Hyperion is a blackend death band from Stockholm Sweden!
I was lucky to get a chat with their guitarist and songwriter! Erik Molnar
1.) Could you tell us how the band was formed?
Molnar: The band was formed in 2007 when I answered an ad on a website called bandfinder. I then joined up with our former vocalist Erik Thorell and our former bass player August Bengtsson. Later on Anders Peterson joined us on drums. Together we composed the first demo which was more of a rehearsal recording than a real demo. Thereafter we performed them live along with some covers. The material was more or less Melodic Death Metal inspired by old In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, Arch Enemy etc. However this was only the inception of the band and the Hyperion that exists today is vastly different and far more mature in every sense of the word. About a year after our formation, I was left alone to reform the band with various incarnations and line-up changes.
In 2010 our “Blood of the Ancients” demo was released. This CD took a drastically different musical approach but it is still very melodic and focused on creating a combination between brutality and epic harmony as we always have. Much has happened since and between these events, but this is but a brief memoir of our journey as a band.
2.) Considering you guys are from Sweden would you say that the music scene is
better there or worse compared to other countries?
Molnar: Well, I happen to know for a fact that Sweden is the country with the most Metal Bands per capita in the world. Scandinavian Metal, and especially Extreme Metal, is greatly respected internationally. Judging by those facts, my impression is that we have a tremendously healthy Metal scene here in Sweden. That comes with both positive and negative side effects of course. Everyone here plays in a band and everybody wants to be heard. That environment is bound to make way for a lot of really shitty bands, but there are of course worthy acts as well with considerable potential.
The crowds in the big cities here in Sweden are really spoiled of course since there is a lot of competition and basically everyone is playing music themselves, everyone is extremely critical of other each other’s works. Keep in mind also that swedes in general are quite reserved, calm and mellow than I guess in South America for instance where people tend to loosen up a lot more at concerts. The concerts here in Sweden might therefore be a bit stale compared to certain other countries.
3.) Summer is here what are the current plans for the band? Any gigs or festivals planned?
Molnar: The primary focus right now is to get our debut full length album released. It has taken far too long to make and we are finally nearing the end of the process. It is currently being mixed and mastered by a very potent guy named Sverker Widgren at Wings Studios. We have a title for the album and the artwork is completed. Me and Joel (The guitar player) are also working on the booklet design for the album right now. We are also looking for a suitable label to help us with the distribution and we have received one very interesting offer so far.
Live appearances will have to wait until the album has been released. We feel the need to have a real studio full length album ready to promote before performing extensively live again. Remember, we have only released demos before this upcoming album.
4.) Where do you see the band in 20 years?
Molnar: If all my dreams come true, we will have released AT LEAST 3 high quality albums by then and have toured and gigged extensively around the globe. I also dream about a day when the band is recognized as an established act that has produced music that will be remembered for ages to come. Global Distribution worldwide, constant live performances where we are demanded and most importantly of all: We will have evolved our sound to the absolute limit of our potential by then go a little bit further… Sounds like grandiose daydreaming I suppose and the chances of all that happening are not exactly 100 %, but one has to wish and have a clear vision before one can make ones dream a reality. You never know.
However, the music is of course the most important thing of all. I want to have created music by then that really moves people the way I was and still is moved when I listen to my absolute favourite music of all time. All this may, or may not be achieved, but there is no shame in having high ambitions.
5.) What would you say has been the greatest achievement within the band so far?
Molnar: Our greatest achievement so far is yet to come with the release of our debut album no doubt. If you don’t count that our greatest achievement has been our “Blood of the Ancients” demo released a while back now. Apart from that, 2-3 of our live performances have been very special and magical to me, the most notable one being when we opened for Descend in Stockholm in January of 2014. That was a fantastic gig for me.
6.) Favourite alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage?
Molnar: When it comes to alcoholic beverages I would say Captain Morgan Spiced Gold with Coca Cola, which I rarely ever drink, except on special occasions. I have always enjoyed the taste of rum a lot. For non-alcoholic beverage, I would have to go with green tea.
7.) Favourite gig type, clubs or festivals?
Molnar: Ha-ha! We have never performed on a real festival before, so club gigs for sure!
8.) Dream band to tour /play with, or even open for?
Molnar: Oh…. There are so many. A real dream would be to open for Marduk. That is a band I truly admire have the utmost respect for. Of course I would like to play with, or open for any of my favourite bands: Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, Malign, At The Gates…. I could go on forever. I would also like to make a short or extensive tour with some bands that we know personally, like Descend, Midvinterblot or Netherbird. The latter mentioned is of course a bit more realistic at this point.
9.) You guys are pretty young. Do you think you have what it takes to live the hard lifestyle of touring and all?
Molnar: Good question. I have thought about it at times, actually. I can only speak for myself, but I think it could work if we build up our touring schedule gradually. If you sent us on a world tour right now, we would probably fail miserably and not be able to handle the pressure of it all, but if we as I said gradually increased the amount of concerts we do, I think it could work. Anything can be achieved through hard work, perseverance, and gradual improvement.
10 What would you say are the prime influences of Hyperion?
Molnar: Musically I would say Emperor, Dissection, the first couple of In Flames albums, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, Glenn Stafford, At The Gates and Marduk. There are of course lots of other musical influences that inspire us, but these are the main ones, I suppose. Lyrically, we are inspired by everything from Greek mythology, to legends of ancient warlords, to motivational philosophies and our own outlook upon life. Life in general can also inspire us as it does with most artists.
11.) Aside from music what are your hobbies?
Molnar: I am currently studying to become a System Software Developer. Computer programming and related subjects are therefore a big interest for me. Music of course takes up most of my free time, but I am also into health and well-being. I try to eat as healthy as I possibly can, get as much exercise as possible when time permits, get a good night’s sleep every night, avoiding stress in too large doses and so on. Other than that, I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
12.) You are a band from Stockholm is there a big scene local wise?
Molnar: Yes, as I mentioned regarding that topic in a previous question, but on a national scale. Stockholm has a lot of bands of all types of genres and there is lots of opportunities for bands to form, perform and be productive.
13.) Favourite album of 2015 so far?
Molnar: Honestly, I haven’t looked that hard… When I discover new music, its usually old music that has been around for a while that I missed out on when I was younger. However, I am hoping that the new Ghost album will be quite something when it is released. I really liked their 2 other albums. I enjoyed Midvinterblots release “Gryning”, although I have heard most of the songs dozens of times.
14.) How does the writing process work for you guys? Are you the type of band that can write songs together and jam and everything flows perfect or are you the more studio nerd that disappear into the midnight and hides until a song is complete?
Molnar: A little bit of both, actually. The latter alternative you mentioned however sounds more like us, only I would not consider myself a studio nerd. The writing process is quite overwhelming for me at least, since I am extremely critical about my own material. Everybody in this band is. We use software like guitar pro and tab every idea that we have down and eventually, through enough validation and hard work a song is completed musically. We meet up occasionally and work on the music face to face. That form of working can be very healthy too. This work is usually collaborative and we work with online tools like drop box to keep things updated and easy. When a song is finished musically (which usually takes a long time), I try and think for a long time for an interesting subject to write lyrics about. When I find it, I sit either alone, or with Anders and write the lyrics based on the original concept or subject I chose to write about. That’s about it.
15.) You currently have 2 cds out since 2010, Blood of the Ancients Demo 2010
Live på Kylengalan Compilation cd 2010 has there been any talk about doing a reprint of those?
Molnar: I have thought about that, yes. However, as I mentioned earlier, the main focus right now is to get our debut album released. Then we shall promote it through all means available and gig as much we possibly can. Of course it would be fun to print that old stuff again, but right now, I’m more focused on the future. Something like that would be fun to do say in 5-6 years if there is a demand for it. The Blood of the Ancients demo actually had some pictures prepared for it that was supposed to be a primitive form of a booklet, but it never got printed that way unfortunately.
16.) What are your thoughts on the music scene these days do you think it still has the same support as it did back in the days?
Molnar: When it comes to extreme metal there is more support for the bands now than ever. You see a lot of old bands getting lots of recognition and lots of newer ones as well. At the same time, there is so much competition out there, so some good bands get drowned in the sea of white noise. On the downside of it, I don’t see many bands trying to push the music to its limit and experiment as much as they could be doing. That is a real shame to me. In this overpopulated scene the one thing we need right now is real innovation.
17.) What can fans and friends expect from you guys in the future?
Molnar: You can expect a full length album almost assuredly to be released this year. Expect melodic, epic, extreme and a somewhat challenging listening from our debut album. Lyrically, the album is also challenging. Some of the songs challenge the listener in a poetic fashion to analyse his or her perspective of life. You will see and hear Hyperion at a much higher state. After that, we intend on increasing the quantity of our live performances, promoting our album as much as we possibly can and work on new material for the next album. We have already started to write lots of music for the second full length album, but we will take our time to make sure that it is a worthy successor to our debut. If you enjoyed our Blood of the Ancients demo, you should almost by default enjoy our upcoming release.
18.) Any last words to all friends and fans?
Molnar: We would like to thank each and every one that has supported us so far, whether you attended our concerts, bought our t-shirts, helped us through promotional means or helped us out in the recording process of the full length album. You know who you are and our gratitude knows no bounds. I would also like to encourage everyone that is a fan of epic, melodic and extreme metal to take a good and thorough listen to our upcoming album when it is released. You just might enjoy it. Thanks for the interview!
Have a listen a go at Hyperion!