The Levitation Hex; hailed as the new beast of heavy psychedelic prog for Australia and the latest project for ex Alchemist member Adam Agius; Many difficulties were experienced through the eyes of this twenty five year veteran so we sat down with Adam recently to hear his views on the demise of Alchemist, the lessons learnt and feeling reborn.
The Levitation Hex - Interesting name, where was the band name derived from? “I wanted a band name that represented one thought. The thought was that the want of better things is a curse. Since levitating represents rising and or elevating to some degree I thought that sounded cool. In short the name does not have to mean anything anyway I mean what’s Pink Floyd mean?”
Has promoting the band been more straightforward this time around due to the histories of the members? “Yes and no, I used the name Alchemist to get the ball rolling I mean after 25 years and everybody linking me to the name I would be an idiot not to exploit that fact. So using names like Alchemist and Alarum to open up the interest has worked to a certain degree but really it’s the music that bought the band together and got us offers from overseas”.
The death of Alchemist was indeed a sad day for the Australian metal community, from your experiences, what are you taking with you into The Levitation Hex? “I learnt a lot of lessons during the last years of Alchemist: only ever work with people who have a positive attitude towards what you are doing because overwhelming negativity is destructive and suffocating. Work with those who are happy to share the vision and happy to slog it out. Every band requires compromise amongst its members but never compromise to the point that you end up miserable. Being in a band is tough work but it should be fun, And it’s not hard to achieve the fun factor if everybody involved truly wants to do it and are happy with their role in the band. Be around people who don’t put you down and are mostly happy.”
It is stated that ‘The initial intention of TLH was to create a heavy psychedelic prog sound similar to Alchemist but at the same time a completely new beast’ explain how this has evolved over the past two years? “Well at first I toyed with the idea of trying to write music in a completely different style but soon realized that I didn’t want to. I was happiest with the material that was not at all contrived. I am simply being myself and refuse to try and be someone I’m not. However the other musician’s styles have enhanced the overall sound and I’m really happy about that. The Levitation Hex has some similarities to my past but is evolving on its own. I am stoked that it’s a heavy riffy approach with enough prog and psychedelia to make it interesting”. What was the most challenging aspect in producing the debut album of The Levitation Hex? “The most challenging part has been funding, the mixing, mastering and manufacturing. In the past I had always had record company support but this time around I’m containing everything within www.leviationhex.net “
What, in your opinion do you think it was that caused the superior focusing of ideas and presentation for the new album? “Very simple, the absolute desire to do so. Without passion and desire nothing is possible. With passion and desire many things are possible”. Do you feel you are still on par with the original vision? “That vision changed so much in musical terms after 25 years that it’s hard to tell. In saying that, my vision as a band member; as a musician with passion and desire has stayed very true as if I was 14 years old again. It’s just much easier now because I am working with guys who share that vision”.
How did the lineup of the band come together? (The inclusion of Mark Palfreyman, Ben Hocking, and Scott Young) almost like an Australian super group… ”After the collapse of Alchemist I was truly heartbroken and really down, I never in a million years thought that I would be the one to end it but I had to. I swore I would not ever write music or be in a band again but that lasted about a week ha ha. I started writing and producing material in my home studio and actually started to feel excited and happy about music again. At first I just demoed a few tracks and thought, you know what, my bass playing is average, and I need a great bass player to play on the tracks. So I approached an old mate and who I consider to be the best Metal Bass player in Oz Mark Palfreyman. We didn’t even have a band name when a couple of the tracks were heard by Prog Power EU who demanded we play the festival in 2012. That’s when I knew I had to get a band together but it was Mark who recruited Ben and Scott, We get along well and it’s a great vibe; I’m really feeling re born”. Prog Power Europe Festival in Holland – yes quite a respectable bill. What can the Dutch punters expect? “Hopefully a really well played and energetic set..Ha Ha.. They can expect that they will hear the heaviest prog of the day by The Levitation Hex”. And with the lead up to the debut of the self titled album in Canberra on August 25 – what can describe your feelings on the debut? “I am nervous as hell and really excited, Just hope all goes well and we entertain the crowd and ourselves”.