Interviews: HEDRA

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Progressive Metal band HEDRA from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name; you planned it or came out just like that?

Jim: It was Kamils idea, I still don’t know why he came up with it, he’s never told the tale of its origin but I grabbed the meaning from Urban Dictionary to make something of it!

Kamil: I had this vision to call the band Hedra. That word came to me suddenly and just stuck in my head. I had a few demo songs and the name Hedra and the riffs used in the songs matched each other perfectly with what was in my mind, it just complimented my vision so we kept it

Zoran: I know it was Kamil’s idea, it’s a good name but, it was already in place when I joined.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Jim: For me the genre has always been the best, growing up with the hair metal bands, etc, ‘heavy metal’ sounds like a great genre to get into even if you haven’t heard it, I’m still not 100% convinced we fit into that genre, we’re probably more prog metal & I love prog metal but I feel we would have to be just a bit more proficient and technical to gain that title so I’m going to stick with ‘Heavy Metal’ as sub-genres messed up the whole music system as bands evolved.

Kamil: As a guitarist, I enjoy lots of different music however, metal music is my favorite. Metal is so energetic and emotional and is moving in different ways for individuals. It gives me release, a sense of freedom, and truth. And being on stage, I feel united with the audience. This is the most amazing feeling you can get from a genre for me!

James: I’ve mostly been in thrash bands... I love heavy stuff like thrash, but I also love listening to prog. During the early years of my learning to play drums, I listened to way too much Rush, and Dream Theater. Hedra had the heaviness I wanted while having that hint of prog to it.

Zoran: I personally like the atmosphere it creates and the bipolarity of going heavy and then soft. We had an interview where they asked how would you describe the band to a deaf person and I went: “It is like the weather. You have the melancholy of autumn, the hopefulness of spring, the joy of summer, and the harshness of winter.” and to this day I stand by this.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Jim: No we didn’t, Kamil and I met in 2014 through a ‘join my band’ application, he was looking for a singer and I emailed, he opened the email about 3 months later and then phoned me straight away it has been a joy ever since! Zoran joined in 2017 but left and has now come back in 2022, James and Kozi joined us late last year so it’s really quite a new band thinking about it!

Kamil: No. All the band members I met in the recruiting process. Jim and, we are together since the beginning of the UK band (I started writing the songs in Poland) . We met through the join my band portal. Haha, that was a funny story. He sent me 3 emails which I didn’t notice at the beginning but after a while, I read them and replied immediately. He’s still saying to me that I ignored him LOL Zoran joined us later. For some reason, our paths diverged, but we started playing together again in 2022. Kozi and James joined the band also in 2022.

James: I only knew Kozi, because our two previous bands used the same rehearsal rooms.

Zoran: I was in Hedra from 2014 to 2017 so I know Jim and Kamil from those times. Kozi and James are new people to me but we get on like we should as friends.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Jim: I don’t have a favorite band but I like solo guitarists more than bands Steve Vai is probably my favorite Guitarist. I have had a huge passion for Devin Townsend since the Sex & Religion Album and have followed him ever since, I even supported SYL once which was a dream come true!

Kamil: I’m just going to list a few: Machine Head, Korn, Slipknot, Kobong, Illusion, Mnemic, Mudvayne, Limp Biscuit, Born of Osiris, Sepultura, Soulfly, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, Panthera, Decapitated, 80s 90s, Depeche mode, Prodige, Techno, Jazz, Classic Music, Red Method, Agonist

James: Haken

Zoran: I would say Limp Bizkit. But System of a Down and Static-X are really close too.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Jim: For me, it’s my total sadness that makes me write songs, it’s an underlying river of depression that I’ve lived with but that river carries the content to make flow a new expression within me, it makes me try the opposite to how I feel which is why I’m in a band in the first place, totally shy and recluse but it forces a wave in me to do something I have to do, so really I’m inspired by myself now, early on I wanted to sing like Phil Anselmo and failed but discovered that being a guitarist helps to write the vocals and it started happening one day!

Kamil: My inspiration is coming from all over the place. Sometimes it’s a melody in the radio, sometimes groovy music in the movie lol. Mostly I collect everything that inspires me and inserts the influence of those into my riffs, but, also I get ideas for ambiance and interesting song structures, and then I start the writing process. Guitar practice has a huge impact on this as well. Sometimes few notes will give me the inspiration to work on a whole song. That’s the moment when I can’t stop haha. 

Zoran: I personally think that music should have a message. It should either take away your feelings or help you relive them. The inspiration is always to express and share life experiences and feelings. It is a bit like poetry, I guess.

6. Where was your last gig?

Jim: We just played Six Six (6?) Bar in Cambridge last week was a great show with a band from Israel called Matricide, they blew me away, very tight and powerful and great guys who have been around since 2002. Raze also has players who are also great, we did a few gigs with them last week & now I want more! 

Zoran: Six Six Bar was such an awesome venue. We played with Matricide and Raze and another band which I can’t remember the name which is a shame because they were really good too. I mean all of the bands were excellent. It was a night to remember.

Jim: Zoran they were called ‘Blyth Road’ the vocalist was very talented; I think he will go places!

7. Where would you like to play?

Jim: I always wanted to play Bloodstock Festival, more for personal reasons than actually wanting to play there, I’m happy to play absolutely anywhere all over, that’d be amazing but if we are talking global it has to be Japan, again not for the fact that you’re big in Japan, now you aren’t you’re still another band just in another country but I’d love to enjoy the culture and see a few Japanese metal bands as they are generally quite crazy!

Kamil: My biggest dream is to share the stage with the greatest rock and metal bands in the world. Where they are, there we are. Definitely big festivals like Bloodstock festival or Download Festival but also smaller events. If you are going to be at the top of the mountain, you have to climb from zero point

James: Budokan, I share many of Jim’s thoughts on Japanese bands, And I’d love to see that for myself.

Zoran: Where is not a question, to who it is. I just like to play with people who enjoy music. That is all I care about.

8. Who would you like to support?

Jim: Devin Townsend again for sure, I love his music and creations and think we’d fit on the bill nicely, if not him then Ramage Inc. is the next big thing that some don’t know about yet!

Kamil: Korn!!! They are an amazing band. They've been playing for so long and they still surprise me and deliver.

James: Devin has already been said, so I’ll go with either Haken, or Mastodon 

Zoran: Limp Bizkit for sure, I would even join for a song, ha-ha!

9. Who not?

Jim: Metal wise I don’t think I’d say no to anyone, oh hang on, I’d hate to support Wasp after watching the Chris Holmes movie Blackie Lawless just sounds horrible.

Kamil: Band without character and attitude

James: I don’t think I turn any band down unless they were some NSBM or skinhead band, they can piss off!

Zoran: Anyone who can have a negative effect on the band or its image. Noone spreads hatred, racism, sexism, or anything like this.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Jim: No never, I never had the ambition to be the best vocalist and I think it’s far more important to enjoy what you do and not worry about what’s going to happen, this fills me with excitement and because I don’t expect to be perfect I’m glad when I get nice compliments for just doing my best and having fun, the stage is my time to give music to people how can you get stage fright for doing that eh, if you get up on stage you’re just awesome ok?

Kamil: After such a long time without gigs I noticed that I have a slight stage fright. overall, I don't have a problem with that, the only thing that bothers me is the adrenaline level in my blood. My fingers stiffen but after a few minutes everything returns to normal

James: Not stage fright as such... But I do get a bit nervous before every show. But that’s OK. It’s ok to feel nervous... Anyone who says they’re not nervous is either lying or stupid (or drunk).

Jim: I don’t get nervous generally but I was when we did our first show after such a long break, that lasted about 5 minutes though.

Zoran: Multiple times, even though I was performing in drama acts when I was younger. There is an anxiety that kicks in before the show, but once you are there it doesn’t matter. You became one with the band and the music, and you just play. My advice is don’t drink alcohol, that is just not the solution. Practicing in front of a small group of friends and the mirror is the way to go.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Jim: So many now, Vola, Karnivool, Tesseract, Textures of newish right down to Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, and then everything in-between there but Guitarist wise, Dimebag, Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Vai, Jan Cyrka, EVH, Jeff Beck & of course Hendrix

Kamil: Machine Head, Korn, Slipknot, Kobong, Illusion, Mnemic, Mudvayne, Limp Biscuit, Born of Osiris, Sepultura, Soulfly, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, Pantera, Decapitated, 80s 90s, Depeche mode, Prodigy, Techno, Jazz, Classic Music, Red Method, Agonyst All of these bands have something, some legacy, something that inspired me

James: Alice In Chains, Between The Buried And Me, Biffy Clyro, Dream Theater, Electric Light Orchestra, Genesis, Gojira, Haken, Helloween, Judas Priest, Lamb Of God, Led Zeppelin, The Police, Queen, Rush... All of the Big 4, and basically anything involving Gene Hoglan.

Zoran: OOhhh a huge range and not all metal or rock, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Static-X, Absent Distance, Leander Rising, ATB, Scooter, and so on. I always tend to find inspiration in a good song.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Jim: I would like to keep that one private!

Kamil: No comment lol

James: “Have you ever wanked over your drums?”

Zoran: I once has been asked to touch someone’s breast and being the gentleman I am, I make sure I did. Ha-ha.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Jim: I just struggle to call anyone a ‘fan’ that’s like a disconnection to me, I like the use of ‘friendship in music and will always prefer to stick to that, I consider people I meet part of my life if they want to be.

Kamil: I like to talk with people in the venue after the gig you can make that special bond. It’s really interesting how they feedback to me on our music and what opinions they might have too. I find others' opinions inspiring and it gives me an idea of what people expect from the band. Fans it's too big word at this stage

James: I don’t know too many of Hedra’s fans from before I joined, but I have been recognized in Hedra by people who have recognized me from previous bands. The most notable of which was an Irish man, who was part of a stag do in Nottingham. I’d literally never spoken to him before, but after we finish playing, he comes up to me and says, the last place he saw me was in Limerick, which is very possible, because one of my previous bands played the siege of limerick in April 2018.

Zoran: I love them all. I mean they love and support the things we do.

14. What do you think of our site?

Jim: I can’t read the logo but it looks like a good site with huge amounts of content, I’ll be checking that out more often so thanks!

Kamil: As Jim said the amount of content is huge, I like it!

James: I love the sheer variety of music on the site. Just looking at the list of genres for bands you have covered is a bit intimidating, to be honest. I think a dark mode/ high contrast mode would be nice, but I like how it’s laid out.

Zoran: I love how organized it is. There are plenty of things for anyone who likes any kind of subgenre of metal. Also, you can browse by country and you even put Hungary there with the newest releases. Just wow.

15. Something to add?

Jim: Thanks for the interview, and thanks for checking us out & I hope to make friends with you at a gig soon!

Kamil: Thank you for the interview! We really appreciate it!

James: Without being too specific, we have new music coming next year, so look out for that! 

Zoran: Thank you for having us. We are having a new release coming out soon. Please like our Facebook page if you like the music and if you would like to support us you can buy CDs and merch from the website - 

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