1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
Our current release is a 4 CD project titled ‘The Ages’. We spent close to two years writing and recording the project and have just recently released part 1 “The First Age”.
The launch show of The First Age was extremely successful, and we’ll be doing a similar launch show for the other 3 CDs across 2015. We are currently preparing not only for the launch of CD 2 (in late April) but are putting together both national and international tours for later in 2015 - so stay tuned for some big announcements!
2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
We are a band that doesn't like to be pigeon-holed into any one genre. It’s about trying to defy and challenge expectations of the musical labels applied to us. Not that we try to be wanky or arty, we just write the music that we want to and don’t want to settle for a formula and risk becoming stale or stagnant. We are going with the term 'progressive extreme metal' because our music doesn't conform to standard song structure or genre expectations, mixing a little bit of all our influences both as individuals and as a band.
Although most of our music is in your face and heavy, we try to find the right balance of clean atmospheres and sombre moods to bring balance to our sound. ‘The First Age’ (CD 1 of 4) is the lightest of the 4 CD’s as we were trying to reflect a world of balance and harmony that experiences death for the first time. Each release will become heavier and more progressive as we explore and journey through ‘The Ages’. Our 2012 self titled EP (Hybrid Nightmares ’12) has the foundation of some progressive black metal (Ashes of an Astral Winter & Emperor) but also had folky war tunes (Mourn Not the Dead) and some straight up classic metal riffage (Upon the Cursed Wings) and we have continued on this path with ‘The Ages’, albeit we’re probably a bit more mature and refined in our writing now.
3.According to the Metal Archives page the band dislikes the term black metal and prefers to be called progressive/extreme metal, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
When we first started out we listened to and were influenced by a lot of black metal acts. Wanting to be like our heroes we adopted corpse paint and wrote some pretty extreme music because it was all fun to us. We take our music very seriously but also enjoy what we do, and bring a sense of humour and theatrics to our stage show which many ’true kvlt black metal' purists just couldn't handle.
We now understand that black metal is a genre centred in expressing hatred and extreme human emotion often extending to political and religious views of which we just can’t believe in or relate to, especially growing up in a privileged country like Australia where our social and economic situation is completely different. We like black metal, we respect it, but we just don’t want to be confined to it or be constantly heaped in with other black metal bands because of our image.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Our band is centred around the mythos of ‘The Obelisk’ a giant crystal structure that travels through time and space, bringing both creation and destruction, life and death, order and chaos to the planets and galaxies that it visits. Is there more than one Obelisk? or are their thousands? Who created them and what do they do?
Our story of ‘The Ages' explores the rise and fall of a utopian society of greater beings and their first encounter of death, mortality, destruction and the ensuing battle between good and evil that has been influenced by The Obelisk residing on their planet.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hybrid Nightmares'?
Two of our founding members were on holiday in Thailand and came across a brothel called 'Hybrid Nightmares’. The rest is history.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We want to be more than music to our fans. We want each show to be a spectacle and for everyone in attendance to be engaged and included. A lot of bands put all of their effort into writing great music but give no attention to their performance and end up being very boring live. We see ourselves as not just as musicians but entertainers, and put just much effort into the performance of our live show as we do our writing and recording. People don’t just want to listen to music - they want to experience it, so we make sure that we put on a good show. In the past we have incorporated face paint, blood spitting and a dark humour to our live shows and in support of ‘The Ages’ have adopted a glow in the dark UV stage and light show with a different costume and story for each CD.
Some of our most memorable shows have included multiple performances at Melbourne’s Sonic Forge Festival, opening for our heroes ‘Enslaved’ at the Melbourne date of their Oz tour and more recently, the launch gig for our ‘The First Age’ CD, where we unveiled our new CD and stage show to a full venue. Seeing the entire room tearing it up in the pit, singing all of the words to the new songs and cheering us for an encore was one of the highlights of our career (hopefully we continue to get such a great response!)
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
At the moment we have a Launch show planned for every individual CD in 'The Ages’ within our home town of Melbourne, Australia. We are currently booking a national tour for June & July and are planning our an international tour hopefully later in the year.
8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Currently, we’re taking the DIY approach and taking our music direct to fans. We have been approached by several indie labels that weren’t quite the right fit, but are definitely open to working with label and distribution partners that share our musical goals.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of underground metal?
The feedback from the worldwide underground has been great, and we’re actually taken aback by how quickly our music has spread. We’re mailing international orders on an almost daily basis and couldn’t be happier that people the world over can relate to and enjoy our music.
10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other musical projects or bands these days?
We are all dedicated to serving The Obelisk and giving all of our time and effort to Hybrid Nightmares. It has subtle influence over our thoughts and actions but always reminds us of our servitude when we stray too far from the cause.
11.According to the bandcamp page the band has 4 releases planned for 2015, can you tell us a little bit more about them and also what should we expect musically?
Our 4 CD project 'The Ages’ explores the concept of a utopian society of immortals who experience death and mortality for the first time. Across time and through the ages chaos and evil infiltrate what was once a ‘perfect’ society, until civil war divides the world and ultimately death reigns supreme. At the end of this cycle the empty void gives birth to a new age. A new world is born from the ashes of the old and order and purity once again returns to the universe.
This cycle repeats endlessly throughout time, and we are the observers telling their tale. Each CD will explore a different age and the music grows darker and heavier to reflect the thematic content of the story.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Each member brings their own influences and to the band however Emperor, Satyricon, Immortal and Dimmu Borgir have been strong influences since the start, as have grand film scores like Lord of the Rings and anything epic in nature. We find that the more music we can listen to and enjoy (regardless of genre) the better the influences we can bring to our music and the more creative we can be.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
World domination comes to mind as an immediate interest however when we’re not busy living in constant terror of all the indigenous wildlife here that can kill us, we often find ourselves playing video games, hanging out with mates and waging unending psychological warfare on each other.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Once again, we are honoured that so many people are discovering and enjoying our music. The internet has made the world a much smaller place and we will make sure that we visit and play to as many of our fans as we can in countries the world over.
All Hail The Obelisk.