FeaturesHemina - Thinking Forward Part II

Hemina – Thinking Forward Part II

Dead Rhetoric: What concerns do you have about the world that we live in today? What do you think more humans need to spend their energy and effort on for the benefit of the world long-term?

Skene: Don’t normally like to get super political, but I would like to say to me I’m quite a liberal by your standards- and by American standards I would say. I’m more about supporting all kinds of different people- people when they are in hard times, I’d like to see a lot more socialized services to eliminate the divides between the rich and the poor. I’m more for equality and tolerance in a lot of different areas. I’m quite accepting of people from different cultures, different races, different persuasions in terms of sexuality. I think people need to be more giving and more empathetic towards people in their different walks of life. Less feuding amongst each other about trivial issues.

Dead Rhetoric: Being a music reviewer yourself – how do you see the state of journalism in the digital, internet age? Do you think it’s as important as it may have been when print media mattered more day a decade or so ago?

Skene: I used to read some print media stuff back in the day, but I think the cost of getting involved in a lot of different magazines was prohibitive to a certain degree. Now with the internet at our fingertips, I think it’s more important to be able to look up a band that you are interested in and seeing what the general view is about them. It doesn’t have to completely determine what your feelings are about the band, it’s nice to see people analyze stuff on a deeper level. I went to university, so I like to see what people are thinking about things. It builds a buzz around the music, and we all know that the music needs more of a buzz than ever. Sales are lower than ever, we need that exposure level with music.

There are some really good reviewers out there, there are some websites with amazing music reviews, great grammar, great word choices. Inspiring for me to see as a writer myself. I really like Heavy Blog is Heavy at the moment, they are a great comprehensive site, and really interesting to take things to the next level, touching on political issues with music. There are some terrible writers out there, I am definitely a grammar nazi, I go harsh if the writing level is really low.

Dead Rhetoric: I read a list online of some of your favorite albums, and I was surprised to see acts like Type O Negative and fellow Aussie alternative act Silverchair make the list- please tell us about your appreciation for these two bands? Did you ever get the chance to take them in live?

Skene: No to both of those, I never got to see either of them live. I think I ended up getting more into Type O Negative because Danny Estrin from Voyager is really into them. What kind of band would be influencing these guys? I really love Bloody Kisses and October Rust, those two albums from Type O Negative. Something about the atmosphere, the vocals, the sheer presence of the really, really low tones- the ethereal keys that create a very haunting atmosphere. It hits me in all the right places. And Silverchair with Diorama – it’s such an underappreciated album, it’s very artistic. It’s almost like if you took the Beach Boys and King Crimson, and you blend it into more alternative rock- it’s quite left field. I would recommend that you check this out, even if you have any prejudices towards the band. Their first album Frogstomp pegged them in Australia as the 15-year old Nirvana. Daniel Johns is a bit of an oddball character but I believe he’s a bit of a musical genius.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about social media, and do you have to balance out your use of it next to actual human interaction and face to face conversations?

Skene: I’m very pro social media, I think that anything that allows you to connect with other people is amazing. Technology itself is amazing, the people using it at times are the antithesis of amazing. If you enable stupid people or people that are ignorant to use social media for bad reasons, I don’t think that’s a reason to damn it for all. Social media is important for bands to use, especially for people that aren’t in your country. Without social media we would have maybe 2% of the fans that we do. We wouldn’t have had any chances to network with people for getting reviews, we wouldn’t be able to build connections with people in other countries. Most of our fans are not in Australia- even though we’ve only been able to play within Australia. Most of the fans are overseas. Facebook and Bandcamp are the two major sites that have allowed us to make a lot of fans- I don’t think we are masters at social media. We want to have integrity on our sites- if you message us on Facebook we will always message back. We don’t think we are better than anyone, we always want to talk to our fans. If they are going to take the time to speak to us, then they deserve the attention.

Personally people can get a bit absorbed in social media. It’s probably good to set some personal limits- they don’t have to be hard and fast to use only Facebook for 10 minutes a day. Just try to achieve something with your life as well. I have been able to stay in touch with a lot of people on Facebook that I might not necessarily get to see face to face. It’s been a really good tool for me personally. It’s really good though to see people face to face and make those connections in person. We would love to come to America and Europe- if even some of the money was covered- but it’s very expensive to travel because we are so isolated. We get four weeks paid leave for most jobs in Australia. We do have some American connections with our first record because of Lance King and Nightmare Records, hopefully we can make it there one day. More Americans have bought this new album than Europeans so far.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for Hemina over the next twelve months? What’s on the bucket list to accomplish for the group – possibly festival appearances down the line, is ProgPower in your sights?

Skene: I would love to do shows in Europe, Japan, and the United States- that’s definitely on the bucket list. I’d love to play ProgPower Europe especially, as I have a strong affinity for the experience that I went there for. Just do a couple of weeks in Europe. It would mean a lot for me to play in Japan, I love the culture- and I’ve only been to Hawaii so to play in the United States would be great. More shows in Australia, and in maybe 12 months we can try to reach out to European festivals.

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