Interview with Hallux. (Band Interview)
Today we talk to Canadian Metal outfit Hallux.
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?
The band started in 2014 when Mike and Ian had left their previous projects and wanted to do something that went straight to the point and paid tribute to the ways of the classic extreme metal bands. After a few months of writing and conceptualizing the music, they started searching for a bassist and found Miles to be a perfect fit with his contributions to writing and helping the band take on the structure of dual vocals without a frontman
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
Mike and Miles both started private lessons at an early age and Ian began playing the drums by teaching himself at the beginning. Miles and Ian met in music school in 2013, of which they both dropped out of, where they studied guitar and composition respectively. But we are primarily self-taught.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
This album is the accumulation of the best work since the inception of the band. It’s inspired by the approach of classic extreme metal bands with a touch of modern sensibility to balance it out and with a stripped down, direct delivery.
How did you go about making it?
We recorded the drums and bass at Raincity Recorders in Vancouver, and the guitars and vocals were tracked at our rehearsal space (also in Vancouver). The recording and mixing were done by Kevin Grindon, who’s been involved with recording the band since our first demo. The mastering was done by Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust, someone we find very influential to the way we approach the band.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
Since the beginning, the idea of doing something with a definitive aesthetic and direction was appealing. We deliberately choose to approach the project from a straight-to-the-point perspective and avoiding getting caught up on gimmicks.
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
We’re a 3 piece band with a very classic setup. JCM 800 Marshall stack with Gibson guitars, Ampeg bass cab and GK amp for the Fender Jazz bass, and a Tama Starclassic drum set.
Anything you’re keen to use on Hallux’s next album?
We love the setup we use so it’s unlikely we will add much to it. To have an album that sounds as close as possible to the live version of the songs is very important to us, so having more than we normally use on stage for a recording is not really something we want to experiment much with.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
We all currently play in other bands (Mike is in Unroot, Miles plays in Riftwalker, Ian plays in Chaos Still), but not much for solo projects presently or in the future.
Any plans for upcoming live shows for Hallux?
Planning on playing a few shows in BC over spring/summer and touring western Canada in the fall.
Let’s have a few general questions now.
What do you see as a musicians role in society?
Music has always been a universal art form, with people in all walks of life enjoying it in one form or another. Musicians enable the connection we all feel at some point where we realize there are others that think like us. They give a voice to those that might not be able to find a vehicle for expression otherwise.
How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? -Anything unique to your country?
We couldn’t say how it’s like in all of Canada as it’s a very large country, but Vancouver is very funny in the sense that people will watch bands play standing still and with their hands in their pockets but are actually genuinely enjoying the show. We really think it has to do with how much weed people smoke here, which is often misinterpreted as being snobby.
Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?
We are pro music videos. If done well, they can be a great way to convey the aesthetic and concepts within the band. Though, if poorly done, they take credibility away from the band. They can be a big risk for sure.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
It being considered an industry.
Any advice for new bands?
Do as much as you can yourselves, and when you can’t do it find someone that can help you do it. Playing the music is the fun part, but the real necessary work is figuring out how to get people to even know you exist. We have been learning these things as we go and screw a lot of things up, but the important thing is to always remain proactive – don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.
Let’s have some generic questions.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
Books or Comics?
Trump or Putin?
Anything you’d like to tell our readers?
Any last words for our readers?