Mix a bit of math rock with post punk, a few good friends and a lack of vowels, and you’ve got HDSPNS. This experimental four-piece have been thrashing the Auckland music scene lately and are due to release a second EP in August. Friends Liam Kiely (guitar), Ben Leonard (guitar and vocals), Toby Kwang (bass) and Richard Dugdale (drums) have been effortlessly sculpting their sound since their formation in 2011.
“We just jam together,” says Leonard. “Someone will start playing something and everyone just latches onto it. As we start jamming more, it evolves itself and we let it go wherever it goes.”
“It’s all really shared as well,” adds Dugdale. “It’s never any one saying, ‘Stop guys, it’s this.'”
With agile cross rhythms and tempo shifts, it’s not hard to believe that their music comes from a musical spur-of-the-moment, later shaped into HDSPNS‘ dynamic and up-tempo songs.
“The structuring is something that we leave right to the end. Usually what well do is come up with one part and play around with that idea. We’ll eventually get enough parts for the song then we go back and re-order things so that it’s got a nice flow,” Kiely explains.
They agree they go through phases as a group, saying the mix of artists they’re into is constantly changing. At the moment it’s a combination of Battles, Tame Impala and Popstrangers – to name a few.
Since releasing their debut EP titled ‘EAI’ last year (a clever use of the discarded vowels in their name), HDPSNS have gained online commentary and a decent amount of air play on student radio; making the bFM Top 10 for five weeks straight as well as winning theaudience.co.nz competition to play at the stations bStreet festival in May.
Quickly becoming renowned for their live show too, they managed to squash over 40 gigs into 2012, their favourite being an un-booked Camp-A-Low-Hum gig in the Renegade Room.
“We had made so many posters we stuck up everywhere and told everyone to come down,” Kiely recalls. “We timed it so well, it was 11 at night on the first night of Camp. So So Modern had just played and it started raining or something, so everyone came to the room.”
“It was crazy packed out,” adds Kwang. “Everyone was getting into it.”
Their soon-to-be-released 5-track second EP (recorded with James Dansey) will be available via BandCamp with physical copies on sale at their shows. With a nationwide tour hot on the cards, HDSPNS are already achieving their ultimate yet humble goal which is “…to stay together and to keep having fun… together.”