Hagridden and their highlights

intie with Ingo done by Rick, September 2007

Hello Ingo, How are things on the other side of the ocean?
Hi Rick. Different I suppose, but fine. Hope you feel so, too.

All is well here thank you for asking, and thank you for your time and the chance to talk to you a little bit.
No need to thank us, we're always glad to speak to people interested in hagridden, and we like to talk about ourselves, haha.

Please indulge my readers who you are, the band you are in, and your role in the band.
My name is Ingo, 30 years old, living in cologne, germany, and at the moment I’m working on my diploma thesis in media technology. I play guitars at hagridden, do the main songwriting and am responsible for hagridden-productions at the moment. All in all I am the mother for my baby hagridden, you know, taking care that everything runs well and that the little one develops to it's potentials...

Please give us all here at BRUTALISM a brief run down of how and when hagridden got started.
A brief run down is quite hard for the hagridden history, we'll put an excessive one on our homepage one day, but I'll give you the highlights...
We founded what was to become hagridden in 1996, recorded a 5-track EP called 'symmetry in chaos' in 1999, an 8-track demo called 're-inducted' in 2002 and the up-to-date 5-track EP 'brE-[th]i[ng]' in late 2006. On the way we lost two band names, two drummers, two bassists and one and half singer, for the second one re-entering hagridden after a couple of months.

Getting into the history of the band, you and I talked very briefly over email, and you have conveyed that you are the sole original member of hagridden since its inception. Without getting to personal, would you say that the lack of longevity with members was personal or musical differences?
We never broke with someone for personal problems. From time to time we still meet each other and that hasn't ever been a problem. Sympathy is quiet important in a bands line-up I think and is one of the reasons why it sometimes took so much time to find compensation for a leaving member. Playing music is a creative process and I'm a bit inhibited when I'm with people I don't like... No good precondition for a artistic activity!
Some of the guys leaving just didn't have the time or didn't want to take time enough anymore for hagridden, the first singer left because of chronical laryngitis, some didn't agree with the musical direction the band was heading. I think that's a normal process in an evolving band, and hagridden exists a quiet long time now, so what.

Now onto your release. hagridden has a 5 song EP out entitled Breathing, actually spelled brE-[th]i[ng]. Is there something special about the way the title appears on the cover?
Ehm, to be honest, it's just because we thought it might look a bit more catchy, it's some kind of phonetic spelling, that's all.

From the music side, I reviewed Breathing (to all reading this you can find it here on BRUTALISM.com on the review section). This is an awesome body of work in my opinion. As far as sound and the way the songs came out, did it just happen that way or was it a sound and style that you intentionally sought to achieve?
Songwriting is a thing I don't like to push into any direction. It depends on who's involved into the process and as far as I'm concerned what's rotating in my CD player at the time, so that wasn't us sitting around and discussing what kind of songs we should write. It just happens, and when it has happened I listen to the songs and see if they are still cool for me. Sometimes they're not and get torn apart and laid in my desktop drawer for parts of them being recycled in a later song.
Sound on the other hand is something utterly different. This time it was the first time that we did some proper pre-productions of the songs, which gave us the chance to develop some idea of how it could be done better. The most eye-catching effect was us down-tuning from D to B, other effects are more inconspicious but in connection to each other... Well, you heard the result. It was the first time, too, that I did the whole production on my own, which gave us the big advantage of not having to pay somebody for his time and thus being able to take as much time as we liked, in my opinion the biggest advantage for a proper production. During recording or mixing sessions up till then we always reached the point where we had to finish although I wasn't 100% satisfied with the product. This time we took a lot more time for the recordings and even more time for mixing it all. Actually this is the first hagridden recording where even a year after the release I'm not pissed off of some many details, this time it's just a few and I hope to expunge them by the next session. I'm a perfectionist and expect 110% out of everybody, including myself.

To me lyrics are a very important part of a song, and the most neglected by the listener on a lot of occasions. For those of us who don't read lyrics, for what ever reason, give me some of the topics covered in the songs and what inspired you guys to write them.
Most of the lyrics are written by Jens and to give you an accurate, definite and most possible intellectual answer, I referred that question to him. This is what he said:
'When I started writing lyrics I asked myself the question of what to say in those, and after several sleepless nights I finally decided one thing: not to write about pirates... even if the popularity of pirates has increased during the last years. Because of this, topics you can write about when you don't want to write about pirates are writing about shit making you sick or angry or shit making you feel mad... and sometimes - and not that rare as you may think - even about shit making you feel good. '
I feel that you will be highly satisfied with that answer and there is nothing to add...

Looking at your myspace page, it appears you guys are not signed to a label at this time. Have you guys found a home yet with a label? Was Breathing released by hagridden independently or a label?
No, we're not signed yet. 'brE-[th]i[ng]' is meant to be our hide-you-bastards-hagridden-is-back-sign with which we're running around at the moment to attract attention, for hagridden had a longer break caused by line-up changes. We're doing promos, getting reviews, making interviews, do gigs and try to push the name hagridden as far as possible and will perhaps look for a label for further releases. The full EP 'brE-[th]i[ng]' is therefore available as free download on our homepage as well as on various music plattforms such as myspace or mp3.com. All in all I like the idea of spreading our stuff for free over the net, if there weren't two problems, getting press and money. We don't want to get rich with what we do - although we wouldn't resist – but as you know making music is an expensive hobby, so we can't afford to earn nothing. On the other hand this is an experiment for us. If the promotional effect is big enough to bring us enough well paid gigs, we can maybe think of using this way for further releases, too. Would be a profite for both sides, fans and us. Unfortunately many zines are very contained in reviewing or promoting online-only releases. We're working on that and are glad that Brutalism.com is so open minded towards that idea!

Alright now to love/hate part of what we as musicians do. Touring. Are there anyshows booked for hagridden at this time? And if so where can we look them up at?
Few at the moment, but in progress. We have some gigs pipelined but not confirmed yet. But we are working on that, too, checking festivals for next year and are always open to booking. Dates can be found on www.hagridden.de first and are then send to all the music plattforms, zines and stuff in the net. We won't reach everybody, so our page is the fastest and most up-to-date place to have an eye on.

Thus far, what is the favorite show hagridden has performed and why?
That's a hard one. We like being on stage, no matter where and what. We always do our best, rock the stage and the masses, be the masses 3000 or 3 people, makes no difference. You may feel different before and after the show, but on stage it's always full force. The best gigs for me are the ones, I'm satisfied with what we did, I think I mentioned that I'm a perfectionist, so that's hard enough. That gigs on the other hand need not to be the special ones, extraordinary big or with a famous band.

I get alot of stuff to review, and alot of it comes from Germany. How do you feel about the German music scene?
The german music scene is quite big I think. There's a bloody lot of bands creeping in the underground and if you keep your eyes open, it's not very hard to find a good one, too. The more modern styles are perhaps a bit under-represented, but I don't know if that's a general phenomenon or unique for our surroundings. Perhaps there's a bit young blood missing in the scene, but all in all one can be quite satisfied what's going on here right now.

Describe in your own words, what hagridden sounds like to those who have not had the chance to listen yet.
I thought, that was your job, hehe. First of all: rockin'! hagridden has got groove, that's important for us, has to make you feel bouncy and jumpy. Second is brutality, of course, I mean it's metal, isn't it? It's raging and mad. hagridden is not based upon speed - although you will even find some blast beat parts on the the next record - but on rhythm. It's on the edge, using some unusual metrics sometimes making it feel different, but integrating them inconspicious enough to not disturb the flow. To be honest, most people not into playing music don't even recognize that shit, they just feel it's somehow different. Perhaps that's the best description, it's somehow different and it definitely rocks the hell out of you!

Here is always a difficult, but, a most often important question in my life: so I ask it, where do you see yourselves 5 years from now? When I joined a band and was asked that question, the immediate response was: Drunk, broke, hungry, and in the back of a van with no a/c or heat, no comfortable sleeping arrangements, havent showered in days, and anxious to play my next show! With all that detail, who doesnt want to join a band and tour right? (haha)
don't really think about that for much time, so this question isn't a hard one for me. I try to break that habit, thinking about the future and everybody else's opinion about me for to much 'cause it will just cost lot's of time and nerves I can use for much better purposes. We do what is possible at the moment, take the chances given and work for more. We'll see how everything develops and what we feel about that then. Isn't no use in rackin' ones brain about that stuff, is it? It's just doing what you feel is right at the moment, an attitude that got lost for me the last years and which I'm re-encoutering at the moment.

With everything in place, EP out, I would think you guys are getting some radio attention, I know you've had some on the internet, does it feel like the ball is rolling in the right direction for you guys?
I hope so, really, but it's a slow process and lots of work. Up to now no one's crashed my door to grab hagridden copies from and throw dollars at me, haha. We're just starting with the promotion, for we wanted to be complete in line-up when offered anything and the last line-up change was just 3 month ago. The first reactions sounded quite promissing, we're waiting for what’s to become true of all the offers and what's to stay cheerful talking. We'll do our best and work really hard, and I think hagridden is worth all that. The direction is the right one, we now try to accelerate.

Going back to touring for a minute. Conquering amercia! I feel that hagridden would do very well in the American Rock/Metal market. Any current plans to cross the Atlantic and slaughter America?
Offered a tour, we would be the last to say no, but at the moment we're doing the booking on our own and that would be a bit too big for us, I think. Not on the musical side, but on terms of organisation. We would love to do that at any time, but actual planning – no.

As far as inspiration, who inspired you guys to pick up your instruments, master your craft and form a band?
Very different. I starting playing guitar when I was eight years old and have to admit that I wasn't deep into metal at that age, haha. Originally I wanted to learn drums, but for my mother bothering about money, noise and space for that instrument, I had to learn guitar. I catched up with that when I was 14 but never started drums in a band, that's something I will do one day, when I'm too old for playing guitars... Hm, for the question of inspiration, when I founded my first band, I was into punk rock and it was a punk rock band, so there wasn't much of mastering a craft, we were mainly into having fun and drinking lots of beer. But I certainly have some bands in mind, which for me really did milestones in the development of metal. First of all, certainly, Pantera, one of the first metal bands I got in touch with and definitely one of the most extraordinary. Second, certainly, Meshuggah, one of the very few bands capable of inventing a totally new style in times everybody's saying that all that could be done has been done, and that metal therefore will die. There are a lot more, but for me this two are outstanding examples. Can't say as much as this for the other three guys, but Jens, the vocalist, also plays guitar and is into hardcore, lovin Pro-Pain, Biohazard and Sick Of It All, started with Pantera, too. Stefan, drums, also plays guitar and a bit keyboards and is a big fan of Dream Theater and Subway To Sally and finally Jones, bass, also able to play guitar and drums likes i.e. Nail and Slipknot.

Are there any bands that you feel deserve to be heard, that are not receiving the recognition that they deserve?
Yes, hagridden, definitely! But that will be changed with the publication of this interview and your gorgeous review, haha.

You guys have any additional songs for a full length? If so when do you think we will have the opportunity to hear them?
No, we stopped writing songs after recording 'brE-[th]i[ng]', that's enough to become rich and famous, don't you think? Just kidding, certainly we kept on writing stuff all the time and are planing a full length release probably in 2008. We did some very early recordings as first checks and the new stuff sounds very promising to me! Well, couldn't be other than that, could it, it was me writing that stuff, hehe. I hope, we can start the definite recordings in early 2008, so perhaps in about a year you can expect the next release.

Well thats about it for me, so in Twans Immortal Words....LAST RITES???
Stay true, stay hard and keep your eyes open and your head thinking!

Thanks again for speaking with me, for all reading this, check out hagridden at www.myspace.com/hagridden, or for all things hagridden go to there official web site at www.hagridden.de
New EP is out entitled Breathing, contact hagridden so you can get your hands on a copy. You wont be disappointed!!!!!! Thanks again Ingo, Best wishes and hopes to see you face to face soon. Good luck, Good life and keep in touch.

Cheers to all from Texas and all here at BRUTALISM.com
Interviewer: Rick
Sep 13, 2007

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