Vocalist and guitarist Mat McNerney (also singer in Grave Pleasures) comments:
“In many ways the new Hexvessel songs are a new beginning for the band. The time we have invested in this next album has been very carefully spent. So we have become very focused in what we want to do and want to deliver something really special for our fans when it comes to releasing the next record. It’s very important music for us, close to the bone and nestled right up next to our hearts. We were looking for a relationship with our record label to be the same as our bond with each other in the band. It has to be real and it has to be a shared experience! The way we met Jens and the wonderful people at Century Media was at a very special time for us and them, and we felt a unique connection that has grown ever since. That they totally understand and truly feel for what we’re doing is really important. After all this is magic art we are creating and is from a personal place. We believe that with Century Media we will have the support and encouragement to take our music further than ever before. Deepest thanks to all our fans and friends without whom we are nothing, our publisher and friend Andy Farrow at AMF for his good faith, the guys at Svart Records for bringing us up and holding our hands from our inception, and hails to the good folks at Century Media for believing in Hexvessel and heralding a new dawn for us. It’ll be a bright a blessed future. Shine on!”
Jens Prueter, Head of A&R Century Media Records Europe: “I was already a fan of the previous Hexvessel albums but I got truly addicted to the band after seeing them live in early 2014 supporting Alcest. It was an ill-fated day as we had just received the bad news about the passing of Oliver Withöft, co-owner of Century Media. We found solace in music and that’s probably the greatest thing music can achieve – to quote the US free-jazz legend Albert Ayler: “Music is the healing force of the universe”. Afterwards, I met Mat a couple of times and we discovered being kindred spirits in our taste of music. There are not too many people I know who like Ultimate Spinach as much as Albert Ayler and Tiamat. Hexvessel’s cover version of “Gaia” was originally intended to be released on a 20th anniversary edition of Tiamat’s “Wildhoney” but unfortunately the project never came into being. Since “Wildhoney” is still one of the most successful Century Media releases, it’s a perfect opportunity to release the cover now and celebrate a new chapter in Hexvessel’s career that hopefully will be as successful. It certainly will include some amazing music.”
It was in 2009 that Mat settled down in Finland – the oddball country of Scandinavia, where the humour is as dark as the winter afternoons and the nature as breathtaking as their moonshine. Originally from the UK, he came here via stints in Norway and Holland, already with weight to his name in the underground of extreme and avantgarde metal music, having sung and written in bands like Dødheimsgard and Code among many more, sometimes under the moniker of Kvohst. Later, he achieved success with modern post punk darlings Beastmilk and its spin-off Grave Pleasures.
In Finland he found his “kin”, and there he invoked Hexvessel – a band founded to voice Mat’s inner self, and to connect it with the vast cosmic infinity around him. Simply: to play psychedelic music in the true sense of the term. More like a commune than a regular band, the spirit surrounding the group invokes a vision of a bunch of Northern heathens coming to live in LaurelCanyon in the late 1960’s. Sonically, it’s more the other way around; Joni Mitchell and The Doors set free in the Finnish wilderness (quite possibly intoxicated under the midnight sun).
Hexvessel is rock but never roll – balancing the simple folk tune with psychedelic drive, hinting at Captain Beefheart, King Crimson and The Beatles as well as the dewy-eyed Americana that contemporary folk artists like First Aid Kit have adapted and re-defined. Stirred together, this makes for one truly unique brew of timeless storytelling and song craft.
Since the release of their debut album in 2011 the band has sold out headline tours in their homeland, been nominated for 2 Finnish Grammy awards, toured Europe together with bands like Sabbath Assembly and Alcest, played prestigious festivals like Roadburn in Holland and SXSW in Texas, and seen their music on the charts and on critics lists. This strange pack of Finns have succeeded in creating their own world, of which an ever-increasing number of curious outsiders are hungry to take part. Come January 2016, Hexvessel’s third album will be out. Their first release licensed to Century Media Records via their own Secret Trees label imprint. A body of work that Mat McNerney says is his most personal to date. Moving into the next phase, further probing into the mysteries and wonders of life, love and death – the question is ultimately turned to the listener;
Will you look beyond what meets the eye?
Will you allow yourself to face love and death?
Are you (h)experienced?
11.27.2015 Leafmeal Festival, Dortmund, Germany (w/ Crippled Black Phoenix, Long Distance Calling, Dead Lord, ’77 and more)
Mat McNerney – Vocals & guitar
Jukka Rämänen – Drums
Simo Kuosmanen – Lead guitar
Niini Rossi – Bass guitar
Kimmo Helén – Keys, trumpet & violin.
Marja Konttinen – backing vocals & additional percussion
“Iron Marsh” EP 2013
“Vainolainen” 7″ 2012
“No Holier Temple” CD/LP 2012
“Dawnbearer” CD/LP 2011