TRR: Tell me about the band. Do you consider the band Blues Rock?
EH: I would not classify us as a blues rock act even though most of what we do is blues rock and psychedelic rock seasoned with soul. The reason I would not classify us as a blues rock band, though, is because we do other genres and fusion. I’m really interested in heightening roots and blues techniques/elements in the production of modern power rock. For example, consider what R&B artist Wilson Pickett did with rock guitarist Duane Allman in 1969 together when they covered “Hey Jude”; soul vocals and rock guitar work….only our music conventions are not limited to 1969 but range over hard rock and melodic punk now. I’ve had to produce music from these different genres, because fusion is only as strong as its weakest link.
TRR: Where did the band’s name come from?
EH: When I replaced the older singer, we began looking for a new name for the band to help mark a new stage for the project. Alvin, the new singer, chose The Roar because it is simple, catchy, easy to remember, and reminds him of the style of some of our music.
TRR: Easy to remember. True. Your version of 'Heaven’ is getting a lot of attention on Bandivious Radio why did you choose this song? Many people like your version better than the original by Bryan Adams.
EH: I was playing in a band with a friend, Kevin Clark, who went on to work with Slick Shoes, Redgun Radar and Guttermouth, and we noticed that a lot of bands were covering Adams’s “Summer of 69”, i.e. Strung Out, MxPx, Slab. It became something of a fad for 90's melodic punk bands to cover 80's classics. Even bands in the early 2000’s were still doing something similar. For example, MxPx covered A-ha’s “Take On Me” and The Ataris later did Henley’s “The Boys of Summer”. So, after I started to play “Heaven”, I thought of the faster version as my Punk contribution in that vein.
We are also shooting a music video for "Heaven" on April 5th, and it will be released shortly after that studio capture date once production ends sometime around mid-April. Keep your eye out for it, if you like the cover version. It is going to be tasty.
TRR: I think it's a great piece you guys have done. Looking forward to the video you're putting together. Do you have a big following in Pomona, or do you find most of your fans are spread out globally?
EH: No, I don’t think our following is big in Pomona. We’ve spent this last year recording, and some time before that getting up to speed since I replaced the old singer. We’ve started performing more coming into 2020, anticipating the release of the two LPs we just finished, but now the Stay-At-Home Order here in CA has us all on lock-down. So, the fan base is more global at this point. From the stats I see, they’re more stateside than abroad.
TRR: As a kid, what were you listening to?
EH: As a kid, I listened mostly to my father’s music. He oversaw the radio, and he liked to listen to The Beatles, Bob Seger, The Cars, that kind of stuff. This period must have been influential to my brother and I growing up, because my favorite band is still The Beatles. In adolescence, I started listening to a lot of Punk bands like, The Sex Pistols, The Stooges, MC5, The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, The Damned, The Adicts, The Misfits, Stiv Bators, etc.. After I started playing guitar, I began listening to the newer Punk bands like Lagwagon, Strung Out, Blink 182, etc., and thought about trying to combine the best elements of the old school punk and new school punk styles.
TRR: That's a pretty solid group of Punk rockers. When did you record your first song?
EH: Honestly, I cannot remember, but I think I was somewhere between the age of 17-18 years old. I have some old songs on tape still, and we’d record together in a garage, just using a tape cassette and recorder. REALLY RAW! This lends itself nicely to producing Garage Rock and Punk. We must have felt something like how The Sonics felt, it is really a garage rock sound…literally.
TRR: Have you always wanted to be in the music profession?
EH: No, I don’t think it was something I always aimed for. My music heroes were on a pedestal, so they were unapproachable. After you accept that they are just people, too, you can start considering the possibilities.
TRR: If you weren’t in the music industry, what do you think you would be doing?
EH: I teach Philosophy full time, and if I were not producing, I would spend more of my time with work and finishing writing projects. I have several on hold now, a few articles I’m trying to publish, and a couple books planned (one textbook). I’d probably also pursue a multi-genre creative writing project I’ve outlined for a series of novels. This is a good question, because I think I would likely find an avenue for artistic expression elsewhere. This is an important part of the human experience, so I would likely find some way to get it out.
TRR: Philosophy. That's interesting how you go from philosophy to music. Seems like a good mix. Where did you record Jimi's House?
EH: I recorded Jimi’s House at Love Juice Labs, in Riverside, CA. with Jeff Upp and Riki Hendrix. Dave Swanson is the engineer. I do everything with Dave. He’s "The Wizard!"
TRR: How did you get Riki Hendrix involved with Jimi's House?
EH: Jeff, our drummer, drums for him too. So, I have a connection to him through our drummer. Our old singer was supposed to do the guitar for Jimi’s House, because he imitates Jimi, whereas I take inspiration from him and try to be original. Since I replaced the older singer, though, I needed to rerecord the guitar parts. When I thought about it, even though I had the parts in mind, it just felt fitting or pious to have Riki track the guitar -since he has a familial connection to the Hendrix family name. This seemed like the most honorable way to record that song, and Riki is an awesome and fun musician with whom to work in the studio.
I released the single of Jimi’s House with Riki Hendrix and that is available now through common digital distributors like Amazon, Spotify, etc.. I also recorded some guitar work on a mix included in our First Lady Loves Rock n’ Roll 2x LP, so you do not buy the same song twice if you buy the single and the LP.
TRR: The music industry has gone through some major changes over the past several years and it's not easy to get a big break in this profession as it was in the past, and now, dealing with the Corona virus pandemic. Is your family supportive of your music career?
EH: Indeed, there are so many changes that I don’t know how we keep up. Yes, my family is supportive of the music I produce. They are always accommodating when I need to work something out time/date wise for production, rehearsal, etc., even though other things may be planned. That is the way people need to be to make relationships work. Managing a band of grown men and family takes a lot of planning and timing. Try doing all this while working full time.
TRR: Do they go to your shows?
EH: Yes, occasionally some family members do come to a show. Of course, sometimes conflicts of dates arise, but the family is supportive and enjoys most of the music.
TRR: What was it like the first time you stepped on stage to do your original music?
EH: Exciting in that you’re both anticipating finally playing your own stuff but also nervous. Everyone learns in basic comm studies classes that these reactions are normal, and we learn how to use the energy in our performance so it is manageable and should work in your favor when doing something high energy like rock music. You can take comfort in your preparation, like rehearsing and practice, but even when you know how everything will turn out, the content and music is powerful and should create a reaction. It is definitely a rush! It probably should be, when it stops is when you’re likely doing something wrong.
TRR: What’s your favorite song to do live?
EH: “The Driver”. I really enjoy the stop time tricks we use in that one. When timed right, you can pull off the perfect Flying Eddie.
TRR: Who would you like to share the stage with if given the opportunity?
EH: I’d love to share the stage with Sir James Paul McCartney. McCartney is incredible, because he’s still producing and touring, and he looks great for his age. He definitely takes care of himself. I play and sing a number of his songs, “Yesterday”, “Michelle”, “Let It Be”, “The Long and Winding Road”, and I love his melodies and use his route map ideas. His vocal range is higher than mine, so I have to work at his higher tones. I’m more around George’s range than Paul or John, and I do a mean cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but Paul’s song writing is amazing…(Maybe I’m Amazed).
TRR: What’s on the table for the rest of 2020 after this Corona virus crisis subsides?
EH: A bit more recording and much more performance work. We are currently working on a single called “Saving Grace”. There will be several groupings of live shows this year, health crisis permitting, and we’ll mostly be in the So Ca area working with the Bar and Restaurant Society and other local promoters.
TRR: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
EH: I’m sure we’d all like to give shout outs to our friends and family. I also want to give a shout out to Dave and Donna Swanson for producing the music with me. We’ve had a lot of fun working on the recordings over the last 10 years. Also, thanks to Riki Hendrix for helping to track a song about his cousin Jimi. All the artists who have done studio or performance work for us: Peter Martin, Chris Verastegui, Bill Briscoe, Eric Croissant, Andrew Valezuela, Tommy Weatherell, Jerred Lee, and especially Amar Alhoch.