With comparisons to the likes of Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine, Hacktivist are making waves on the rap-metal scene. Fresh from an eventful summer of gigs, and the Leeds Festival main stage, Exposed caught up with Ben to chat political music and Hacktivist’s upcoming gig at Corporation.
You’re hitting Corporation on the November 18, are you excited to be back in Sheffield?
Yeah, definitely! We’ve played at Corporation before, last year I think, I remember it was a really good gig. It’s been a while so we’re happy to be back – we’ve also got some new material to play.
You’ve done loads of touring recently, we bet you’re knackered! Are you ready for a bit of a rest after this round?
No way! We’re still working on the new album so we’re going to be busy finishing that. It’s almost ready to record, so we’re excited for that.
You’ve been touring with some very influential bands over the year, being special guests for Korn and opening for Limp Bizkit…
It’s been crazy. They’re bands we’ve grown up listening to – so it’s really very surreal. It was truly amazing. We can’t wait to do some more tours like it soon.
Speaking of tours do you have any funny tour stories?
[Laughs] We always get asked about this. I can’t think of anything specific but every tour is absolutely mental. There’s always ridiculous and funny things that happen.
You played Reading and Leeds this year opening the main stage – scary job!
It was mindblowing. We played last year in the smaller tent, which is okay as people will come to specifically see you, whereas when you’re on the main stage a lot of the crowd won’t know you or are just walking about and seeing who’s on – so we were really unsure at first. The crowd were way better than we thought they’d be. I’d say it was our best show to date.
So who’s a better crowd then, Northerners at Leeds or Southern fairies at Reading?
[Laughs] Definitely Northerners!
Your latest single ‘False Idols’ came out in August, were you nervous about what the fans’ reaction would be? You kept them waiting a long time!
Yeah, we did. I’ve got to say we didn’t really think too much about what the response would be, we were just really excited for the release and happy with the end result. The song was very different to anything that we’d released before, and I’d say the album is kind of going in that general direction.
There are some pretty heavy lyrics in the single – what was the inspiration behind the song?
It was about pinpointing who people tend to look up to – such as people in the media, politicians. Pointing out the fact that we idolise all the wrong people and that we need to start looking up to the right people.
A lot of bands and artists tend to steer clear of political or controversial issues in music, why do Hacktivist choose to write about it?
It’s not something that we originally intended to do, we didn’t start out and say ‘we want to be a political band’ – it’s something which just developed while we were trying a few things. You get the vibe from our name. Although the music is political, we still keep that fun, party vibe. We just do whatever comes to mind. A lot of people find it refreshing as opposed to the countless bands who sing about ex-girlfriends!
You’ve got quite an individual sound, how did you develop this particular style?
Tim started it all and Jay was working in the studio – it was just a random experiment. Then I jumped in and joined and each thing started rolling. We didn’t even have a bassist or drummer for ages. So yeah, the style was something that just developed as more people got involved.
Is there anything else coming up we should be excited about?
Obviously there’s the tour, and we also have a new album coming out – hopefully next year!
Hacktivist play Corporation November 18, see more www.corporation.org.uk for more.