Hailing from Windsor, Canada, Hell Is Other People is a fairly young band delving into the magical soundscapes of blackgaze, incorporating post-metal and post-hardcore elements. The group released an album titled “Embrace” two weeks ago and I contacted them to have a brief chat about their project.
DP: Let’s start by knowing more about you guys. Could you tell us a few things about the history of your band?
HiOP: HiOP had begun as a much different sounding band. Over time, and through member changes, basically the only thing that stuck was the name. James originally played bass, but took up the helm on drums after the first few (unreleased) EPs. We knew Brandon from Saudade and his past projects in the area, so when we were looking for a vocalist, he was a perfect fit for us.
DP: Which are your main musical influences?
HiOP: Our musical tastes are a little varied between each of us, but bands that we all can agree on include Lantlôs, Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Wolves in the Throne Room, Woods of Ypres, Isis, Naglfar, Enslaved, Altar of Plagues, Russian Circles, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Buried Inside, and Numenorean to name a few.
DP: There is a heated conversation going on in the metal scene concerning “blackgaze”. Some people (including myself) think it’s a nice, modern approach to black metal while others seem to think its “hipster” and seeks to attract bigger audiences to increase commercial profit. What’s your take on this issue?
HiOP: We make the music that we enjoy playing, and we find that the term blackgaze is a good vague descriptor of what we do, but like any genre name, it falls short of actually covering what a band does. We like to draw from different influences, and play with dynamics and moods. Music is becoming much more available, and more people are getting into more different types of music, and we think that’s a great thing. So if someone wants to write us -or any band- off based on them thinking it is a “hipster” band, that’s their lost opportunity to find something they might really enjoy.
DP: Your project is named after the famous phrase written by French existentialist philosopher JP. Satre in his theatrical play “No Exit”. Do you identify yourselves with existentialism and if yes, how does this affect your art?
HiOP: Not on a day to day basis, but existential episodes have all led us onto our current paths. Lyrically, we touch on the darker aspects of life because of the raw emotions associated to them.
DP: I have recently released a new album titled “Embrace” via CDN Records. Would you like to tell us a few things about the album?
HiOP: We recorded this ourselves at the studio that Nate operates in Windsor. The songs “Blossom” and “Visions” appear with different titles on the EP which came out before, and it took time to get the line-up solidified before we were ready to record everything as a full length. The cover photo was taken by baptis.fr (instagram: @bvptis) and any editing and layout was done by us.
DP: What does the future hold for Hell Is Other People?
HiOP: More music, more shows, in more places.