HITMAN

HITMAN from Halifax is a band that should be checked out. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-We are extremely excited to have our newest recordings finished. Looking back, it feels like a long road to get this EP to where it is now. It actually started off as a full length but due to time restrictions we ended up cutting it into part 1 and part 2. So there will be a second half coming early next year.
We love these songs and are proud of what we have accomplished but are even more excited for the future. We have definitely grown as a band even since starting this EP over a year ago.

I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-Hitman was originally the title of one of our old songs that we no longer play. We had a show coming up and didn’t have a band name yet so we ended up using it as more of a placeholder just for that show… but as the years went on, all of a sudden we had shirts, CDs and flags. So I guess it stuck, haha.

What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s amazing. It’s the greatest feeling to see someone you don’t know wearing your shirt or someone driving by blasting one of your songs. It’s nice to see the band growing every day and gaining new fans.

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-We aren’t a very image driven band. We all wear what is comfortable. I (Sylvain) have played with a few bands who force you to wear the pants, and cut off sleeves and I couldn’t stand it. I much prefer to wear what is comfortable, as do the rest of the guys. We just try to let the music speak for itself. I’ve never really gotten into bands that are overly gimmicky.

I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-LP art is definitely very important. It’s the initial thing a potential new fan is going to notice if they are browsing in a record store (those are still a thing right?). When we get our artwork designed, I always try to think of how it would look blown up, or on a shirt. There are always multiple uses for one image. And if you’re lucky someone might get it tattooed on them, who knows! Haha

We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I think social media is playing an awesome role in band development. People all over the world can stumble upon your music just by accident now. That would have been pretty much unheard of in the last generation. But with anything so new, there are definitely some downsides, but a lot if it is just learning how to play the same game differently.

When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Absolutely, I think for all of us in the band, the music we play and the music we listen to and love, has shaped our lives to a sizable extent. For the four of us, music is pretty front and center even when we’re not on stage. Most of the closest people in our lives at this point, we’ve met through music in one way or another. But it’s not only our close circle; all it takes is to go on the road and you quickly see that there is some shared sense of community in the metal scene where ever you go. People we’ve never met before readily show us hospitality and are quick friends. I think because metal and heavier music isn’t so mainstream, that there’s this sense of community and belonging that exists, that may not be there for a lot of other types of music; like you’re in on this cool secret that not everyone is privy to or understands. It’s something that is our own and belongs to us…something that’s not just generically marketed to the masses.

When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-There will always be ups and downs. We’ve played packed shows and we’ve played shows where the crowd was a little lacking, haha. One thing I know for sure is that the people that love this kind of music LOVE this kind of music. The passion is definitely not lacking. As an independent touring band somewhat isolated on the East Coast of Canada where there aren’t any huge populations, they key is getting your product… your music… out there before you hit the road. It can be tough getting people to your shows the first time you hit a new city if no one has heard you or heard of you before. Touring and touring and touring some more is one way to get your music and name out there. Wrangling that beast known as social media, like we were talking about before, is another way. As far as the scene on a larger scale, there are metal bands packing stadiums and outdoor festivals around the world so I don’t feel like the scene is on life-support or anything. What’s important is getting these younger and newer bands playing these stadiums and festivals with some of the old guard metal bands that still command an audience. People need to be exposed to these up and coming bands. I’ve heard criticism that it’s a lot of the “older” bands in the scene that are still the main draws, but I can attest first hand that there are many, MANY jaw-dropping, amazing, talented metal bands doing the independent circuit, playing smaller shows, that are more than qualified to carry the torch.

How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We are usually on the road quite a bit. This year has been a little slower with our focus on getting this EP finished. Over the last few years we have covered a ton of Canada and ventured over to the States once to play Warped Tour.
This year we’ve just been doing some festivals in Atlantic Canada, laying low to get the album done and planning for a tour in Europe for next summer.

What will the future bring?
-Tons of new fans, tons of tasty beers, lots of sleeping in vans and huge shows if we have a bit of luck.

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