Hot Rails to Hell

Interview 7/10/12 by Shawn T. Truitt

photos by Madison Somerville

Formed in the summer of 2009 we began playing a heavy breed of seventies Hard Rock, Punk, and early Heavy Metal. Having the pleasure of growing up in Texas helps give us a genuine blues and southern rock edge. Our daily trades make us up as two electricians, a carpenter, and a bartender, and in our spare time we enjoy playing tunes, skateboarding, BBQ’s, fishing, and recording.

Shawn T. Truitt – Introduce yourselves and what you play.

Jasmine – I play bass.

Ben – I play guitar and sing.

Kevin – I also play guitar and Jacob is not present, he plays the drums.  Pretty awesomely if I do say so myself.

Ben – He (Jacob) got out of work at 7pm but he’s a lazy Puerto Rican so…(laughs).

STT – You see how this is going to go.  I’ll take a wild guess and assume the name of the band is from Blue Oyster Cult.

Ben – It absolutely is, I can’t take credit for that.  Our old drummer Jay named the band but we are all big Blue Oyster Cult fans.

STT – You were saying something to the effect that you could listen to them all the time?

Ben – Absolutely

STT – I was shaking my head at that.  How would you describe your music and what are your influences?  (Everyone points at each other.)

Ben – I don’t know, I’m going to make this real simple here Shawn.  Basically, we are all just married to the game and we don’t know how to quit.  We started at a young age and getting buck is just a huge part of our lifestyle.  Once you get that attached and Rock and Roll puts that ring on your finger you got just one choice, shred or die.  That is how I feel about it.

Kevin – That was fucking beautiful man, I’m tearing up.

Ben – Kevin has been kicked out of the band just now for crying.  Jasmine how do you feel?

Jasmine – He’s out man.

STT – Tell me what are some of the other bands that you have been in?

Jasmine – I’ve been in Signal Lost, Nuts and Bolts, The Alters, Terror Management Theory, Dead Space and I think that is about it.

Ben – Nuts and Bolts, The Distress, Fuck The Snobs, Sparkle Motion, Afterburn (a solo metal project), The Rockin’ Five with former members of The Chumps and The Dickens, plus an original member of The Blood Royale -JT eat a dick, that motherfucker got bunch of dreadlocks and his tongue sticking out, just kidding JT is a good guy.  Also I play Folk and Country music.  I play the banjo and guitar as Mouthwash Picket and I used to play banjo for the Dirty Charlie Band.  Oh, and I also sing for HipstERECTomy and that is all.

Kevin – I played in Terror Management Theory with Jasmine, it was one of the best times of my life, I played guitar in Coptic Times, played bass in Streetcleaner.  I currently play guitar in Night Siege, and Concrete, co-founder of Hamburger Man Records; we are putting out a lot of good stuff this year and looking forward to it (laughs).  It is going to be awesome.

Ben – All bullshit aside, Hamburger Man Records really is putting out the best shit and nobody in town really knows it.  That is kind of my whole qualms with Austin is that there is a bunch of really good bands and everybody comes here to play music but nobody knows about Hamburger Man Records (laughing).  Everyone is wearing bandannas and gold chip fucking…nobody knows shit.  Hamburger Man Records dude.

STT – I think we just got an exclusive on Hamburger Man Records, you heard it here first and you will not forget it.  Can you tell me what mischief is going to occur on tour?

Jasmine – We are playing Lafayette, LA at the Wild Salmon, which someone said it was like a Cajun Parlor.  The next night we are playing at the Creepy Fest in New Orleans a horror / occult festival but mainly a lot of music.  We’ll be playing at Dragons Den.  The next night we will be hitting Beaumont, TX doing a rowdy house show there.  Then we are playing a La Grange in Dallas, TX.  Then we will be back in Texas and get drunk at The Grand and play some tunes for the Mutant Rock that Eric from Ditch Witch puts on every week.  You want to tell them what kind of trouble we are going to get into Ben?

Ben – I don’t really do trouble too well but I do get in it.  We are going down to Galveston, TX and we are going to wake up really early and skate Galveston skate park, which is a killer skate park, we are going to hang out on the beach and then what ever dude.  Then we are going to get a shit load of fucking blow, we are going to get buck wild, you cannot even imagine the shit that is going to happen.  People move to Austin and they think, “Austin is a college town that is so fucking cool”.  It is not actually Texas it is just like this little island in Texas that is shit because all of these fucking assholes listen to Indie Rock and go to college, eat a dick dude.  Makes me pissed off.  I want to eat mushrooms all day long, swing a hammer, go on tour, skateboard and beat up a bunch of dumb asses who come to Austin.  I run this game.

Kevin – Ben just took the words right out of my mouth.  Everything he said is right on and is going to happen on tour, hammers and mushrooms.

Ben – And a bunch of blow.

STT- Hopefully they will make it back (from tour).  Can you tell me some of the local band that you like and the venues you enjoy tearing up with your hammers, mushrooms and blow?

Kevin – Yes, Concrete is actually awesome, they are pretty fucking badass.  Venues uh, Red 7 is really awesome, I’m there maybe three days a week hanging out.  Beerland is rad, we go there five days a week and see The Blood Royale, I’m just kidding, they do not play that much.  Frontier Bar is pretty rad to play shows at, we played one show there and it went great.  They have been open for a year and on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm-9pm they do Punk Rock Happy Hour, dollar drinks, they got a good sound system and Streetfighter 2 is awesome.  Local bands, definitely Night Siege and Concrete, everybody need to go watch those bands, The Blood Royale and The Greater Good who we are playing with tomorrow.  I have some friends in Sniper 66 if you like Punk Rock, a really solid Punk Rock band.  Ditch Witch we are touring with them, Dallas Powertrip they play here often and are really good Crossover / Thrash / Hardcore.  Maelstrom definitely, The Chumps are always a rad show, those guys rule.

Ben – The Spastic Shakes are good.  He pretty much covered it.

Kevin – Definitely go see The Wiccans from Denton, TX, whenever they come they are awesome Hardcore, really good and catchy, you will like them no matter who you are.

STT – I had a bunch of other questions but do not know if I need to ask them or should ask them.  I do have a technical question…were and with whom did you record and how was that process?

Ben – That is a long story, I’ll give you the short story.  Our friend Mario who hangs out at The Parlor a lot is a good friend with David Dickinson who happens to be Bill Ham’s nephew who is the man that recorded ZZ Top and made them famous in the 70’s.  So he heard us a couple of times and liked what he heard and took us to David Dickinson to record and I unfortunately had to be the spokesperson.  I showed up in a less than appropriate attire and state but it still worked out okay.  I walked in there smelling like booze and he was not happy.  I did not know what I was getting into until I walked in the door and there were all these platinum records by ZZ Top and Alan Jackson and all these sobering gold records and I did not know what I was doing.  Jasmine had a bunch of German Punk Rocker assholes, Germans really have no sense of humor and I am just going to put that out there.  Anyway, it worked out and he did a great job, and it was the real deal.  We pretty much had no business being in that awesome studio but he loved us and wants to record us again.

STT – That is amazing and also pretty short.  There also is the harmonica on the record that you don’t necessarily do live but who was the one playing that?

Ben – I play the harp on it.

STT – It is really sweet and some of those songs really pop.  I hear you may have a vinyl release for Hot Rails To Hell.

Jasmine – Right now we have some CD’s to try and raise the rest of the money we need to put out the vinyl ourselves on Hamburger Man Records (laughs).

STT – What is my last question?

Jasmine – How can people purchase my music.  The best way to do it, the most effective way to help us get some vinyl out there would be to buy some CD’s and t-shirts at our live shows.  We are going to have some on line downloads available through I-tunes and CD Baby.

Ben – You can catch me on 29th & Lamar Blvd. slinging dick.

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This entry was posted in Interviews.