ABOUT a year ago, Warrnambool musicians Daniel Gilchrist, Clarke Finn and Matt Grave decided a change was in order.
At the time, the trio was playing as Hex a band that had been kicking around for a number years with varying line-ups and Gilchrist as the only remaining founding member.
But after all the changes in sound and line-ups and the passing of years, Hex no longer felt like Hex.
So the group quietly shut down and reappeared as Hyperdrones, heralding the metamorphoses with a stint in the studio that yielded a new self-titled EP.
"It feels like a new band it's nice and fresh," Gilchrist said.
"It was definitely a good idea.
"We got a new name and a whole new perspective on music and playing and songwriting."
Aside from ditching a moniker that made people think they were "dark and sinister", the name change gave the band a renewed focus that is evident from their EP a five-track collection that showcases the locked-in grooviness of rhythm section Finn (drums) and Grave (bass) and Gilchrist's unhinged howl and virtuosity as a guitarist.
Gilchrist said the trio felt like it had found its own sound for the first time a spacey blend of punk, funk and rock that sat somewhere between the "full-on" sound and novelty songs Hex had been known for.
"It's way above our expectations," Gilchrist said of the Hyperdrones EP.
"Initially we wanted to do a single because we wanted to get something out there (under the new name)."
With more songs ready to go and good recording environment, the single quickly grew to an EP.
Gilchrist said it was a real pleasure to work at Smith Sound in Naringal with engineer Brenton Smith and friend and local multi-instrumentalist Matt Hewson as producer.
"The recording process went so smoothly it was such a great experience," he explained.
"Brenton is fantastic at what he does and Hewy's influence and suggestions were really good.
"We've already talked about recording again."
Feedback for the EP has already been strong, getting good reviews on Triple J's Unearthed site and reaching the top 10 on that page's overall chart, as well as topping the Unearthed rock chart briefly.
The band is predominantly based in Melbourne now, and Gilchrist said they hoped to make more of a name for themselves in the city this year.
Hyperdrones will kick off a launch tour for the EP this weekend with gigs at Geelong's Barwon Club tomorrow night, The Loft in Warrnambool on Saturday night, The Workers Club in Fitzroy on Wednesday and Bendigo's Musicman Megastore on February 1, with more dates to be announced.