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Hapax, dark synths, post-punk riffs and stories about self-determination and lost communications | Interview

Hapax, the dark-wave, post-punk project from Naples, talks about the shadow-side inspirations and melancholic components that consist their new album "Monade".

Hapax is a band coming from South Italy, Naples and they have a really interesting sound, combining all these elements that expresses that darkness in someones heart and soul. Combining and using the 80's dark wave sounds with a lot of synths and, sometimes, harder electronic elements create modern dark, cold, post-punk melodies with deep emotional vocals.

Hapax formed back in 2014 and consists of Michele Mozzillo (vocals, bass, synth, lyrics) and Diego Cardone (guitar, synth, programming, artwork) and
Alessandra Policella (lyrics)
. They have three full length albums, released from Swiss Dark Nights, "Stream of Cousciousness" (2014), "Cave" (2016) and their latest release, "Monade".

This summer, in June 30th, the band's third full length album, "Monade" was released. In "Monade" you will listen to stories of the effort to redefine self-identities and to establish humanity's lost communications.

I had the pleasure to speak with the Michele Mozzillo, Diego Cardone and Alessandra Policella , few days before the release of their new album, and it has been one really interesting chat around music, philosophy and Hapax's origins and future.

ES: Hello Hapax. I am really happy that you have given me the chance to make this interview. New album in a few days. Before asking you all the details for Hapax and "Monade", would you like to tell us something about you and the band? Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hapax: Hi everybody! Hapax is a project formed in 2014 that has until now released three full-length albums, always with the label Swiss Dark Nights owned by Valerio lo Vecchio.
We’ve always been “tagged” as darkwave /coldwave band, but we like also to experiment and trespass into the industrial zone. Our third work Monade (2019) came out after a series of gigs all over Europe, including important venues like the Wave Gothik Treffen festival, beside few shows in the USA and in South America

ES: Let's go to "Monade". New album after 3 years. Could you tell us something for this new release?

Hapax: During last 2 years we’ve been influenced by some negative events that, of course, impacted on the creative process. Sudden goodbyes, misunderstandings caused by the inability to share feelings and life goals, a consequent sense of loneliness. That distress led to the composition of songs, which, like shaded in, show a more aggressive shadow-side inspired by rage and confusion, and at the same time have also a melancholic component, possibly due to the regret of bad choices.

ES: What can anyone expect from the new album? What changed since the previous albums? From what has been revealed so far, I think there is less electro elements than in "Cave"?

Hapax: Our emotional approach toward music hasn’t changed, but we have decided to add the drums as acoustic component, in order to achieve a more visceral, dynamic and incisive sound.
The electro element is still very present in the album, but it is now developed as a kind of leading path through that new conceptual world, for introducing the listener in the mood of Monade.

ES: What is the concept behind "Monade"? Which are the stories behind the lyrics?

Hapax: To choose the title of the album has maybe been the most difficult and reasoned aspect of this work. Monad (from μονάς monas, "singularity" in turn from μόνος monos, "alone") refers in cosmogony to a fundamental metaphysical unit of perceptual reality, to the Supreme One, the divinity.
Everyone of us, as sentient being who as experienced and suffered, is an whole universe closed in itself. Everyone of us is the demiurge in his own world, who gets in touch with others, who grounds an own religion, whose God is mortal and ruled by the principle of contradiction. On one hand, it seems like we’re acting in complete, mutual independence, but on the other hand we seek connection at any price.
The leitmotiv of this concept album is basically a topic that has always generated a vague sense of unease in us, e.g. the impossibility to communicate. Communication is indeed an artifact of the so-called “real”, but still we keep playing with the foolish (auto) illusion, that it is possible to understand each other. Language deconstruction demolished modern man’s faith in words, conceived as expression of the Absolute Truth, so world’s coordinates became unclear.

ES: Your music is a blend of post-punk and synths. However someone could say there is a lot of gothic in Hapax? Where would you put Hapax and your music? Would you say that you include elements or you are influence from another genre as well?

Hapax: Actually, it’s not up to us to say that… We make music indulging an inner impulse. We’ve never thought neither about what genre we wanted to be classified in, nor about what music conventions had we to observe to be identified as belonging to a certain genre. Of course the music we love (mostly the “obscure” type) somehow leads us to several different directions and influences our songs.

ES: Hapax have been in action for several years now. Would you like to share with us a highlight of this music trip? A really good memory or a not so good moment throughout this years?

Hapax: Music is an awesome trip in which a lot of beautiful moments alternate with some worse ones. But what we love the most, is the fact that during each gig something happens to surprise us, in good or bad luck. That’s really challenging.

ES: Back to "Monade" and your next moves. Is there any specific promotional steps scheduled? Live shows or perhaps a tour?

Hapax: Our promotion is based above all on word-of- mouth advertising across our fans, djs, promoters and all those who write on blogs or magazines. Another promotional channel has been represented by the live performances, which have made us known among new followers. We’re now arranging for a tour, which is going to start next autumn with the 14th edition of the NCN festival in Leipzig. It will be a great pleasure and honour to share the stage with many important bands and it will also be the first show with Fabio playing the drums.

ES: We live in a period where dark wave and post-punk scene is really active with many new efforts. What is your opinion about this? Which do you think are the main facts that helped in this?

Hapax: We sincerely value the unconstraint and freedom of expression that has long been the hallmark of the majority of post-punk bands. Perhaps that is the aspect that appeals our audience too. People who are part of that music scene are generally very responsive from a cultural point of view. They use to actively support the bands they listen to, which are often self-funding and self-produced.

ES: Would you like to share with us which are your favourite artists and albums lately? What music do Hapax members listen to in their home, car or anywhere else?

Hapax: Actually we like listening to disparate music genres and it would be hard to name all the artists, whose works we have appreciated in recent times. We are lately fascinated by deeper, more ancestral and tribal sounds. But we are always on the lookout of sonorities that could excite and stimulate us.

ES: I think I could ask you a lot more... but I would love to get the answers from "Monade"! Would you like to share something else with our readers and dark music fans?

Hapax: Monade has been for us the result of a long journey, both transcendental and physical. We have put a lot of ourselves into the melodies, the lyrics, the vocal lines, even our “dark sides” and we hope to move and inspire our listeners (and readers). Thanks to all those who follow and support us and thank you for the interview. See you soon around!

ES: Thank you very much. I wish you all the best in your life and in your music. Looking forward to hear from you again and to see you perform live!






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