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HyperStatic Union

HyperStatic Union bring a new spin on pop/rock with their national debut Lifegiver.'s Andrew Shaw caught up with vocalist/guitarist Shawn Lewis to discuss the band's beginnings, sound, and their debut record.
This interview took place May, 2006

  • Jesus freak Hideout (Andrew Shaw): Tell me about the beginning of HSU, how did all of you meet?
    Shawn Lewis: High School. We all attended Camas High School at the same time and have been friends ever since. It wasn't until after some college that we got back together and started HSU. The band's inception coincided with some major spiritual renewal for myself and our drummee, Ray. We were learning about God's grace.

  • JFH (Andrew): Mac Powell, lead-singer of Third Day, produced Lifegiver; that's pretty impressive for a debut album. How did you come to know Powell, or better yet, how did Powell come to know of HSU?
    Shawn: Through some friends of ours from the NW who had promoted shows for both Third Day and ourselves in the late 90s. They were huge fans of what we were doing and slipped Mac a demo of ours many years ago. The timing just worked out exceptionally for Third Day to start their production company and for us to allow God to grow this band nationally.

  • JFH (Andrew): When I first listened to Lifegiver, it was a unique experience for me, because your sound is so different from most Christian rock bands out there. Although it's always refreshing to hear an artist that breaks the CCM mold a bit, by doing so you risk alienating radio, and fans alike. Is being on the CCM frontlines important to HSU?
    Shawn: No, being on music's frontlines is important for us. It's not like we're totally reinventing anything, but we do have a certain musical focus and some constraints by which our music comes out. Alienation has to happen at some level to have any honest appeal to a critical music listener. Our fans have always been the ones who simply dig our music for what it is, their not the ones who dig it because their friends dig it. We want to provide people with an alternative, that's for sure. It's important to note that the message of the gospel is innately alienating as well (and unifying at the same time). As Christians, we should be right at home with feeling like aliens in a foreign land. We've always felt that there's a giant untapped listenership for CCM listeners and mainstream listeners who want 'up front,' truthful lyrics in an 'envelope-pushing' musical package. We're here to bring Biblical truth to the masses in the shape of a funk-rock song with some pop sensibility.

  • JFH (Andrew): To be honest, I was little confused after listening through the whole album because I had know idea what sound you were going for. Was this musical cornucopia intentional?
    Shawn: Well, we weren't going for 'a sound' per se. My favorite artists don't really have one sound. Our band has hugely diverse musical influences and we pay tribute to those whenever we can but in the end, the songs just come out. You should have heard the stuff we cut from the record to keep it MORE focused.

  • JFH (Andrew): HSU seems content on being different, so does that mean you don't want to be the next MercyMe or Switchfoot?
    Shawn: Exactly, we want to be the first Hyper Static Union.

  • JFH (Andrew): Although I love listening to music on my iPod, hearing the music in concert is (usually) so much better. What's it like for a fan going to an HSU show?
    Shawn: There's certainly an energy that we have live that didn't quite get conveyed the way we wanted to on the record. We'll be working on that for the next release. It's just difficult to incorporate our bass player's dance moves on CD. But we have some funk jams and some added aggression that definitely ramp up the material that we get to play. Being an opener right now, we have the unique challenge of ramping it up in 15 minutes usually. But we promise to not disappoint. The arena is the 5th member of our band and everything just sounds right in that environment. That's another thing I'd like to mention...this record was made to rock your car or your home theater, not your iPod or your computer speakers. Nothing against small speakers but they don't do justice to rock 'n' roll. So go to Circuit City or whatever and put some decent 6 inchers in the doors of your Hyundai and turn it way up. You'll be surprised at the difference that makes.

  • JFH (Andrew): I'll be sure to try that out. (NOTE: I have since played Lifegiver on the largest system I can find, and it does make some of the songs sound real good…) One last question, where do you see HSU in five years?
    Shawn: We don't really have a 5-year plan necessarily. This is a giant step of faith for everyone; label, management, Third Day, our wives, etc. God will reveal His plan in due time. Until then, we just keep doing what we do and looking forward to every opportunity to share our faith and the message of Jesus Christ. After all, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans for the future.


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