Interview: A chat to Hex Morbidity

Posted: December 22, 2016 in Interviews
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I reviewed the newest EP from British black metallers Hex Morbidity recently, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with Jarod, the mastermind behind this cold hearted black project. We talked about his band, the melancholic nature of British black metal and how not sounding like your influences can be a good thing…

So where did the genesis of Hex Morbidity come from? Who are the main influences?

Hex Morbidity began as my own project which I formally started very early in 2013. I got a line-up together but I wasn’t satisfied with it so this slowly disintegrated before we started playing shows. Hex now exists as a one-man band but I am currently making it into a live act and have found a guitarist and am looking for bassist and a drummer. There are no big influences because I never wanted to sound like my favourite bands; I want to do something different. Of course I have influences though, off the top of my head they would be Genesis, My Dying Bride, Burzum, Eastern Front, Hecate Enthroned, At The Gates, Winterfylleth, Death…

Is there a particular theme to Hex Morbidity’s work?

I see Hex Morbidity as a kind of personal outlet- the lyrics are all based on my own experiences, intentions or expressions and the music works along with that. There is no ‘concept’ to the band though in the same way that other acts have a novelty.

Is there anything you feel about Hex Morbidity’s music that is particularly British? British black metal seems to have a rich and diverse scene, where do you think Hex Morbidity fit in?

I think a lot of my influences are British. Musically, I’m inspired by a lot of the British traditional metal bands and the extreme underground of the early 90s. Lyrically, I’m inspired by British poets and authors, particularly of the romantic movement. You’re correct that British BM is a rich scene. Hex Morbidity sounds more melancholic, more emotion led but also wild and unpredictable too. I think too many bands that I listen too nowadays sound so similar and on auto-pilot- Hex Morbidity isn’t like that.

You mentioned My Dying Bride as an influence, and British poets and the romantic movement as a lyrical influence. MDB are at times one of the bleakest bands out there, yet I don’t feel they get as much credit as an influence as they deserve. What is it about the British psyche that can conjure up this melancholy?
I think it’s just part of the national character to be a little pessimistic and to have a dark sense of humour. I wouldn’t say I’m a miserable person, but I am attracted to melancholy and I find it much more satisfying, and also more natural, to write darker songs and lyrics.

As a black metal musician, is there pressure for your sound to be a certain way, or does the genre allow you to interpret it freely?

I don’t feel any constrains because I don’t consider myself a black metal musician. I just write the music I want to write and play, and that seems to fit the black metal genre more than others. I never try to make music which deliberately fits into any category

Is the desire to ‘not sound like anyone else’ been a conscious decision, or just how the music of Hex Morbidity took its course? A lot of musicians try to create their own unique identity, but fail to do so. Is it difficult to be unique in this modern world of oversaturation?

I would say it is a somewhat conscious decision to sound different, because I am sick of hearing bands who do nothing new. Originality in this day and age is very hard though, and obviously Hex Morbidity is not creating a new genre or anything like that, but I feel that my music has it’s own sound and it’s own identity and I’m happy with that.I wouldn’t be satisfied by just copying other people’s style, whereas some people are. I hope to develop aesthetics further when it comes to live shows.

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Where is the next path for Hex Morbidity, more music, live performances?

My main goal now is to finish the live line-up and play some shows and then record some more material, but I’d like to work with a producer next time to get a new creative input.

How is your local scene, is there a thirst for black metal in particular?

I’ve recently moved to London, so yes the black metal scene is very good. Not a lot of the bands are from here, but they all travel from across England to play here and there are good gigs on all the time and a couple of promoters who do a great job putting on good nights.

Who are the best black metal bands frpm the UK in your experience? Are there any up and comers we need to keep an eye on?
Live the best bands are Ethereal, Eastern Front and Stahlsarg, but these aren’t my favourites to listen to on record. For my money, Old Corpse has been the most exciting band in the British underground for years and they still are.
Will the development of Hex Morbidity as a live entity affect the song writing? Is it likely to become a full band for studio purposes as well as as a live prospect?
On first thoughts I wanted to still write everything myself, but the guitarist who has unofficially joined (announcement coming soon) has given me some ideas to work with already so I would say I am more open to collaboration. I don’t think Hex will ever become the kind of band that writes songs by jamming in the rehearsal room though. In terms of studio work I still like to play everything myself but I’m sure there are drummers out there who would do a better job recording than me. If a guitarist has written a solo or a keyboardist an intro, I think it adds more flavour to the music if they play it themselves too.
Be sure to get yourselves a copy of Hex Morbidity’s excellent self titled EP now, available at their Bandcamp page below.

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