Friday, August 30, 2013

American Head Charge's keyboard and electronics maestro Justin Fowler - "ME"TAL 101 Exclusive Interview

American Head Charge recently released a new EP entitled Shoot and our currently blazing a trail of musical mayhem across the US. What better time than to reach out to the band for a few of my own questions about their new release and what we can expect in the near future from the band.
 This has been one of my own favorite bands since I picked up their Art of War cd "back in the day". Shoot marks several years since their last release and it's a damn fine showing in how they've grown and where they are going.

So with great pleasure I'd like you to enjoy this interview with Justin Fowler, American Head Charge's phenom on the keys.

HMT: With all the positive feedback you are receiving for the new material, are you guys kicking yourselves for not coming back sooner?

Justin: Nope. I don't think any of us feel that way. Each of us has tempered and developed over the last several years; the time away really gave us a perspective about what we had and how important it really was for all of us. So here we are. No regrets.

HMT: I'm really enjoying the rock'n roll swagger I hear on sugars and writhe. Are you feeling like a more confident band these days?

Justin: Thank you! I think in some ways, maybe. In that we try less to write "head charge" songs, and just let what we naturally come up with speak for itself. Plus a lack of being assured is what keeps creativity vital and important. And overconfidence is what breeds douchebags.

HMT: How many songs have you already written for the full length?

Justin: Well, there's a lot of material on the table. I can tell you that. There are songs, parts of songs, sounds we want to use, riffs, lyrics... And everyone in the band is really able to be involved in the process of compiling this stuff and getting songs together. Even though we're all in different cities, the interwebz has made the process flow a lot better.

HMT: You guys have been resilient . With the Shoot ep you seem to have come full circle. What drives AHC to keep creating your brand of beautifully violent music in 2013?

Justin: We are stubborn. And looking back, I think we started to feel really displaced. We were pigeon-holed into a genre we wanted little to do with, we had very few people aligned with us that had genuine interest in our music or success beyond what money they were making off the top. Music changed around us, the Internet happened, the industry fell apart, and we lost Bryan, who was the keystone of the band at the time. We all internalized a lot of that and were angry at the world and we just said "screw it". After a while though, I think it was clear to each of us, in our own separate lives, that this band and these people were important to us. So here we are again, lessons learned, ready to move forward. And with a lot to write about...
HMT: How has social media and sites like band camp changed the way you are able to promote new material and tour dates

Justin: It’s helped, first of all, to be able stay connected to the core of our fan base while the band was inactive. As we've started to move forward again, it's been the key to letting the world know what we were doing. In the big money record days, you hired a huge team to promote your band; with the DIY record scene of today, you have all that coverage by yourself, or with just a few people working it. Promoting shows is no longer just in the hands of local promoters, either.

HMT: You're taking some younger bands on the road. What advice could you give to the guys trying to make it these days?

Justin: Rely on as few people as possible. Do as much as you can yourselves. Know that this takes work. Your success is directly related to the work you do to achieve it.

HMT: Sand is an epic song. What inspired this track? Any chance you'll be shooting a video for it?

Justin: We still intend to make brutal and heavy music. It's just part of what we do. Do you have a video idea? I guess we hadn't thought of that yet...

(HMT: If you're reading this guys, yes, I'd turn that video into a game of thrones/scorpion king mashup...maybe that's why I'm not a director)

HMT: Your cover of Rock'n Roll N*gger feels so much like an AHC song. Who's idea was it to cover it?

Justin: It was actually just a middle of the night text from me to Chad saying we should do it. Seemed like a good idea.... We just wanted to keep it a straightforward rock tune; obviously, Manson already did that brutal cover. But for a band that has never quite fit in anywhere, it still makes sense.

Thanks Justin!
If you haven't checked out American Head Charge's new EP, SHOOT, what are you waiting for? Follow the links below and pick up some merch, cd's and get the updates as they happen. The band is currently on tour and if they are in your neck of the woods, their live show is not to be missed. 

American Head Charge:
Official Website

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