Interview by Seba Dolimont (Side-Line #37, Oct/Nov/Dec 2001)

Divas & Electronics

Mastermind Jonathan Sharp returns after the success of Hexeden's debut album "Choking on Lilies."  Faithful to his high-energy electronics fused with guitar sounds, this time he features a wide range of female vocalists he elected on the industrial scene. We tried to discover some more about the concept hidden behind Hexedene.

SL: Your first album was recorded with another line-up and especially one lead singer, Katie who somehow characterized Hexedene's mood. What pushed you in continuing the project?

JS: Katie had already been forced to leave the project before the first album was released.  Chase, at Re-Constriction suggested i continue the project using a number of singers and he was very keen for me to work with some of the girls from bands on his label.  I jumped at the chance to work with Daemon from Waiting For God, and the project took off from there.

SL: The second album features several female singers.  How did you actually select these vocalists?

JS: Daemon was the first choice. I hoped to work with Maria (from Battery), but that didn't work out. Alexys (from Inertia) approached me with a demo of her material and i was so impressed with it that i asked her to work on some tracks. Terri Kennedy was someone else who's voice i was really impressed with, and it soon became apparent we shared some similar musical ideas. Sarahjane was seome i've known a while, as she's also based in Cumbria, so working with her was something that was pretty inveitable really.

SL: Don't you fear that your fans could be a bit distrubed by Katie's departure?

JS: Maybe, but Hexedene only did two live shows with Katie; all the gigs we have done since then have been with Alexys doing all the vocals.

SL: DId you ever consider changing the project's name after the split with your two initial band mates?

JS: No, both Katie and Ian were quite happy foir me to continue to use the name; they are happy doing their own musical projects.

SL: I know you performed live a few times with Hexedene. Does Alexys sing songs that were initially performed by other vocalists on disc then?

JS: Yes, she does.

SL: It probably isn't easy to sing other girls' songs when you can't always identify with their texts?

JS: Well i know she's altered some of the lyrics in places to things she's more comfortable with, but the live set is a mixture of songs from both albums.

SL: I have the impression that musically, Hexedene did not change that much... Am i wrong?

JS: No, you are correct. After all, it's the same songwriter behind both albums. Hexedene is Hexedene, whoever sings.

SL: Tell us more about the way you write your songs? Do you first write your music and then select the voice that would fit the music, or is each song a collective effort involving the lead singer as well?

JS: I think with both albums and all the singers, what i would do is write a pretty basic song arrangement, then we would work together to get a final song. Most songs had some changes, additions, whatever; once4 you hear how the vocals work within a track it's necessary to make certain changes from your initial demo.

SL: If i understand your new concept, we could expect other divas on the next release then?

JS: I don't know about that! This was such a huge time consuming project.  Working with singers from different countries, the recording logistics are a nightmare!!

SL: Any name you would like to be working with in the future?

JS: If Madonna's people were on the phone, i'd be up for it!!

SL: You often said you wanted to be the European Bill Leeb... Will the next Hexedene album be a more techno commercial release like the new successful Delerium album?

JS: I think it's the dance remixes that are doing the business for Delerium right now. I honestly can't say where Hexedene is going to go at this point.