An Interview With: Hacktivist

Photo Credit - Rhys Haberfield

We caught up with Jot, Josh, Rich and J Hurley from Hacktivist before their main stage set at UK Tech Metal Fest.

Hi good to meet you all, When the Horn Blows covers a diverse range of genres and styles, for any readers who may not know you , can you in your own words describe Hactivist and what you are all about?

Jot: Grime Djent? Another interviewer called is ‘the prodigy of Djent’ I said O can’t accept that, and he goes ‘I’ll say it again’ so I had to accept that!

Josh: Its like a big mash up all the stuff we are into, trying to do something a little different to what else is going on at the moment.

Richard: There’s so many similar sort of groove concepts that are going on in different styles of music and in our case coincidently a lot of those styles and genre’s work at similar speeds so the groove elements of hip hop can be played over metal. That’s been seen in bands like Meshuggah so putting rapping over the top seemed like the next step.

As you mentioned before you have a really refreshing hybrid of styles ans I know you have alluded to it being quite natural, but was it something that you went in deliberately wanting to do?

Josh: It was never tailored out to a blueprint. When Tim left Heart of a Coward he was already sitting on a bunch of unused riffs, and he basically carried on writing heavy groovy riffs.

J Hurley: I was recording some solo stuff at his studio and then he sent me over a beat and asked me if I would rap over it. I said yea and I had some bars already and made a chorus while I was at work, then he picked me up and I just did it on the beat. It was just really organic I didn’t have to change anything it was just my flow and it just took off from there really.

You have already had a lot of positive reactions in the popular music press and media along with some high profile gigs. Is there anything else that you would like to accomplish as a band? What’s next for Hactivist?

Josh: There is definitely always higher to push. I think we have been quite fortunate that we have managed to hit quite a lot of the goals that we set ourselves. Like we would do something ridiculously good then ‘right next thing is going to be touring with Korn’ then it happens, then we say we want to play festival main stage and then it happens, so yeah there’s always more goals, bigger bands to tour with, going to America and Asia would be really interesting to get to.

Jot: We just ticked Glastonbury off the list.

What was that like?

Jot: It was great we did two sets in one night and that was definitely a challenge but I really good experience.

Josh: Glastonbury is like a few different mini festivals in all in one depending on which bit you are in.

Jot: It’s like all the survivors from the walking dead all found each other and decided to party!

You have played Tech Fest quite a few times now what is it that keeps you coming back?

Josh: Tech Fest has its own totally unique vibe, its such a community sort of feel. Its not just a yearly event in the summer, its got an all year round community, you see the UKTM groups buzzing and its like Christmas in the summer for the Tech fans. It took us about half an hour to get in just from people asking how we are and how its been a while since we’ve seen them, I think its just a great community to be able to be involved in.

Jot: I’m a Tech Fest virgin having just joined the band, but I’m also just off nine or ten different festivals and of all of them Tech fest has a really nice ambience, just really comfortable and relaxed.

When The Horn Blows likes to champion underground and Unsigned acts, can you give me some bands or artists you think we should look out for?

Josh: Press to Meco.
I know they are pretty well known but I think they need more exposure.

Jot: Shinobi Ninja.
They are a group from New York who has this black female vocalists with dreadlocks, then two more rappers, then 2 male screamer. They are great every song is different and changes, I honestly don’t know how they have a fan base cos I’ve song is different!

Rich: Sons of Kemet
They are this jazz quartet that are made up of a saxophone, a tuba and drums and percussion. Its just incredible, all the different parts of the rytham are filled in and Tuba is playing the high and low notes while the sax is playing lead. Its just amazing.

Feature by Paul Finney