Headline Act: The Hyena Kill

Long-time favourites of ours, The Hyena Kill are back with a new album in a couple of weeks and four more limbs so it was only fair that we re-acquaint ourselves and get to know the newbies!

Simple things first – where are you from?

Manchester.

How long have you been playing?

Lorna Blundell (drums): Myself and Dobbs had been a two piece for years. We formed in 2012 and after releasing a few EPs, singles and an album, we feel we took the two piece soundscape as far as we wanted it to go. It was time to recruit some musical friends to help mature the sound of the band. We wrote and recorded this album as a four piece over the course of 2019 and the ideas just flowed with two more people in the mix. It was a really welcome change dynamically after it being just the two of us for so long.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Steven Dobb (vocals/guitar): It’s a shite story to be fair. I’ve always loved the band name Bikini Kill so I robbed that. I knew I wanted “Something Kill” then one day I was listening to Rancid and their absolute banger “Hyena” came on and I fucking love that song. Put the two together and here we still are years later with the same ridiculous band name

Lorna: I still don’t even know how I feel about the band name. We just wanted something nobody else would call themselves. Took us a while to knock the brutal wildlife videos off the top of a Google search. Though I did recently discover that Hyenas are one of only a few matriarchal species… so that’s lovely news.

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What are your influences?

We have a broad range of influences across the band moving from the poppiest of pop bangers to brutal death metal. If in doubt lob on an 80s or 90s pop playlist. Can’t go wrong.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Dobbs: When we were a two piece, we always floating between punk rock and metal but would always write more ambient tracks. Some made it onto our records. Adding new members allowed us to really explore that ambient side and gave us room to move in that direction while still allowing for things to be massive when we needed.

The thing that makes us unique is us. It’s four completely different personalities each bringing something different to the table with passion and integrity. Whether or not it sounds like other bands is for someone else to decide. Take out one element from this record and you would have something completely different.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Dobbs: If it’s dark and dank and keeps you awake at night I’ll probably write about it.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Dobbs: We’ve been together for the best part of a decade and we’ve done a shit load of shows. The live show has always been loud and in your face. We’ve yet to play as a four piece, cannot wait to play the new album and rework some old classics.

Lorna: I love playing live. It’s where the magic happens for me. I used to exert myself so much I’d sometimes throw up at the end of a show. At Download Festival I was dry heaving in a portaloo as soon as we got off stage. That’s when I know I’ve given it my all and that’s all I can ask of myself.

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What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Lorna: I did a really feeble stage dive once. Basically crawled out into the crowd.

Dobbs: At Download, I smashed myself in the face with my guitar and gave myself a black eye.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Sam Jones (guitar/synth): For most of the new record, I’m playing a Fender Telecaster ‘52 reissue – through a lot of effects pedals, so it doesn’t sound very much like a Telecaster at all. Orange amps. A shit ton of weird noisy synth patches with some MaxMSP patches thrown in for good measure.

Dobbs: I play a Marshall JTM 45 which is the best amp on the planet and a beat up Epiphone that I adore.

Lorna: Natal drum kit with maple shells, Paiste cymbals and Vater drumsticks. I’m also dabbling with my Roland SPD-SX more with the direction the band is going.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Sam: Our new record, A Disconnect, is releasing on March 5th (APF Records). It’s the first thing we’ve created as a four-piece – a total melting pot of everything this band has done to-date – and much, much more. We’re incredibly excited for people to wrap their ears around it, and eventually share the experience of hearing these songs live with us in the hopefully not-too-distant future! We’ve released two singles from the record so far – “Cauterised” and “Bleached” – which you can listen to now in all the good places. There’s a lot more to come in a couple of months.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Sam: It depends on how things progress through 2021 – obviously, we’d love to get out and play these songs live as soon as it’s safe. We’re looking at some other ways of connecting people with the music that we’ll look to announce in the coming months.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Dobbs: Pantera with Stockport’s finest Under opening up.

Lorna: Spice Girls headlining, Taylor Swift as the opener.

From previous Band of the Day Empire Warning: If a Norse God had to take over from one band member what god will it be, what position would they be filling?

Dobbs: Replace me with Loki and he can shape shift into someone more attractive. Bring the some pop star sex symbol vibes

From another BotD, The Crawling: Being in a band can be as much of curse as a source of enjoyment and satisfaction. What keeps you going when things get tough?

Dobbs: Booze, weed, caffeine, Peep Show, masturbation and repeat until everything gets better which of course it won’t.

Lorna: Herbal tea and Broad City.

And from King Bison (UK): If you could join any band on stage for one song, who would it be and what track would you play

Dobbs: Warpaint – “Undertow”.

Sam: The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Farewell Mona Lisa”.

Lorna: Oh, fuck, since Dobbs has already said Warpaint, I’ll go with Silversun Pickups – “Lazy Eye”.

Check out this month’s Headline Act Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

The Hyena Kill: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | spotify | bandcamp | youtube

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