Thursday, April 30, 2009

Local Spotlight #3 - Hercules Interview

If you have been to any Nebraska hardcore shows for any amount of time in the last four years, chances are you have seen Hercules. Hailing from Omaha, NE, Hercules are among the most active bands in the Midwest playing nearly every week when they are home. Hercules play a strong mix of speedy hardcore with stoner/groove influences with a lot of energy and plenty of head banging riffs. The band will have a brand new lp (the bands 2nd) Moon Riders on Nihilism Records out soon, so be sure to pick it up. I was lucky enough to catch up with the band via email in between tours and in return I received good answers from every member of the band: guitarist Brock, bassist Aaron, vocalist Tyler, and their drummer Danny. Be sure to catch them if they play near you, they are sure not to disappoint. On with Local Spotlight #3.

How did Hercules get started?

- In May 2005 me, Tyler, Danny and our friends Jeff (now in The Cave Kids) and Keith (now in Lightning Bug) started a band called "A Murderous Fault" to play a friends party and make fun of those local mosh dudes in Murder She Wrote. We wrote like 6 songs really quick and recorded them and that was "The Bison EP." Then we played shows weekly all summer. It was originally me and Danny on guitar, Jeff on bass, Tyler on vocals and Keith on drums. It was a super good time. We would just show up at parties, break shit and play horribly, so basically what we still do today. Sometime in the middle of it all we decided to call the band Hercules instead.
We played A LOT of shows that summer. We even played 2 shows in like a 2 hour period, it was a wild time. Then at some random party at Nicole Giddan's (spell check, sorry Nicole) house we decided that would be our last show. Then time went on and me, Danny and Tyler had a band called White Collar Mercy we were still doing. We broke up in November of that year after the 402 Birthday Bash and we were left with no band. We did play a few more shows, one was Nick and Chris Miller's birthday party at a bomb shelter in Waverly, it was sweet! Then in February of 2006 we decided to get Hercules back together. It was just me, Danny and Tyler (Danny now on drums) writing new songs. Then Aaron was like "Hey, can I play bass?" We said yeah, wrote some new songs, re-learned old ones and that became "The Dawn of the Dilophosaurus and the Rise and Fall of Zordon" and "Those of the Damned Run In Circles for Glory." So we formed in May of 2005 or February of 2006, depending how you look at it.
Aaron - We are friends sharing common interests? I joined after they played some parties (three in one night?) switched names and members a few times. That was about 4 years ago. When everyone still loved Norma Jean. Now we have two LP’s of punk rock and roll and we want to play your town 4 times a year.
Tyler - We started as a joke, making fun of a local band. There were a few member changes and chino joined the band.
Danny -
I didn't have anything to do with how the band started. It’s a big ol’ joke though.

Can you tell me about the new album and what was the writing process involved going into it? Was it a different approach than previous material?

- Well it took fucking forever to write Moon Riders. We wrote 3 of the new songs in 2007 while we were living at The Party Plex. Then we demoed those that year for "Drunk Homeless Loser Rides Again." Then we basically toured on that for 2 tours and didn't do shit writing wise. Then in summer 2008 we started practicing in Mitch's moms basement because we all lived at our parents and Aaron lived with Mitch's mom. Then we just jammed and wrote the rest of the record. The dudes smoked a lot of pot and we all listened to a lot of Black Sabbath, it shows. We don't have a process to writing at all; we don't even talk about what we want to do. We just hang out and jam and then all of the sudden we have songs.
A - The new LP is entitled Moon Riders and the writing for the album is all over the board. We wrote a batch of songs when we returned from our first tour in summer 2007 (recorded for Drunk Homeless Loser Rides Again Demo), we wrote a few while bumming in the suburbs this past summer and we wrote the rest when we moved into our current residence, The Float Crib. All reflecting whatever the fuck was happening at those times. With “Those of the Damned…” we wrote the songs that ended up on the album in a few jam sessions spanning about 2 weeks. We were all playing in other bands at that time and Hercules was still just goof ballin around whenever we could.
T - I think we incorporated a lot of pot into this album and I am very thrilled on it. I basically just write songs about things I hate or enjoy, and I enjoy dope, so dope helped me write a bunch of the newer songs. I think the dope has made us groove harder.
D - We jam out all our songs. Get real stoned and Jam. I think half the record was written in Mitch’s basement in west Omaha, some at the Party Plex, and some at our new house.

Any tours coming up? How many tours have you done in the past? Favorite place/show you've played so far? Any Funny stories?

- We're doing a 3 and a half week West Coast tour in June with In The Face of War from Indiana. Those dudes are wild so I'm sure it will be a great time. Then we’re touring in August with Battle from Florida for 3 weeks on the East Coast. I think the June tour will our 5th longer tour, then we've done 4 or 5 shorter mini and weekend tours. Playing in Lubbock and Fort Worth, TX always rules but Hawaii is by far our favorite place we've played. Probably our funniest tour story happened on our first tour in Sioux Falls when me, Danny, Tyler and John Pinning all puked, shit, and pissed on Mitch while he lay in a bath tub. Right before that Mitch sucked John off. We were having a gross out contest with the dudes at the 2xtreme House. Everyone left the party because they were disgusted by us.
A - This summer with In the Face of War from Kokomo Indiana, who are good old buds of ours, for 24 days. We start that tour with a kick off show on Danny’s 21st in Omaha. The next day we play our friends Take Control’s last show in Waterloo, IA then play ICT FEST in Wichita, KS the day after that. The whole band will be of age for the first time. Shits gonna get wild. It will be our 5th tour. We’ve also done a handful of weekend adventures through the Midwest. Hawaii was easily the coolest place we've played. The first show there was in a venue that was open air/outdoor kinda place that had a coy moat surrounding it. Savage circle pits with 15 year old raver girls holdin shit down. I could write/talk for hours about Hawaii. Sioux Falls used to be one of my favorite stops…Lubbock, TX is our good, good friend. Springfield, MO has a place in our hearts. There is always a party in Milwaukee. Twin Cities knows it too. Midwest is the best! We’ve had fun in Florida and I think we may be going back late summer?? Ask Big Cool for funny stories. I forgot.
T - Yeah. We have a west coast tour coming up in June with our good bros In The Face Of War. We are all real thrilled to be hanging out together. This will be our 5th tour. My favorite place that we have ever been to is Hawaii. (real good dope.)
D - We got tours with In the Face of War and the band Battle in the works right now. Ive been on 4 tours I believe. Muncheez Pizza. There are way too many stories…come over and smoke a blunt with us. We will tell you anything you want.

What is your opinion on the current state on Nebraska hardcore?

- I think things are really sweet right now. Lincoln is really booming with shows, and hopefully we get a DIY space in Omaha so we can do shows here as well. I'm actually going to call a guy about a building on 25th and Leavenworth after I finish answering these questions! My only complaint is the lack of bands. People need to start some fucking bands already! Luckily this year has already brought bands such as Hominoid, High Dive, Opus Noir, Still Alive & God Help Us. Hopefully there are more to come! I know there are younger kids starting bands like the dudes in Muridia but I hope they come out to more shows and keep this shit going. I found out on tour from the kids in Clean Sweep that we're all "old dudes" and that really bummed me out. So hopefully younger kids come out and keep things fresh. Hey call (402) 403-0133, I talk about upcoming shows, don't make me waste my $8.95 a month I pay for that number.
A - I guess it kinda depends on what you think is classified as “Nebraska Hardcore”. There isn't really much “Hardcore” from Nebraska. If you want to throw everything going on in the punk/diy scene around here I’d say things are….fair. We need a space. And a PA. and more bands. Ive noticed less younger kids coming to the more underground shows. That’s no good.
T - I think it’s awesome. Everyone is pretty much friends with each other so there are hardly ever fights at shows. This summer is going to bring some new bands so I think everything is going to be kick ass
D - I wouldn’t say I'm too impressed.

Who are your favorite local bands?

- Mother Pile, Cursive, Borealis, The Cave Kids, The JV All Stars & Good With Guns
A - Mother Pile, Cursive, Techlepathy, The Cave Kids, Same Old Crap, Jv Allstars
T - Cursive, the cave kids, butts everywhere.
D - Vermin, The Cave Kids, Butts Everywhere.

What is the bands plans for the rest of the year?

- Tour in June with In The Face of War, then tour in August with Battle, record and release either a 7" or 10" and then tour this Fall, maybe go back to Hawaii and do a 3 island tour there. All while the 3 other dudes are high as fuck! Take that, xAFBx!
A - Tour, write, record. A formula we’re likely to stick with long after everyones sick of us.
T - Save up enough money for good dope and 2 for 1 gummies.
D - Party, tour, that kind of stuff

Morris or Rollins?

- Rollins, suck it Nick Miller and Joe.
A -
T - Rollins. He’s in the new guy.
D - Morris

Ozzy or Dio?

- Ozzy is my god.
A - the one that perfectly tattoos on your knuckles, duh!
T - Ozzy. Listen to sweatleaf.
D - Ozzy

Bon Scott or Brian Johnson?

- David Lee Roth.
A -
ACDC aint my thang, mang.
T - Bon.
D - God Damnit

If you could meet any famous person in history, who would it be and why?

- Michael “Air” Jordan for his basketball skills and for helping out my pals from Looney Toons when they were in a bind with the MonStars.
A -
I'm content with knowing Craig Fort.
T - Dewey Cox. For His brilliant work.
D - Neil Peart or John Bonham

Favorite current hardcore/punk band?

- I can't pick just one so I'll pretend the question said BANDS instead. Tragedy, Vitamin X, Trash Talk, Lewd Acts, Hour Of The Wolf, Paint It Black, Pulling Teeth, Ceremony.
A -
T - Pulling Teeth. (nick miller is an idiot)

Top 5 favorite hardcore/punk albums all time?

- God damnit man, I'm bad at this shit!
AFI – The Art of Drowning
Tragedy – Vengeance
Plosion – The Amateur
Modern Life Is War – Witness
Back When – Swords Against The Father
A -
Black Sails in the Sunset – AFI
Fifteen Counts of Arson – His Hero is Gone
Seeing Means More than Safety – Jeromes Dream
The Amateur – Plosion
Vengeance - Tragedy

T - Rancid- Rancid 2000
Rancid- And Out Come The Wolves
Rancid- Let’s Go!
Rancid- Rancid
Rancid/NOFX splits

Thats it, any final shout outs or rants?

- A Big Cool Big Whammy to... Nebraska Hardcore, The Ghost House + plus Lyndsi and DJ, The Manor, Nihilism Records, Zailey Karate, Joey Claus, Antiquarium Records, John Pinning, Gabe the babe, Era, The Cave Kids, Lemon Fish, Ghost Towns for finally breaking up, Mother Pile, Borealis, The JV All*Stars, Hominoid, Greenfields, Worst of Times, Arizona drinks, Mitch Mud Knuckles Cohee, Three Happiness, Alvarados, Weed for my boys, Straight Edge kids, Matt Andersen, Sioux Falls, Lubbock, Fort Worth, Old Habits Die Hard and our friends in Hawaii, Wife Swap, Iowa Hardcore, Take Control (RIP), Jeff Chord, Veronica and our Kansas friends, Josiah and Violent Crime in Oklahoma, Total Resistance in California, drunk homeless losers who come to all of our shows, Dirty Vic and Dirty Nick. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, don't fuck around, and finally KEVIN...BUY MY FRIENDS A NEW FUCKING BONG ALREADY DUDE! THAT SHIT HAPPEND LIKE 7 MONTHS AGO! A final shout out to you and your awesome blog. Yeah yeah yeah say I'm kissing ass, I don't give a fuck, this blog rules. Sorry I wrote so much but I don't have anything to do most of the day
-Big Cool

A - OLD HABITS DIE HARD I LOVE/MISS YOU AND YOUR LIFESTYLE. 40TH STREET PUNKS. Share your booze and soft/semi-hard drugs with us. Tyler Cains Ding Dang. Don’t be shy.
T - No. its time to play fire pro wrestling.
D - 40th St Punks

Catch Hercules live this summer on the following dates w/ In The Face Of War:

Upcoming Shows ( view all )
May 5 2009 6:00P
Box Awesome Lincoln, Nebraska
Jun 11 2009 7:30P
Jun 12 2009 8:00P
Amvets Post 19 Cedar Falls, Iowa
Jun 13 2009 8:00P
The Eagle’s Lodge *ICT FEST* Wichita, Kansas
Jun 14 2009 8:00P
OKC Info Shop Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Jun 15 2009 8:00P
1919 Hemphill Fort Worth, Texas
Jun 16 2009 8:00P
The Way Lubbock, Texas
Jun 17 2009 8:00P
No Mans Land El Paso, Texas
Jun 18 2009 8:00P
Dry River Tucson, Arizona
Jun 19 2009 8:00P
The Slurp Tempe, Arizona
Jun 20 2009 8:00P
TBA Onxard, California
Jun 21 2009 8:00P
TBA Fresno, California
Jun 22 2009 8:00P
TBA Sacramento, California
Jun 23 2009 8:00P
TBA Reno, Nevada
Jun 24 2009 8:00P
TBA Northern, California
Jun 25 2009 8:00P
BEND Bend, Oregon
Jun 26 2009 8:00P
TBA Portland, Oregon
Jun 27 2009 8:00P
The Calway Seattle, Washington
Jun 28 2009 8:00P
Cretin Hop Spokane, Washington
Jun 29 2009 8:00P
The Calabozo Boise, Idaho
Jun 30 2009 8:00P
Baxter’s Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 1 2009 8:00P
PROVO Provo, Utah
Jul 2 2009 8:00P
GRAND JUNCTION Grand Junction, Colorado
Jul 3 2009 8:00P
Blast O Mat Denver, Colorado
Jul 4 2009 8:00P
Ghost House Lincoln, Nebraska