Iasi-based Death Metal band HRUBA has just released their debut EP, “Inherent Obedience”, a concept material based on the central idea of subjugation. “Inherent Obedience” features 7 tracks that explore different facets of the genre, combining technical passages with brutal slamming riffs, gravity blasts, and chaotic phrases supported by guttural vocals. We talked with the lads about this smashing material and what HRUBA means, both linguistically and musically.
Hello! First of all, how did you start making music? Tell us a bit more about yourself and about the band’s name!
Emi: It all started with air guitaring, followed by strumming a plastic guitar cutout. Once I got access to a computer I started creating guitar/drums/bass scores in Guitar Pro, sketching ideas beforehand on a rusty acoustic guitar I was using to play Slayer and Lamb of God on (which might explain my permanent calluses). It all flowed naturally into getting my first electric in college and now here we are. The name is a Romanian word signifying a chamber built underground, man-made or otherwise, serving as a passageway.
Andu: Well, it started with hearing a specific bass line – I was in 9th grade, listening to “Indestructible” by Disturbed, and got thrilled by John Moyer’s powerful and yet simple bass playing on the song’s verses. That made me run to the first music store thinking “this is what I want to do”. I bought my first bass, a Yamaha TRBX, and started playing with it as soon as I got home.
Was it the way you listened to music that enabled you to learn to play?
Emi: I remember being fascinated with the idea of playing guitar before I remember listening to a particular genre of music, so in my case, I think it was the other way around. Before I even put my hands on a real guitar I was a Frets on Fire fanatic, and that led to a period of musical discovery and even more interest in playing guitar.
Andu: What did it for me was the feeling that the bass lines and tone conveyed, but also the live performances of the bassists I was following back in the day.
At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself: “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create?”
Emi: Finally finding people after years of searching that shared the same passion for Slam/Brutal Death (and music in general) while being great at playing their instruments was no doubt the kickstart.
Andu: Definitely when we met and felt the great synergy between us. I was listening primarily to deathcore before then and our backgrounds kinda merged, forming one single and strong project vision.
Even if our material is brutal and nasty, also pay attention to the lyrics, they’re telling a story.
What would you say about your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Emi: As with any other extreme genre, as an outsider, you either hate it or love it. Try to look at the vocals as another distorted instrument rather than your classic singer. Find the groove within the apparent chaos, once you get that it all fits together.
Andu: Give it a try – it’s just music, it won’t hurt you, and you might discover something life-changing without even knowing it.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? In other words, what was the source of inspiration for “Inherent Obedience”?
Emi: It goes back to having that “This is it” moment – having other people to bounce ideas around made the creation process itself inspiring and self-sustaining.
Andu: What started as death/black/groove metal jams turned into something more lyrically and musically coherent, and also more brutal and sickening. I think it’s about finding the right people to go along the same path with.
How would “Inherent Obedience” be served best? What important messages are we missing as listeners?
Emi: Being a concept album I’d recommend going with the tracklist order, but like any good open-world RPG you can go at it any way you want and piece the puzzle together. Spoiling the messages would make it less fun, but know there are plenty of easter eggs, references, and subtleties in each track and an overarching story.
Which song is unquestionably your favorite from “Inherent Obedience”? Why?
Emi: This is a tough one, so I’ll just go with my gut – “Planetary Sabotage”. It gets straight to the point, has some of the slammiest slams, filliest drum fills, and a transition that makes me go into a headbang every time I hear it.
Andu: “Slave Pod Anomaly”. No description is needed.
What role does experimentation play in a band’s success? Do you like pushing your own musical boundaries if they exist?
Emi: From the get-go, we’ve tried to be as diverse as possible during the creation process and we think it shows in the final product. Keeping things dynamic, and experimenting with different ideas (even if they might not lead anywhere) enriches the creative process so much more than just sticking to a known, tried, and true formula. Given that we’ve just released our debut material it’s too early to even define our boundaries at this point, we’re excited to see where the creative process leads us to next.
Andu: I was a pop-rock and jazz bassist back in the day – I’m all about pushing musical boundaries and HRUBA is the definite next step up.
Do you believe it’s difficult to come up with something unique that sets you apart from other metal bands nowadays?
Emi: Absolutely. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of local Slam/Brutal Death bands, active or disbanded, so this has given us the opportunity to bring something new to the table. Even within the global SBDM scene, I think we’re outliers, not following the classic gore/shock theme, going for a central lyrical concept and aiming for a more modern/polished approach to production, and that has come with its fair share of difficulties along the way.
Andu: I think it comes down to musical diversity, that is what inspires me to come up with new ideas. You won’t see much progress if you stick with one genre of music, even if we’re talking about other niche genres.
When listeners make their way through your band, what do you want them to feel?
Emi: If the heads are not banging and the hammers are not flailing through the air, we’re doing something wrong.
Andu: Even if our material is brutal and nasty (that’s what we are all about), also pay attention to the lyrics, they’re telling a story.
What are the main aims and objectives for HRUBA in the future?
Now that the EP is out we’re considering going back to looking for members to complete our live lineup and to share our project in front of a live audience in Romania, and also, why not, internationally. There are also some seeds of things in the making but it’s too soon to give more details on that – don’t miss anything by following our socials.
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