Q&A: Dysrhythmia's Kevin Hufnagel And Colin Marston On NYC's Metal Revival, Leaving Relapse Records And Being In A Shit-Ton of Bands

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When Herculean experi-metal prog trio Dysrhythmia traded in their Killadelphia digs for New York City's clusterfuck of a music scene in the mid-naughts, metal and its myriad subgenres barely registered as a blip on this town's radar.

Equipped with a sonic blueprint of meticulously constructed all-instrumental metallic-cum-classikill obliteration, its three members—guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, bassist Colin Marston and drummer Jeff Eber—not only helped revive Brooklyn metal in its Dysrhythmia guise but also with the multitudes of bands and solo projects each are engulfed in and constantly scouring clubs and DIY spaces including, Krallice, Zevious, Gorguts, Behold the Arctopus and Vaura.

Sound of the City caught up with Hufnagel and Marston via email.

After several years and a couple albums with Relapse Records, you've parted ways with them; the next Dysrhythmia album will be released by Profound Lore. Why did you leave Relapse?

Kevin Hufnagel: We had originally signed for a three-album deal, which we had fulfilled after the release of Psychic Maps. I think it was a mutual feeling that we both part ways after that. No hard feelings. They certainly helped us out a lot in the beginning.

Why did you choose to sign with Profound Lore? What do you like about your new label?

Hufnagel: Chris at Profound Lore responded very favorably to the demo we sent him of the new material we were working on. He also had the right mentality and attitude for helping us move forward and further expanding our listening audience. Colin has worked extensively with him, through Krallice, and other avenues, and has had nothing but positive things to say about his experiences.

Colin Marston: As Kevin said, this is not a new label for me. Chris Bruni is my favorite person to deal with in the world of record labels and even though he runs Profound Lore as a total DIY operation (which i greatly respect), he is more on top of business than any other label I've ever dealt with, and, at the same time, is a good curator, AND is the only label to ever pay me royalties! A winning combo.

You wrote this on your Facebook band page: "For the first time in the band's history, we plan on putting an actual 'thanks list,' old-school style, inside our next album. An extensive one, at that." Why have you resisted doing this for so long?

Hufnagel: Usually I feel like the people that need to be thanked, know who they are, but at this point, being that this will be our sixth album in 12 years, we felt it would be proper to list everyone from the beginning of the band's days, to show our appreciation.

With both of your extracurricular activities (and Jeff's non-Dysrhythmia projects like Zevious) like Behold the Arctopus, Krallice, Gorguts, Vaura, Kevin's solo stuff and Colin's engineering/recording ventures, what is your method in going about juggling all of your projects?

Hufnagel: It can be tricky. The key is to just have a constant communication going between all members of every project, and to be disciplined about keeping calendars. Luckily, I play music with people that are not only extremely passionate about the music we write together, but are also responsible and reliable individuals. I think everyone has respect for each other's different endeavors; we're all fans of each other's music.

Marston: I'm self-employed so i make my own schedule—that's the only way it works for me. Some of the bands can only practice in the evening, others during the day, and others only twice a year, so flexibility is key. The other thing that's great is that no band I play in is focused on "going for it" (i.e. touring eight months out of the year, doing dumb package tours for exposure, and generally putting effort into making people try to like your band). That means I'm here in New York writing, practicing, and recording 85% of the year instead of touring for an album I made last year and probably wrote three years ago. But also, like Kevin said, our little musical community is one where we're all in a zillion bands, so there's never the expectation that all band members need to devote all their time to one given group. We're creative people, not employees of a company.

Are you guys as busy as you appear to be?

Hufnagel: Yes.

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