Exclusive: Interview with Hendrix Wilson & Anthony Reams, stars of the book “Broken Promise Records!”

If you’re a fan of “Broken Promise Records,” then I’ve got a good one for you this week! For those of you who remember the Silver Age of the internet in the mid-2000’s, when people still (kinda) bought CD’s, when YouTube wasn’t that big of a deal yet, and when you still read newspapers because you had your fill of people who spouted off bullshit that they’d read on the internet you know that blogs were still novelty; music blogs will still uncharted ground and the early adopters and taste makers were discovering bands around this time. Thanks to the help of Mr. Hendrix Wilson and Mr. Anthony “Antics” Reams, I’ve come across the transcripts of an interview they did with “The Hard Rockin’ Blogger.”

If Hendrix’s memory serves, this interview would have taken place right before the show at the Guilty Lizard, before the van accident (between chapters two and three).

Thanks to the archiving nature of the internet, here is that interview in full!

Hard Rockin’ Blogger (HRB): Hendrix Wilson and Antics Reams of the band “Echolocation, thank you guys for letting me interview you, I’m sorry that your guitarist and bass player didn’t want to join us.

Hendrix: Don’t take it personal, they aren’t people persons …did I say that right? People persons? People people?

HRB: I don’t want this to be one of those painful “where do you see yourself” interviews, I’d really like to ask you questions about being young musicians who are looking to make it, is that alright?

Hendrix: I don’t see a problem.

Antics: Works for me.

HRB: First question – you have a hard rock sound, a heavy rhythm style, and a lot of people say that’s been done already. How do you stay original when the music scene feels that way?

Hendrix: If you’re worrying about how the rest of the music scene feels about things like that, then you’ve already lost the war of trying to be original. When it comes to writing songs or developing a sound, you have to do what comes to you without prompting, you know? If you listen to a steady diet of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, there is a very good chance that you are going to have grunge inclinations. I can’t speak for Danny, but my guitar style comes from listening to him play and responding to how I feel about his sounds. I go out of my way to not ask him who he’s playing or try to find out who inspires him because he inspires me already, and to the best of my knowledge, no one is inspired by Danny Goss but me. That’s what keeps me original, anything else is coincidence.

Antics: I think silence is really important to being original too. If you’re someone who loves music and then the music isn’t there, you’re going to start hearing music because your mind is trying to fill that void. I think a lot of originality comes from there too.

Hendrix: I agree with that.

HRB: Screaming and aggressive vocalizations are becoming popular, have you considered experimenting with that aspect of sound?

Hendrix: No, I mean, I don’t. If Antics or Danny or Lori were to come to practice and say they wanted to try it, I’d be open to it, as long as it served our energy and wasn’t trying to make us sound like someone else. I feel like I’ve done enough damage to my voice with a smoking habit that I don’t need to make the situation worse with that kind of singing style.

Antics: As a fan of music, I like it. When I’m playing drums for my own enjoyment, it’s fun to play that kind of stuff. In our band, it’s not quite our energy, but people and styles change all of the time.

HRB: Emo has been taking the alternative music scene by force, how do you see your music weathering that storm of taste?

Hendrix: I don’t know how I feel about Emo, truthfully. I’m all for anything that inspires people to go out and buy instruments and learn to make music, we need a lot more of that in the world, but music shouldn’t be exclusive. I remember when Antics and I were in high school, there was this kid that would challenge anyone who said that they liked Metallica by quizzing them about the lyrics, and would say that they weren’t true Metallica fans if they didn’t know songs word for word; I don’t agree with that. Music, especially music released to the public at large, should be free to be listened to and enjoyed by anyone. I’m all for music, any kind of music, as long as there is no requisite to listen to it.

HRB: Antics?

Antics: I think all music is Emo[tional] to a degree. When I watch Hendrix play certain songs that he’s written, I know he’s in a very emotional place, and it’s the same thing when Danny plays or the way Lori absolutely exhausts herself when she plays. Music is a very visceral and personal medium. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing the entire point of Emo.

HRB: With iPods and MP3 players becoming so popular, do you see CD’s becoming dinosaurs like cassettes? If so, what challenges does that bring you guys as musicians?

Hendrix: People called records dinosaurs too, and they are on the steady incline. As a music fan, I treasure my CD’s and I’d hope that physically holding a CD in their hand has the same emotional response that it has for me. MP3’s are great for portability, but you can’t sit and read the liner notes or a CD booklet with an MP3 player. For us, we can’t set up a pile of MP3s and sell at a show; we rely on that physical media. On the other side of that, MP3 and CD burning technology have allowed us to share demos and create quick merchandise to sell on a moment’s notice. I guess that if you aren’t ready to adapt, you’re going to be forgotten.

Antics: I just spent the time that you were saying all of that trying to figure out what MP3 stood for.

Hendrix: I have no idea.

HRB: Antics, you look kind of disappointed, why is that?

Antics: I’ve got ADD really bad and my focus is terrible. I’m going to obsess about what MP3 means and I can’t do anything to change it until something else just as shiny comes along.

HRB: Speaking of your ADD, in the men’s room, I heard some friends of yours talking about the time one of your teachers tied you to a chair, can you tell us what happened there?

Antics: They’ll never let me forget. So, I was being an exceptional bastard in like first or second grade, a real terror raising cain. My teacher had reached her ropes end with me; I wouldn’t listen, just causing mayhem. Finally, she took me and sat me in my chair, and wrapped an extension cord around me so that I wouldn’t move. To me, it wasn’t a big deal, a game. The cord was pretty tight and my Mom noticed that the cord had cut into the skin of my wrists pretty good. She asked what happened and went ballistic when I told her. After losing her religion at the school, that teacher was let go. I went into special classes shortly after that.

HRB: How would you describe your music to someoene who’s never heard it before, and you don’t have a CD on hand to play for them?

Hendrix: Wow. Um, I guess I would have to say that we have a good grasp on melody, but we still bring the hard rock vibe, that we stay focused on groove and feeling.

HRB: Antics, do you concur?

Antics: For sure. If I had to explain it to someone, I’d hope that Hendrix were somewhere near by, because he’s better with words. If I had to describe the experience, it’s that you’re going to leave exhausted after the show.

To find out more about Hendrix Wilson, Antics Reams, and the rest of the band Echolocation, pick up “Broken Promise Records” in paperback or for the Amazon Kindle.

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