Monday, February 14, 2022

DJ Interviews: David HK

Here's my interview with a rocker by the name of David HK as he talks about is band Grimcrow & his solo work  

How'd you get started in music? - Wow, music has been my life for as long as I can remember, even dating back to preschool. I recall the times when a song I really liked came on the radio, I would refuse to leave the car until the song was over. My mother is a classically trained pianist. She gave me piano lessons starting when I was 6. That's when I first started learning to read music and count beats. Then there was the saxophone starting when I was about 10. It was around that time I was really getting into Rock. A couple of years later I started playing guitar and the rest is history.Throughout Middle, and High School years, I had played in several bands and played many gigs in local clubs back when that scene was still vibrant. A couple of years after High School, I went to Five Towns College, after which I taught guitar. At one point I was teaching about 50 students a week on top of my day job which was really burning me out. Fast forward, the last band I was in was a Nu/Rap Metal act right before that scene broke out. We had a production deal and were shopping for labels. There was so much infighting in the band that we couldn't hold it together. It was over really stupid shit too. Aside from the run  of the mill burnout that I was experiencing, I was getting a taste of how dirty and scummy the music Industry was and I just had it. I went on a hiatus from playing music for several years (I DON'T RECOMMEND ANYBODY DO THIS, I just ended up fat, drunk and very unhappy) and got into computers instead. When I found out recently that you can mix, master and distribute music on your own to a global audience with the streaming platform, I'm back at it with full force backed up by an awesome community.

Who are your inspirations or influences? I'm up there in age and experience so I can write an entire novel on this but I don't want to bore anybody. Earliest influences in Rock are the usual suspects, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Slayer, Maiden, Priest and the like. In my early 20s I had a friend who was a phenomenal bass player who introduced me to a lot of Prog Rock and Jazz Fusion. Before there was streaming and music being so accessible, I would spend a lot of time at the left side of the dial seeking out the weirdest music I could find. I draw a lot of inspiration from books. Especially classic horror from the likes of Shelly, Stoker, Lovecraft, Poe, Kafka (I wouldn't call Kafka horror but disturbing, nonetheless). I guess that's where a lot of the Goth inspiration comes from? I don't know. Plus I work the night shift, hate being out during the day and in the sun.I just avoid being around people in general.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers? - Focus mostly on making good music. Music that you actually love and enjoy. Do it the best you can, no matter how many hours you need to put into it. And do it consistently.  Don't make any half-assed shit just to put something out there. 
For the most part,  Spotify seems to be the go-to platform at this time. The system is designed so you will be rewarded when you follow certain rules, and  best practices (rewarded as in having your music recommended to a lot of people who haven't heard you yet) and penalized when you don't. Take the time to learn how the system works and let it do a lot of the heavy lifting for you instead of trying to increase your popularity. by trying to take shortcuts and gaming the system. Just educate yourself. I learned by making a lot of the same mistakes that I see people are making now. I don't  bother to point it out anymore, because I either get laughed at or they deem me a "know it all" and I get a hostile reaction.
 Although the Industry has improved dramatically for new artists there are still a lot of pitfalls,  with a lot of cheaters and scammers out there to exploit and rip off artists.but, it's been that way ever since  there has been art. It's all just being done online now.  Not because musicians are dumb and nieve but  because we are so focused on creating and honing our skills, we would be willing to spend an extra few dollars for a little bit of help to gain traction. Oftentimes to understand the mind of a criminal you need to be a criminal. We aren't criminals. (Well at least not in that sense). 

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers? -  I don't. Everyone is a thief. We all draw inspiration from somewhere. I've been told on several occasions that I have a very unique and distinct sound and style, I can possibly attribute that to pooling inspiration from many genres and subgenres rather than  cookie cutting my sound to fit just one, which I've tried to do on many occasions but can't seem to pull it off. Well, that and fucked up nose and throat biology.
But unless you were that first caveman who took a dinosaur bone and banged it against something to make
 music your sound is always built on what someone else did before you. We can't reinvent the wheel.

Any new gigs or albums in the future

As of tonight my Band Grimcrow which is a collaboration of myself and members of the LA Industrial band House Made of Dawn just released COG-NATION which is out now

My solo project under David HK is releasing a heavy rendition of Peter Murphy's "CUTS YOU UP". It releases on February 25th.

With Ninth Revival, we have something in production which involves a female vocalist from Japan.

Robot Gods is a Prog/Death Metal collaboration between myself and Aaron Martin, the drummer for the progressive Metal Ukranium out of Central Texas. We've both been busy but our releases have gained a lot of positive feedback you we will be back on that sure when the time is right. Hopefully sooner rather than later. 

As far as gigs, I do most of my own instruments on my recordings so I would need a band to back me up. I do have plans to search for musicians who can fill that spot but it's not at the top of the list right now. I have been considering doing live stream shows from my living room. On occasion when my friends from Demonscar go out and do shows, they allow me to come up on the stage and take over the mic for a while. Demonscar shows are unbelievably fun. For both the band and the audience. For those in the NY area, I would definitely recommend you check out of their shows.

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