An interview with The Hyena Kill


When The Hyena Kill returned with news of a new album late last year, they also released the first single from it. With ‘Bleached’, their intention to release an album capable of destruction was clear, but A Disconnect isn’t all about noise and chaos. Within it, there’s also vulnerability, pain and catharsis. We explore some of it as we chat to guitars/vocalist Steven Dobbs and drummer/vocals Lorna Blundell

Words: Renette van der Merwe


A Disconnect is out next week, congratulations! What’s the mood like right now? Nervous or pretty excited to have it out there?

Dobbs: I’m both excited and nervous, it’s been a while since our last big release. We put so much into this record, it’s emotionally taxing just listening to it. I think there will be a big weight lifted off my shoulders when it’s finally out.

Lorna: This record has been a long time in the making, I’m excited it’s time to finally share it.

You’ve described this record perfectly as a feeling of being trapped, which really comes across sonically. Did you go in writing with that intention, or did it come about organically?

Dobbs – The beautiful thing about the making of this record in terms of the music was that for the most part it was organic. We didn’t put any restrictions on ourselves. Ideas flowed really easily and it was a fucking joy to work on, for me anyway. The lyrics and melodies on the other hand, totally different story. I was a lot more methodical, trying to articulate something you don’t even have a grip on was tough.  I can honestly say I didn’t have a clue lyrically if these songs were going to work together until the very end when it came to arranging the running order. I sat back after the first listen and realised how fucking bleak it was. 

The Hyena Kill

“If someone can take solace or find meaning in any of these songs then it’s done its job and makes that sharing of weakness worth it.”

There’s plenty of vulnerability on this album. Were you ever in two minds about putting certain things out there for listeners to hear?

Dobbs: I still am in two minds. It’s the most honest piece of work I’ve ever been involved with. Laying your heart and all your demons out on the table for everyone to see made me feel vulnerable as fuck. For me that’s where the honesty and brutality lies, the good shit pours out when you’re exposed. It has to. If someone can take solace or find meaning in any of these songs then it’s done its job and makes that sharing of weakness worth it.

Lorna: I think the musical tone of this album allowed us all to be vulnerable in our playing. It gave us the space to do so. We love writing and playing a relentlessly chaotic rock tune, like ‘Bleached’, but we wanted to express ourselves differently on this album. We wanted to go deeper.

There’s very little resolution to the pain addressed on this album, but did you feel a sense of catharsis as you wrote and recorded it?

Dobbs: Without a doubt. There is always a sense of purging or cleansing with every record we’ve made. Once they are finished they take on a new life. What I originally thought a certain song was about can become something completely different when you listen back further down the line. In all honesty I don’t think I’ve found much resolution in my personal life, these songs feel like a diary entry. A point in time that I  was trying my best to comprehend. I almost don’t recognise or remember that person singing and performing those songs.

Lorna: I think playing music is always cathartic for me, even if I’m just drumming along to a pop tune and want to expel some pent up energy and lose myself for a moment. It can feel like mental meditation or a physical workout, or sometimes both. With A Disconnect, I agree with Dobbs in the respect that I’m not quite sure we knew what we were creating until it was finished and we listened back to it. I love writing, playing and recording music, but I think a lot more technically more than emotionally whilst I’m writing or in the studio. It’s when I hear finished tracks back that the hidden emotion I was unaware I was expressing at the time shines through. Sometimes it feels like I didn’t know I had something to purge at the time, but listening back I feel the weight in the song as opposed to myself. Like a diary, as Dobbs says.

Lastly, how are you celebrating this album release? Popping champagne over Zoom or what’s going down?

Dobbs: Probably, with a great big fucking lie down for a fortnight.

Lorna: Think I’ll treat myself to a cassette player and a bottle of rum.

The Hyena Kill
The Hyena Kill

Essential Albums // Dobbs

What’s the first album you owned?
Dookie by Green Day, it was a tape my cousin made for me.

What’s the last album you purchased / streamed?
The Happy Soul – Golden Wander

An album that continues to inspire you.?
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins

Something people wouldn’t expect you listening to?
Carly Rae Jepsen

If you had to cover an album, what would it be?
Around The Fur – Deftones

Essential Albums // Lorna

What’s the first album you owned?

What’s the last album you purchased / streamed?
Britney Spears – Circus #freebritney

An album that continues to inspire you.?
Deftones – White Pony

Something people wouldn’t expect you listening to?
Beyonce. Not that that’s such a surprise, I’ve always been obsessed with pop music.

If you had to cover an album, what would it be?
Paramore – After Laughter

Settle the argument

Vinyl or Spotify?

Dobbs: Vinyl – looks, sounds and feels better. That shit is precious

Lorna: Vinyl – Spotify is convenient but vinyl is personal. 

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