An Interview with the Hookers by Wendy WWAD
WW: How did you guys initially HOOK up?
Adam: Me and Stoney Tombs (Original guitarist) met in early 94, at a local record store in Lexington, KY. We had mutual friends but didn’t really know each other up to that point. We talked some music and found we were both big Antiseen and Dwarves fans, so soon it became evident that we should form a band. We started out with some Johnny Thunders covers and some weaker original material, before we found our sound in 96 with the 12 Gauge Reaction single.
WW: You guys (in an article I read) have expressed bitterness towards the Lexington, KY music scene. Are you still based out of there? And, if so, why do you stay there?
Adam: I personally moved out of Lexington in the 1999. Stoney still lives there. Our issue with the scene at the time was the hipster snobbery that went on at the record store and at shows. It was a very small world to us at the time. We wanted to be as punk and negative as we could. So we took aim at all the old farts in the scene, which snowballed for us pretty quickly with a title wave backlash of negativity from more than half the scene. We went from playing the better clubs, to playing shitholes and parties and there was always a fight! We took it as a compliment and stayed the course.
WW: Your first album, Satan’s Highway, was released on Scooch Pooch Records. How did you guys hook up with them?
Adam: We hooked up with Jim from Scooch Pooch when Tim Warren from Crypt wimped his way out of putting our album, to metal he said or at least that’s what the guy that worked for he eventually told us. Tim has spoken to me since then. It worked out better for us in the long run, because the Crypt albums that were coming out around the time we were signed weren’t getting much of a push from Tim anyway. Jim had our records everywhere. I’ll give him that.
WW: What is the back-masked message on Satan’s Highway?
Adam: You gotta do some needle damage to figure that one out, its three phrases. One of which is “Sacrifice the Child”. That’s all your getting.
WW: Is it true that this message led a fan to commit suicide?
Adam: I have heard the same rumor, but no one’s attorney has contacted me yet so I would say it’s doubtful.
WW: The success of this album drew national and international intention and led to both U.S. and European tours. How does your reception differ here as opposed to in Europe?
Adam: Well they are just altogether different, most American bands that tour there will tell you that European people dig live music a lot more than Americans do. They come out the shows and buy stuff to. The clubs treat you better to. The money and travel situations are better. Not that it’s terrible here in the U.S. it’s just harder that’s all. A lot more work and a lot more risk involved. We love both though and plan on seeing as much of both as possible.
WW: Why the shift from punk rock to metal with the release of the 2nd album Hookers II, Black Visions of Crimson Wisdom?
Adam: People make a lot out of the changes from the first and second album, but really to us the big difference was the studio. We recorded everything up till the second album with Andy Slob from the Slobs, a killer old punk band from Cincinnati, OH. That was in a basement and we were all half drunk and sometimes Andy was completely drunk, hahaha! Then for the second album we went to Glascow, KY to this big expensive “REAL” studio. That was the major shift. We wanted it to sound like Deep Purple Machine Head. I remember playing it for Blaine from Nashville Pussy and some of the Candy Snatchers guys and they’re just looking at me like I’m crazy. Everyone thought we were nuts for the way it sounded. But we didn’t go into it trying to be more metal at all. That was just the batch of songs I had at the time.
WW: Who is the big W.A.S.P. fan?
Adam: I am a huge WASP fan, I pay tribute to them in the song Ballcrusher Love Machine, that’s two WASP titles crammed together in one song. Also the main riff to our Soultaker is very close to WASP’s Mean.
WW: In an interview I read you guys cited Danzig as a primary influence. How has he affected your sound?
Adam: Oh, sure we were huge fans of Danzig, Misfits, Samhain all that. We were huge fans. As horror nerd kids who wanted to be punk, there was no way around us digging the Misfits. Plain and simple. I still love all the Glenn era stuff.
WW: Weren’t you a founding member of Nashville Pussy?
Adam: Yeah Blaine, Ruyter and Me started the band in my mom’s attic. Jammed there a ton and did a handful of shows and recordings. Some of the stuff that I played on made it to their first singles. I was just talking to Blaine recently about some tapes that we had made back then. Fun times.
WW: What first inspired you to start playing music? And what was the instrument you played (I know you play a couple)?
Adam: Twisted Sister was the band that made me want to be in a band. I was totally into them as kid and they affected so many of my opinions and feelings about Heavy Metal. WASP was my second big band before I heard Metallica and Slayer around 86. Metallica’s And Justice For All Tour in 88 was my first live metal show, after that I was hooked for life. Ironically I can’t stand Metallica now.
WW: You guys are releasing your first full-length album in almost a decade, Horror From the Tombs, this year. Why the long wait?
Adam: Well we broke up in 2000. Then I did a couple other bands, Brothers of Conquest and Blade of the Ripper. The guys from Black Lung Records talked us into doing a Black Lung Records Showcase show with our old friends the Candy Snatchers. Sadly Matthew died before they got to play the show. But we played anyway as a tribute to him and the record label. Then slowly we started doing more shows and new recordings. That leads us to now and our new album.
WW: Who are the current members of the Hookers?
Adam: Me of course, Juan Badmutha on Bass, Doug Walker on Guitar and Russia on drums. Hopefully we will have this line up for a while. It could be our best one yet.
WW: You guys seem to have a healthy obsession with horror movies. What are a couple of your favorites?
Adam: Horror movies are my life outside of music. I have been a fan since around 8. Grew up in the land of the VCR. Still watch multiple horror movies every week. Off the top of my head my favorites at the moment are Return of the Living Dead, City of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul and Lisa and the Devil.
Adam: Heavy Metal Thunder From Kentucky!!! That is our Mission statement!
WW: What can we expect from the Hookers in 2012?
Adam: So far we got a single compilation coming out this summer on vinyl several singles and splits, plus and album of Halloween songs. Then in the fall another new LP of new original material. Should be a good year for Rock n Roll.
WW: Final words of wisdom to you legions of fans out there?
Adam: Whatever you do, don’t name it after me and goodnight whatever you are!
Be sure to catch the Hookers at Lovejoys in Austin on Thursday, May 17!!!