I think I already said it a couple of times, but I’ll do it again (and you’ll probably hear me saying this several more times in the future). Each time a band shows its interested in doing an interview for The Blek Goat it makes me super excited. TBG featured quite a few bands’s interview already and I know there will be many more to come.
The most recent interview I did was with Iranian based progressive death metal band Hypomanic. Band was formed back in 2012 and due to members’ interest in both, traditional Iranian music and death metal, they decided to combine the two. Through their music they try to express themselves and talk about their experiences and it’s Alireza who then puts everything together into lyrics. The outcome is really amazing mix of death metal and folklore music.
It was last month when Hypomanic released their first single “Shame Of Pain” (check it below) and we can all expect their debut album to be released later this year.
I must admit that I am really looking forward to the release of this one. I know I heard only one song from them to date, but damn, I really dig it.
Now jump straight in the interview and find out what these guys are all about.
1. Can you guys introduce yourself first? Who are you, who are band members and where do you come from?
Hey, we’re an Iran based death metal band. Our band consists of Farzam Shadzi Navaz (guitarist), Alireza Serpoosh (vocals), Etienne Gallo (drums) and Soroush Asemani (bass). Farzam and Soroush are from Rasht (Guilan province), located in north of Iran and Alireza Serpoosh is from Shiraz (Fars province), located in south of Iran.
2. How did you guys meet and what made you start thinking about forming a band?
Farzam studied Music in Shiraz and it was there where he met Alireza Serpoosh. Together they searched for other band members and in their search for a drummer, they contacted several artists, of which Etienne Gallo was interested in such a collaboration. Soroush Asemani met Farzam and after a few sessions he was accepter as the bassist.
3. Why did you decided to go with Hypomanic as the name for the band?
Everybody is a manic of some degrees. We’re just a bunch who are trying to express our mania through musical means and we thought, why not represent ourselves as official maniacs. So at some point the name “Hypomanic” became a natural choice.
4. Etienne Gallo is a Canadian and the majority of the band is from Iran. How does this even work out?
As it was mention earlier, he was sought for the purpose and luckily he accepted to work with us. How we work is quite simple: We send demos to him and he works on ideas and sends them back to us. The process repeats until we reach the final state which then is recorded and prepared for publication.
5. What got you into metal, specifically death metal?
Soroush: Amon Amarth – With Oden On Our Side
Farzam: Graveworm – As The Angles Reach The Beauty
Alireza: Carcass – Heartwork
6. Traditional music mixed with death metal really grabbed my attention in Hypomanic. How challenging it was at the beginning to combine two complete opposites?
It may seem challenging but for an Iranian music, such a combination doesn’t seem far-fetched. Because you can imagine other music genres with a little taste of Iranian folklore music, quite easily.
7. How is metal and metal lifestyle affecting you and the world around you?
Well in Iran, most metalheads are considered Satanic heretics. You can imagine how that can affect our lives in an Islamic country. The good thing is that since we’re having a hard time expressing ourselves, it makes us want to keep on playing and reach out to other music lovers to from a much bigger community.
8. How strong is metal scene in Iran and what are your top 3 favorite Iranian metal bands?
The metal scene in Iran is getting bigger and bigger and each day more bands and players emerge from the underground. There are many good bands in Iran: Kahtmayan, Arsames, Azooma, Mordab, Masters Of Persia and many many more.
“The important thing is that they must not force themselves to combining the two.”– Hypomanic
9. What advice would Hypomanic give to bands which have a strong passion for traditional and metal music when it comes to combining them together?
The important thing is that they must not force themselves to combining the two. Such combinations must be done naturally. There are some musicians that are doing this the wrong way and end up in producing something that is not metal nor traditional.
10. What bands are Hypomanic’s biggest influencers?
Death and Testament mainly.
11. Just like metal, food is also my huge passion. What local food would you say represent Rasht the most?
It is impossible to single out one dish as a representative of where we live. Our cuisine consists of over 170 dishes such as Mirza Qasemi (eggplant and egg cooked with a smoky taste), Torshi Tareh (sour herb stew), Baqali Qatog (a stew with beans, garlic, dill and egg), Fesenjan (walnut stew with pomegranate sauce), Seer Qalieh (a stew with chicken, garlic and eggs), and Kalkabab (eggplant, walnut, pomegranate and garlic).
12. Outside metal and traditional, folklore music, hat kind of stuff you also like?
Classical, electronic, rock, flamenco, jazz, folklore and fusion.
13. You just recently released single “Shame Of Pain” from your upcoming album. When it comes to writing music, what themes/topics do you try to cover and who is responsible for lyrics?
The songs in the album are somehow the story of our lives, things that we have experienced or felt. We talk about certain points and then Alireza comes up with lyrics for the songs.
14. Finish this sentence: If I were Persian leopard…
I would hunt the hunters to become the ultimate hunter.
15. Top 3 currently most played songs.
Soroush: Necrophagist – The Stillborn One, Death – Without Judgement, Decapitated – A Poem About An Old Prison Man.
Farzam: Metallica – Motorbreath, Testament – Eyes Of Wrath, Death – Flesh And The Power It Holds.
Alireza: Opeth – Hessian Peel, Nevermore – Sentient 6, Cannibal Corpse – Make Them Suffer.
16. What does 2015 hold for you guys? When can we expect the upcoming album to be released.
It’s great year for us. It’s the start of Hypomanic’s musical journey and so we’ve got several goals to achieve. The album is likely to be released in late 2015.
17. We came to the end. Would you like to add anything, anyone special you’d like to thank?
Special thanks to all those people that have helped us achieve our goals.