2018 In Retrospect: Exclusive Interview With Hyro The Hero
It's been a hell of a year for Hyro The Hero with the killer album Flagged Channel recently released. We sat with Hyro and discussed the album, the art of blending music genres, his Aftershock performance, Chris Jericho, and much more!
MHW: Thanks for taking the time to speak with Metalhead World and congrats in having such an eventful year with the release of Flagged Channel and your single “Bullet”!
HYRO: So glad to be able to rock with y’all.
MHW: For any metalheads out there who may not know who Hyro is, tell us a little about yourself. A little background, musical influences. Things of that nature. How did Hyro come to be?
HYRO: I got my start rapping at young age in Houston, TX. I’m just the dude who decided to change the station.
A High school crush broke up with me and i wanted to express myself, so I took a Rock song made it Hip Hop and screamed my heart out. From that point on, I knew I was on to something.
MHW: Compared to previous works, Flagged Channel is way more heavier and intense. How did you approach the creative process?
HYRO: I worked with my man Mitch Marlow on this album and he brung the heavy. I wanted to blend Hip Hop and Rock the perfect way creating a sound that Metal could respect and Hip Hop could bounce to. I focused on structure creating great choruses and music that was energetic enough for me to bring the insanity live. I believe Flagged Channel accomplishes all of that.
MHW: What made you decide to have a more co-morbid relationship with metal music and add the genre into your repertoire of a more bluesy/hip-hop style?
HYRO: It’s a process that happened naturally. I’ve been rocking out forever but I wanted something super heavy. I just needed the perfect producer and I’m happy that I found that. I use to sample the heavy breakdowns in rock tracks when I first started so to create my own was an amazing experience.
MHW: What type of experiences or influences are involved in writing some of the lyrical content of Flagged Channel? In particular, Devil’s Disguise, Bullet, and one of your personal favorites off the album.
HYRO: Life is my motivation for my lyrics. Societies issues and battles I hear in the news and social media always motivate me to write. I can’t make a song without a message so I have to speak on things.
“Devil in Disguise “ is basically the battle I or anyone else can have with taking sides on certain issues.
“Bullet “ is a call to use whatever talents or voice God gave you to stand up for what’s right.
My personal fave is “Locked Loaded Ready “ which is letting people know I’ll fight on my own if I have to thru any situation.
MHW: Do you think the acclaim for “Bullet” helped get your foot into the door of the underground metal scene even though you have been a long time listener of rock and metal music?
HYRO: Hell yeah. “Bullet” helped me reach many listeners and gain respect from others who may not have liked the style of the last album. It’s a definite eye opener to any new listener.
In support of Flagged Channel, you went on tour with Butcher Babies. What was it like touring with bands throughout the summer? Was it a new experience for you?
HYRO: It was an amazing experience. Not new to me, but something I missed. I was so happy Butcher Babies took me on tour. They are a great band with great people and for them to start me off on my first tour in years was so great. Much love to them. My band and I rocked out and partied. Dream come true type stuff.
MHW: You also took the stage at Aftershock resulting in rave reviews after a very energetic performance. What thoughts and emotions went through your mind when you first came out and saw the crowd during that particular show?
HYRO: Aftershock was epic. That crowd was insane. It started with a few people, and by the second song there was a sea of human beings rocking out. Words can’t describe that feeling. We were all on the same wavelength.
MHW: On top of all that you also collaborated with a handful of other bands such as Fozzy and Asking Alexandria to name a couple. What was it like working with each act? Is Jericho as much fun of a guy to hang out with as he seems?
HYRO: (laughs) I wish I met Chris Jericho! It was awesome they had me on the track but i got it thru email and recorded it at my studio. So I definitely can’t wait to meet him one day. Asking Alexandria are the dopest. Their new album is sick. Can’t wait for y’all to hear what we cooked up.
What kind of plans do you have going into 2019?
HYRO: Tours and Festivals. I got Shiprocked coming up, a show in LA with Nothing More and Of Mice and Men, Epicenter Festival and many more.
MHW: By the looks of it, you seem like an avid supporter of cannabis legalization. Given how things are shaping up for 2019 and even more progress made on a state level this past year in regards to legalization, do you think 2019 will be the year we see the federal prohibition end?
HYRO: I believe so. I’m in Los Angeles so things are looking good. I can see things only getting better for all the people who know that Marijuana is a very helpful thing to many people.
MHW: With Flagged Channel, a summer tour, a memorable performance at Aftershock, and collaborating with other established artists, sounds like a great 2018! If there is one thing you could take from this whole year and apply it towards next year, what would that one thing be?
HYRO: “Trust the Process”
MHW: Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us. Watching you come into your own and evolving through the years, you deserve the rewards received for your years of hard work, dedication, and your innovative creativity. Is there anything else you would like to add?
HYRO: Thanks so much, man. I just want to let people know to keep on rocking and keep Metal alive.