DRI HIEV’s fearsome noise masks a beating pop heart. The band’s music is a furious, heavy sound that, under the waves of dissonance, has a melodic core.
“I think the way we try to write songs is more or less like a pop approach,” says Dan Auger, as the band readies itself to leave Montréal for Winnipeg. “Kind of formulaic—and I think that also makes it accessible to listeners.”
The Calgary foursome—currently on tour in support of its ContraVirtual EP—has a genre-bending sound that’s a mix of raucous guitars with Auger’s throbbing drum machine alongside samples and noise from Igor Gvozdenovic.
It’s a style that has led to people trying to pigeonhole the band to genres like shoegaze, industrial or punk.
“The metaphor that I’ve used before: you’re in a truck or something and you’re mudding in the country,” Auger explains, revealing his Grande Prairie roots. “Mud flies up on your windshield, and you know, you try to wipe it off, and it’s not really doing too much, but you can still see out your windshield but it’s still not super clear.”
The EP, self-released on cassette, took almost a year to make because of a shift in the band’s membership. The group’s former drummer moved away, which meant Auger and the group had to re-write the songs for the new drum programming.
“That was a lengthy process because we were trying to translate songs, which we had played with a drummer, to the new kind of electronic whatever we were going for,” Auguer says. “So the actual writing process took a long time—about six months—and we spent another six months recording. We finished recording in February of this year, and it came out in September, so it’s been a long time.”
Despite the recent release of the EP, the group is already writing new material and testing it on the road. Auger says the band’s new music “kind of falls into this category of industrial-hip-hop-goth”—a product of the band’s artistic journey since ContraVirtual was finished recording in February.
“It’s weird, because when something finally kind of comes out, it starts becoming kind of irrelevant to you as an artist.”
Sat, Oct 10 (9 pm)
With Postnamers, Blu Shorts