Hibagon Interview: “We constantly jump from one riff to another”


New album POLYPOSMIC is out now.

Italian math/metallers Hibagon are an odd beast. In fact, they’re kind of like Goldilocks porridge. They’re not too mathy, not too rocky, not too metally, they’re just right. Terrible, terrible simile. Anyway, their angular cacophony is something truly to behold. Songs twist and turn in the most unexpected and breakneck ways. Their latest album, POLYPOSMIC, is a more concise and condensed version of what they’ve done previously. It’s all the more powerful because of that.

We were lucky enough to catch the band ahead of their Irish tour to talk about their bizarre song titles, whether they will ever have vocals on a song, and what their favourite Irish bands are.

They play Dublin on the 18th, Galway on the 20th, and Cork on the 21st.

Grab POLYPOSMIC on Bandcamp.

Overblown: Your song titles are rather odd. Such things as ‘Colugozer’, ‘HullalooP’, and ‘Groovulture’. Where do they come from?

Hibagon: Yeah, odd! it’s the right word! We decided to abandon the long and sci-fi/b-movies inspired titles to focus on compact and easy words. They’re sort of composite-words made of various references to give each song a cryptic image.

Overblown: Your style is quite mathy but also quite concise, focused, and heavy. Is this something you work on achieving? Cutting the fat from songs?

Hibagon: Yeah absolutely. On this record we’ve worked particularly hard to keep the tracks short and to make each song run naturally, even we constantly jump from one riff to another. You know, we get bored quite easily when playing: we can’t jam on a single riff for 15 minutes – not that we don’t enjoy a good heavy psych band – it’s just that we are simply not able to make it interesting enough for our ears.

Overblown: You’ve got an Irish tour right now! Have you been to Ireland before on tour?

Hibagon: Yes, two years ago and it was awesome! It was during our first European tour, we were there for three shows. When we started to plan the tour this year we really wanted to come back, so we’ve worked with some promoters we already know and a couple of new ones to make it happen again. We can’t wait!

Overblown: Your music is instrumental but have you considered putting vocals on anything? Is it something you would perhaps consider in the future?

Hibagon: It’s something that we talk about from time to time. We might do some collaborations in the future, but we can assure you that none of us will take the mic to sing about a broken heart or else. Maybe we could sing about pizza.

Overblown: I really love your song ‘HullalooP’. Can you tell me what inspired that song or how it was written?

Hibagon: This is one of our strangest experiments ever. It just come out with a basic loop during the first rehearsals after our last album, then we decided to add a funky groove, a syncopated riff, and see how would it work messing it up with time signatures and sounds. It turned out as a quite relaxing 15/16. Now that we think about it it’s a measure that we used a lot in this record… are we becoming boring? It’s time to go for latin jazz..

Overblown: What does polyposmic mean?

Hibagon: Nothing and everything. POLYPOSMIC has a lot of different references, all related to our music and to the general concept behind the record. When it came out we loved the sound of the word itself: it’s rhythmic, it has a sci-fi connection and an animal feeling, or maybe it’s just that the two of us fantasize too much over simple things, who knows?

Overblown: What is the current metal/rock scene like in Italy. Is there interest in music like yours?

Hibagon: Hard question. We won’t call it a “scene”, but there’s a lot of good music and bands for sure. I could name a few but I fear to leave out too many of them, anyway I can say that in the last couple of years there has been a real comeback of hardcore/postcore bands. Lately there are also a lot of two-piece bands playing around.

There’s definitely interest in a “different” kind of music, but there are problems that have to be solved. Let’s just say the most important one: when it comes to music, most of the people are used to have it for free. Shows, mp3, streaming, everything! Moreover, music – at least popular music – is still considered a “minor art”, and people don’t recognize its real value, but I think nowadays this is a problem in Italy as anywhere in the world.

Overblown: Are there any Irish bands that you are into at the moment?

Hibagon: Yeah, The Cranberries! Hahahah no, just kidding… I have to admit that I don’t know a lot of Irish bands, but I really like a few ones: And So I Watch you from Afar, God is an Astronaut, The Redneck Manifesto are the ones that pop in my mind. I have to make a special mention for Ilenkus: we discovered them during our last tour and I started to follow them. Their last EP is terrific.

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