Hush’s crushingly heavy Nihil Unbound EP, released in January of 2016, received massive praise from the metal press and increased the talk of the band being a metal underground artist to watch. Starting as an Albany-based band, the group members can’t currently call one particular city their own, as work and life has pulled them to disparate locations across the region. The band’s momentum was slowed for a bit but bassist Jordan Cozza says that is going to change in the coming months as the band is set to release some new music in July while they work toward a new release and fuller schedule in 2019. They only have one show on the books this year and it takes place July 13 at River Street Pub in Troy.
The band’s momentum was slowed for a bit but bassist Jordan Cozza says that is going to change in the coming months with the planned release of some new music in July while they work toward a full album in 2019.
They only have one show on the books this year and it takes place July 13 at River Street Pub in Troy. The Alt spoke to Cozza and lead-singer Charles Cure about the band’s creative process, their relationship to the area and their plans for the future over email.
The Alt: Has the physical distance between the band members been a challenge? What’s it like trying to pick things up again? Do you find yourselves in a different place than when you wrote Nihil Unbound?
Charles Cure: We have been through a lot since the release of Nihil Unbound. Jordan moved several hours away, we have had some lineup shifts, I was in a car accident that left me unable to do much for almost half of 2016. I’d say for my part, I’m absolutely in a different place. Musically though I think we are on track to continue the natural arc of our evolution, just on a slightly elongated timeline.
Jordan Cozza: I moved away from the Capital Region almost two years ago. It has made every aspect of the band more difficult. Hush has always been a band that writes music very rapidly. We released three recordings within our first three years of being a band. The move definitely made it hard for us to keep releasing music at that same pace. Because we cannot meet up as frequently, we have been writing material by sending recordings back and forth. I am in the process of moving back closer to the Capital Region again. I expect 2019 to be a much busier year for us. I don’t know if we’re in a different place musically. I know that the world around us has changed since we wrote Nihil. I just feel more motivated than ever to be loud and pissed.
ALT: How did Hush find its sound? What were your influences?
Charles Cure: Hush was born out of a desire to do something different than what was going on around us at the time. We wanted to be louder, heavier, and darker than our peers. To that end, our influences tend to be anything that mirrors the mood our music conveys – art, literature, music, politics, etc. Currently, the state of the world is deeply inspirational, as it is incredibly disturbing and worsening daily.
Jordan Cozza: I would say my mood motivates me to write music more than anything else. The news, social media, our government… I kind of just write the soundtrack to it.
ALT: A lot of bands playing heavy riffs are lumped into the “doom” genre these days. I hear just as much of a hardcore influence in what you do. Do you mind the “doom” label?
CC: I think the doom label is accurate. People like to argue about the nuances of which subgenre a band belongs in, but at the end of the day, our music is written to sound like the end of the world, so doom is fitting and fine with me, even if its not pure funeral doom or 20-minute songs with just one riff.
JC: Personally, I don’t mind the label. I don’t listen to a very eclectic mix of heavy music. Nine out of 10 times, when I do find a heavy record that I really enjoy, it’s in the doom genre.
ALT: How did you end up working with Scott Evans? (Evans is guitarist for Kowloon Walled City and has produced records and done audio work for a number of prominent heavy bands. He mixed Hush’s 2014 record Unexist.)
CC: We played a show with Scott’s band Kowloon Walled City back in 2013, when we had just finished writing for Unexist. I’ve always loved their approach to making music that is sonically heavy, bleak, and minimal, and his engineering is instrumental to that aesthetic. After meeting him and determining that he is a super great guy, we decided to ask him to mix Unexist because for various reasons it wasn’t feasible for us to get to his studio (Antisleep) to record with him, but he was present via phone, email, etc. throughout the recording process and crushed the job exactly the way we had hoped.
ALT: What is the state of the local metal/hardcore scene? Do you feel like you’re part of it?
CC: I personally find the local Albany scene to be an incredibly frustrating thing to navigate lately, even though I’ve been playing shows here with various bands for about 20 years. At the surface level, particularly where hardcore and metal are concerned, it can be a little backward facing and stunted if I’m being honest. However, there are definitely some bright spots, great bands, and decent people to work with – they just frequently seem to be operating slightly below that surface level and don’t get the attention they deserve. On a positive note, I like that there are more shows in Troy, because once you go across the river, attitudes and reception seem to change a little. Also it seems like there are some cool people trying to do interesting DIY oriented stuff like house shows, and what Super Dark Collective manages to pull off is great both in vibe and execution.
ALT: A lot of your compositions feel simultaneously oppressive and isolating. Is the mood your music sets as important as how heavy it is?
CC: Mood is paramount. There are a lot of ways to be heavy, and not all of them have to bludgeon the listener sonically. Some of my favorite heavy records barely even have a distorted guitar tone, but the mood of the songs weighs on you. The mood we try to create often involves a dense and crushing sound, but I think we are capable of creating that sense of bleakness in other ways as well.
JC: I feel like the mood is much more important than how heavy it is. Heaviness is pretty subjective. If I just sit down and write what comes naturally, I usually end up with a song that sounds sad or angry, or whatever else I’m feeling. Heaviness is just kind of the side effect of that.
ALT: Are plans in place for another album?
CC: We do have some new music coming out in July, but it’s not a proper “new” album. Currently, we are writing songs for a full length that will hopefully appear sometime in early-mid 2019.
ALT: Is there anyone you’d like to tour with in the future?
CC: We don’t get a lot of chances to play extended runs of shows, so we tend to try to stick with bands full of people we know and love as show/tour mates. In the past when I’ve had the experience of playing with “big” bands, it is underwhelming if you expect something from them – recognition or validation or a piece of their audience. That’s not how we do things really. I’d rather go to a show specifically to see a band I love rather than playing with them and dealing with the stress of our own performance, logistics, etc.
Hush play River Street Pub in Troy on July 13 with their friends and local scrappers Maggot Brain, Witchkiss and Sunrot