Hacktivist (band)

Last updated
Ben Marvin and J Hurley at With Full Force 2013
Background information
Origin Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Years active2011–present
LabelsWake to Reality, PIAS Recordings, UNFD, Rise Records
Associated acts Heart of a Coward, Sacred Mother Tongue, Districts, Cyberbrain, Opia
Website www.hacktivist.uk.com
MembersJermaine "J" Hurley
Josh Gurner
Richard Hawking
Jot Maxi
James Hewitt
Past membersBen Marvin
Tim "Timfy James" Beazley

Hacktivist are a British rap metal band formed in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, in 2011. They released a self-titled EP in 2012, followed by their debut studio album Outside the Box in 2016.

Rap metal is a subgenre of rap rock and alternative metal music which combines hip hop with heavy metal. It usually consists of heavy metal guitar riffs, funk metal elements, rapped vocals and sometimes turntables.

Milton Keynes Large town in south central England founded in 1967

Milton Keynes, locally abbreviated to MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, England, about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of London. It is the principal settlement of the Borough of Milton Keynes, a unitary authority. At the 2011 Census, its population was almost 230,000; the Office for National Statistics estimates that it will reach 300,000 by 2025. The River Great Ouse forms its northern boundary; a tributary, the River Ouzel meanders through its linear parks and balancing lakes. Approximately 25% of the urban area is parkland or woodland and includes an SSI.

Buckinghamshire County of England

Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east.



Hacktivist began in 2011 when former guitarist Timfy James left his previous band 'Heart of a Coward'. James claims that the formation of Hacktivist was a "fluke", with no intention of developing such a style, but the group was born when peer J Hurley, a local rapper with little history in the metal scene, began recording vocals over some of James' demos. [1] After the demos became very popular online, James decided to recruit a full lineup, bringing in Richard Hawking on drums, Josh Gurner (ex-Sacred Mother Tongue) on bass and Ben Marvin (James's former bandmate in Heart Of A Coward) as a second vocalist. The band began work on an EP in 2012 and debut single "Unlike Us" reached No. 2 in the Amazon UK metal chart within 48 hours. [2] Despite being released independently on 12 November 2012, the band's self-titled EP proved popular in the metal media with Metal Hammer in particular giving the band significant coverage [3] and considerable airplay on BBC Radio 1.

Sacred Mother Tongue was a four-piece British heavy metal band from Northampton initially formed in 2004. The line up consisted of Darrin South (vocals), Andy James (guitar), Josh Gurner and Lee Newell (drums).

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

<i>Metal Hammer</i> periodical literature

Metal Hammer is a monthly heavy metal and rock music magazine, published in the United Kingdom by Future and in several other countries by different publishers. Metal Hammer articles feature both mainstream bands and more unusual acts from the whole spectrum of heavy metal music.

After the release of the Hacktivist EP, the band set out to tour. This included supporting slots for acts such as Enter Shikari and Korn and performances in European festivals such as Sonisphere Festival, Download Festival and Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in summer 2013. In April 2013 the group released a new song "Elevate", with an accompanying video, for free download [4] and this was followed up in August with a cover of "Niggas In Paris" (originally by Jay-Z and Kanye West). A video for "Niggas In Paris" was filmed during their set at Download Festival 2013. They also performed a live session for BBC Radio 1 at Maida Vale Studios.

Enter Shikari British post-hardcore band

Enter Shikari is an English rock band formed in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England in 1999 under the name Hybryd by bassist Chris Batten, lead vocalist and keyboardist Roughton "Rou" Reynolds, and drummer Rob Rolfe. In 2003, guitarist Liam "Rory" Clewlow joined the band to complete its current lineup, and it adopted its current name. In 2006, they performed to a growing fanbase at Download Festival as well as a sold-out concert at the London Astoria. Their debut studio album, Take to the Skies, was released in 2007 and reached number 4 in the Official UK Album Chart, and has since been certified gold in the UK. Their second, Common Dreads, was released in 2009 and debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number 16; while their third, A Flash Flood of Colour, was released in 2012 and debuted on the chart at number 4. Both have since been certified silver in the UK. The band spent a considerable amount of time supporting the latter release through the A Flash Flood of Colour World Tour, before beginning work on a fourth studio album, The Mindsweep, which was released in 2015. Their fifth studio album The Spark was released in 2017.

Korn American nu-metal band

Korn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band is notable for pioneering the nu metal genre and bringing it into the mainstream.

Sonisphere Festival Annual English touring music festival

The Sonisphere Festival was a touring rock music festival which took place across Europe between the months of June and August. The festival is owned by John Jackson and Kilimanjaro Live. It is jointly promoted by K2 and Kilimanjaro Live. It has hosted heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Slayer, Judas Priest and Megadeth.

The band headed out on a UK headline tour throughout winter 2013, supported by The Algorithm. A re-release of their debut EP with 4 bonus tracks was released on 11 November 2013.

The Algorithm french band

The Algorithm is the musical project of French musician Rémi Gallego from Perpignan. His style is characterised by an unusual combination of electronic dance music with progressive metal. Gallego chose the name The Algorithm to highlight the music's complex and electronic nature.

The band has shown support for hacktivism collective Anonymous, and appear to support "whistle-blowers" Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning whom they reference in the song 'Cold Shoulders'.

Anonymous (group) hacktivist group

Anonymous is a decentralized international hacktivist group that is widely known for its various DDoS cyber attacks against several governments, government institutions and government agencies, corporations, and the Church of Scientology.

Edward Snowden American Whistleblower and Former National Security Agency Contractor

Edward Joseph Snowden is an American whistle-blower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.

Chelsea Manning 21st-century United States Army soldier

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning is an American activist and whistleblower. She is a former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. She was imprisoned from 2010 until 2017 when her sentence was commuted. Manning is currently in jail for her continued refusal to testify before a grand jury against Julian Assange. A trans woman, Manning released a statement in 2013 explaining she had a female gender identity since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea Manning. She also expressed a desire to begin hormone replacement therapy.

On 4 August 2014 Hacktivist released the single and video for "False Idols". Lots of references to activism (especially hacktivist collective Anonymous) are made throughout the video and within hours the song had reached number 1 on the iTunes Metal chart. This release was followed on 12 November by "Deceive and Defy" (also accompanied by a video), featuring Charlie Holmes of Heart in Hand on vocals. Hacktivist then toured the UK from November to December, supported by Dead Harts and the One Hundred.

iTunes media player and library software

iTunes is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content must be purchased through the iTunes Store, whereas iTunes is the software letting users manage their purchases.

Heart in Hand (band) English melodic hardcore band

Heart in Hand were an English band from Bournemouth and Southampton, formed in 2008. Their musical style was a melodic blend of hardcore punk and heavy metal influences, described as both melodic hardcore and metalcore by reviewers. Their first release was the Heart in Hand EP in 2009, followed by 3 studio albums. The band's final lineup consisted of vocalist Charlie Holmes, guitarists Ed Hartwell and Ollie Wilson, bassist Gavin Thane and drummer Sam Brennan.

Following the release of the single "Buszy" on 17 January 2016, their debut studio album Outside the Box was released on 4 March 2016. [5]

On the 20th of January 2017, it was announced that Hacktivist and Ben Marvin were parting ways due to Ben's family commitments, [6] and rapper/vocalist Jot Maxi was brought in as the new co-vocalist.

May 31st 2017 saw the release of single '2 Rotten' with an accompanying video. The track was essentially a heavier remix of track 'Rotten' from Outside the Box but with Jot Maxi taking a leading role as opposed to the 16 bar feature slot he had in the original. The single was well received despite the video not achieving as many YouTube views as previous releases, with the general census across social media being that Jot is a welcome addition to the band and that a 2nd album is eagerly anticipated by fans.

On the 28th of March 2018 it was announced that Hacktivist and Timfy James had parted ways. Following on from this the band recruited James Hewitt (of bands 'Invocation' and 'Exist Immortal') as their new guitarist and producer with an official announcement made on the 19th of January 2019. Hewitt had been playing live and writing new material with the band since June 2018. [7]

The band embarked on a headline UK tour in Jan/Feb 2019 and went on to release the single 'Reprogram' with accompanying video on the 10th of April 2019.

Musical style

Hacktivist's music is a blend of several different styles. They are noted for using 8 string guitars and 6 string basses both tuned down to Drop E to achieve an extremely low tuned, distorted and dark sound, as well as ambient passages and a "wall of sound" production style. Their vocals are primarily rapped, although they also make use of conventional singing and occasional harsh vocals. They write their lyrics collectively, focusing on political subjects such as anarchism, conspiracy theories, government corruption, censorship, anti-gun violence, unity against oppression and other social and economic issues.

The band's music has been described as rap metal [8] [9] and grime, [9] as fusing djent and nu metal, [8] [10] or more generally as adding rapping to djent. [11] [10] They have also been said to use elements of groove metal. [10] Their guitar compositions have been described as reminiscent of both Meshuggah and nu metal bands such as Limp Bizkit and Korn. [11]




Studio albums
Extended plays


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  1. Interview with Hacktivist Metal Mouth. January 15, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  2. Hacktivist: 'We're uniting a lot of people' The Guardian. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. New Music Monday: Hacktivist Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine Metal Hammer. October 8, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  4. HACKTIVIST Debut New Video And Offer Free Download Metal Mouth. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  5. "Hacktivist Stream Debut Album, Outside The Box - Kerrang!". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  6. "Hacktivist on Facebook: We are sad to announce the departure of founding member and vocalist Ben Marvin". Facebook. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  7. "Hacktivist on Facebook: We are beyond excited and proud to FINALLY be able to announce our new guitarist & producer JAMES HEWITT!". Facebook. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  8. 1 2 Pasbani, Robert (5 May 2014). "Is Nü-Djent The Next Big Thing?". Metal Injection. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  9. 1 2 "UK's Hacktivist, Italian Metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse Announced for Mumbai's BIG69 Festival". Rolling Stone India. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 Islander (9 November 2012). "Hacktivist". No Clean Singing. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  11. 1 2 Rosenberg, Axl (17 October 2011). "Djent-rappers Hacktivist Kind Enough to Put the Word Hack Right There in the Name". MetalSucks . Retrieved 1 May 2015.