Manchester based two-piece The Hyena Kill certainly belong on your ‘Ones To Watch’ list in 2014 so go on and make a note. Steven Dobb’s staggering guitar riffs and bold vocals perfectly collide with Lorna Blundell’s massive drum beats and create a blinding sound storm. The band spoke to MGMB about their exciting moments from last year, including supporting the mighty Virginmarys, touring around the UK and of course the release of their second EP ‘Scrape My Bones’, a brilliant record if you ask me. Read on to find out more about this EP, the band themselves and their plans for 2014.
You guys did a UK tour at the end of 2013. How did it go and which one of those gigs would you class as your favourite?
Steve: The tour was a lot of fun, we met some awesome people and played with some mint bands as well. For me, the Brighton gig was the best, the line up was ace and the crowds in Brighton are always well up for live heavy music.
Lorna: Yea I agree, the Brighton gig was my favourite too. The tour itself was so much fun, it was so cool to spend the day in a van driving to another venue to play a gig every night. We did the tour with a band called Ragweed. They were great to spend the week with.
You released your second EP ‘Scrape My Bones’ in October. Could you describe the ‘making of’ process?
Steve: We recorded all the parts in a really nice studio in Manchester called 80hz in 2 days. The live room is huge, so the drums sound incredible in there. It was mixed by our friend Andrew Gibbons at False Idol studios, he did an awesome job and it came out sounding really good.
Lorna: I enjoyed the process of making this EP. We had a lot of confidence in the songs and the key was that they come across as balls out as we play them live, so we went in the studio and hammered it out. Andrew Gibbons did an awesome job of fine tuning it in the mix.
Can you give us a little insight into each of the tracks on the EP?
Lorna: In Blood came from a jam. I think the majority of it was written in a few hours at a practice one day and it was one of them songs where it just came flooding out and everything fell into place and felt right. No faff.
Steve: Filthy Nasty is my favourite off the EP; I had the groove and the main riff for a while, then Lorna just came and slammed a nice thick beat over it and the track just came together nicely.
Give Me The Knife is just a balls out rock song with loads of riffs and screaming. I think we wrote it in about five mins. Love it when that happens.
Lorna: Dirtbox was actually one of the first songs we wrote as a two piece, it came from just playing around and experimenting with our sound. Ste wanted a really thick, in your face guitar sound, and I wanted to back it up with a simple but powerful Bonham influenced beat.
How do you normally work on your music and sound? Being just the two of you, do you both usually throw your own ideas on the table?
Lorna: We practice a lot, which means that we are really intune with each other. A lot of our songs come from just jamming and playing for hours. We both have equal input, Ste can start a badass guitar riff and I’ll just play something to it or vice versa. We have no set method of writing.
Steve: Yeah I usually bang out the original song idea but Lorna tends to structure the songs as I end up getting all proggy and playing riffs for ages, but Lorna’s pop sensibilities help reign that in. We are not very good at prog :).
How does the audience react to the fact that one of you is a badass female drummer?
Steve: Yeah, she is pretty badass.
Lorna: I think some people are a bit suprised, but at the end of the day, girl or boy, I’ve been playing for 10 years and practicing a lot in that time. It doesn’t come overnight. I think female drummers are becoming more common place now though. I’ve played with some awesome girl drummers in other bands who have really blown people away.
Who would you name as your biggest musical influence/s?
Lorna: I listened to a lot of nu-metal when I was growing up, I think my playing is definitely influenced by that genre, but bands like Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin really stick with me as a drummer. Thick and solid beats. Then I listen to some Queens of the Stone Age if I need some influence for a crazy drum fill!
Steve: For me it’s The Deftones, Tool, Nirvana and Skunk Anansie. More recently The Virginmarys have had a massive influence on me as a guitarist and song writer. Their last album blew me away.
What are your thoughts on today’s music and the industry?
Steve: I think what’s in the mainstream at the moment is pretty shit, in fact I don’t give it much time as it all sounds the fucking same. The independent scene on the other hand is thriving with awesome bands all working hard and supporting each other. I am seeing it more and more everywhere we go, bands just putting on diy gigs and putting out their own and their friend’s records. It’s exciting time.
What’s the coolest and most memorable gig you saw in 2013?
Steve: It’s a toss up between Skunk Anasie and The Virginmarys at Acadamy 2. Both gigs were mind blowing.
Lorna: Oh yea, they were amazing gigs! Skunk Anasie were unbelievable, easily one of the best bands I’ve seen live. And The Virginmarys are the best rock band around, those guys are going to be massive, they own it live. I also saw Black Sabbath in December! Mind Blown.
What were your highlights of the last year regarding your own music and touring?
Lorna: We were so happy to support The Virginmary last year. They are our favourite band who rock it and are such nice lads. We also went around Europe in the summer busking, which was an incredible experience.
Steve: Defo The Virginmarys gig and our EP Launch at Roadhouse. Also doing our first tour was awesome.
Do you have any specific plans for this year?
Steve: This year we are gonna be releasing a new single in March and a new EP in the summer, and hopefully plenty of gigs in between. Can’t bloody wait.
Lorna: I think we are planning to do another European trip at some point, mainly to get out and enjoy ourselves busking. We made alot of good friends last time and some awesome memories.