EMQ’s with ‘the HŸSS’
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Chicago, Illinois Stoner / Grunge / Doom band the Hÿss! Huge thanks to them for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My Name is Patrick Daniel Kennedy the 3rd, but my friends call me PK. I get to play rhythm guitar and a few hot and very sexy leads for our band the Hÿss.
All of the band members have been friends since the 80’s and 90’s. We grew up together listening to the same music, playing in various bands and mostly having fun and laughing and being brothers in life.
In 2011, guitarist Dave Fitzgerald contacted me and wanted to play some music like we did when we were kids. We use to write riffs a lot. We loved Nirvana, Clutch, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Minor Threat, the Misfits, but also loved 70’s rock as well. Dave loved jammin’ on Hendrix, Cream, and Sabbath. Figuring out tunes was fun and “making up” our own combinations of riffs that we were learning was even more fun. We got super into it. Our friendship grew even tighter. Once we started up the Hÿss, I feel like it grew like a fire and we were back to writing cool riffs. Bill Sullivan joined the band and chose to pick up the bass and man oh man, I hadn’t seen the guy in a while and he just hugs me and starts playing like a fucking champ. He has amazing creative riffs and is a smart musician, so we were lucky he joined us. He and Dave learned the blues together in college. Two badass players in my opinion. The drummer, Mike Scales has been our friend for so long I can’t remember when I started hangin’ with the guy. He has an extensive history of playing with cool bands because he has skills. If you give a good listen to “Ghost Army” on the new Hound EP you will be impressed. He joined us immediately once he saw how awesome we looked in our cool stage outfits. My jeans had a rip just above the knee. And that combined with our cool riffs? How could he resist? The singer Matt McDonald is a guy we all grew up with even though he lived all the way up on the North Side of Chicago. He was the lead singer of Chicago punk band Renegade A-Bomb back in the 90’s. He was a legend and he gave the Hÿss a shot and it was like lighting. Matt’s interests are reading about history and apocalyptic situations. That’s his jam, so we like to write some fun sounding but dark material. It works great with the music and I always like where his head’s at on these songs. He’s a great writer and has a creative mind and a voice that’s as powerful as a t-rex on a horny day. Eventually we put together a lot of cool songs and have been giving it our best shot around town for a while and it’s been a ton of fun and people are really digging the sound. It’s exciting!
How did you come up with our band name?
The snake is the international beast of rock n’ roll and stoner rock music alike, and the Hÿss is the first sound you hear before the crack of the snake bite. This name is cool when you spell it with a Y and give it an umlaut, like a little snake bite. We are the Hÿss, you know… that sound.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
America. There is a ton of new music and genres spinning off of the gods of metal: Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, etc. 1980’s America had the best metal. A lot of people are enjoying what’s coming from all over the world now thanks to the internet. It’s a universe of music these days and it’s pretty amazing to watch other cultures and countries create new metal and pay their respect to old metal from where I live at the same time. It’s interesting and amazing and a lot of it is really bad A, these kids aren’t fking around.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)?
Our band is very proud to say we are finished with our official debut 5-track EP “Hound”, a few killer songs we have been perfecting and we just love playing them. We really wanted to kick the door open with some high energy doom on this and we feel like it really turned out the way we wanted it to. Pete Grossmann is an awesome sound engineer, and he really helped us bring the whole thing to life and portray our music just as we heard it in our heads when we imagined it. We enjoyed working with him and we are very happy with the way it turned out.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I’m usually inspired by my friends who seem to get better at their instruments than me at a very rapid pace. That, and I’ve been digging Unknown Hinson lately. I know that’s not a metal musician, but the guy’s an amazing player and I like how hilarious he is and how fast he goes. I like shifting through genres to get my fingers to move faster; it keeps me on my toes.
What first got you into music?
When I was little, I would listen to my parent’s Beatles records and my sister’s Queen Tapes. My friend and Hÿss axe slinger Dave had a guitar he found in the trash and we started making up songs, he got good fast and I wanted to do the same. I have to say my friends and family are the people who got me into music. I practiced enough that my parents bought me a nice Washburn acoustic for Christmas. Was the nicest gift ever!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Any band or musician that would be nice to me. Haha! Or Clutch, that would rule. They have a real testosterone robot sound and those dudes get mad respect across the land. I love their music and if they wanted us to open for them my heart would pound. Could you imagine? I wish.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Lollapalooza so I don’t have to drive far.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I have never been given anything. If I were it would be the weirdest gift by default because I couldn’t possibly believe anyone would give me anything Haha!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thanks for liking our music and for supporting live music and for being a cool person on this earth.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Kurt Cobain, because I have a feeling he would have gone solo and made a bunch of cool folk songs. That’s my prediction and I want to be right.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love playing out with friends. The human connection of matching sounds up is a strange feeling and I’ve been enjoying that high my entire life.
I hate moving equipment and I don’t like ego maniacs. Lotta those folks out there!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would kill the American Idol thing fast. Kids that sound like they would make badass singers in other types of music are told they “can’t sing” WTF is that? If I sing Happy Birthday, can I sing? And I feel like those millions of dollars travelling all through our lands and have tons of talented kids line up only to be insulted into giving up on music by some washed up celebrities. It’s like a cancer. I hope kids turn that shit off and go scream into a mic anyway!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Nirvana – “Incesticide”. I love the pop on those tracks and then the album just gets hard and heavy and the riffs are flawless. I love the way they wrote those songs and the band is just one of my all-time favourites.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
These days it’s downloads but, if I’m honest, I prefer CD’s. The sound quality was just fine and you usually ended up listening to the entire album rather than skip songs and bands all day like an asshole.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The best gig in my opinion was at The Forge in Blue Island. It’s a small bar, but it’s in our neighbourhood on the Southside of Chicago and all our friend’s bands were there. It was outside and lots of people came out and we had a great time that night. I love those nights.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Probably a rocket scientist that solves crimes in space. It would be boring though since the crime rate in space is very low.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
The four other Hÿss members plus Bill Gates and see if he can lend us some money.
What’s next for the band?
We’re looking forward to parading our new “Hound” around town and then maybe start working on another recording. We also have a lot of new material to work on so we definitely have our hands full!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
You can find the Hÿss on Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Instagram!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Anything baked in 1927 is a biscuit by now.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for putting us out there with these fun questions. I hope you will pound the Hound by the Hÿss and enjoy it as much as we do!
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