INTERVIEW: Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory make their return to Crucast for another wavy track, this time focussing more heavily on the rawcus side of UK bass music. ‘Burn’, a heavy-hitting bass slap, driven by its grizzly lead synth textures and bubbly drum designs, topped off with some amazing vocals from Nehanda. This really is Hybrid Theory at their buzzing best.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hybrid Theory – Hello!  We’re good thanks, the lockdown has been a challenging time.  Luckily for us we’ve got home studios and we literally just worked on music everyday.  Definitely kept us sane in this dark time.

Nehanda – Hello! I’d love to say “yeah I’ve been great” but this lockdown has been a rollercoaster! The solitude has been tough creatively. It’s shown us the best and the worst of society and certainly made me realise what an important role music has to play on this journey.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Burn”?

Hybrid Theory – Burn was the first track we worked on with Nehanda.  We’re really happy with the final result, the feedback we’ve had from it has been amazing and it’s great to be working with Crucast again.  There’s a powerful message behind the lyrics. 

Nehanda – It’s a big, big tune, powerful vocals and a heavy baseline. I’m so proud of it, people of all ages and backgrounds can vibe to it, I know cause my mum who’s 65 has had it on repeat!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Nehanda – We started from scratch, I met Hybrid Theory at their studio and we bounced a few ideas around. I heard the bassline they were playing and wanted to write something big, something uplifting and powerful. I’d just come out of a toxic situation which had been going on for a while. I felt a fire in me. I’ve always been a massive Harry Potter geek and the Phoenix refrence felt perfect for my situation. At the time I felt like burning everything to the ground and starting again. Instead, we made a song about it, probably a good shout.

How was the recording and writing process?

Hybrid Theory – It was great to work with Nehanda, we literally started from scratch on the day and it just came together naturally.  We really vibed off each other on the day.  In terms of production majority of the synth and bass work was done using Serum.  We’re not really big fans of using presets, we made all the patches from scratch.  Nehanda is a really great song writer and it just came together naturally. 

Nehanda – This has been my favourite project to work on to date. We started with nothing, as the tune built, I knew it was gonna be fire. I have a tendency to doubt myself (nobody’s a stranger to imposter syndrome). On the way to the studio I was a little nervous, what if suddenly I can’t sing..or write…or make music at all. There was no need to stress, as soon as we started working it all came together beautifully. The lyrics fell onto the page and I was really eager to get in the booth. We looped some parts and I got lost in the creative magic. I wasn’t in Birmingham anymore, I was on the main stage. The energy in the booth was surreal. Everytime I hear Burn, I feel that energy, its woven into every part of the track.

What was it like to work with Nehanda and how did that relationship develop?

Hybrid Theory – We first saw her busking in Birmingham City Centre and we were amazed by her vocals.  We approached her and invited her down to the studio for a session. She’s such a cool, easy going person and we vibe off each other.  We’ve got more tracks to drop together later on in the year.

What role does the UK play in your music?

Hybrid Theory – We’ve always  been influenced by the dark garage sounds of the Uk from producers like Jeremy Sylvester, Grant Nelson and El-B. Our studio is based in the centre Birmingham  so our music is really influenced by the city.  Living and growing up in Birmingham and the West Midlands has really influenced and shaped our sound.  It’s such a multicultural city.  Generally the UK is on fire at the moment with music.  It’s great to see the spotlight on our city with artists like Hannah Wants, Mist, Chris Lorenzo and many more making big waves.

What else is happening next in Hybrid Theory’s world?

Hybrid Theory – We’ve got a lot of releases lined up over the coming months.  We’re also working on a big project at the moment that we can’t say too much about at the moment.  We’re really looking forward to playing our new stuff in the clubs and at festivals when things return to a more normal state following the covid-19 pandemic.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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