Hi, first off all I just want to congratulate you with your new album ‘Pi’.
Are you satisfied with it?
Jonas: Hi Peter! Thank you very much; we’re glad you like the album! Yes, we are very happy with the result! The recordings had been very intense and concentrated; we worked very focused and are surely pretty proud about the outcome!
Who has produced and mixed your new album?
Jonas: We recorded and produced all the audio tracks by ourselves, with technical guidance from Michael Maier, a sound engineer from our home town who helped us with all the technical questions. Only the vocal tracks and the upright bass part have been recorded in a professional studio, the SmartArts studios in Moosburg. The mixing and mastering was handled there, too.
Where do you see the main difference between ‘No Escape’ and your new album?
Jonas: I think the main difference is the more progressive approach to the song material we had with ‘Pi’. The songs contain less death metal citations and, thanks to our new drummer Nico, a lot more polyrhythmic rhythm work. We had tons of fun writing the songs because they are challenging to play and still completely bang compatible! Almost every live performance features every single song of ‘Pi’!
Which subjects do your lyrics refer to, and who writes them? And what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
Jonas: All our lyrics are written by Benji, our rhythm guitarist and singer. I think he writes great, thought-out lyrical texts, inspired by critical thoughts on society, morbid themes and life in general. My favourite lyric of the album is “Live To Suffer”. -Imagine: What if you hate yourself so passionately that you don’t even consider suicide because that would in some way ease your pain? Hah, great stuff. (laughs)
How long do you need to practice to feel comfortable with your songs before you record them?
Jonas: Most of the new songs took several weeks to write, learn and practice. Benji began writing lyrics parallel to the writing of the musical content, I think, that’s the way most bands follow.
How has your new album been received by the media?
Jonas: We are pretty happy that the new record has been widely accepted again. We received a lot of positive reviews, including yours, thanks a lot! All this support means really a lot to us! Furthermore, we had some objective criticism of the vocal performance of Benji this time. Personally, I really love the throaty vocal work he did, but because we all had the desire to evolve further more; we hired an additional vocalist, André, who will be the main singer for Hokum from now on.
How would you describe your music to any of our readers who may not have heard of you before?
Jonas: Oh, that is a though one! It’s technical thrash metal with progressive metal influences or something like that. Self-generated musical genre labels suck. Imagine Testament having a party together with Dream Theater. Or Atheist covering Metallica classics. Or Pantera and Black Sabbath playing on the same stage at the same time, but performing different songs.
Will you stick to this sound on the next album, too, or will there be changes to the Hokum sound?
Jonas: With the recruitment of André there will be of course a positive evolution towards a more versatile and progressive style! We are already writing new stuff, so better be prepared!
What are the best and worst trends in metal today?
Jonas: Oh, another difficult question! I think the best trend is the shift towards more progressive influences in metal music such as jazz or similar genres. The worst trend? Probably talking too much about trends and forgetting about the music itself! (laughs)
What tasks presently lie ahead for Hokum?
Jonas: Playing live, gigging, touring, doing concerts and all that stuff. We finally found a dedicated booking company, Black Farm Concerts & Booking, right here in our home area. We hope we’ll be able to play gigs all over Germany and, hopefully, some gigs in the other European countries as well! Would be great to play in Denmark, too!
I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with - a tip, a recommendation or a thought for the future?
Jonas: Stay true to yourself, listen to metal and be open minded. And make sure to get a copy of our CD! (laughs) We have free shipping to Denmark, check out the shop at http://www.hokum.de, thank you guys! Thank you Peter for this opportunity and see you soon!