Interview: The Space Octopus

In May The Space Octopus released their new album, titled Tomorrow We’ll be Gone. In July DutchMetalManiac’s Martijn Bakker reviewed Tomorrow We’ll be Gone here, now he also interviewed The Space Octopus’ bandleader/vocalist/guitarist Dann Hoyos.

Hi guys, congratulations on the new album! When I reviewed your album, it was the first time I heard your music. DutchMetalManiac is of course very metal-focused, yet your album is an interesting mash of different styles. How would you describe the sound of the band?

Thanks so much! We’re glad to hear that. I would say The Space Octopus is a mixture of different influences of rock, prog and metal, more guitar-focused, but without forgetting about all the different music styles that surround us. We’d like to stay open-minded towards all music as we also change our state of mind.

Has the sound of the band changed over the years? 

I would say it was more eclectic at the beginning, influenced by styles such as funk or fusion, but I can feel how the more recent period of the band is more influenced by prog and metal.

Is it your goal to evolve the music? Where do you hope to end up in say ten years time?

We evolve our music as we evolve as human beings, as music evolves by itself passing through many different artists all over the world. In ten years I hope I can still create and make music, and that’s the main goal, to flow with it and to go where it takes us. 

Speaking of evolving, this is the second album with just English lyrics. Did you purposely drop the Hispanic lyrics?

The first album was instrumental, next two in Spanish, and next two in English. There is not real purpose, but a natural change of habits to keep moving. These two albums resonated more in English, so it ended up like that, because of different states of musicality. Maybe the next one is instrumental, or both languages… who knows! We don’t know yet.

Looking at the new album, Tomorrow We’ll be Gone, it seems terrifyingly fitting with the time we live in, with the Covid-19 virus being on a grand world tour. Did the theme of the album accidentally fit the circumstances, or did you anticipate on what is happening in the world?

It’s obvious that the direction of the humanity is going towards self-destruction, be it a virus, war, global warming… you name it. Of course it was a coincidence, but also what can we expect of how we’re behaving towards the world and ourselves.

Is there a bigger message in the album? 

The image we wanted to bring up is that we are doing everything so wrong, but also we are only a small part of everything, and the least important if you think bigger, as the earth evolves, and the cosmos itself, we will be so gone, and it will be so right. 

In my review I gave the listeners a warning: Do not to listen to this while on the road, because you would probably get a speed fine. Do you think it is a fitting warning? Or would you rather have a different warning with the album?

I guess it depends on each personality, I used metal to sleep so many times, and I used it to wake up. It might have a speeding effect at some point, but for me music is more a state of mind, sometimes not related to the body, sometimes yes.

Most songs are real rock songs, with a few exceptions. 
Closer sounds very radio friendly and has a very catchy melody. Do you get a lot of airplay in your hometown? Or is there more success on the other side of the ocean?

We got a really good promotion being in the Art Gates Records roster, and we had our music in many stations, mainly online. I think we got the opportunity to open our music for a bigger audience and that is always great. I don’t know the numbers about it, but getting reviews, interviews and exposure from such different places tells us that we’re going the right way.

Pause is an amazing piece of Spanish guitar, a real piece for some rest on the album. Complex guitar solos are one of the basics of your music, but mostly it is electric guitar. Why this exception?

I wanted to symbolize the time to take a breath in the middle of some intense work. It gives way to React. It also means the moment you’re about to do something and you think about it, Pause and React.

React made me think of Just a Man, from Faith No More’s King for a Day. Giving the feel of a gospel with a raw edge. A great song, sounding hopeful at the end of an album about the end of the world. Was it meant to give the listener that feeling?

Totally wanted to give it a soul vibe, but I don’t really agree about the end of the world part, it is more like “now that you thought about all of this, react. Don’t let it happen”. We are all a link in a huge chain, but we are all related to each other. 

Are you already working on new material, now live performance will be very limited?

I’m always thinking of new music and I keep record of all the ideas that emerge at any moment in the day. The live performance situation is a pain in the ass and we need to keep on booking shows since we cannot stop the workflow, it’s definitely hard, but we as artist have to stay creative with our options. 

Thank you very much for your time and answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Just a big thank you for having interest in music and supporting all its different formats, such as this interview. Hope to see you all as soon as it’s possible. All the best and stay safe!

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