yourselves in five years?
Hard working on new material, still having fun from it and of course giving big live concerts for our fans.
But most of all – share our feelings and emotion through our music with as many people as we can.
To finish this interview, I leave you this space to send any words you feel to your current and future fans:
Never give up your dreams. Who knows when and how they will become true? Just remember to work hard and you can achieve much!
Also, support your favourite bands. They need this and this is best feeling when you have positive response – it makes every single second we fill with our hard work and emotion worth the effort!