Interview: Hybrid Spirits
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We were all listening to music from an early age, inspired to create music by bands we listened to when growing up in the 1970s. Paul got his first guitar when he was a teenager, and Nigel got his first synthesizer. Voodoo Jade learnt to play Cello, Piano and guitar whilst at school, and was in several music groups and choirs. Sadly, we are not full time musicians, and create our songs in our spare time. So we’d probably still be working in the jobs which we have now!
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all have different hobbies and interests. For Paul it’s films and astronomy. Nigel it’s gigs and football, for Voodoo Jade it’s meditation and psychic development. It’s important to have other interests to relax in life, and we find that a good balance of work and play boosts creativity. Between us, we have many things to inspire us which has led us to write songs on many different subjects!
How long has your band been around?
Hybrid Spirits formed in 2017 after Paul Kirk met Voodoo Jade via a collaborative project with a mutual friend. Before that, Paul and Nigel were in a band for many years called “Aus der Asche” which became known as “From the Ashes UK”. After the collaborative project, Paul and Nigel invited Voodoo Jade to join them in their music venture, and Hybrid Spirits were born!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We all originate from around Birmingham UK, with Nigel and Voodoo Jade still living in the area. Paul lives in West Yorkshire now. Birmingham UK has wonderful music, with bands like Black Sabbath, ELO, UB40 and Ocean Colour Scene all from the area. Birmingham is England’s 2nd largest city after London, and has always had a great rock and alternative scene, which we all belonged to. This certainly helped to shape and influence our music!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
It was difficult to find a band name which everybody liked, but between us we came up with the name “Hybrid” Spirits. The word Hybrid describes our music, as we don’t believe that we sound like anybody else. Our music can’t be pigeon-holed, and our releases can vary. We chose to add the name “Spirits” to our band name because we all get along really well, like 3 kindred spirits. To date, our music has ranged from rock to electronic, from alternative to ambient!
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Hybrid Spirits as a band haven’t toured or played live. We are spread across the country and it is difficult for Voodoo Jade to travel as she is in a wheelchair following Meningitis in 2012. We work on our songs electronically and remotely. Each song is passed to each and member to add what they wish, before a song is completed. Lockdown was a positive experience for music writing for us, as we had more free time to work on music individually. We don’t meet up in person very often, but we have regular band meetings on video chat.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
As stated above, Hybrid Spirits haven’t played live but we never rule anything out! In other bands, Voodoo Jade loved playing at a venue called The Hibernian in Birmingham as their sound system and acoustics were superb. Nigel and Paul have played many gigs around the West Midlands area. The ultimate goal/dream would be to play at Glastonbury or another large festival, but I bet everyone says that!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Wow, what a question! Iggy Pop, The Cure, The Cult, The Mission, Rammstein, Gary Numan, Fields of the Nephilim, Black Sabbath, Evanescence….it could be a long list!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Follow your dreams and put your heart and soul into your music. Believe in yourself. There will always be someone who loves your music. Don’t give up!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Win the lottery before finding money for artwork, mixing, and mastering?!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
For us, it is War Machine from the Fear EP because it is the first song which we all worked on together. It is a dark, gritty, slow but emotive song about how wars never seem to stop. The song is dark and industrial in nature, but sung from the heart. Nigel and Paul had just recorded this when Voodoo Jade was asked to join. Although she’d never worked with music in this style before, she used her previous choir experiences to “bring light to the darkness”.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
As you know, we don’t play live unfortunately at this point but we never rule anything out! On radio, our song “Fear” has been really popular, along with our charity single “Rain or Shine”. We’ve released “Mysteria-Hysteria” to radio stations within the last 10 days, and it went down a treat at Halloween!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Paul and Nigel both write songs. They have different writing styles. Nigel will write his own lyrics which can often have an emotional link, but not always. Paul has written a song or two, but usually passes his songs to Nigel or Voodoo Jade to add lyrics/vocals to. It depends on the style of the music, as to who ends up doing the lyrics and vocals, and whose style suits it best. If someone is stuck on a song or a theme, we all share our thoughts on it. Our subjects and styles vary depending on the music and who is writing the lyrics. Anything can inspire us, from world events/disasters to emotion to something completely obscure. Songs have already covered planets in our solar system, war, dark emotions and mental health, war, Covid-19, vampires, terror attacks and horror films – and there are many more to come!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
No particular messages as such, but with “Rain or Shine” we wanted to reflect the feelings of hope and solidarity during the Covid-19 lockdown in England, and “I Want The Darkness To Come” was a way of Nigel conveying the importance and effects of mental health issues.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We don’t have disagreements as such but might have different thoughts and opinions. If there is something which we can’t decide on, we vote, which is useful because there is an odd number of us in the band (3).
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We have already recorded some new songs which will be on a future release. Again, it is a different feel to the music which we’ve already released, and would be classed as darkwave/electronic. We are still writing more music for the next EP/album so everything could change yet! We do alternate vocals between Nigel and Voodoo Jade, and the next EP will predominately be Nigel on main vocals. His voice is perfect for darker songs!
The band is also recording relaxation music for a series of meditation tracks which Voodoo Jade is currently working on. There are some tracks for general meditations, and some for the development of psychic awareness/abilities.
Spotlight: As well as the release of our new EP “Mirage”, we’d also like to highlight our charity song please. “Rain or Shine” which was released as a charity single in July, but we’re raising funds from the single until the end of April 2021. It is a song to reflect feelings of hope and solidarity during the Covid-19 lockdown, and sales from it will be raising money for the International Committee of the Red Cross for those affected by Covid-19 across the world. https://www.icrc.org/en/donate/covid-19-emergency-appeal
We will continue fundraising until the end of April 2021, so it’s not too late to buy a copy of the charity single (£1.50 or more) to support the cause at our Bandcamp page: www.hybridspirits.bandcamp.com
Thank you to you and everyone for your support!
Our links :
Latest Music Release: www.hybridspirits.bandcamp.com