Hi! Tell me about HEX A.D.. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
The name of the band was originally just Hex, but there are several other bands called that, so I considered Cardinal’s Hex for a while before I landed on Hex A.D. Anno Domini meaning the year of our Lord – after Christ. The Hex bit points to how we seem to be in a rut these days.
To me, a hard rock band should have a name that fits the music, and history and religious mysticism seems to fit my natural way of writing perfectly.
Netherworld Triumphant album released on November 9th. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you are putting album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
It is with great pride that we release this album now. It has been two years since “The last Nail in the Coffin Lid”, and over a year since our last single “The Cranium Seal”, and the writing and playing has evolved a lot during that time. Well, I guess there are always things one feels could have been “better”, but if a musician wants to fix everything all the time, a record will never see the light of day. I’m quite relaxed and work fast once I start a studio session. Once I’ve put town a take that I feel has the right balance of soul and finesse, I move on. Tsangarides used to call me “The hole in One Wonder”, but even though that’s quite funny, my songs aren’t exactly rocket science. A violinist that plays a perfect piece many times in a row is a much bigger musical achievement to me.
Tell me more about Netherworld Triumphant? Album ideas etc…
It came together very smoothly. I made the demos in a small home studio a friend of mine has in his garage, and planned out the arrangements over the spring of 2017. We spent most of the summer recording the basic tracks properly in a studio in my hometown. It became clear quite quickly that this record would be more layered and earthy than the two previous releases.
I wanted this record to be diverse and cover many forms of classic rock… obviously still keeping the Hex A.D. trademark doomy riffs and melodies, but adding a bit more of the majestic feeling on early Rainbow and mid-era Sabbath records.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
Musical inspirations are everything from traditional middle-eastern music, classic rock, big band jazz and classical orchestral music. I love all kinds of music, and the older I get, the more interested I seem to become in exploring music I haven’t heard before. More often than not, I seem to go backwards in time. Contemporary pop-music does very little for me.
I watch a lot of movies and documentaries, and I always seem to find lots of inspiration there.
Books give me a lot of inspiration too. Especially books on religions, history and mysticism!
In your opinion, what is the best way to define HEX A.D.’s sound?
I would call it riff based Classic Heavy Rock with hints of doom and prog.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
My brain works non-stop, so I wrote the next record while I was recording “Netherworld Triumphant”. I need to finish a few lyric ideas and arrangements, but I’m basically ready to record. I have ideas stretching as far as three more records, titles, artwork, song ideas, concepts… No Rest for the Wicked… hehe
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
From listening to my music I guess it’s fairly easy to pinpoint my biggest influences. But my music is written very naturally and I never force anything out for the sake of it “being a certain way”. My riffs are clearly of the Iommi-school, but that riff-style comes very natural. Blackmore and Gilmour have also put their mark on my playing, and I must say that lyrically I am hugely inspired by the way Waters combines a linear story line with a parallel underlying psychological theme or concept.
Our heavy use of mellotron is clearly inspired by King Crimson and Genesis. I just love that creepy sound.
Is there some well-known musician (except of Rowan Robertson) in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
Well, Iommi played lead on “Utopian Blaster” by Cathedral in 1995, – which made it sound completely Sabbath by the way… of course it would be amazing to have him come in and play on a track, or a whole album for that matter! Haha! …
I’m a huge fan of Dave Kilminster, and if a song would allow it, an epic lead by him would make me very excited.
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
We’re working with a great agency now that works very hard in that regard.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
Reading, history and animals. I’m a huge dog-lover and supporter of wildlife!
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Absolutely! Our parents have been there for us all the way. Driving to gigs, buying equipment etc. Magnus’ dad has been in the business for years anyway. We feel 100% support!
Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days for you?
Record stores are few and far between, but there are a few left, and we always support them by buying the cool new releases from the bands we like. I personally buy a lot of records directly from labels and artists.
There are quite a few venues and festivals here, which I’m very happy about.
Most of these have great PA systems and a steady stream of bands playing! I would say that the Norwegian rock scene is healthy even though most of it moves underground.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!