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Interview with AARON BRUNO of
.Home Town Hero !
While it may seem like every new band these days is just a bunch
of angry punks railing against a world they think owes them something, there
are some groups who have the maturity to be introspective and melodic, even
when rocking out. This is where Home Town Hero fits in: The Song
Questions , shows that the group has the right rock n roll punch, Out in May
"HOME TOWN HERO's self-titled debut album was produced by John Travis (Kid
Rock, Buckcherry, Save Ferris), mixed by Rick Will (Incubus, Ben Harper, Joseph
Arthur) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, The Cure, Red Hot Chili
Peppers). The album features 12 tracks, including the lead-off single,
"Questions," which is also a featured track on the Tony Hawk Pro
Skater 3 soundtrack. Formed two years ago and based on the west coast, just
north of Los Angeles, HOME TOWN HERO's members came together after playing in a
mix of local bands from that area. The group has headlined club dates up and
down the west coast and has toured the US and Canada as part of the Van's
Warped Tour lineup in the summers of 2000 and 2001. During this time, the band
released an independent five-song EP which they sold on the road at shows.
Q: Have you guys done a video?
A: No, we haven't done a video yet. We're working a single
for the radio first and see how that goes.
Q: So where is home?
A: We live about 45 minutes north of L.A. We live in
Thousand Oaks, Newberry Park and Carlsbad.
Q: Is it a nice haven for music?
A: Yeah. It seems to be doing alright.
Q: How long have you been together?
A: We were all in bands together prior to this band with a
couple different changes, to Hometown Hero, so we've only been a band for a few
Q: How did you come up with that name?
A: We just wanted a name that was catchy or a name that
kind of stuck you know. We tried Something Hero's, Small Town Hero's, and then
my mom suggested Hometown Hero's which was kind of funny. There's no great
meaning behind it. More like anyone can be the hero you know what I'm saying.
Not so much us that we're the hero's. I don't want people to think that.
Q: So your new C.D. is going to be out in May?
A: Yeah May 7th.
Q: So Kid Rock John Travis helped you out?
A: John Travis. We didn't necessarily pick him because of
the bands he worked with, we picked him just because he was the one producer
that really actually took an interest in the song, he really knew what songs
Q: That's incredible what a good producer can do.
A: Yeah. He didn't necessarily change any songs, he just
really coached. He's a good coach. He really helped us develop our craft the
best he could - he pushed us. Instead he let us do our thing. He helped us grow
really the best way he could. He got us the best amp and hard rock sound. We
knew we had the sound in our head, but no one has really done it exactly the
way we thought of it yet, so we couldn't really reference anything, we just
wanted the guitar to be ridiculous and he made it happen for us.
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: I can't really.
Q: What's your roots, blues, punk etc?
A: Roots are ... I'll explain our sound this way. I think
that anyone could get a hold the record and find at least one song that they
liked. I'm not going to say that everybody is going to feel that way, but I'm
not prophetic, but people are going get something from the record. We just
tackle a lot of different characters on the record. There's some heavier songs,
some mellow songs, and some in between songs and I think it's that way on
purpose. The one thing the songs have in common is that there's definitely some
vibes, organic vibes.
Q: One thing I noticed right away when I listened to the
three songs on your web site - "Bleeds In Blue", "Eighteen"
and "Questions" is your voice. It's very distinctive. That carries a
band a lot.
A: Yeah. That's really important.
Q: So how long is your tour?
A: This one in particular is a five day thing that we're
doing and then we meet One Side Zero to do six days with them in the Midwest,
starting in Dallas. It will definitely be an interesting audience, but we're
excited to play.
Q: How did Maverick Records hook up with you?
A: One of our managers was friends with one of the ANR guys
and came to practice one time and our manager didn't tell us who he was. They
said he was just a bro hanging out. He lied to us basically. So it didn't make
us nervous at all, we just played it. We don't really get nervous when we play
anyway, but we were just screwing around. We were jamming, because our roots
are kind of heavier stuff. We came from a hard core more like punk rock
background. So we were there and we were just kind of jamming and right after
that he told us who he was and that he worked for Maverick and here we are.
Q: That's cool !
A: Soon after, it was funny because we had a show gig the
following Wednesday set up and a lot of ... all the major labels basically were
going to be there and had an interest in the band so Maverick wanted to get it
done even before did that show. So we ended up getting a perfect deal. It
worked out well. It wasn't necessarily a bidding war, but you know, the fact
that other labels were interested, made it more urgent that they did it faster
and gave us the right deal.
Q: I understand you did the Van Warp Tour?
A: Yeah. We did it two summers ago. We just got added to the
East Coast Warp tour date. We were on a side stage. It's kind of learning how
to play with each other. No one knew about us, we weren't signed or anything.
You know we weren't even getting paid. I can't even really admit to how we got
around because we did some dangerous shit you know. We just survive you know.
We knew we wanted to do this for a living so bad - we did whatever it took to
get there. That was something we had to do - to get our name out. That didn't
really get us signed really - just coincidentally our manager heard a demo we
had and then he wanted to hear us and then really everything came into play as
far as labels go and all that stuff when we met up with our management.
Q: It gave you a feel of playing on a live stage.
A lot of people show up at those gigs
A: Yeah. Definitely.
Q: Is there any particular bands that influenced you guys?
A: Definitely. I would say the Beatles are a huge influence.
The Beatles are our God. The bible of music of rock and roll and everything.
Nirvana of course was a huge influence on all of us. We were all 6th, 7th and
8th grade when all that shit came down. So that was a big influence for us. We
were just fortunately to be around when - I think that's the age when kids
really are influenced and develop their music style and then what they think
real and fake stuff. It's cool that we happened to be around real music. Like
right now, I feel that music just isn't as real and is real contrived. It's
just real horrible. It just doesn't mean anything. When Pearl Jam came out,
music meant something. Hopefully it'll turn back that way. I hope. I think it's
Q: It's nice to have a good open attitude like that. That
way you can kind of put your artistry in a different direction, where you have
these bands who follow each other and play the same stuff.
A: Yeah. Definitely, a lot of the same sound it sounds the
same to me on the radio now.
A lot of songs sound like the song before. That's just how
Q: Did you have some songs you left off on your
A: There's one particular song that's just me and a guitar
and I think we're using it as a "b" side and it's also on the CD Rom
portion when our CD comes out, so that's one of the extra songs. That makes 13
songs. But I mean there's a lot of songs that didn't make the record - so we
didn't even record, we threw it away in preproduction.
Thank you for this time. Catch you guys down the road again.
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