Before their explosive set at The Sunflower Lounge, I get to catch up with Lorna Blundell (drummer) of The Hyena Kill. Unfortunately Steven Dobb was wiped out with flu so was resting up before tonight’s show.
So you’re on your eighth show of the tour tonight, how’s it going?
It’s going really well, Steve’s unfortunately sick tonight but it’s going well. We’ve played in front of twenty to thirty people which I think is amazing for a band like us because we’re not big by any stretch. It’s tiring, we’ve been up to Glasgow, Edinburgh then down to Liverpool. I was really tired at the Liverpool Art’s Club, but we’d be drinking before. It was a big venue though, probably a little too big for us. That’s why I like venues like tonight, but we always play like we play to anybody anyway.
Your shows are full on, how do you maintain your stamina?
We just try and really look after one another, which sounds rich because we do and we don’t. I make sure I eat and we drink shit loads of water. I’ve just rejoined the gym and I went twice before this tour. Trouble is, we always get beers on the rider but this tour we’ve asked for juice, it’s the drinking that makes us so tired. But, because we have no money we can’t say no to free stuff. So if someone puts a fridge full of beers in front of us, we’re gonna drink it (laughs). Our set is around forty minutes and I can’t eat to close to a set or I’m sick. Last night we played a really nice venue in South Hampton, The Notes Cafe, and they fed us this amazing chicken curry like an hour before the set and I knew it was a bad idea, but I ate it anyway as I was so hungry. Half way through the set I was like, my god I’m gonna be sick but I managed to hold it until the end, got off stage spoke to a couple of people and then threw up, I was devastated (laughs) it was so nice.
It’s been a full on year hasn’t it, with the release of your debut album Atomised, then a load of festivals and straight into this tour?
It’s really good, but I think that’s why Steve’s ill because he works in between because we have to survive. He’s had like two days off, he’s just worn himself out, it’s relentless. If neither of us are at work, it’s just constant band. Being in a band is just a twenty four hour job, there’s always someone to email, someone to ring up, so you need to know when to switch off.
The new album has been received really well hasn’t it?
Yeah, it really has been. We got in Kerrang and Metal Hammer, I was like yes! Dream complete. It’s great to get any reviews but good ones is great, and really detailed reviews too, where someone’s sat down and really listened to it. I’m really chuffed.
I love the artwork on the album.
Yeah, Ben Tallon is amazing, he’s been with us since the early days. We met four or five years ago in Manchester, and he really wanted to latch his artwork onto a band and for the band to really get involved with it. Me and Dobbs were more than happy to put an image to our band, because we dont know how to do that, we’re musicians not graphic designers. A huge part of the reason why we got the vinyls printed was because of that artwork. When we got the cd’s we we’re like, that artwork deserves to be big. We’ve sold quite a lot of the vinyl on this tour and a lot of that is because of the artwork. It’s nothing to do with the album really, it’s the image of someone taking a selfie and their head exploding. It’s about the self obsessed society we’re living in now, we came up with the idea and Ben just made it look beautiful, I mean really striking. He’s done a lot of graphic design for our new music video ‘Tongue Tied.’
Who’s the creative one when it comes to your videos?
It’s quite a funny set up, because ‘Still Sick’ was a reflection of us at the time. I was a big fan of Jackass and we had no money, Dobbs has most of the ideas, but I just said let’s just do something really fuckin stupid, let’s just dress up as robots and go round Manchester city. So we spent all day drinking vodka with our flat mate filming it. It turned out exactly how I imagined it. With ‘Crosses’ it’s a bit more of a maturer song and although we’re still very much D.I.Y, you just have to step it up and reflect that. It was both of our ideas to have someone in turmoil, we asked Ben our filmmaker for a damsel in distress but we were a bit in the dark really. That girl was filmed in London and our bits in Manchester. We didn’t even know at the end if she was going to commit suicide, I still dont know. But I think he captured ‘Crosses’ really well, it’s quite grimy.
How does the writing process evolve, is it music first followed by the lyrics?
Yes, Dobbs is a nightmare, I love his lyrics they’re really cryptic because he’s a big fan of Deftones. When he was in his first band that was one of the things that drew me to him, his lyrics are so good. But yeah the music comes first, we’ll jam, structure the song and he’ll add vocals. Then from gigging that we’ll do some tweaks if we think things don’t work, some songs get binned completely, others get ripped apart and rebuilt. He literally nailed down the lyrics literally a week or two before it was recorded. But it works for him you know, I know I’m speaking on his behalf, but his lyrics mean a lot to him, his guitar takes priority at first and as long as he’s happy with that riff his melody and vocals come in. I dont know how he does it, sometimes when we’re jamming the riff is so powerful I think it doesn’t need lyrics, they might ruin it, but he always manages to do something that just enhances it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
We’re going to start making plans for the second album. I love this album and it’s self released which has it’s pro’s and cons. I just wanna step it up again, we’ve already written some songs that we think are better than we’ve just released. So we want to get some demos done by the end of the year, get a new single out early next year. We’re planning a big show coming up in Manchester but nothing confirmed yet and looking to get the second album out late next year. There’s no pressure from anybody, our management are quite understanding and we’re very much an organic band, we need room to breathe. I’d much rather have twenty songs and pick ten of the best than just write ten songs and release an album.
I’m lucky enough to then witness this powerful twosome annihilate their set, incredible skill and immense sound I can’t wait to see what these guys have in store for us.