Hacktivist (band)

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Ben Marvin and J Hurley at With Full Force 2013
Background information
Origin Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Genres Rap metal, djent, nu metal, grime
Years active 2011–present
Labels Wake to Reality, PIAS Recordings, UNFD, Rise Records
Associated acts Heart of a Coward, Sacred Mother Tongue, Districts
Website www.hacktivist.uk.com
Members Tim "Timfy James" Beazley
Jermaine "J" Hurley
Ben Marvin
Josh Gurner
Richard Hawking

Hacktivist are a British rap metal band from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, formed in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist/producer Timfy James and rapper Jermaine Hurley after Timfy's departure from his previous band Heart of a Coward. They have released a self-titled EP in 2012 and their debut studio album Outside the Box in 2016.


Hacktivist began in 2011 after Timfy James' departure from metalcore 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 his friend 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, hiring 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.

Tim and Ben both provided vocals on the Districts track "Callous Vessels" in 2012, which Tim also produced.

After the release of the Hacktivist EP, the band set out touring to promote it. 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.

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. They are also currently working on an album set for release in 2015.

They have shown support for hacking collective Anonymous, They also support "whistleblowers" Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning whom they reference in the song "Cold Shoulders".

On 4 August 2014 Hacktivist released the single "False Idols", as well as a music video. Lots of references to activism (especially hacktivist collective Anonymous) are made throughout the video. 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. Marvin and Hurley also contributed guest vocals for the Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake for the song "Erase" from their album Skydancer, released in May 2015.

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]

Hacktivist were announced as part of the line-up for Slam Dunk Festival 2016 on 11 February 2016.[6]

Musical style

Hacktivist's music is a blend of several different styles. They are noted for using 8 string guitars and 6 string basses 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, anti-gun violence, unity against oppression and other social and economic issues.

The band's music has been described as rap metal[7][8] and grime,[8] as fusing djent and nu metal,[7][9] or more generally as adding rapping to djent.[10][9] They have also been said to use elements of groove metal.[9] Their guitar compositions have been described as reminiscent of both Meshuggah and nu metal bands such as Limp Bizkit and Korn.[10]



Studio albums
Extended plays
  • Hacktivist (2012 self-release, 2013 release under Wake to Reality/PIAS Recordings)


  • From Hacktivist:
    • "Cold Shoulders" (2012)
    • "Unlike Us" (2012)
    • "Hacktivist" (2012)
  • "Niggas in Paris" (2013; Kanye West and Jay-Z cover)
  • From Outside the Box:
    • "Elevate" (2013)
    • "False Idols" (2014)
    • "Deceive and Defy" (2014)
    • "Buszy" (2016)
    • "Taken" (2016)
    • "Hate" (2016)


  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 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Mayday Parade, Cancer Bats & Yellowcard for Slam Dunk 2016". DIY. Retrieved 2016-03-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Pasbani, Robert (5 May 2014). "Is Nü-Djent The Next Big Thing?". Metal Injection. Retrieved 1 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "UK's Hacktivist, Italian Metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse Announced for Mumbai's BIG69 Festival". Rolling Stone India. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Islander (9 November 2012). "Hacktivist". No Clean Singing. Retrieved 1 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>