HYDRA is a German band that I found by pure coincidence but knew I had to interview. 2015 Anders Ekdahl
Do you feel that you have come as far as you planned for the band now that you have an album out?
Lisa: Given the fact that „Malachite Skies“ was our debut album I must say that I’m quite satisfied with the reactions and our achievements so far. We received positive reviews and even got in contact with bookers and promoters abroad. Especially people from the UK seem to like our music. We also got a great Label (STF Records) which supports us a lot.
How much thought did you put into the band name? Why the choice naming the band HYDRA?
Lisa: Chris and I have thought a lot about a proper band name. We wanted a one-word-name ’cause we think this is a good way for people to remember us. Our lyrics are about science-fiction, fantasy, mythology, history and many other different things. The word HYDRA can be seen as a methaphor for all that different topics because of its many heads and it also represents our mythology/history/fantasy direction on „Malachite Skies“.
When you are in the studio how hard is it to come up with a sound that you all could agree on?
Chris: To be honest it’s really not that complicated as one might think. Despite the fact, that each and every one of us has different tastes in music it’s the song itself, which counts for HYDRA – and ‘the’ perfect sound for every song is developing already in the songwriting process. It’s not about egos, creative input from everyone in the group is very welcome. On „Malachite Skies“ you can only hear Lisa’s an my songwriting but the new songs will contain ideas from every head of the HYDRA.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Lisa: For me the lyrics are very important. I listen very close to all the lyrics when I hear a new song. We have different lyrical topics on our current CD „Malachite Skies“, they deal as mentioned earlier with science-fiction, fantasy, history but also with other things such as mythology. Our first song „A quarter to reality“ sums up the whole lyrical concept of „Malachite Skies“, ’cause it contains lyrical passages out of every song on „Malachite Skies“.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
Lisa: The cover artwork plays a very important role, because for me it sums up the whole concept, the whole thought you have put in the music. It’s nearly as important as the other parts: the band logo, the lyrics and finally the music itself. The completely artwork concept was done by me. I got in contact with Lenore Ani from Ani Artworks, sent her small sketches and described our ideas. She included the main elements that I described her and also transformed the colour concept to a really awesome outcome. So to sum up, the whole „ghostly horse“ and green colour concept was made by me and designed/developed by Ani Artworks.
Where outside of your country have you had success? What is success to you?
Lisa: I’d say so far we have had some success in the UK. People there seem to like our music a lot and we played two great gigs there. We have already planned two additional visits for 2016, we’re really looking forward to them. For me success is to reach as many people as possible with your music. Success is to receive positive reactions and get to know people who are thankful for the music you are creating. Of course, last but not least to sell CDs or the media showing interest in you is also a clear sign of success.
Is it harder to make it big internationally than making it big in Germany and all the other German speaking countries?
Lisa: So far I can’t really tell if it’s harder or not but I’d say that there are countries in which it is easier to get success with female voice metal music than in Germany. South American countries are crazy about bands with female singers and also as mentioned earlier the UK people like us a lot. I’m not 100% sure but sometimes you get the feeling, that people in Germany prefer the more extreme metal genres (black, death metal or metalcore…). So if you’re a band which is not as famous as Nightwish or Within Temptation, it’s not easy to gain more success, it’s hard work.
Where do you feel you stand in the national metal scene? Do you feel you get the respect you should have?
Lisa: That’s a very hard question. People who enjoy Symphonic or Melodic Metal in general seem to like us a lot. On the other hand it seems, that people who like completely different Metal styles do not really notice us at all. But of course this also depends. We also got some really unexpected but positive reactions from fans of different metal styles. You simply can’t be everyone’s darling. 😉
How much of a live band is HYDRA? What does playing live give you as a band?
Chris: In the beginning HYDRA was planned as a studio band but soon we had the desire to rock also live. Now the band is finally complete and we’re definitely seeing ourselves as a live band. There’s nothing better than to play live! You get reactions from the crowd directly and you can also test out various songs and which song as a live version appeals the most to the audience. I also love the feeling to sweat on stage, rock it all and have fun with the boys and girls! There’s nothing better than to laugh, have fun on stage and see people enjoying your tunes.
What does the future hold for you?
Lisa: Well, I hope a lot. For sure „Malachite Skies“ won’t be our last CD. We’re already working on new stuff and looking forward to a next release. People can be curious about our new songs, ’cause they will definitely differ a lot from our current ones. You never know what the future will bring but I think we will do a lot more liveshows, maybe also play some little festivals and try to increase our fanbase.
Thanks so much for the interview and the interest in HYDRA, dear Anders!