Sunday, 6 December 2009

EXCLUSIVE Interview with J. Loren from HURT

Hey guys,
I was honoured and privileged to get an interview with J. Loren Wince, the lead singer of one of my favourite bands, HURT. I took the opportunity to ask him questions on a wide range of subjects, so wide in fact that I’ve decided to split the interview in to two parts, the first is below and the second will be posted this Wednesday (9th December.)

Hope you enjoy it!


Part 1:

1. You released your 5th studio album, 'Goodbye to the Machine' this April, on your manager's label, Amusement Recordings. How did this compare to releasing the previous two albums, which were through (major label) Capitol Records? Did it allow you more creative freedom? Was it harder? Was it more rewarding from a personal point of view?
The volumes were made on our own and then sold to Capitol at cost. This is different from the average major label album because the label was not involved in the albums recording. To be honest, our fans are our only boss and that’s pretty much how it should be from my perspective. Though we were still free to do what we wanted creatively Goodbye to the Machine was actually a much more difficult process because we placed some pretty ridiculous constraints on ourselves like: writing the record in a month, recording it in a month and recording straight to analog, which is much more time consuming. I did not find the experience rewarding in the slightest. In fact, it nearly broke my spirit and greatly contributed to my voluntary stay at a mental health facility immediately after its completion. Though I commend our ambition, I think it was ultimately a haughty and prideful endeavour that I regret going along with. There was too much left undone and I have a hard time accepting that. Besides, we know we can actually play and perform without the help of modern recording magic - it’s just the kind of band we have always been and I believe our fans already knew that before we did such an expensive demonstration.

2. How did the writing and recording process of 'Goodbye to the Machine' compare to those of 'Vol. I' & 'Vol. II'?
It didn’t really compare at all. Everything was destined to be different from the start.

3. I've heard you're planning on writing new material in 2010? 'Goodbye to the Machine' came out in 2009. 'Vol. I' was released in 2006 with 'Vol. II' following in 2007. Is this going to be your cycle for recording or is it just a coincidence?
Purely coincidence. As of today we have about 6 brand new album worthy songs recorded in the demo stage and hundreds of unrecorded tracks waiting for their time to shine. It’s mainly a combination of waiting on business side of the sluggish music industry and putting together simpatico material that keeps us from releasing an album every 6 months or so. We love to write.

4. Do you regret not touring more on 'Vol. I'?
We actually toured fairly heavily on Vol.1 I just don’t think as many people cared back then since it was our breakthrough into the national scene.

5. In 2008 you re-mastered and re-released ‘The Consumation’ as 'The Re-consumation', how did this come about?
I always loved that album, as quirky as it is, it was a very honest endeavour and fans of the band started tracking it down and purchasing it from its only supplier who was a shop owner in my native state of Virginia. This made me happy that people cared that much. But then I was confronted by a fan who asked me why I charged them $190.00 for the album. It was then that I found that apparently our fans were being taken advantage of and worse yet thinking that it was us who were doing so. I gathered all the original files that were left of "The Consumation" Not just the finished CD, but the virgin tracks from back in the day and remixed and sequenced the record personally and quite painstakingly again but this time with a little bit more of a professional know how (since I had no idea what I was doing when I originally recorded the album.) We asked a favour from Big Bass Brian at Burnie Grumman Mastering in Hollywood and he re-mastered the album for us at no cost. I could honestly say the "Re-Consumation" album sounded as good as it could and should so we put it up for sale for like 16$ which is the average price of a CD over here and tried to make it abundantly clear that this was an old album which was not to be an introduction to the band and that pretty much took care of that.

6. In 2007 you released 'The Black Market EP', a collection of live, acoustic and unreleased tracks. How was this received by the fans? Do you have any plans to do similar EPs in the future?
Most fans love it. It has some live, some acoustic and some songs that never made the Volumes. I remember, when I got into Pearl Jam I collected everything they had just for the hell of it. I was never disappointed by the CD's because I collected them just to get a different side of a band I liked and plus, It was way cooler than beanie babies.

7. A fair number of songs on your records have been acoustic tracks and you're known for doing acoustic renditions of your electric songs. Have you considered recording an album/EP of all-new, all acoustic material?
Strongly considered. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens one day.

8. You're well known for having a strong touring ethic. How extensively have you been touring in support of 'Goodbye to the Machine'? Have you had many days off this year?
The touring on this record has not been as extensive as the last two. The guys are getting some badly overdue home time in and meeting up occasionally to write and record demos.

9. Are you done touring for the year now? What are your plans for the holiday?
I plan to work on new material over the holidays. I basically live to work.

10. Is it hard touring as much as you do with HURT?
Yes, it is exhausting. Your body begins to revolt at the constant abuse but I believe that’s what separates the zealots from the hobbyists.

11. Have there ever been times in the band's career when you've considered giving it all up and working in an office?
Yes, I hate to admit that I had considered quitting for the first time recently. But it was not an office I would have gone to. The constant and endearing letters and support from our fans which at that particularly bad time was read to me by my manager gave me the strength to fight again.
You guys (the fans) might never know what a profound effect you have on my life.

12. HURT doesn’t seem to have had much of a presence in the UK. Is this simply because you've been concentrating on the US? Or have there been other factors limiting your exposure over here?
Capitol did a piss-poor job of most overseas business when it came to HURT along with their many other shortcomings and we have not yet accumulated the kind of money it takes to basically start again across the pond. It is however a priority and we know we have some awesome European fans out there that I’m very interested to meet.

13. I remember I personally discovered HURT one day when I was watching SCUZZ back in 2006 and saw the video to 'Rapture', but I only ever saw it played that once and that seems to have been the only time I've seen HURT get mainstream exposure over here. Do you have any plans to change that? Would you like to break in to the UK market in the future?
That was the only time it was played and that was a short period. Almost every British fan we have was because of just a couple plays on SCUZZ.
I’d love to get the tunes out over there or at least let folks know that we exist but I don’t exactly know how.

14. If so, can we expect a HURT tour in the UK or Europe anytime soon?
Not in the immediate future but we are very mindful of u guys.

End of part 1.
Remember to check back this Wednesday for part two!

1 comment:

  1. You are super lucky to meet J. Loren Wince. I love him so much, and I one day want to meet him :) ! It's my only set goal I have, the biggest dream I want to accomplish. ^_^