Artist Spotlight ~ hIPNOSTIC

hIPNOSTIC is a heavy rock band from Orange County, CA. Our music is driven by a passion for heavy contagious riffs, powerful rhythmic grooves, thought provoking arrangements that filter through a positive and hopeful lyrical message. The band draws inspiration from artists like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Chevelle, Seether, Shinedown and Godsmack.​ Our latest singles “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which is a unique heavy rock version of the classic Bill Withers tune with a dark moody spin and “Blind Eyes See” truly embody what the band’s music is all about and where we are headed in the future. The band released its debut record Dissolve Me which garnered many positive reviews.

hIPNOSTIC received 4 nominations at the ALL ACCESS L.A. Music Awards, Best New Group, Best Hard Rock Band, Best overall album of the year, and won Best Alternative Male Vocalist. Their song “Ritual” was featured in the movie “The Dead Matter” and was included in the movie soundtrack. They were also fortunate that Fox Sports Net picked “Ritual” and “Heels On A Plank” for their “Re:Evolution of Sports” show. In 2011, Blake and his long-time musical brother Rob Swanson reunited to push the band to a whole new level. The band continues to reach new melodic territories and create a broader sonic landscape. The intertwining of their guitar and bass personalities gives the band an even heavier rock sound. In 2016, the line-up was complete with the addition of powerhouse drummer Marty Wilcox.

hIPNOSTIC is currently in the studio wrapping up the final stages of their next full-length release and promises it will be every bit the riff heavy journey that was set in motion with their singles “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Blind Eyes See”.

Every super hero and villain has an origin and a band is no different, minus secret government experiments and radioactive spiders. What’s the origins of hIPNOSTIC?

Blake Hastings/hIPNOSTIC was all about getting back to creating pure music. It was about getting back to the roots. Rob and I used to play in a band on the Sunset Strip in the early 90s called Lixx Array. We actually started our musical careers out playing in that band. It was just at the tail end of the hair band hysteria in a way. We were also in a band called Spirit Tree which was more post-grunge type of music. After Spirit Tree ended, I just wanted to create a whole new project and that is where hIPNOSTIC was born. On Dissolve Me, I continued to write, produce, record and mix music that I love the most. When the record came out I had various other musicians that were playing in the band at the time. I tried not to worry about trying to fit into fads or making everybody happy. And so I decided to put it out and it did extremely well. I had no expectations of what was going to happen because of most of the time in this industry there are let downs and generally a lot of things just don’t work out. You got to do it for the love and passion and that’s really where Dissolve Me was born out of. A lot of great things came out of that album. We got some awards and great press as well. A few of the songs were on ESPN and “Ritual” was also in a horror movie called “Dead Matter.”  So there were a lot of cool things that happened which weren’t expected at all. You just kind of do it and hope that people embrace.   

What’s the story with the name hIPNOSTIC?

I always wanted to create a band name from scratch that was unique and original. I really wanted it to bold, powerful, one word and easy to remember. I wanted a name that draws a person in with a hypnotic twist. hIPNOSTIC was the winning band name I was looking to create!

If you could bring back any musician who is no longer with us to sit down, have a drink and just chat (no performing), who would you want to save a chair for?

Without a doubt it would be Chris Cornell. Really miss him on all levels and it was so devastating when he left us. A true ICON in every way…the voice and talent like no one…he was the unicorn…my all-time favorite!

What’s been the strangest or most interesting job that you’ve ever had?

Wow, let me think here, strangest job, most of them have been pretty standard, not too crazy, however I was an awesome fry cook at Wienerschnitzel in High School for a while. Most interesting would be working in the electronic component field and interfacing with many big name companies.

Do you have a favorite cartoon and cereal?

Oh yes! Favorite cartoon growing up was The Flintstones and cereal was Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops.

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