Summon: How did the band get started?
Erik: The inception of Hyperion dates back to 2007 when I was looking to join a musical group with the vision of playing melodic metal basically. I got in contact with Erik Thorell, which would later become our original vocalist and second guitar, August Bengtsson, which became our original bass player and our current drummer Anders Peterson. Much has transpired since those early days. The original vision of Hyperion was to create a metal band which was very melodic, but still extreme and with elements of extreme/heavier metal involved. That vision is still very much in tune with what we do today, but it has evolved and grown in all aspects during the years.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Erik: I would simply label our music as Melodic Extreme Metal. As described in the previous answer, the vision is to create music that is epic, melodic, grandiose, but still with tons of extreme metal influences. We want to paint very should I say special pictures in the listeners mind that transcend the borders of everyday life, if only for a short while.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Erik: Before the release of our debut album this year, I would say that we received some support from the underground metal community, but it was not until the release of Seraphical Euphony that literally all hell broke loose. We have been blessed with tons of people writing to us telling us that what we are doing caught their ears, very good reviews on major metal promotional sites/zines have been granted to us, the album sales considering our relatively “new” status etc. I would say the response since the release of our album has exceeded our original expectations 1000 fold.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Erik: It originates from Greek mythology. Hyperion was the titan of the sun before the Olympian gods came to power. I found it in a book on that same subject. In my eyes, the name is the ultimate symbol of our music.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Erik: The complete line-up of Hyperion is:
Harry Lauraéus– Vocals
Erik Molnar – Guitars
Anders Peterson – Drums & Orchestrations/Keyboards
Mikael Malm – Guitars
Joel Hagroth – Guitars
We also have a session bass player at the moment named Justin Biggs.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Erik: Hyperion is a very open band when it comes to musical and lyrical contribution. Everyone in the band has written, or arranged something at some point to a certain extend. However, the main musical composers of the band are the 3 guitar players: Joel, Mikael and myself. I also write quite a lot of lyrics, often in cooperation with Anders, our drummer. Also, like i said, everyone has contributed to the creative process of the band to a certain extent. That includes all the other members, as well as older members of the band.
Summon: And where do the lyrical ideas come from?
Erik: Oh, lots of stuff… Personally, I am very interested in ancient Greek mythology, tales of ancient warlords and various other ancient, or mystical subjects. Those sources of inspiration are very important for the lyrics of Hyperion. A lot of the lyrics are also woven in layers upon layers of metaphors that ultimately reflect philosophical standpoints and outlooks upon many things in life and in our existence.
Summon: What is your view on Satanism and Occultism?
Erik: It is interesting, fascinating and of course wonderfully dangerous. It is nothing that I dabble in myself, but any extreme metal band is naturally inspired by these darker types of concepts to a certain extent. I can relate to some of the views held by certain groups of this underground movement. Other views held by the same organizations, I regard as utterly preposterous. Ultimately, I see it as a subject that will always be associated with Extreme Metal, particularly Black Metal. That is the way it should be. A Black Metal band cannot label themselves as true Black Metal, if it does not have a genuine satanic/devil worshiping concept. This is not the case with Hyperion, since we are not a Black Metal band. To sum it up, I would say that it is interesting, but not a subject we involve ourselves in.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Erik: Officially, I would say that Hyperion has released 1 full length album: Seraphical Euphony and 1 demo: Blood of the Ancients. However, the fact of the matter is that we released another demo back in 2008 and one live album in 2010 called “Live på Kylengalan”. None of these latter mentioned releases were ever printed, nor promoted in a particularly serious manner. That is why I only regard Blood of the Ancients and Seraphical Euphony as official releases.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Erik: Well, Seraphical Euphony contains 9 songs that basically sums up what Hyperion has been working on up until this point. It is everything we wanted to achieve and more. Because of the time span of the writing process, as well as many other factors, the album is very diverse and colorful. Some songs, like Novus Ordo Seclorum and Flagellum Dei are immensely energetic and full of really intense Extreme Metal moments, while Blood of the Ancients and Zephyr of Grace covers the more melodic and epic side of Hyperion. I would on the other hand state that all of our songs have an epic, or grandiose undertone to them, or at least that’s what we’re aiming for. It can be heard in many different shapes and sizes and it is a property that probably all of the future Hyperion songs will possess in one form, or the other as well. Lyrically, the songs cover a lot of ground surrounding the themes I mentioned earlier. A great deal of effort was put into polishing those lyrics. It is not a concept album per say, but all the themes of the lyrics circle around one central theme that is summed up in the title track. What exactly that entails, I will leave for you avid readers to discern.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Erik: I am also a member of a band called Mist of Misery. However, I do not consider that a side-project. My obligations in that band are that of a full-time member. Other than that, I create some melodic experimental music when I feel the need to.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Erik: Hyperion has a lot of obvious and perhaps not so obvious musical influences. Emperor, Dissection, old In Flames and At The Gates are perhaps the most notable ones. We are also very much inspired by epic and melodic music in all shapes and sizes really, ranging from Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden and Ulver to a lot of gaming soundtracks and movie soundtracks, as well as classical music. Nowadays, I am more inspired by gaming soundtracks and film scores than ever before. Important names for me within that type of music would be Glenn Stafford, Hans Zimmer, Vangelis, Paul Anthony Romero and lots more. All of us in the band have a tendency to prefer our music a bit different and sometimes semi-technical, or progressive, which certainly leaves its mark on the music.
Summon: Which current bands?
Erik: As I said, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of film scores, gaming soundtracks, ambient music and … a lot of finish bands for some reason. Wintersun, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish and Tuomas Holopainen are some of the most important ones for me personally. I suppose you could count that as an influence to a certain degree. The other guys in the band naturally bring their influences along as well, such as the more technical and progressive side of metal.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Erik: We go on stage with the intention of performing the best show possible, re-creating the songs in a tight, intense and bombastic manner. We have had a lot of good shows and some bad shows. Usually, I would say that the shows are very intense and very much like listening to the record obviously. Personally, I like my metal shows intense in every sense of the word. I like to immerse myself completely in the music, living in the moment as much as possible without sacrificing to much preciseness.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Erik: As a matter of fact, we have! Last month, we performed our first concert abroad together with our brothers in Descend in Tallinn, Estonia. It was a grand evening and I am sure there will be many more like it in the future.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Erik: Around 40-60 people. The biggest crowd we have yet played in front of was at our release gig for Seraphical Euphony this year in Stockholm. It must have been at least 100 people at that gig. Magical…
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Erik: Usually, very good I am proud to say. We tend to leave an impression on at least some people when we play live, which is satisfying of course.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Erik: Well, no one can deny the significance of the classical American Death Metal acts. Bands such as Morbid Angel, Possessed, Death and Deicide are household names of the genre and for good reason. I have not managed to find that many Black Metal sounding bands however that has caught my attention with the exception of Caladan Brood. I found their debut “Echoes of Battle” interesting and very charming in the same way that Summoning creates their moods and atmospheres.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Erik: By “Overseas”, I am assuming that you are referring to the scene of the US in general. It seems to be healthy enough. Metal is well alive and well today, despite what others may think and America is certainly not an exception. As with all musical scenes, it consists of a lot of crap bands, but some gems can be found there, for sure.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Erik: It is not often nowadays that I discover really interesting and potent extreme metal bands in general. The most recent one would be a polish band called Batushka. This is a really interesting band that caught me completely by surprise. Half of Hyperion has really taken their debut album “Litourgiya” to heart. I would advise anyone reading this interview to do give it a shot.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Erik: We write music when feel the inspiration to do so. I try almost every day to work on new material that will hopefully turn our into something useful. We have shitloads of material lying around, but not very much that has been constructed into complete songs as of yet. Time shall tell when this will come into full fruition, but you can rest assured that we will not settle for anything less than something that we are absolutely 100 % satisfied with.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band?
Erik: Performing as many shows outside of our hometown as possible, spreading the word of Hyperion to as many people as possible, compose new music and have a blast doing all of the things just mentioned.
Thank you for the interview!
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