Exclusive Interview: The Hope Burden talk writing and recording!

It may only be April but with a third of the year already gone we’ve heard a few stunning records that are in consideration for our Listmania season of awards between Christmas and New Year; one of those being the sophomore EP “Abandonment // I Want To Be Well” from Oxfordshire based Post Hardcore meets Black Metal act The Hope Burden. A darkly beautiful affair with more than its fair share of jagged edges, it’s both mournful and cathartic at the same time with the kind of perfect balance that you might not expect from a band with just one previous EP in “Decline. Despair. Decay.“. So after our first conversation with them, published this time last week, the second sees us turn our attentions to writing and recording…

What did you learn from the recording of your 2018 EP “Decline. Despair. Decay” that helped when it came to recording the follow up “Abandonment // I Want To Be Well“? “In between both bigger releases we have put out a couple of singles which have helped our progression. I think the biggest thing is that we have learnt to play to our strengths and are overall a bit more polished in our performances whilst aiming for a more organic recorded sound. We’ve also worked on the little extra flourishes like keyboards to make everything sound bigger”

How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article? “We start with guitars and we tend to have fleshed out instrumentals roughly demoed and shared between us before hitting the rehearsal space. From there we’ll jam it out as a band, refine or rearrange parts, and then Josh will write lyrics and put vocals over it. We often then re-demo the finished track with a scratch vocal before going into the studio to record”

The introspective nature of the lyrics resonates perfectly with the Post-Metal, Ambient, Black, Sludge Metal and Post-Hardcore elements that are intertwined in your music, making it darkly complex. Have you ever considered writing anything simpler or sonically stripped back or would that simply not sound like The Hope Burden? Do you find the whole process a cathartic one? “I think vocally the process is a cathartic one and the lyrics are very directly personal. Our songs are deceptively simple in terms of the individual parts, but don’t follow a traditional structure or strict genre limits. If anything we are likely to add even more diverse elements rather than stripping back, and that’s certainly the way some of the new material is heading”

If you had the opportunity to have a guest musician or vocalist work with you on a future recording, who would you like to work with? “I think we would all answer differently on this but we’re all into Devil Sold His Soul so it would be great to get their vocalists Ed Gibbs and Paul Green on a track!”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound?Guitar-wise we use a combination of Peavey and Mesa amplification with Fender guitars and a few Red Panda/Keeley/Old Blood Noise Endeavours pedals for reverbs and delays. Bass is Ibanez with Peavey amplification again and Battalion for effects. Drums are a mix of a trusty old Pearl export backline, a Tama 14×8 steel snare, Iron Cobra pedals, big Zildjian cymbals (A, Z, K customs and Orientals) plus a couple of Meinl splashes, sticks are Vic Firth extreme 5Bs. Josh uses big shouting”

Abandonment // I Want To Be Well” by The Hope Burden is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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