EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Xavier Swafford of 3TEETH takes a bite out of Hexadiode's "Hexon Shift"
Everyone who is anyone knows about the hard-on we have for Hexadiode, the electro-industrial duo from Dayton Ohio. With bleak factories and abandoned factories surrounding them, founding member Jonas Miseh and Tim Krug shocked the industrial scene in 2016 with their debut LP Ibex. I enjoyed it so much that in my original review I gave it an 8.5 out of 10, and went on to buy a signed copy of the Hot Pink Vinyl. Since then Hexadiode has become a synonymous name with the modern industrial movement, and though their blue shirt antics may cause a stir (see interview below), that does not stop them from being a powerhouse to be reckoned with.
Their electro-industrial hardware warfare game is about to take a step up. It is with pride that we present to you the first song off of Hexadiode's upcoming remix EP: a remix of 'Hexon Shift' done by 3TEETH's very own Xavier Swafford, also of the solo project BITES. Without any further delays, we present below to you the remix in full:
But that's not all we are going to give you today. No, we're going to double up this premiere with an interview with Hexadiode themselves. So sit back, listen to the music, and learn more about this electro-industrial powerhouse.
Hey guys and welcome to Brutal Resonance! It was back in August of 2016 that I reviewed your album IBEX and introduced our readers to your electro-industrial onslaught. How have things been with Hexadiode since then? Has popularity risen?
Jonas: Things have been going well! We’ve definitely been getting more positive feedback, and I think exposure has grown steadily, especially with some remixes we’ve been doing for bands like Leæther Strip, Sync Factory, and Halo Effect. Been moving a lot of units world-wide, and making a lot of friends. Networking, I guess you call it?
I'm going to take a tour through the life of Hexadiode starting from even before the band's initiation. First off I'd like to ask what instrument it was that started you on your musical journey. Was it synths or something else?
Jonas: For me it was acoustic guitar and drums. Started playing when I was about seven, but never got any good at guitar so I stuck with drums. Moved onto piano, which led me to synthesizers.
Tim: We had this busted old piano at the house when I was young, like five or six maybe, that I used to try to pick songs out on, but really didn’t start playing music until around twelve or thirteen. i saw some terrible Metallica video where they were playing in a recording studio, and I just thought, "I really hate this song, but I want to do that." So I dug my dad’s old guitar out of the garage and started teaching myself. Also picked up a Yamaha DX21, Roland TR707, and Sequential Circuits Drum Trak at some pawn shops a few years later when I started driving, and became absolutely obsessed with electronics.
While I may be able to guess some musical influences starting back with classic legendary industrial groups, I'd like to know who influences Hexadiode the most. Could you list five or so bands?
Jonas: Old School dub reggae and hip hop, in particular acts like Lee Scratch Perry, Mad Professor, KRS-1, Public Enemy, and even some older stuff like Kool Keith, Afrika Bambaataa, as well as stuff like Cabaret Voltaire, and Kraftwerk. This stuff has been really influential in my beat writing and sequencing.
Tim: Well, bypassing the obvious industrial greats you’ve hinted at, I think I probably draw a lot from mid/late 90's Autechre, and Aphex Twin, Liars, Brainiac, even early Devo sonically. I’ve been really obsessed with Holy Fuck’s 'Congrats' recently too which I definitely feel seeping into some of my ideas.
I know there are two of you in the band and sometimes there's an interesting – or possibly not – story behind how one met the other. So, how is it that you two met up? When did you decide to bring Hexadiode together?
Tim: Jonas and I had kind of known each other from years of playing shows around town with different bands, but in 2012, he asked me to play synthesizer with Dementia Precox for some memorial/reunion shows they were doing. After about a year and half of doing that project, we had been writing new material and it felt kind of weird to keep calling it Dementia Precox. We kind of branched off from there, and started working on a record and playing some shows as Hexadiode.
Was Ibex the first thing you guys put out, or are there demos and other such things floating out there somewhere in the world? And, if so, do you have plans to ever release those songs?
Tim: There were a handful of songs we worked on when we originally formed the band as a trio with Eric Purtle, who played with us in Dementia Precox, but after he left we reworked what we could as a two piece and tossed the rest. There’s a song called 'Destination' from the early days on our Bandcamp still.
Jonas: No plans really to release any of those old recordings, but we definitely have plans to cannibalize parts of them for new songs!
How is it working with one another? Do you guys often butt heads over creative differences or do you guys get along pretty well with one another when recording music in the studio?
Jonas: We never butt heads except over which restaurant to eat at. Usually we just get Indian.
Tim: I think we’re both mature enough to not get upset about things like that anymore. If one of us doesn’t like an idea, we just move on or improve it.
I'm sure most people wonder this so I will be the one to ask it: Where did the name of your band come from? Further along those lines, where did the name for the album come from?
Tim: When we were starting this, we went through lots of really dumb name ideas; it’s so hard to take it seriously. We started focusing on certain words and certain sounds that we liked. I think i was just reading schematics and looking for inspiration and kind of was drawn to “diode” Then we started honing in on “hex” as a building block. I liked that it kind of had dual meanings, the number six, or a kind of spell. I really wanted a name that was abstract enough not to immediately make someone imagine a particular genre, but maybe still sounded kind of dark. In the end I maybe just bullied Jonas into the name. I think he wanted to make it two words or maybe reverse the order, but I just wouldn’t let him.
Jonas: We really had no idea there would be such an influx of industrial bands with “hex” in their name at the time!
Tim: “Ibex" was actually the title of one of the first songs we wrote, but tossed. Again, I think Jonas just likes the letter “x”, ha.
Jonas: I’m a big fan of language and phonetics, and I like the fact the word can have power in it’s sound separate from it’s meaning. With Ibex, it’s really nothing to do with the animal. I just liked the way the word made me feel and the visual it creates outside it’s original context. I also really like one word album names, so we recycled it from an old song.
Did you find it tough writing out Ibex in its entirety? Or did writing the album come out easy enough without too many faults in between?
Jonas: A little bit of both, I guess. There was a lot of revision along the way as we were finding our sound.
Tim: We threw away about half the songs at one point, and 'Breaking it Whole' went through so many rewrites, you probably wouldn’t even recognize the original. Also, we were planning on it being just an EP with seven or eight songs, but when EK Product came to us about doing a record they said we really needed to do a full length so we kind of scrambled to assemble the rest of the album in the last month before submitting it for mastering. I’ll let you guess at which tracks were pushing that deadline
Some bands put themes and messages in their music, some don't. Where do you lie in that issue? Does Ibex have a thematic, universal theme built around it? Does it depend on a song to song basis? Or is it all just for entertainment?
Jonas: I write about the push and pull of power structures in society, government, religion, or even interpersonal relationships. Sometimes I contrast that with scientific themes, quantum physics in particular.
And how proud of Ibex are you guys? Do you see room for improvement or do you consider Ibex a masterpiece?
Jonas: No, never would see it as a masterpiece. There’s always room for improvement, but we’re definitely happy with it.
Tim: I’m happy with how it turned out for sure, but there will always be things about it that I’m not happy with.
Jonas: It’s a stepping stone really, like anything. We just hope our next one is even better.
I've seen positive reception for Ibex everywhere so far. I know I gave it an 8.5 out of 10. How has the reception for the album been elsewhere? Have you seen any negative remarks?
Jonas: I don’t think I’ve heard any real criticisms of it, but people sure hate this blue shirt Tim wore at a fest we played a few years ago. Ha ha.
Tim: Yeah, I don’t recall reading much negative about it. I’m always interested in hearing what bands people think we sound like. Some of them I don’t understand at all, but sometimes it can be an weird way to find new bands to check out, ha.
And what does the future hold in store for Hexadiode? Do you have any tours, live shows, remixes, EPs, or albums in the works? Anything that you can tell us about?
Tim: We have a remix EP coming out on October 13th called Contaminated. It has some great remixes by Xavier Swafford (3TEETH), Wiccid, Blac Kolor, Relic, and Rodney Anonymous (The Dead Milkmen). I’m really excited about it, I love the mixes, and am kind of still amazed that some of these guys even agreed to do them! Oh, we have a couple remixes of our own on it too. We’ve been working on new material for the next album for EK Product, but not much to report there yet, except that I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Jonas: We’d love to do some touring too.
Tim: Yeah, we’d love to get connected with a booking agency, and get properly out on the road soon. I’ve done a fair amount of touring in the past with other bands, but it seems like a very different process now for some reason, and it’s kind of like starting over. Meanwhile, we’re going to try to book some things in midwest, maybe east coast and see how it goes.
Lastly I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you the best of luck! We love the remix and hope more people do as well!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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