Interview: Hyperdontia (2023) | From The Bowels Of Perdition

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The news of the third Hyperdontia full-length being recorded came in the other day. What can be revealed about the album at this point?

Mustafa: If I have to make a comparison without giving too many details for now, I can say that the new album continues on a line close to “Deranged”. It would be preferable to share other details when we get to a more official announcement phase for the album.

Considering that you have never used the same artist twice, has reinventing yourselves visually become an important part of your overall modus operandi at this point?

Mustafa: Our releases differ from each other musically, although not profoundly, and in this respect, the visuals we had in mind led us to work with a different artist for each release. It was not a conscious decision, so I cannot say whether we will work with the same artist again.

Mathias: We wanted to try a new artist for the “Deranged” EP, and since we all really like what Mark does, we were very happy that he wanted to work with us, and what an amazing drawing he did for us.

Compared to your previous efforts, do you think that “Deranged” is better, worse, or just slightly different?

Mathias: I believe that “Deranged” is different from the other releases. More technical, with better written and produced songs. I guess this is the direction that the new Hyperdontia is heading towards.

Mustafa: I don’t think there is a drastic difference. “Deranged” is a bit more technical, but the main reason it sounds different is due to the tuning we used in this EP. Up until now, our set up was in B standard, so when I was creating these songs, I was more tempted to play them in C#. I believed this would fit the template I designed in my head better without disturbing the old structure too much, therefore the EP sounds a bit more dynamic and energetic.

Is it fair to say that “Deranged” is also an attempt at more accessible songwriting, given that some of the riffs, in “Degradations of the Flesh” for example, are arguably the catchiest you have ever written?

Mustafa: It was the change in tuning that enabled the riffs to be more prominent and emphasised their power. We didn’t follow a different method in songwriting compared to the previous releases.

Mathias: There are both slow and catchy riffs on this EP, but also some more technical ones which are pretty difficult to play.

Are you proponents of linear songwriting in death metal, with verse, chorus, bridge and repetitions within the overall arrangement of a song?

Mathias: The form that the Hyperdontia songs are being written doesn’t really go well with that conventional form of writing. When Mustafa presents the songs, they all vary and don’t have a particular order that matches the linear way it could be written and performed.

Mustafa: I don’t believe in following any method or recipe in songwriting. I keep on repeating this, but I really just sit down with the guitar in my hand and the riffs and parts are formed according to how I feel at that moment. Sometimes a written part sits on the sidelines for months and years, and when the time comes, it finds its position and power in a completely different track. Of course there are people who apply the method you mentioned, but we just don’t operate that way.

Given how consistently intense “Deranged” is, was it a struggle to reduce contrasts between the exceptional and slightly less exceptional sections of music down to a bare minimum? How difficult it was to write these songs?

Mustafa: It wasn’t difficult at all. I was just excited to be trying something new in this band.

Mathias: I also didn’t break a sweat on this one, no. It was pretty simple. I actually wrote the lyrics when sitting nice and quiet in a park on a summer day. Not very death metal thing to do (laughs).

Did you spend a lot of time figuring out the vocal arrangements for those lyrics, or did you just enter the studio and perform, without any upfront preparation?

Mathias: I actually spent a lot of time arranging how I wanted the vocals to go before entering the studio to sing them. So they were well thought I guess.

Mustafa: The basic vocal arrangement becomes apparent to a great extent while creating the songs, the rest is left to Mathias’ imagination.

Hyperdontia Interview 2023 (Deranged)

At this point in your career, do you feel like well established musicians with respectable individual track records behind you or do you still feel like hungry beginners that have chips on their shoulders and have yet to prove the point?

Mustafa: Personally, I would say neither, yet both (laughs). I am very gratified and proud of the releases I have produced so far, but at the same time I still feel hungry to create new material and share them.

Mathias: I would say it’s the latter. I’m still hungry and want to explore more in the music realm. Hopefully some day I will be able to create something that actually makes a difference, which won’t be forgotten the moment the needle stop on the record player.

Do you feel that you are getting wiser and more mature as the years go by, and would you say that your music reflects that?

Mathias: I only feel like we’re getting older (laughs). More kids and less time for everything else. But the music evolves and we’re shaping it into what our vision of Hyperdontia is.

Mustafa: The old and wise part has an aspect in the decisions to be taken for the band. I believe that music is certainly influenced by experiences and changing individual musical perspectives.

Despite not following in any of the genre forefathers’ footsteps, do you still feel slightly constricted by the somewhat narrow framework established by them?

Mustafa: It’s true that if we were one of the bands that only chose to copy the bands before us, we would feel restricted. But as people who have been playing and listening to this music for years, we have experienced a lot of death metal and this inevitably had an effect on the work we put out, we can’t deny that. I have never claimed to be original, all I am trying to do is to present good examples in a style of music that I love and adore.

Mathias: We don’t feel bound by what older bands have shaped this genre into. We do what we want and play how we feel like, but I guess many people just think this is copying the forefathers who started this type of music. I really hate having the music I create put into certain boxes, genres, etc. That said, of course we play death metal, so it is what it is.

Is Hyperdontia a consensus democracy, in the sense that every single note and every single band related decision must be approved by the whole band?

Mathias: No, I wouldn’t say that. It really depends on what it is we have to decide. If it’s planning shows or tours then of course everyone has to be on board, but songwriting-wise and merch-wise we don’t always have to have a green light from everyone. When it comes to artwork for releases, we all tip in with ideas but it’s not always easy to have all members agree on such things.

Almost a decade into your career, are you aware what your strong points are, where you can improve, how far you want to take the band, at what cost? Have you already answered all those questions?

Mathias: Hyperdontia started out as a side project, we didn’t really think about the future of this band. We never talked about doing a lot of stuff for the band. But as we started making more and more releases and getting booked for more and more shows, we figured out that we actually wanted to go as far as we could with this band, considering all the limits we have with other bands, family life and just life in general. I’m not sure what our strong points are. We just want to improve our music with every release and take it as far as we can. Depending on who you ask in the band, but I think the majority of the members would say that we would love to take it to the next level and spend more time on this band, and hopefully at some point we could start getting booked for bigger festivals.

Mustafa: You can characterise Hyperdontia as a band consisting of minds that want to create a good example of death metal. Despite the fact that we are not together all the time, when we get together at the necessary times, we put on a strong performance with our passion for this music. I can say that this band will continue as long as I will be able to hold a pick in my hand.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve heard or read about Hyperdontia?

Mustafa: I heard that people seriously thought that we were rehearsing online via webcam all the time. I wish there was no latency problem and it could be possible, so I would bother the guys to rehearse every day (laughs).

Hyperdontia Interview 2023 (Band)

Do you think that using psychoactive substances in order to set the mind in motion to write music is something that usually results in a better creative outcome?

Mustafa: I don’t agree with this at all, certainly there may be very rare exceptions, but in general I think it’s just a big placebo effect. On the contrary, what I have observed over the years is that such substances hinder the progress of many talented and creative musicians, blunt their potential and keep them in a constant state of lethargy. I am often asked in interviews how I actively make music and write albums for four different bands, and really the most basic answer is that I don’t use drugs and spend all the financial and mental means at my disposal to be able to perform this music.

Mathias: I wouldn’t know. I don’t really use other stuff than alcohol. And it’s very rarely that I do that when writing new music for my bands. But I imagine that for some people that’s a very good way for them to be creative on a whole other level.

What are some of the circumstances unrelated to music that usually get you in the frame of mind where you actually feel like writing music?

Mathias: Maybe when the normal daily life isn’t too stressed and I don’t have too much hectic stuff going on. Or when I don’t have too much pains from my concussion. That’s when I feel like writing new music. Sometimes it takes me several months before I’m ready to play guitar, so that’s why I’m not as productive as I would want. But I guess when my life is in balance, that’s when I feel like trying something new. I think that the biggest drive for me is probably when I listen to some good music. Then I get the feeling that I also want to play something as good as that, or at least try too.

Mustafa: My general mindset is to write music automatically, so I have shaped my life according to music, not music according to my life.

Have you ever listened to a bad album that felt more than just plain bad, like something that’s bad in an almost profound way that warrants deeper analysis?

Mustafa: I can often sense a very bad album early on and stop it immediately so as not to pollute my mind further, and I prefer to move on to other more musically meaningful things rather than analyse it.

Mathias: I’ve never really thought about that. I think when I hear something bad, which happens quiet often considering how much music is being released nowadays, I don’t really give it much thought, only that I really want to stop the music and never listen to it again (laughs).

Can you enjoy and appreciate music that feels like an eruption of desperation that comes from people who are losing battle with their inner demons? Any records that come to mind, as good examples?

Mustafa: I love it, there are actually many examples that can be given, and of course I don’t know if that band member was really experiencing that feeling, but I really enjoy the intensity and the flavours I get.

Mathias: Hmm, I guess the last music of The Devil’s Blood. Even though I’m not a big fan. But he ended up losing the battle with his demons.

How do you feel about metal with a touch of repetition and monotony to it, that invites a listener to fall into and absorb cycles of riffs that are very basic but strike a particular chord regardless?

Mustafa: There are very good examples of bands that have a simple structure with few riffs and yet have a punchy effect. Music doesn’t necessarily have to be very dense, complicated, technically narrow. I don’t think it’s necessary to try to cram everything you have into a single track. I always think it’s more difficult to write simple but catchy tunes.

Mathias: Indeed, I really like when a band is able to use simple riffs and have them sound powerful and massive. So that the listener is being sucked into a maelstrom of chaos of a pure sound wall.

Do slower tempos and longer songs generally provide more breathing space for the riffs or not necessarily?

Mathias: That depends on the band and how talented the musicians are. I would say it can be both, depending on the riffs.

Mustafa: In fact, this is also a recipe, a formulation. I think such formulas are meaningless because, for instance, in a long song, the riffs can get into a more boring loop, or vice versa, in a short song, the riff can show its might by coming to the forefront. Basically, it can vary according to the storyteller and the way he tells the story.

Hyperdontia Interview 2023 (Promo)

What are the things that annoy Hyperdontia members the most about each other and the things they get the most fulfillment from?

Mathias: I’m not sure I want to answer that question (laughs). We all have things that annoy each other I guess, every human being has or do things that are annoying to others. I think one of the things that makes this band work so well is that Mustafa lives in Turkey and we don’t really rehearse, unless we have shows. So every member of the band has to do their own homework, if you could put it that way. We all rehearse the music at home and come prepared. It’s very easy for us to play our music. I don’t want to sound like an idiot but it feels more professional for us when we play together. That is one of the best things about this band.

Mustafa: I’m actually annoyed by the distance between us (laughs). All joking aside, this is in fact a good balance. Perhaps the things that we are annoyed with each other when we communicate from a distance would not feel the same way if we were constantly side by side. Or vice versa, it is better to experience some emotions from a distance. The most satisfying thing is definitely playing our music live together when we gather at limited times during the year. This doesn’t necessarily have to be at a show, I really enjoy it when we rehearse together, because finally what we write embodies into flesh and bones.

Have you ever played with people who, despite their technical ability, didn’t really feel the music or had the passion for it, and do you believe that bands without a common vision are destined to fail?

Mathias: Yes, I have. Unfortunately some members of my other bands ended up loosing the drive and actually lost the interest in metal and playing live. Which is very unfortunate, and im very sad about that. It’s very hard to play in a band with a person who has either lost the interest or the vision we had. So at some point this will always end, I guess. I only play music with people I like, want to hang out and tour with, so it’s difficult if someone looses the interest in what we had in common to start with. It’s extremely important to have good chemistry in a band, otherwise it won’t last long, or it may turn into a very unhealthy relationship, just like when you are in a bad relationship with a partner. You will end up being miserable if you’re with someone who doesn’t fit you. When you’re in a band, you often spend a lot of time together. In the rehearsal room, in a shitty van on the road, in the backstage room, or in a studio when recording, so you have to be good friends and have that chemistry. I think that, when there’s that good chemistry and you enjoy being together, the music often turns out way better.

Mustafa: I’ve tried to stay away from such people as much as possible. Mainly, I do what I do because it brings me joy, and anything that makes me feel negative doesn’t need to be around me when I’m making music.

Do you feel that the stage is a place for art and for creating a world different from normal life? Isn’t there usually very little interesting about a perfectly normal person acting perfectly normal while performing?

Mathias: I couldn’t agree more. The stage, and also in creating music, is the only place to unfold and show the world the real and raw side of you. Yes, it can be very boring to see someone perform live when they don’t really fit into the role of the extreme music that they play, or if the audience feels that they would rather be anywhere else than on that stage.

Mustafa: I believe that whatever the work put forth, one should be aware that the stage is there to tell a story. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be very assertive, lively, brave, etc. stage shows. Merely vacuous shows also disturb me as an audience member, there is a delicate balance. But as a minimum, I think it must be in a certain level that separates it from normal life.

Why is art that comes from troubled minds somehow always more appealing than the one that comes from contentment and satisfaction?

Mathias: Artists like that are not like the norm and think out of the box. Or maybe just don’t give a fuck what others think about their art and create it for their own sake.

Mustafa: I think such minds put more thought and time into the work they create because they see it as a means of escape from their turbulent lives. This is reflected in us as a full expression of experience, rather than a cursory, sloppy work that is done just to be done.


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