February 29, 2020
Hessian Renegade is an alternative hip hop band based in Glasgow, Scotland. Their music hits all the right notes for me. The kind of uniqueness I have found within their music is something I can’t describe. That’s why we’ve hauled them in for an interview!
“I love the way Hessian Renegade has combined two music genres together,” I started. “You’ve got the electronic elements on the one hand, in conjunction with the rock undertones. It’s an extremely powerful and valuable way of utilizing your talent. Was this your initial idea for your musical style when you formed Hessian Renegade?”
“Thank you very much, we’re really pleased you think so!” Conor exclaimed in excitement. “Well, initially we started off really far from our current sound. When I first approached Ross about working together on some music, I was going through a real 90’s Hip Hop phase and wanted to emulate that, Vinyl sounding drums, samples, etc. We had a couple of sessions working on this idea and the results were not so great. The only outcome of those sessions was a track known only as “Tune one”, which will remain forever locked away from human ears. Safe to say we were a bit lost sonically, but we really enjoyed working together and kept at it. During these sessions we would tend to get distracted by lager and listening to music, [and] when doing this, we discovered we both had a real love for Dance music as well as Hip Hop and Metal. The first session after the “Tune one” fiasco, Ross showed up with the skeleton of a track; big synths, thundering drums, sub bass and weird textures. That track became ‘Bread & Circuses’ which is on our Oral Spiel EP and laid the foundation for all of our future music!”
“Very kind words. As Conor mentioned,” Ross had said on the same topic. “Our intention in the beginning was for nostalgic self amusement rather than creating a unique sound. We made some truly abysmal material, (Tune [One]? Never heard of it, mate, I swear!) but we had a blast doing it, and that enjoyment was the driving force. The more we loosened up and wrote whatever came to mind, the more we coloured it with our own natural styles and it evolved into a running premise, giving birth to whatever you want to call our current musical mashed tattle,” Ross said, making me laugh.
“I really admire the amount of creativity it takes to create music.” I told Conor and Ross, “Hessian Renegade has cultivated an unprecedented sound. Would you consider creating music a trial and error process?”
“Absolutely,” Ross agreed. “It’s 60% error, 40% fixing those errors. Creativity is one thing, but endurance is key. It’s going to suck often; the juices just don’t flow sometimes and you don’t get the results you want, but you brush it off and try something else. We’ve never really truly known what we’re doing in the studio, and that’s the beauty of it. I love hooking up with Conor and slamming down any melody or groove that tickles our fancy. It’s never a dull day,”
“There’s a particular line in the song Renegade that caught my attention the first time I listened to the song,” I began. “The line is: ‘Man, I guess as a mess I excel’. To me, that’s such an insightful thing to say. It’s a deeply poetic way of acknowledging one’s lack of perfection. What was your artistic vision when incorporating this line into the song?”
“When we were initially writing Renegade and the rest of Oral Spiel, both of us still lived at home with family, mid 20’s, either part time or soulless full-time work,” Conor said. “It’s a weird age to be in the modern world, we’re all constantly gazing through each other’s letterboxes, seeing glimpses of everyone else’s grand hallways decorated with pictures of their amazing lives, blissfully unaware that the rest of the house they call life is falling to ruin[s] behind closed doors. As much as you’re not meant to, you compare yourself to others, and compared to them I was a mess! In Hip Hop it’s all about being real and that was reality at the time, confused, directionless musician with no real prospect of ever making a living from his passion. Renegade was like a song to myself to remind me that everyone lives their own life in their own time and that to fall in line because you think it’s the right thing to do will only cause you to become bitter and unhappy,” he shared with The Aesthete.
“Hessian Renegade has certainly surprised me in every way possible. What other surprises can I expect?”
“Well we’ve got something very different in the works right now,” Conor hinted. “Last year we had the honour of working with the very talented and classically trained Violist LivMassive (AKA Rachael Olivia Black) on a collaborative EP entitled Erocean. This started out as a project for her Masters Degree at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and is now, after passing with distinction, in the process of being released publicly! This was an awesome experience for us both, we’re both self taught musicians, so this is the closest we’d be getting to a degree any time soon!
“The 4 Track EP’s aim was to combine elements of Classical, Electronica and Hip Hop without any genre taking precedence over the other (we’ve of course got some metal elements in there too!). The EP is supported by a 15 minute long music video/short film which helps illustrate the overarching narrative of the piece.
“The first single Locker [was] due out Friday 21st of February on all the usual streaming sites […] The entire instrumental for the track was created using the Viola and digital manipulation, all the drum hits and even the sounds of the ocean in the track were created by tapping or blowing into the Viola… the snare is actually a can of Glasgow’s beloved Tennent’s Lager hitting off of the body of the instrument!
“As well as that, we’ve got plenty of our own material lying in wait as well as some great live shows on the horizon…so all round it’s looking to be a busy year!” Conor said.
There you have it, lovelies! At The Aesthete we wish Conor and Ross the best of luck moving forward, although I’m pretty sure these guys are the definition of lucky.
Peep their Instagram!
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