HYDROGYN should be a familiar name to those of you into hardrock with an attitude. With a new album out there was no better time than now to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Hydrogyn has been going for some time now and you have a couple of releases to your name. Do you feel that you’ve gotten everything out of the band’s potential so far?
Julie: Yes and No. We have in all 8 releases. “Best Served with Volume”, “Bombshell”, “Strip’em blind Live”, “Deadly Passions”, “Judgement”, “Phase 1”, “Deadly Passions Remastered and Remixed” and “Private Sessions”. We are not your typical band. We are not interested in the big label machine and like doing it ourselves. Now if the right offer came along we would think about it and entertain it for sure but we love what we are doing and proud to say that we make a living doing it so it is great for us.
What is that you feel is lacking for you guys to really break into the big league?
Julie: Funding is low sometimes but the big problem is if you are not part of a big machine you can be ignored and that has happened to us at times but we keep grinding and have no intentions of quitting any time soon. I can think of a lot of bands that had similar situations as us like Judas Priest in the early days and others but their persistence got them what they wanted so we keep moving.
Will we ever see bands as big as Guns’N’Roses or the whole 80s hairspray scene? Has the map for bands been totally re-drawn?
Jeff: I think it is always possible but the map has been re-drawn as you put it to a degree. I never thought GnR deserved to be as big as they were or are but who am I, right. I think the days of KISS, Crue, Aerosmith, Def Lappard, Sabbath, Maiden all ruling at one time will not ever happen again but there is room for a couple real big acts and then a lot of mid level bands who could make a great living as long as they keep control of their products and careers.
How much has the digital download scene changed the way people consume and listen to music these days?
Jeff: I think it obviously changed the landscape of how music was sold but I don’t know if I am in 100% agreement with the pirating thing. I know as a kid me and a friend of mine would always plan out how to buy new releases. We would split them up and then I would go home and record the ones I bought onto a cassette tape and give them to him and he did the same for me so pirating was going on then as well. True Album or CD sales are down but there is also a lot more bands with product out there now then there was in the 70’d and 80’s and that too has to have an effect of sales because it is split in more ways. I do thing though that it can be governed better to help control pirating but for this band it is a strong thing for us and our pockets,
Would you consider yourself an album band or are you more about writing songs that are potential hits?
Julie: Both. We have a lot of great songs that could be hits on the radio …just go listen to it but we also take pride in making sure every song on every release gets the same amount of attention and it is thought out and not just a filler. We take great care in these releases and we also try to make every one different from the others so the fans have fresh things to listen too.
You guys seem to have a strict discipline in releasing album on a pretty constant schedule. How important is it that it doesn’t take too long between albums?
Julie: We don’t have a schedule per say. We go into the studio when the mood hits us and we are ready to create it just so happens to be real often. Jeff Westlake writes non stop so there is always material around to work on and we love to write any way so I see no changes in our schedule any time soon so look for it to continue that way.
How quickly does people forget you if you aren’t in their face constantly?
Jeff: I don’t know. IF you are good they tend not to forget anytime soon. We have a loyal fan base and they buy our music and merch often so we are fortunate in that way. But if you did not put out stuff and do some touring at all you would be out of sight out of mind for sure.
Your latest album has been out for some time now. Have you noticed that there is an increase in interest for the band or is on the same level as before?
Julie: The new CD came out May 4th and it seems to be a new interest in the band as sales have been better than normal. That was already good but doing really good this time out and we again are fortunate to have the fans out there spreading the HYDROGYN word.
Do you notice that being American brings with it a head start? That you are more interesting for non-Americans to check you out?
Jeff: I don’t know about that. Sometimes being American is not a good thing and that is for sure. IT is a shame that some of us have made it hard on the rest of us by being assholes but it is what it is and we go out of our way when on tour in Europe and other countries to show that we are not like all Americans. I love Europe and the Europeans as a whole as does the rest of the band. I can tell ya that being American in America is not even an advantage ahahahahahaha.
What plans do you have for the future? How do you avoid standing still?
Julie: We are going to look at doing a lot of touring and head back to Europe early 2013. We have a DVD in the works and already been doing rough tracks for the next recording so we are moving and will continue to do that period.