Formed in 2006, working class and punk rock heroes from THE HEX BOMBS have recently put out a new 7” featuring Mike McColgan of STREET DOGS. Better than ever, the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based pack “sing for the forgotten, the underdogs, the working poor and our men and woman in uniform” – commented McColgan. He added: “Obviously that appeals to me and I am honored that they asked me to sing on their amazing anthem”.
Below you can find my interview with the band’s guitarist Jake Carrick, talking about the new 7-inch, the upcoming album, their plans for the future, how it’s important for members of the working class to stay open-mided and united, and a lot more.
Hey, guys! It’s feels so good to host such a nice song! I love the idea of teaming up with Mike McColgan for it. What made you two collaborate on the track?
The song “None Shall Be Forgotten” was actually a song we had recorded quite a while ago on our first record We Are Rock N Roll. We had never really been happy with the recording of that track and had always planned on re-recording it. When the decision was finally made to hit the studio and get going on the new version of None Shall, we got in touch with our good friend Mark at East Grand Records and let him know what we where up to. He mentioned that he had let Mike hear the original recording of None Shall and that he had really liked the song. The idea was born right at that moment and a couple of phone calls later, McColgan was in!!
Personally, how do you like the final effect and the song itself?
This song means so much to me because it, now more than ever, speaks to the climate of the U.S. Our disappearing middle class, our increasing population of poor, and the treatment of our troops coming back from a seemingly endless and pointless war. We are going through some tough times right now and this song, to me, screams for people to open their eyes, and see that things need to change. Things are not O.K. and there are good people out there that need our help and compassion.
Any chance to take it more to the public and hear the new anthem somewhere on the radio? Are there some cool alternative radio stations in your area?
None Shall Be Forgotten is on Internet radio stations all over the world and many college radio stations based in the U.S. The best way to hear it is to have it for your very own he he!! It’s available on vinyl and digital download at thehexbombs.bandcamp.com or our label East Grand’s web site eastgrnadrc.com. O.K enough of the shameless plugs ha! My opinion is radio in the Midwest is garbage (college radio not included). Most of the radio here is just spoon fed cookie cutter rock and old classic standards. Don’t get me wrong I can get a rock n roll hard-on for IRON MAIDEN and old VAN HALEN just as much as the next guy, but I’d rather have my balls pulled off and be beaten with them then have to listen to the boring piss that is on normal radio in America these days. That being said, there is so much great music happening right, you just have to be willing to get out and find it. Go to shows, support musicians and bands. Go out and mingle with artists and writers. Go out into the world and create the culture!!
Ok, so tell me more about the record the tune comes from.
Well the most recent is the 7” with None Shall as an A-side and Destination U.S.A. on the B-side. It was actually on our first full length We Are Rock N Roll. The album was a very low budget album but was very well received by of young group of fans. At that point we where really trying to find our way mixing the several different styles we all wrote and played in into a cohesive sound. It’s a bit all over the place stylistically but there are still songs off that album that people love!! There’s even a couple we haven’t played in years and we started playing them at rehearsal again!!! It’s been a blast!!!!
What about Destination U.S.A.? What’s the story behind it?
Destination U.S.A. came about by just wanting to poke fun at so many Americans obsession with guns and religion, among other things…I think sometimes you just have to look at the things people do, slap your hand on your head, and say “are you fucking kidding me”!
Yeah, man, I know exactly what you mean.
Alright, so who’s putting out the 7’’? How can we put our hands on it?
How’s the recording of the new full-length going? You’ve been spending some time at Broadside Productions, right? Tell me more about the place, the process and the timetable for the new record.
We are just getting started on the new album titled Everything Earned, but we are all very excited!! This will be, in my opinion, our greatest work to date. Overall we’re just getting better and better at working with each other and it really shows the longer we play together. Broadside productions is our studio of choice. We have worked with Roche (Mike Roche) for what seems like forever. Aside from just being a great friend, he knows the sound that we are going for and deals with my OCD during the mixing process. So much of the recording process is about being comfortable with who you’re working with and being comfortable in the space. Broadside is like a little home away from home. As for the release date, we are looking toward early to mid fall.
What can you reveal about the new music? Does it lean toward any particular style or era in your 7-year existence?
Well, it will still carry THE HEX BOMBS energy!! We are trying to thematically broaden with this album. We have written a lot over the years of our working class roots and the plight of the working man, but there are so many things going on in the world today that you can’t help but have many feelings and opinions that need to be shared. We are definitely pushing ourselves more as musicians and songwriters, but don’t worry!!!! We still plan on kicking in heads with great rock n roll!!!
I’m having this feeling that the music business has been shifting away from a creative place for a long time. Do you have any methods for surprising yourself when creating new music?
We all have our little ways of keeping things moving along. One of the main things that keep us able to write and continue to grow is the diverse group of influences in this band. We all have punk rock in common but individually we all have so many different types of music we love. It’s this love that keeps us all continually searching out new music and finding great new artists. Above being musicians, we are all music listeners and lovers, and it is our musical diversity that breeds creativity and allows us to keep moving forward even in a time when a lot of bands are typical, dull, and complacent. I’m not saying we are reinventing the wheel here, but I do believe we have something special with this group of heathens!!
How does the songwriting break down in the band?
Realistically Nathan is the key songwriter. We all have our hands in the process once an idea is brought to the table but Nate usually has most of the basic ideas. We all have our strong suits and we utilize that to the fullest when we are writing.
Ok, let’s move on to what we all love the most :)
How has this year been in terms of touring? Can you pinpoint any highlights for THE HEX BOMBS A.D. 2013?
This year has had it’s ups and downs but all in all it has been a great year. We have played with some great bands and done some fantastic charities including a guitar charity my brother Craig put together to get instruments into the hands of underprivileged kids. The McColgan album has really helped put us out there as well. Were hoping maybe a small tour with the STREET DOGS late this year but there is nothing in writing on that.
What about the upcoming months? Where can we catch you performing this year?
We have shows coming up in the Midwest with ANDREW W.K. as well as a show with D.O.A. on their farewell tour. Keep your eyes and ears open!!!! We will be embarking on our first European tour beginning of next year!! Hoping to see all your smiling faces out and about to have some fun with us!!!!
Great! :) Thanks a lot for your time, guys. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We are musicians. We will be playing no matter what because we love it and it is what we do. It is all of you that create the scene, the movement, the culture. Please, strap on your boots, walk out of your flat, and go support local art, music, and food. Read a book written by someone that lives in your neighborhood. Paint the wall of the old falling down building you can see from your window. Live life!!! Create the culture!!! Thanks so much guys!!!