Have any of you played in other bands?
Karl - Yes but only covers
Zac - yes, I've been in a few and Erik and I were in a band called Remembering Apollo together a few years before HSTW started up.
Erik - Yes i've been playing in bands since I was 15 but most of them were terrible and not worth mentioning haha.
Andrew - Yeah, I’ve played in a few bands, however one stands out for me. Lion Under Stars
How is it that you started playing music?
Karl - Dad's friend brought over a drum set when I was little and taught me a beat, we had a piano that I would mess with and my mom bought me a guitar. That was all between ages 8 to 10. Then later in life I took guitar and drums lessons, once a week. The stores were next door to each other so I could have both practices same day one after the other.
Zac - well I got into heavy music when I was younger. my older brother got me into Korn, Tool, System Of A Down, LOG when I was in elementary school.
Erik - My mom bought me a guitar for Christmas in grade 8 and i just started picking away at it. When i was like 15 i played a blink-182 song with some friends at a school talent show and i got the bug for playing in front of people.
Andrew - My father is a drummer, so I grew up with drums around the house, but it wasn’t until I was about 11 that I started playing. I got really into Blink-182, and thats when this whole adventure started!
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Karl Weber - Vocals/Aux Drums (32)
Zac Culp - Bass/Vocals (28)
Erik Sadler - Guitar/Vocals (28)
Andrew Haynes - Drums (25)
Have you had other previous members?Yes we had a drummer named Matt Weiler who is still a good friend of the band.
Did you make music even when you were young?
Karl - Yes
Zac - haha I tried but I wouldn't really call what I was doing music.
Erik - I was always creating things as a kid. Whether it was models or obnoxious songs or games I made the neighbourhood kids play. Maybe not always music but I’ve always been creative.
Andrew - When I was really young I never thought about music. It wasn’t until my teen years where I started to write songs with my buddies in our parents basements.
Where are you from?Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
What year did the band form? 2014
What's your style of genre? Rock/Metal
What inspires you?
Karl - Life and the ability to find common ground with the audience through music
Zac - to make a long topic short, people. my frustrations, anger, betrayal, but also love, understanding, compassion and how music can effect someone is an underlying theme.
Erik - Great songwriting and guitar riffs. Outside of music life inspires me. Whether ita something personally or something happening in the world. Our band is slowly starting to say more lyrically and i really appreciate that.
Andrew - I get inspired by musicians pushing technical boundaries in their music. It makes me want to push myself more and more to become the best player i can be.
How often and where do you rehearse?We rehearse twice a week (Wednesday’s & Sunday’s) at “Jam Spot” in Guelph.
How have you developed since you started with the music?
Karl - I think I’ve developed a more emotional side to my Vocals/Lyrics from where i started
Zac - as a bassist I've learned over the years that less is more. with Erik’s song writing style I try to keep the groove and energy going.
Erik - Honestly when I started playing guitar I hated metal and anything with harsh vocals. I was into the Chili Peppers, Green Day, Blink. Anything but heavy music. Then a friend sent me two Alexisonfire songs; Waterwings and The Kennedy Curse and I was hooked. Its been a deep dive into extreme music since then. I still love non metal as well but I’m definitely more well rounded now
Andrew - Playing in multiple bands, I’ve learnt less is more (although more is more fun). As a drummer the MOST important thing is playing tight and on time!
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?
Karl - Classic trucks and fabrication
Zac - If you mean work work, I have a full time employment as a heavy plate fitter and welder. If music work, I also play guitar and vocals in a heavier band.
Erik - I’m a pretty big gamer; Xbox One, PS4, WoW. Im all over them haha. If I’m not playing guitar I probably have a controller or mouse in my hand. Past that spending time with my wonderful fiance alex and my dog Gibson.
Andrew - haha, Ive struggled with this for years! I can’t find a line of work that TRULY Interests me. I’ve always seen myself playing drums for a living ever since i started thinking about careers.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?Yes and no. You have to find people that genuinely want what's best for you as a group and as people and not just a tool to make money off of.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?Same as the agency. Except keeping publishing rights is huge nowadays.
What made you decide to make this music?It wasn't really a decision. It's what we all feel in our own way. Each instrument is a part of the story.
What are your songs about?Life, relationships, politics. Anything that strikes us.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?We all give our opinions and we take the best of all ideas to make something different and original. But I’d say 98% of lyrics are written by Karl. When it comes to the composing it happens pretty naturally between all of us. One of us will bring an idea to the table and we will work with that thought to build a song.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics?We “generally” begin with the instruments when writing a song. Shortly after we’ve set down a general idea of what will be happening, Karl will start writing his lyrics after hearing what the feel of the song would be like.
Have you done any covers live?Yes, we currently play “The Kill” by 30 Seconds To Mars, but we’ve changed the vibe to a more “pop goes punk” style
What language do you sing in?English
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?We’ve done everything from play to a few thousand people to playing to the bar staff.
What ages are most of your concert attendants?19-35
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?We try and get a good cohesive set list down with interludes and transitions and then play that for a few months. When we get bored of that we'll take a look at our songlist and see if we can add old or new stuff in and keep it fresh.
Do you have a regular place you play live often?More like area then venue, we play in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario more often then not.
What was your first gig like?
Karl - Packed, I was a mannequin, first show for me not being tether to a patch cable and guitar
Zac - Erik and I went all out with energy, we were excited to be finally playing our songs live.
Erik - Karl forgot he could take the mic out of the stand and stood like a mannequin for 30 minutes while Zac and I bounced around like idiots
Andrew - My first gig with HSTW was an experience… i had only been in the band for a few months and had thought i was ready to play our songs live. so we got booked in a nearby city, had a good crowd and sure enough i forgot how to play our opening song!
What was your latest gig?Karl took a caffeine pill before the show and nearly climbed to the roof. He’s made progress haha. Honestly the last show was great. We got added last minute and weren’t sure how it was going to go down. It ended up being a great show with a great crowd.
Have you had to cancel a gig?Nope and barring some tragedy we wont be. Weve played with the flu, food poisoning, anxiety attacks, stitches. If we say we're gonna play a show we're gonna be there
Where have you played live this year?
Where do you plan to gig the coming year?Wherever the road takes us. We'd like to make a trip out to the east coast and keep going North in Ontario towards Manitoba.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?We've got shirts, stickers, buttons and posters and we just released a new album Opprør for sale and we're gonna have new shirts soon!
Where can people buy your merchandise?Live shows and on Facebook. We'll ship anywhere.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days?It is what it is. Pandora is out of the box and theres no putting it back. The music industry did it to itself in the late 90's when instead of working with sites like Napster to create something cool they stuck their heads in the sand and tried to have them shut down. We make money off of merch now so listen to the album however the hell you want and buy a shirt.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?Everyone is throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks and nothing is sticking. For rock and metal bands there hardly is an industry anymore. Make money off of tours and merch and hope its enough.
What do you think of my work?Its great! You have so many different artists you’re giving a voice to.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?You never know what is gonna be the moment that gets you 'found' you just gotta keep putting your name out there and hope the right person sees it.
Do you have any role models or idols?
Karl - Really I’m a disconnected person so no I have no role models, but i do idolize Frank Sinatra..shh it’s a secret!
Zac - oh yeah. there are many musicians who I look up to and admire. but I also know that I'll never be them, nor do I want to be. I like being me and taking my personal experience with music to better myself as a musician and as a human being
Erik - My grandfather Russell. He was as good of a man, husband, father, and grandfather you could possibly hope for. If I end up half the man he I'll be lucky.
Andrew - I’m a HUGE fan of Periphery! Those guys are big role models of mine in the industry. They are very open as a band and including their fans as much as possible and I think that is so important these days with being in bands.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Music is music and theres inspiration to be found in any kind of it, whether it be old or new.
What have been your biggest obstacles? We play a style of music that isn’t really popular in our scene. Pop punk, hardcore and extreme forms of metal are very popular but the hybrid rock/metal thing we do isn’t huge in our area. In the beginning finding similar bands to play with us was a challenge. We kept plugging and found promoters and bands that liked what we did and the last 6 months have been great.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Play what makes you happy, enjoy it while you’re doing it.
How do you get psyched for a gig?
Karl - I'm rather blah. It's the walking on stage for the set where it hits me
Zac - The fact that there are people and we're the entertainment is a big psyche up for me. also some vodka and weed always help
Erik - Couple of beers and a little bit of ganja. I get pretty naturally jacked up for shows too. I love it.
Andrew - Playing drums always has me psyched.. but ill also smoke some weed just to get relaxed.
Do you have any new material?We're always working on new stuff.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach you? Facebook, instagram. Reach out we'd love to chat.
What are your plans for the future? Keep grinding and see what happens. Only thing i can control is that the songs we write keep getting better.
Do you have something to add? Thank You for taking the time and showing an interest in us!