2014 in Review: Hadal Maw's Rob Brens - "It’s never fun staring at the final price tag at the end of an album production!"

It's been a good year for the Melbourne-based outfit...

Hello Mr Brens, good to have you aboard! Let's get right into it -  Has it been a good year for Hadal Maw? What have you spent the year doing? "It’s been a great year for the band for sure. Mostly following up and building our fanbase around Australia, leading up to the production and eventual release of our album (Senium), which came out in October". 

When you look back on 2014 personally, what things stand out for you as highs and lows? "I suppose the biggest highlight would’ve been our first big support being playing with Psycroptic and Aborted, then being invited to open for Ne Obliviscaris’ album launch. It’s hard to think of any specific lows that stand out, but I guess it’s never fun staring at the final price tag at the end of an album production". 

It's a good way of keeping your feet on the ground, I guess! What about other artistic endeavour - what were your favourite albums of 2014 "I’ve got a lot of catching up to do but Aeon of HorusExistence stood out for me in a big way, it’s been really hard to put that one down. Citadel by Ne Obliviscaris was also a tremendous step up from their previous work". 

Yep, two top albums there. Now, we’re not going to ask for your worst album of the year, as people always say they try and stay away from bad music, but did you feel disappointed by any album that came out this year that you were looking forward to? "To be honest there wasn’t anything that came out that I had that reaction to but as I said I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. At the same time I try to withhold expectations when listening to a bands latest work". 

Probably veru wise! Looking ahead, what does 2015 hold in store for the band? "Pretty much trying to hit some new locations around Australia that we haven’t played yet, as well as making preparations for heading overseas. A new film clip will be on the way and we have already started writing a new album". 

Sounds like there are exciting times ahead! And on a wider note, how healthy do you think the extreme music  scene is where you are from, looking towards 2015? Any bands we should be looking out for next year that we might not already know about? "Melbourne has always had a great extreme music scene, just look at the likes of what King Parrot and Ne Obliviscaris are achieving on a global level today. Everytime I go to a local show I don’t think I ever see a “bad” band. Desecrator are well and truly respected around Australia as a premier thrash act but as they’ve just recently signed a European management and booking deal, I think it’s a name people will start hearing more of abroad". 

Desecrator are a very good band indeed - let's hope you're right! The last couple of years have seen almost every band from the eighties and nineties that were even half decent (and many not even that good) reforming for another go at stardom. Is this a reflection on the state of the music industry as it stands, with labels unable or unwilling to nurture young talent and punters forced into going out and watching something more tried and trusted? Or is it simply a reflection on the laziness of those same punters who’d rather watch a bunch of old blokes performing in their own tribute acts rather than risking a tenner on new music? "I’d say a bit of both. Part of it being more bands being forced onto the road because that’s the main source of income now, no one is making money off their recorded music anymore. Even Kate Bush is out there now. The industry is still settling so I wouldn’t say there’s a clear cut answer to that one but I would say for sure given how things are, there is definitely a lack of investor confidence from both fans and industry types". 

Notwithstanding what you may have answered to that last question, is there anyone who hasn’t reformed that you might like a sneaky look at should they get back together? "Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything but having said that, there’s some “original line ups” I’d like to catch. I’m stoked I got to Smashing Pumpkins with Jimmy Chamberlin shortly before he left so I’d love to see that again". 

And talking of old farts for a bit longer – what did you make of the U2/Apple business? Great piece of marketing or appalling imposition on individual privacy? "I’d say there’s a lot that Apple are doing that people don’t know about that are a greater invasion but at the end of the day, it was an experiment, it had a backlash. I think people over reacted. People were given a gift, they didn’t have to listen to it". 

Fair enough. Now, time for an important lifestyle question  – vinyl, cd or mp3? "If you’re talking lifestyle, MP3 is nice and convenient but Vinyl has a certain character and the experience of putting on and listening to it beckons more attention. If you have the two then CDs look even more redundant than they do now".

I must say I can't remember the last time I listened to a CD 'for pleasure' as opposed to 'for work'. It's generally vinyl for pleasure and MP3s in the office these days! And finally - anything else you’d like to bring to the attention of the MaF readership? "I just feel really fortunate to be from a country that is producing some incredible metal right now. King Parrot, Ne Obliviscaris, Voyager, Disentomb, Aeon of Horus, A Million Dead Birds Laughing, Thy Art is Murder, the list goes on and I can tell you there’s plenty more doing great things that people from overseas should put some time into finding out about…and Hadal Maw of course".

Listen to the man people - listen to the man!