Song writing and influences


Despite numerous attempts by others to define Hybrid Nightmares by genre, we have managed to abstain from labeling ourselves. Are we influenced by black metal bands? Yes. Do we admire and respect cross over bands like Dimmu and Satyricon? Certainly. We love these bands and their sound but we have come to appreciate the difference between "sounds like" and "reminds me of". This article is not about genre defining as Ben has covered that subject comprehensively in previous posts. This is a delve into the musicians and their craft that have gone into the melting pot to create our signature sound.

This is my list if the top five songwriters that influence my part in the Hybrid Nightmares writing process:

1: Ihsahn.

The bloke is a genius, whether with the incredible Emperor or on his solo work. His free flowing and seemingly effortless ability to make riffs and progressions move from one to another is something I try to capture. He knows when a lead needs to stand out and when vocals or drums should be the center of attention. He is ahead of the curve and I try my darnedest to keep up.

2: Matt Heafy (Trivium)

Matt is also an Ihsahn devotee but as most will know, Trivium is far from black metal. I love Matt's sense of timing and melody, he uses very strange vocal patterns that sometimes defy conventional singing placement. He doesn't pretend to be something he's not, and writes music he enjoys which is Hybrid Nightmares top priority.

3: Rob Flynn (Machine Head)

Rob puts songs together as if he can hear the crowd singing or headbanging along while he's jamming it out. Each verse and prechorus builds the anticipation and he delivers massive choruses that you can't help singing along to. He understands song dynamics and I try to emulate his way of structuring songs.

4: Enslaved

If you haven't heard 2012's RIITIIR, do it right after reading this and checking out the new merch. That album has been the single biggest influence on my writing for the new Hybrid material. They push boundaries and craft songs using techniques from almost every genre of music. They aren't afraid to try big melodic choruses alongside roots black metal riffs and jazz inspired progressions. I will forever try to capture the incredible atmosphere and uniqueness of these guys without ever tarnishing their music by ripping it off.

5: The  Rev Jimmy Sullivan (a7x)

Curve ball.  Totally not metal. Not gonna try and tell you they are. But what The Rev was able to do in Avenged was truly remarkable.  He took them from metalcore teen panty wetters to the diversified and multi faceted hard rock band we saw on self titled and Nightmare. He fused elements of latino, blues, country, opera and whatever you'd call Mr. Bungle with Avenged's signature duelling guitars and vocal hooks. I know they are fruity as hell, but they are great musicians and I take a lot of my influences from them. The party beat in Thrown to the Wolves is a great example of us using their harmonized guitars and up beat drums to foreshadow the heaviness of the chorus riff. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are a big part of my musical inspiration and Hybrid Nightmares would sound very different if not for their input.

So there you go,  for my part in the writing of Hybrid Nightmares material, these are the guys that I make reference to. In case you thought a7x was a one off, I also love and respect HIM, Muse and Katy Perry.  No regrets. True Aussie Poser Metal.



Ben put up his top 5 video clips a while ago. I thought i would share mine. Being a lover of horror movies and well all movies. I wonder if you could guess any of my choices??? First up in no particular order:

1. Sepultura - Convicted In Life

I first saw this clip on headbangers ball a long time ago. But i started to watch it just after the name of the song and artist had gone. So it took me a while to find this song again. I really like the decent into hell. When the man commits suicide and he shows up in hell. Then the tree is cut down and forms around another person. The band all have hoodies which when the song kicks it all throw long hair out of them. And the drummer has goat feet. How awesome is that.


2. Strapping Young Lad - Love?

Now of course this clip is basically The Evil Dead movie with SYL in it. which is why i love it. First song and clip of the band i heard. And a band that would change me. I love the shots of them playing with the mirror on the side but they arent in the mirror. The drum kit one is the best.


3. Dimmu Borgir - Puritania

When i first saw this clip it scared me. And i liked it. The purple and blue lights with the fire behind them. It gave me shivers. And showed me how evil metal could be. Such a simple clip with heaps of feeling in it.


4. Misfits - Scream

It was really hard to decide between Scream and Dig up her Bones. But Scream is such a good clip. When the 6 foot 3 and also wearing 4 inch boots Doyle is chasing the girl it was terrifying. I love the black and white with shots of the band live in colour, sort of going for the night of the living dead look.


5. The Beards - You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man

Do i have to say anything?


I'd love to know your opinions on these clips. Please leave some feedback.

Top 5 Music Video Clips


I'll admit it - I don't watch music clips anywhere near as much as I listen to CDs. I don't even listen to individual songs much - I tend to listen to a full album at a time. That being said, music clips can be fantastic for adding depth and character to a song and a band, and I do have a few favourites I'd like to share with you all.

I have a preference for clips that fit the song, so each of the following relates in some way or another to the style of the song and what it represents. I've not limited my list to purely metal either.


Number 5: Tool - 'Schism'

Adam Jones' clip for Schism is mesmerising to watch, and you've gotta love the dark yet understated style he adopts. Both literal and suggestive of the songs deeper themes, it's a great example of our of the box music style.


Number 4: Powderfinger - 'Passenger'


Speaking of out of the box. It's Powderfinger. In suticases. In space. What's not to love? The animation may be a bit dated by today's standards, but Fifty Fifty films clip again combines the literal interpretation of the song with some surreal styling.


Number 3: Meshuggah - 'New Millenium Cyanide Christ'

Moving away from crazy effects and great production, this clip shows how awesome it can be to watch musicians do what the do best – albeit sans instruments. All the energy is there, all the performance is there, and it allows you to focus on the music itself.


Number 2: Red Fang - 'Wires'

It's Red Fang, and it's entertaining. This is probably one of the few clips where I actually enjoy the visual entertainment more than the music (not to say that the music's not good too, of course).


Number 1: Mastodon - 'Sleeping Giant'

First up - shortening songs for video is a pet peeve of mine. Regardless, this clip has animation, cheesy Sci Fi and has one of my favourite Mastodon tracks in it. I'll admit it's definitely not for everyone, but it just combines so many things I love that it had to take the top spot.


These are my all time top 5 favourites today. Tomorrow it'll probably be all grunge clips, or nothing but claymation. C'mon, I challenge you to pick 5 clips!

The moment i found metal


How did you find heavy metal? I remember being at a friends house around the age of 7. His big brother had spiky hair and would play Korn and Limp Bizkit. I remember thinking how cool the music was. So i started singing nookie by Limp Bizkit. I had no idea what it meant and i didn't care.

Time went on and i sort of forgot about it. I had a friend who had got me into Eminem and rap. Which was fun. But i was still listening to The Offspring and Blink 182 a lot.

Then i started high school and met a guy who gave me a CD of video clips. It had Cradle of Filth, Marliyn Manson and Slipknot on it. As soon as the music hit me, i knew what i wanted to do with my life.  I quickly got into bands like Strapping Young Lad and Dimmu Borgir. I got a drum kit with in a year and joined a band within another year.

So how did you first hear metal?