Interview: HIVEKICKER

Hivekicker

1) Tell us about you
I created HIVEKICKER in May of 2020. I was working full-time, being a full-time stay-at-home dad with my kid in virtual school, and finishing up grad school during the pandemic. It was crazy time. A friend encouraged me to start playing music again, so I just started writing and recording all of the instruments/vocals. After a few songs, I decided to create Hivekicker and completely went overboard, which over-occupied my already over-occupied brain.

My goal was to write eight songs over a 5-month period. (Fyi: All songs turned out to be the “Kick Out The Hives” LP).

I play, write, and record everything except drums. I record all the music in my studio, then I send the rough mixes to Nick Petersen at Track and Field Recording (Durham, NC) who, in turn, does the initial mix down. Nick, then sends the mixes to John Crouch who records the drums. Once John C is done, he sends them back to me for clean-up. Then I send the files back to Nick for the final mix. Once it’s ready, I send the song for mastering. It’s a cool process, and no one is in the same room for any part of the process. It works pretty well, given the environment.

I’ve been playing music for over 35 years, and this is the most interesting process I have been a part of.

2) Line up:
John Flude: Bass, All Guitars (Lead/Rhythm), Vocals
John Crouch: Drums and Percussion

3) You sound like...
Great question! I’m not sure what to say here, I pull influences from all over, but I can say that there’s always some Dag Nasty “Can I Say” album in everything I do. I live in the southern United States, so there is also some southern influence in the guitar parts. I love good rock n roll. Loud guitars, shredding solos, pounding bass lines, ripping drums. Anything that makes me feel something, I guess. I grew up loving the DC hardcore music scene so that’s a big influence, but there’s punk, soul, rock n roll, blues, and hardcore in all of Hivekicker! I was recently told that Kick Out The Hives was really interesting to listen to because every song is influentially different. But it all comes from the same place.

That being said, I’ve been chasing a sound in my head for quite some time. It’s a sound I can’t define. It’s not punk, it’s not action rock, it’s not rock n roll. I just want the music to rock out all the time. No breaks. All fuel. The Hivekicker -- Get Stung ep is one step closer to the sound that I have been chasing.

4) Discography
1. Hivekicker - Kick Out The Hives (LP) - Boxer Face Records (2020)
2. Hivekicker - Aquarius Split (2 song ep) - Boxer Face Records (2021)
3. Hivekicker - Get Stung (3 song ep) - Boxer Face Records (2021)
4. Hivekicker -Epinephrine (October 2021) - Boxer Face Records (2021)

5) Influences
Rock n roll. You can hear all kinds of influences in it. Have a listen and tell me what you hear.

6) What do you write about?
I typically write about observations, my past experiences, and my thoughts. It’s interesting to write about a particular lens (love, angst, disgust) from a certain point in my life. It’s all very therapeutic, but oftentimes esoteric.

Hivekicker has been a very honest/raw introspection about my life. The name Hivekicker is an interpretation of kicking something dangerous and see if anything comes out pissed off. Kicking a beehive is not a very smart thing to do, ya know? Do it anyways. (Do not literally kick beehives, bees are awesome, and leave them alone, please.)
Songs on Kick Out The Hives tell stories about mental health, struggles with alcohol, working crap jobs just for a paycheck, getting older, and traumatic physical injuries. It’s all there for anyone to explore if they choose. I have recently started to write from a 3rd person standpoint, which is pretty fun too. The Get Stung ep songs are a rawer look at self. Not particularly myself, but whomever.

7) Your favourite live performance so far
No live shows just yet. I am working on getting a few tours together. I’d like to tour Spain and Italy in 2022.

8) Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage
When we were recording the drums for Kick Out The Hives in November 2021, I rented out the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC -USA for two days. There were only three people in the club (sound engineer, the drummer, and me), all trying desperately to stay away from each other (social distancing, ya know). The three of us had to work out hand signals for drum part changes. I would be standing 20 feet in front of the drummer flashing up finger numbers for part changes. HAHA, we had number codes for EVERY part (1 finger would be floor toms, 2 would be high hat/snare beat… etc). By the end of the second day, we had the hand-signal changes mastered. Really funny to think about the drummer looking at me for finger changes for the next parts in the song and I’d flash the wrong number and he’d screw it up because I held up the wrong fingers. There were a few middle fingers thrown around. It was a good challenge and a lot of fun.

9) Your favourite records
I can pinpoint several albums that changed my life, I even remember where I was when I heard them:

1. The Police - Ghost in the Machine
2. Bad Brains – Rock for Light
3. NOFX - Ribbed
4. Turbonegro - Apocalypse Dudes
5. Dag Nasty - Can I Say // Minor Threat - Out of Step
6. Sugar – Copper Blue
7. Fu Manchu - Godzilla’s Eating Dust
8. Kvelertak - Splid
9. Brian Jonestown Massacre – Methodrone
10. Bad Religion - Suffer / No Control

10) A musician you would like to meet for a beer
I stopped drinking 5 years ago. But I’d like to sit down for a fireside chat with Bob Mould. I want to know everything about the production of Sugar “Copper Blue”, ad nauseam.

11) What will you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth
Boxer dogs and MEGA BUBBLES!!!!

Find songs here:
Hivekicker – Get Stung Ep: https://boxerfacerecords.bandcamp.com/album/get-stung-ep
Boxer Face Records Hivekicker entire discography: https://boxerfacerecords.bandcamp.com/
Hivekicker Spotify Artist Profile: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WtsDFFYjYTrKpNxnmu6Wy?si=hLLJ3OoIQAibYj1ZWx8PxA

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