Becoming the Archetype – Seth Hexcox (Guitarist/Keyboardist)
No one would ever think that a Christian band as heavy as this would be able to portray music as progressive as this especially death metal, but after being signed onto Solid State Records Becoming the Archetype would forever be whom they wanted to be and thus the birth of them has surfaced. Formed in 1999 in Dacula, Georgia, they have gone off to release three albums “Terminate Damnation” (2005), ‘The Physics of Fire“, (2007) and “Dichotomy” (2008). With such capabilities flowing through their veins these Christian heavy metallers knew exactly what they wanted and ran with it every step of the way. Their guitarist/keyboardist Seth Hexcox or “Count Seth” as he liked to be called is not only dishing out the goods on the heavy duty side but is expressing his appeal towards the pop/rock department with his side project Anchors. When it’s all said and done Count Seth will forever be nothing but brutal.
In 5 words or less tell me how Becoming the Archetype came to be and what the meaning behind the name means?
Haha. “By a miracle”. How’s that?
How has the response been to the new album?
Absolutely great. For the niche genre we’re in, we couldn’t ask for a much better response in terms of buzz and sales of the records, especially Dichotomy. People have really warmed up to it and have started going nuts at shows, so that’s always a great thing.
What did you feel was different about the production of the new album?
The production is the main thing that’s different about Dichotomy. Devin Townsend, of Strapping Yound Lad fame, produced and mixed the album and you can certainly tell. Really, I feel comfortable saying that Dichotomy is one of my favorite metal albums ever because its greatness is due more to Devin than to me. He knows how to stack layer upon layer and really get a huge sound and make the songs take the shape you imagined. He’s the only producer I’ve worked with that’s like that and trust me, I’ve worked with quite a few between Becoming The Archetype and my other band, Anchors.
Who writes the songs?
In the past, the songs were written by me and the other guitarist in the band (for Terminate Damnation and Dichotomy, that was Jon Star and for The Physics of Fire that was Alex Kenis). This album has a good dose of Jason Wisdom (vocals, bass) in the music because he’s had ideas coming out all over the place and it’s been really energizing because he doesn’t think about music like me or like most people. When he writes, he’ll hear a riff in his head and pull out his phone and record sounds with his mouth. Then he’ll bring it to me or our new guitarist Daniel Gailey and we’ll sit down and figure out how to play his beeps and boops on his phone. Then we’ve got a song!
How does the songwriting process work?
This album we’re writing together. Someone will have a riff or series of riffs that go together and we’ll bring that to practice and play it for each other. Then everyone puts their changes on it, adds their instrument to it. It’s a slow way to write, but it’s making us more pleased with the songs before we record than we previously have been. We’ll be recording our 4th album in a few months and are finally getting to where we’re gonna have a mass of music to lay down and explore in the studio.
Do you think it’s more important to write a song that’s meaningful to you or a song that you know people will like?
Well, that’s the catch 22 of writing music. If no one likes it, what use is it to share it with the world and also you won’t make money so you won’t be writing for long. But if it’s not meaningful to you, then it’s like giving a present with nothing inside the wrapping. As a songwriter, you need to be able to draw something beautiful out of yourself that pleases you and honestly makes you think it’ll make the world better; even if that means that it’ll connect with a small cult of individuals and be meaningful to them.
How has the tour been going so far? Is it a headlining tour?
Yes it is. We just got off a headlining tour on the east coast. I head out tomorrow with my other band, Anchors, on a 5 week west coast run. Then, BTA heads out on another headlining run with a couple cool bands in the Midwest. Then after a little break, we do another headlining run on the east coast again with some friends in bands. Then we head to South Africa for a tour in September. How cool is that?!
What do you have in the future for Becoming the Archetype?
More touring and recording this 4th album. Mainly, we want to reach people with our music and I think Dichotomy was a great benchmark for where we’re going and what sort of crowd we’re reaching.
How has the band’s sound progressed from Terminate Damnation to Dichotomy?
Mainly there’s more emphasis on songwriting. We used to just put riffs together. And granted, I think they were good riffs. But now we are more conscious of how the song flows and how to make good transitions. I don’t think many bands are very good at that, so we’re trying to get ahead of the crowd a bit in that regard. A healthy dose of keyboard and synthesizers, then a healthy dose of singing vocals and the rest is brutal melodic metal!
What’s it like to be signed with Solid State Records?
We love it and are planning to resign after this next album. Without SS, we wouldn’t be a touring band. They believed in us and we are forever grateful for that.
Why don’t you tell me about your side project, Anchors it’s completely different from Becoming the Archetype why the change of pace?
Anchors is a great outlet for me musically and for touring. I started Anchors over 3 years ago and we just came out with our first legit EP in February. I sing and play keys and synth in that band and we tour a good deal as well as record about once a year. We love playing and bringing a high energy atmosphere to the place. Usually people get to dancing and grooving while we play because we’re a dance/synth/pop rock band. It’s very catchy, but not lame. Just a ton of fun! You can check us out at myspace.com/ouranchors or facebook.com/anchorsmusic
How many band t-shirts do you own and which would do you consider the prize winner that you cannot live without?
Haha, well a couple years ago, I’d have a great answer for that, but recently, I’ve gotten out of wearing t-shirts in favor of those snap-button western shirts. I used to almost exclusively wear band shirts, but in the summer in Atlanta, those black shirts get hot! I still have a shirt of the punk band The Remnants which is very punk and fun to wear. Other than that, I’ve packed most of them away.
If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?
Oh my, if I answered that honestly, they’d hunt me down and tar and feather me! Let’s just say I like to have fun and I’d have a whole lotta fun!
What would be your last words before you died?
Well that depends who I’m speaking to, right? If I’m talking to my brother, I’d say how proud I am of him. But if I’m talking to the world, perhaps I’d say something a bit more universal. How about this: “I loved my life to a ridiculous degree and I wish all of you had too. I’m ok with dying but it’s still a bit terrifying. Please do what makes you happy because that’s what makes other people happy. This probably involves getting rid of all the garbage you’ve collected around yourself. Go have fun!”
Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t covered?
Yeah, I’d like to say that I love music because of what it does to me. I hope it does the same to the people reading this interview. It’s because of this that I play music. If you have something you connect with for unexplained reasons, you should probably find a way to make your living doing it. Also, money and possessions always lead to unhappiness and worry. You’d probably be better off with less than you have now. Happiness is more important than wealth or power.