HACKTIVIST, a British five-piece band from Milton Keynes have been up and down the country touring and playing festivals since they formed in 2011. Tim Morizet met rapper J Hurley, vocalist Ben Marvin and drummer Richard Hawking backstage at their Cardiff show to talk about baby back ribs and pornstar names.
TIM: How would you describe your music to someone who doesn’t know you?
BEN: I would say listen, try to work out how it sounds. But I guess the closest comparison would be a mix of groovy metal with grime and hip hop vocals.
TIM: In the process of creating new songs, what comes first, the lyrics or the sound?
BEN: It depends, we write some differently. Sometimes we have a musical idea and put some lyrics to it and the other way around.
RICHARD: Quite a lot of time it’s actually written separately so there are a few riffs here and there and some bits of lyrics that flow around.
TIM: Where do you get the inspiration for your music from?
BEN: Just from life I guess, just personal life and life in general. Anything we see, anything that’s affecting us. We look things at from different angles. It could be anything.
TIM: If you guys were pornstars, what would your pornstar name be?
BEN: The thing is, you choose your first pet’s name and your mother’s maiden name. So mine would be Ziggy Matthews.
J.H: I’ll be the gossip destroyer.
RICHARD: I’ll be the dick smasher, because I didn’t have any pets.
TIM: What is your favourite food?
RICHARD: Baby back ribs.
TIM: What makes you sad?
J.H: No Wifi.
BEN: Running out of beer.
TIM: How was school time for you guys?
J.H: I didn’t like school that much. I dropped out quite early, because I just wanted to do music.
BEN: School was alright for me. It got progressively worse when I got older. I was planning to go to uni and stuff like that, but than I dropped out to study music. Because it’s my passion, there is nothing really else I wanted to do.
RICHARD: Yeah I did alright in school. All the while through my studies I was continuing doing music and things. After uni I studied a year at a music college to get my diploma. I just combined my studies and music to make what I am today.
TIM: I’m sure you’ve seen some crazy stuff on stage. What was the greatest thing you’ve ever seen?
BEN: Probably the girls in bikinis in Finland.
J.H: Yeah, they were pretty cool. We get a lot of crowd surfing. I told everyone to get low and then when the beat dropped they would jump up. That was amazing for me, man.
TIM: What would you tell a band that until now hasn’t had the success you experienced? What should they do?
J.H: Practice. Make music that you enjoy and keep going.
BEN: If you get good you will succeed. So, the only way you won’t succeed is if you give up or if you’re shit, but if you practice you won’t be shit. So keep going.