Interview with Hounds as They Stream Music Video for Plague Caster

Click Here to See the New Hounds Video!

Hounds is a menacing force composed of sorrow, anger, and loss. A sound that projects nothing more than a vicious wall of torment and agony towards its listener in such a way that it is both poetic and intimidating. This group of young men embrace life’s miseries and meets our existences baneful woe head on through their music. This is a band that I have had the pleasure of going to see numerous times for several reasons:

– They perform as a black metal inspired outfit with modest hints of hardcore and appropriate elements of death metal within the major scope of their work.
– A true and well fashioned act in regards of their performances. Let me stress my last; this band is composed of talented musicians who strive to give their audience a near perfect representation of their recorded work.
– They’re the homies.

Now, all biased statements aside, I’d like to justify this reasoning on why Hounds should be credited for their merit and that any above statement made isn’t just an allegation. For this, let’s turn to their first piece of work, I. Yes, that would be called I, and I assure you it’s a much larger piece than it sounds.

Although the idea was inherent throughout their first demo, it would be fair to say that it was lacking certain areas that only prohibited its wholeness. Rough individual pieces drawing from various inspirations rather than working together to come as a cohesive unit. This isn’t to say that this is wrong or discrediting in their musical abilities or writing. However, when one compares the fluidity of I to II, the listener can but only notice a profound change in how they orchestrated their songs with care, ease, and natural intention.

II is a bit longer and nonetheless, a bit more driven, pissed off, and anguishing than its predecessor. More importantly, the doom laden riffs off of this record really strike a chord of personal appreciation. It overpowers at the right moments while allowing fragments of interludes to express the songs purpose in a definite manner. Lyrically, the record is decorated with detailed imagery and poetic fashion. Beautifully heartfelt as this piece handles themes of loss and death, acceptance of your true self, and several other topics of intimate discussion. Being able to confront your own demons and to have them known is quite a strong trait. Whenever a writer expresses their true self through any literary work, the reader or listener should always be keen to read or hear it for what it’s worth. Place yourself within the work of another and you will surely see the world through a different lense.

As of right now, we are currently streaming their new music video for Plague Caster as our featured video. A black and white spectacular that presents a terrifying level of anger through one of the best doom inspired measures you’ll hear in some time. Should you like what you hear, than we recommend you shoot over to their page and get a copy of their latest EP, II.

Once again thank you to the gentlemen over in Hounds for taking the time out of their day to answer a few questions and for letting us debut their video for Plague Caster. One of the better acts bursting through the doors of metal and hardcore so give these gents the time of day. Their music deserves to be listened to.

Interview with Hounds

HW: On Hounds I, each song seemed to be an idea or notion of what this project could be as you have shown elements of punk, hardcore, and black metal within your music. Why is it that II sounds completely tighter and more fulfilled while still being capable of holding various forms of elements?

It’s as if this band found its sound in under a year of dropping their debut work. Fuck, even the older songs sound mint live now that you guys are pushing new music.

H: First off, thank you very much for the compliment. We really appreciate that, especially since we’re consistently working on ways to make our songs sound as tight as possible considering we’re only a three piece. When we started Hounds and we made I we had a lot of different ideas regarding the direction we wanted to go in.

I think the reason II sounds the way it does is because we took the time to find ourselves musically and found ways to apply newer techniques to these songs in terms of structure and songwriting. We’re continuing to try to perfect our music even after we put it out.

HW: Let’s talk some shop on the gear Hounds is using. What are you running down the line? Has anything significant changed with your gear in the last year or has it been more consistent in crafting the tone?

H: A lot has changed with the gear. Aaron started using an HM2 pedal as an overdrive as opposed to an actual distortion pedal and a Fuzz from Black Arts Tone Works. The gear that has remained the same is a Mesa Triple Rec, a delay, a Screaming Bird Treble Booster, a Thinline Tele, and a Gibson Explorer.

Brendan is a nut with his bass tone and he’s always trying to improve it. On his board he uses a Darkglass B3K,and a B7K for overdrive along with a duality fuzz and compressor. In his rack he uses a Peavey 700 Tour head and a BBE Sonic Maximizer. For his bass he uses an Fender Deluxe P-Bass

Mikey is a monster behind the kit and he even has an Instagram page for just drum related stuff that you should check out: @pollaros.drum.posts.

His gear consists of the following:
DW9000 hardware all around.
PDP by DW m5 maple shells.
Meinl byzance:
14″ traditional hi hats
20″extra dry thin crash
22″ dark stadium ride
20″ extra thin hammered crash
18″ dark china cymbal

HW: Noticed one of the the things that didn’t change is in regards of II was with the responsibility of manufacturing this wicked behemoth. Why the stay with Joseph Dell’ Aquila (Exeter Recordings) & Brad Boatright (Audiosiege) in producing II? Is this the second piece of a whole project or rather, the best move is to just stick with what you have?

H: It’s actually a second piece in the whole project. We were really happy with how Joe and Brad both handled their respective jobs and we were very happy with the way I turned out so it was only natural to go back and work with the same guys. Not to mention both of their resumes are incredible. Joe was a no-brainer in terms of local studios considering his previous works with artists from around here and, well, Brad has worked with some of THE most extreme bands in the scene including Converge, Nails, and Code Orange.

Our goal was to do III and have them signify stages of grief in the reverse order, resulting in a final tone of despair. II is supposed to represent anger.

HW: How has the theme and writing style changed when speaking of II’s lyricism? With that, which of these songs delivers the most intimate or emotional glimpse into the writer’s own world? I guess what I’m asking is, which of these songs holds the greatest significance or meaning to you?

H: As stated in the previous question, II is supposed to represent anger, and I think a lot of II is based on feelings towards people and asking why? I think we all have different favorites.

For Brendan its Altar of Fear. I (Brendan) wrote the lyrics to Dark World and Plague Caster as well and I felt a lot of the lyrics in those songs were me being angry with other people. When I wrote Altar of Fear it was a lot more of an acceptance thing that I was the one to blame for the way I felt. It made me realize a lot about myself while I was writing the song.

For Mikey it’s Nine Swords. It’s actually the first song we wrote as a band and we’ve been perfecting it forever. The drums on the song are a lot of fun for him because of how it’s not just in your face the whole time and how it builds up until about halfway through

For Aaron, the most meaningful song is Widow. It’s actually a song about my (Aaron) mother and her trying to move on with her life after my father passing away. It was a very difficult song to write but was a very necessary outlet for me. It’s about how difficult it is pretending like you’re always okay and how you feel like you have to go through the rest of your life as a “strong” person when your entire life just got ripped into pieces.

HW: So Aaron, on the side of your musical endeavors you also run a business on the side, Last Light Photo and Video. From what I’ve seen this job has landed you on some pretty wild tours and gigs throughout the country. How have your opportunities been and where do you see them going in the future?

H: The opportunities that I’ve been given have been amazing. I’ve gotten to shoot A list artists and get paid for it, which quite frankly is still such an unbelievable thing to me since I’ve been shooting shows for less than a year now.

Unfortunately, things have slowed down tremendously. I’ve been trying to get myself out there on more tours but considering the state of the economy, artists are trying to save money where they can so the first thing to go is usually a media person. I’m not quite sure where my future is headed since this is all new to me, but I would love for this to be a part of it.

HW: What is on the plate for Hounds this year?

H: Hopefully, going back into the studio to record some new music within the next couple of months. We’ve been working on some new music and we’re really excited for everyone to hear the direction we’re headed. We’re going to be playing the Tri-State area as much as we can, and working our way down the coast.

HW: Last words before we end this conversation?

H: Yeah we’d like to thank ryan from Blasphemour Records for being so incredible to us and Bean from Panic State Records for making II a reality. We’d also like to shout out some of our friends in Wastelands, Old Wounds, The Banner, Cemeteries, War Story, and Mom Fight, along with Wsou for pushing us on the air.

Of course we’d like to thank you guys here at The Head Walk for taking the time to talk to us and premier this video for us. In terms of this video, a huge thank you to everyone who came to see us at the show in Red Bank, all of the bands who played, and our cameramen Zak Ferentz and Tom Kunzman.

We couldn’t have done this without any of you.

Photography courtesy and all rights reserved to: Adam Leota & Jess Rechsteiner.

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