Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How dd you come together to form “Free Vices”
EH -- It feels like we have always been together. Raymond and I have literally raised each other, and I feel that Kirk and Doug have always been a part of our lives. There were always instruments around the house and little by little we started jamming and writing songs. Soon that’s all we did when we got together so it seemed natural to start recording and playing live.
KH -- Eric and I met through a mutual friend and it took a while before we talked about anything music-related. I saw that he had some instruments lying around his house though and eventually we started jamming, playing covers and then started writing our own songs. His son Raymond took up the drums while we were doing this and was a natural. Doug, who we also met through a mutual friend joined the band a little later and we’ve been playing together ever since.
How would you describe your musical style?
KH -- I feel like our home is classic rock, but we have a lot of different musical influences so we never want to be beholden to a particular style or genre. I think one of the best things about the band is that very few of our songs sound the same and that really happens organically. Eric and I have different but complementary writing styles and each band member adds their own flavor to the music.
EH- Ha yeah I’d have to agree.. as much as I’ve tried to prove that there are folk and country elements, when it comes to our natural state of playing it tends towards classic rock. As many different styles and sounds that have influenced us, when the guitars are plugged in and the drums start pounding, it’s rock and roll.
What can you tell us about your latest single, “Wild”?
EH – It started off experimenting with different effects on an old 8 track recorder. I was using track after track of rhythm and lead guitars all effected differently until it was a drunken cacophony of guitars. It was obviously well into the wee hours, and that was the end of it. Months later I gave Kirk the 8 track to work on other songs I had created and he uncovered it and thought something was there.
KH -- When I first heard the music Eric wrote, my first thought was how he really captured a frenetic energy in the song. There was a feeling of fun to it but also a lot of intensity and that really drove my lyrics. That’s why there’s a bit of a juxtaposition in the words -- the song feels like there’s something coming at you (“the madman’s coming”) but also the excitement of being free (“let’s get lost tonight”). When we brought it to the rest of the band I told Raymond I was hearing a real punk rock kind of vibe and he just unleashed on it on the drums. He transformed into a real rocker with a ton of life to it. When we recorded it in the studio and we first listened to real recorded drums and guitars we were all jumping around like idiots in a mosh pit because it sounded so fun.
What can audiences expect from your upcoming album, “Tracks”?
KH -- The album was written over the course of a few years, so it really is a journey. You will find an arc where sometimes the music is fast, loud and fun but also sometimes very introspective and poignant. A lot happened in our lives while we were writing and recording it (falling in love, getting married, having a kid, losing a loved one, trials in each of our personal lives) and I think that is reflected in the record.
EH- We are very excited about Tracks. Essentially it’s reflections and observations about life and our times that we think everyone can relate to. We definitely are trying to take the listener on a journey that they can build their own narrative. Whether we were introspective and thoughtful, heartbroken or angry, overjoyed and celebratory, or just plain sloppy… it covers meaningful events over years of our lives. Sonically, it’s layers of crunchy guitars and driving rhythms mixed with serene melodies and anthemic leads. Oh and there’s some pretty rocking vocals!
What’s the experience like at one of your live shows? Do you have any coming up?
KH -- We try to have really intimate shows where the audience really feels a part of what we’re doing. We always want to have fun but we also want the audience to feel the journey of the record. We are planning some shows throughout October and November in the Los Angeles area, so check out our website and social media for dates.
EH -- What he says…but I’m going to be really Loud.
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
KH -- If this what you love, keep doing it. There will be obstacles (money, other commitments, etc.) but despite all that, I’ve never regretted a moment spent doing this and neither will you.
EH- It would be the same advice for anyone else that is working on something they love. You are already doing it, and you’ve got to see it through, knowing that it is ultimately a “business,” so be professional. Your music will speak for itself!
What are your lives like outside of music?
KH -- We all have day jobs. Eric is a firefighter, Doug is a teacher, Raymond works at a tech company and I work in the entertainment business. They’re all pretty demanding but you have to find the time to do what you love.
EH -- Tired. Trying to squeeze all the fun in the time you have is exhausting, but man its fun!!
Let the readers know where to find you online.