Hexis is a Danish Black/crust band that recently played a gig in our local gig space in Karditsa, central GR. We were very intrigued by their utterly insane tour schedule, including dates in such unlikely locations as Albania, Cuba, Armenia and one full month of shows in Indonesia. All done DIY and booked by the band themselves who invested tons of time and love on this. We approached them for a few questions. Thanks to Filip for the answers, always welcome back!
Tell us about the tour planning phase. How did you come up with the idea in the first place? How long did planning take, how did you approach the venues, local hosts etc.
Filip: For the Asia Tour, I wanted to Tour there pretty much since the band started. At first we planned to stay there for one month, but one guy from Indonesia offered to book a whole month for us only in Indonesia, so I thought why not stay in Asia for two months. For the two months EU Tour, we released a new album two weeks before the Tour started and we wanted to promote the record as much as possible, at the same time then I really wanted to do a full Russia Tour and play places like Georgia and Armenia, so to drive all the way down there and back again, without having insanely long drives every single day was the best solution I guess. We also got to visit Belarus and Ukraine for the first time which was super cool! I usually start to book Tours 6 months in advance, it seems like a good amount of time. Concerning contacts; I search pretty much all over the internet. Most of the time I have friends who’ve played each country and I can get the contacts from them.
To take an example, on the Asia Tour, I really wanted to play Taiwan and I didn’t know a single band who played there before, except for big ass bands. So I went to a website called metal-archives.com, which have listed pretty much every metal band in all of Taiwan, so I contacted every single one on that list about contacts for promoters and by the end one of them put me in contact with a guy who booked shows there and we actually played one of the best shows on the whole Tour in Taipei, so that was super cool!
Tell us about a couple of very memorable shows in very exotic locations.
Filip: We toured Cuba back in 2013, that was pretty crazy! Around 500 – 1000 people at every show, at that time then it was very rare that any bands played in there, so when bands finally toured there, a lot of people showed up and were super exicted!
What do you stand for, as a band?
Filip: That is a pretty good question, I guess ‘hard work’ and trying to take ‘energy to the next level’ would be two pretty good answers.
Would you be ok for another band to use your schedule as a blueprint for their own tour?
Filip: Yes of course, they are very welcome.
What advice would you give to bands who are starting off to lengthy tours by van?
Filip: Be sure to have more than one driver, our drummer was a very exhausted man at some of the dates where he was the only driver in the van. Also be sure that you leave many hours in advance when you have to enter all non EU countries. It can take a lot of time to get through the border.
How has the tour changed you as individuals?
Filip: After playing tons of poor places then I learned to appreciate my life back home way more, I’m feeling pretty happy about that I don’t have to sleep on a dirty floor every night and live off plain rice and noodles.
Tell us about a couple of very memorable (not relevant to music) stories that took place in the tour.
Filip: I got a fractured skull one time because I was too drunk and we had to cancel the rest of the tour, I had to spend one week at a hospital in Hungary, that is one of the most terrible things I have ever tried!
Are you a band that “only plays in squats”? What is your view on the subject?
Filip: No, we’ve played all kinds of shows, everything from a People’s living room to a big festival. It’s fun to play big festivals because we don’t get the chance to do it very often and the shows are very different from what we are used to, but there is no doubt about that we prefer to play small DIY shows. Usually the people who are booking us at that kind of shows seems to care way more about our music, compared to people who book shows for a living. I guess it have something to do with that the people who do the DIY shows usually book the band because they really want to and not because they have to.
What does the future hold for HEXIS?
Filip: We are Touring EU/UK for 2 weeks in August and the US for 6 weeks from September to October. Nothing is booked after that, but we will look into it in very soon, we hope to do South America, South Africa, Japan and China in the near future. The plan is to continue touring like a crazy until the middle of 2018 or something like that. We also have a couple of releases coming out soon, both represses, but also records which feature new music.
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