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.
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.