Friday, November 5, 2010

The core of Hero Destroyed came together in 1998 when Zach Moore and AJ Falcione formed a local Pittsburgh metal band. By 2005, after playing the local circuit for several years, the band reemerged as Hero Destroyed. New material, shows, and recording their debut followed.  In winter 2007, members of Don Caballero tipped Relapse to the band and forwarded along the self-titled CD, urging for a listen. Fast forward and its 2010 where their official Relapse debut "Thrones" (a metallic mechanistic, low-end crunch with plenty of head) and the steel city reps are hitting the road with Minnesota's Iron Thrones.  Zach More throws down the Q&A with Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine

IU: How has the response been to the new album since it was released back in August?

ZM: The response to the album has been really great.  You never know how people are going to look at it, or even get what you are doing, but it seems people are digging it.  Most of the reviews have been very good, so that's pretty reassuring.

IU: What are your personal thoughts on the record?

ZM: I wish we would have had just a little more time to iron out a few things, but what musician doesn't say that?  We're very happy with the album and the work we put into it. 

IU: Any favorite tracks or riffs?

Favorite track?  That's like picking your favorite child (if you had kids, I sure don't!)  One of my favorite songs is one we don't play very often, 'Dom Wampus.'  It's about 2 minutes long, but it just doesn't let up.

IU: Any special techniques that were used during the recording or stories from the whole process you'd like to share?

ZM: Well one of the reasons we had a time crunch was due to that huge snow storm.  As many areas did, Pittsburgh got hit with almost 4 feet of snow in 2 days.  Dusty, our bass player, was stuck at his house for 4 days until the plows came.  We lost about 6 recording sessions due to the snow, so it was sometimes hard to pick up the continuity.  And there were definitely some sketchy drives home after recording sessions.

IU: Your bio mentioned members of the band first started collaborating in 1998 but took until 2005 until the band became Hero Destroyed. What was involved in the transition process and how did the band evolve?
ZM: We’ve been through all kind of things.  We originally started as a 3 piece with 2 bass players, but we couldn’t find anyone to play guitar so I moved over.  I think the band has had about 11 different people in and out over the years, but when Dusty joined we really began to shape who we are.  In 2005 we added Jeff on guitar and Pat on vocals, and we decided to change the name of the band even though we were still playing some of the same songs.  We just wanted to start out fresh with the new lineup.  Everyone who was ever in the band helped shape us or give us new ideas, but we've really always had a similar style.

IU: How do you feel the band has progressed since your debut?

ZM:  The biggest change was a new drummer.  Neal is a heavier drummer than AJ was, so our sound became a bit heavier.  We still have the quirky riffs and different time signatures, but we definitely allowed ourselves more freedom in writing.  Songs like “Cerberus” and “Wickerbasket Splinter" are evident of that.  Neal brought a lot of music experience with him, and his music style and interests match ours.

IU: How did the guys in Don Cab end up being such a proponent of the band and help get you in front of Relapse?

ZM: Before Relapse released our EP in 2008, we self released it in 2007.  We’ve been friends with the guys in Don Cab for a long time.  We've all played in bands our whole lives, and we played many shows together, but we never played with Don Cab.  But they heard our EP and thought it would fit perfectly with Relapse, and sent it to them.  And fortunately for us, Relapse thought so too.

IU: How is the rest of the scene in Pittsburgh these days?

ZM:  As all scenes do, the Pittsburgh scene ebbs and flows.  I think it’s in a good place right now.  Pittsburgh alone had 3 Relapse releases this year, ours and Complete Failure's "Heal No Evil" on the same day, and Broughton’s Rules debut in November.  There are a lot of great bands, but the people sometimes forget what they have.  Things do seem to be on an upswing now though.  You just got to find a way to get people interested.

IU: When on the road, do you guys get to play many all ages shows? Is it something the band seeks out at all?  Do you feel all ages shows still play an important role in the continuation of underground music?

ZM: Unfortunately we don't get to do very many all ages shows.  I think they are extremely important, and I wish we did more.  I remember when I was 13-18 going to any show I could and having the best time.    Nothing can ever touch a live show, and it’s great that people continue to support it.  If you aren't reaching out to the next generation, you are missing out on a lot of potential fans.

IU: The Hero Destroyed website has been streaming "Throes" in full for several months now. Is it important to you/the band that people are able to get to hear the album in full, legally, before purchasing or did the decision come more from the Relapse camp?

ZM:  That was all Relapse’s doing, but that’s cool with me.  I think having a chance to hear it ahead of time can spark more interest.  It seemed to work out well.

IU: Any aspects of the nine tour dates that you're particularly stoked on?

ZM:  This is all exciting for us.  We don’t get the chance to do extended trips very often because of our work schedules.  Every show we’re playing this time is a new place for us (as Hero Destroyed at least).  It's cool that we’re going out with Iron Thrones, they're a great band and they have a lot of hype right now.  I’ve checked out every band we’re playing with and it seems like a great bill every night.  Honestly, the Ithaca show is looking very cool.  There has been a lot of promotion and interest, it should be fun!

IU: Are you guys more at home writing or on the road?

ZM: Right now we’ve mainly been gearing up for shows to support the release.  I’m looking forward to getting back to writing though.

IU: What does the rest of 2010 have in store and what can we look to from Hero Destroyed in 2011?

ZM: This tour will pretty much close out 2010 for us.  We’re looking into a few things for 2011, and I’m sure we’ll spend some time working on new material.  And hopefully a new album in the near future.

IU: Any parting words for those coming out to the show on Sunday, November 14th?

ZM: We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the show.  Feel free to stop by and talk to us and give us a place to stay!  But no cat houses please, I’ll never make it to the next show!