Its about damn time to get another raging, chick fronted rock band up here! It seems as though if you keep your ears open long enough a diamond in the rough can be found. This LA based rock outfit is The HUSH and hush is the exact opposite of what this band does.
This band, like many others, caught my attention via twitter feed, and I am glad they did. To be honest, I thought they were going to be a mellow band based on the name alone, which shows how you can never’ judge a book by its cover’. The HUSH rocked my world the second I dove into listening to their seven song EP ‘Scene of the Crime’. The first song I listened to was ‘So Hollywood’ . The first thing you notice is Jazmine’s voice. The powerful pipes and the range on this chick bring two words to mind, mind blowing. If you are a regular reader, you know how hard it is for a female vocalist to win me over. Her buttery voice combined with the mellow/raging/mellow/raging combination of the melodies on their tracks won me the hell over. I went on to listen to ‘Touch and Go’, ‘When the Night Comes’, etc. to the end of the album. The album maintains its strength from start to finish. The rhythm section and guitar lines flow flawlessly into a perfect embodiment of what hard rock is, but with a uniquely entrancing twist. It just works.
The band is made up of five highly-seasoned musicians: Jazmine Giovanni, vocals; Lee Landrum, lead guitar; Andrew James, bass; Blake Paulson, drums; Greg Pajer, guitar. A lot can be said individually about the talent of the members, including some of their sweet past musical endeavors, but we know them as the gutsy, in your face, The HUSH, so I will leave it at that. Their Facebook page boasts the line “The HUSH….it’s all about the ROCK!” and this is the absolute perfect description of The HUSH. I have not had the chance to see them live yet, but that all changes THIS Friday, March 30th at the Key Club in Hollywood. The HUSH is hosting a video premiere party/show, and I’ll most definitely be there. YOU should be too.
Jazmine and Lee took some time to talk to BBB and below you can read about The HUSH in their own words. Find out the story behind their name, who barters with God before a show, and what surprises they have in store at their live show!
When and why did each of you start playing?
JG: My father was a jazz drummer and my mother was a dancer that really wanted to sing. She was my first teacher.
LL: At a pretty early age I would make up riffs in my head. I finally picked the guitar at 16 and haven’t let go if it since.
Why ‘THE HUSH’?
JG: I love the story of our name and I find that because it’s a total juxtaposition, I love it even more. I come from a theatrical background. Every show has a life of its own and a different personality. But there is always a commonality to each performance. As the house lights dim and the audience begins to settle in before the start of the show, there is a moment of hush. It’s a quiet shared by the audience and the players on stage that only lasts a moment, but that is THE HUSH. We thought it was apropos.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
LL: Growing up my parents listened to country, I always listened to rock. I have a varied musical taste that really boils down to liking most anything that sounds genuine. Right now I’m in the writing mode and don’t listen to near as much music so I can keep my ears and head clear for writing.
JG: I grew up in a varied musical scene. My dad was a jazz drummer and I spent 10 years in the Opera as a child so my taste and influences cover the spectrum; Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Puccini, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Prince, Whitney, NIN, Def Leppard, Dream Theater, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye all had a significant impact. Right now I’m listening to Mutemath, Jane’s Addiction, Bon Iver, Scissor Sisters.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
JG: I have a deep respect and admiration for songwriters that are brilliant storytellers. Billy Joel and Sting among others, seem to pull uncommon viewpoints from the trivialities we all take for granted. I love a song that can take us somewhere we’ve all been and show us something new.
LL: I agree with Jazmine about storytelling. I always liked the dramatic work of Queen and Pink Floyd – both bands know how to tie it all together and cover a lot of ground while doing it.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
LL: A little bit but that nervous feeling gets the adrenaline flowing, it’s good. By the time I hit the stage I am so ready for the show to start.
JG: Yes. I am very shy and my relationship with attention is a dysfunctional one so I quake quite intensely and become very cold from adrenaline before every show.
Any rituals before a show?
JG: I barter with God.
LL: Practice, practice, practice. I don’t leave anything in the hands of God.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
LL: Our set starts off with a lot of energy and it continues throughout. Our job as musicians is to connect up together on-stage and with the audience. The energy in the room can get pretty amazing – we feed off the audience and they feed off of us. Jazmine always captures the crowd with her first verse and continues to seduce their attention throughout the set. On-stage we tie our songs together with parts you won’t hear on the CD. This always catches the audience by surprise, we get great feedback.
How does your creative process typically work?
LL: Our writing process is a collaborative effort. Sometimes it starts with a guitar riff, sometimes a lyric or melody. We are never short on ideas, that’s for sure. We record everything along the way. Between writing sessions everybody does their homework. The songs really do come together pretty quickly.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
LL: Limited budget. As we grow, though, so will the finances. It’s all coming together well, I don’t have any complaints.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?
LL: We are getting back in the writing mode right now. We just released a new single, Tip of the Tongue, and have two more coming out in the next couple of months – Hold You Down in March and Hanging by a Thread most likely in April. Our first video, Hold You Down, is going to be released during our live show March 30 at Key Club in Hollywood. We are really looking forward to celebrating that milestone.
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan what would it be?
LL: From the first day we threw the music out there people were caught by surprise. Early descriptions from social media fans included “infectious” and “fresh” along with comments about the high energy of the songs. Jazmine always blows them away. She has a really powerful and beautiful voice and behind her there’s no shortage of thick grooves and aggressive guitar licks. We melt faces, that’s our motto.
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
LL: Today’s music industry gives indie bands more opportunities than before. If a label isn’t on-board you can take your own DIY control and get the music out there. What comes along with this environment, though, is a new bag of opportunists taking advantage of artists. I don’t know how many solicitations I get a month from on-line marketing-types and more promising to make us millionaires. It doesn’t take much homework to find out they aren’t as great as they say they are.
JG: This is a great question and one that rouses a lot of different answers, I’m sure. Personally, I find it difficult to reconcile exactly what A&R guys do these days, because I know for damn sure it is not Artist and Repertoire. I’d love for the A&R department to return from the dead. Also I think that in a parallel to the music industry, everyone would agree that radio has become all but intolerable since Clearchannel monopololized everything we hear and began the process of removing all pleasure from music by overplaying songs until we hate them. So basically between taking the time to create a killer album where every cut is great and the whole is a cohesive masterpiece, and having the ability to showcase that album without destroying its appeal, that basically covers it. Also, a video channel would be cool. Maybe play music videos all day long – call it Music Television. Man, I’m on a roll.
One song you never get tired of.
JG: The song that makes me a star. I love that fucking song.
What is the best live show you have ever gone to?
JG: I could list a hundred. Live music is crucial to existence. However, in a side note, if you’re not hip to Vintage Trouble and you’ve never seen them live, you need to go to confession. Killer with a capital ILL. They’re L.A. friends and incredible guys. GO!
LL: Yeah, I could probably list a hundred, too. Most memorable musical moment for me, though, wasn’t at a show. I was having dinner in the Polo Lounge (not a usual spot for me to dine) and there was a guy playing the piano and singing, he was really good. He broke into “Georgia” and mid-way through the song mentioned it was Ray Charles birthday and how honored he was to have Mr. Charles in the room. Ray stood up and went over to the piano to finish singing “Georgia” for us all. It was a moment to remember.
LL: My custom designed and built seven string guitar. Three years in the making, it was worth all the time and money spent.
Favorite things to do NOT musically related.
LL: I like to surf. I’m a water guy. The perfect vacation for me is an exotic Island with good waves and warm water. I have to admit, though, I have riffs running through my head while I’m waiting for a wave.
JG: Everything is musically related 😉 – travel, photography, surfing, design, food, friends, parties, drugs, sex. We’re a rock band. It’s just like you suspected.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
LL: Max Powers.
What is something no one knows about you but you wish more people did know?
JG: No, that’s not frost on my body! I am simply an elitist and an introvert.
Best prank you have ever pulled?
JG: Convincing the world I don’t exist.
LL: Convincing the world I do exist.
LL: I’m generally not a picky guy but messy bed covers drive me crazy. That and people blowing their own horn.
If you had only 5 minutes on Earth to perform one song that would leave an impact on the world today, what would it be and why?
LL: With only five minutes on Earth, each moment better count. I would get in the zone, start to improve and let her (my guitar) rip!
What kind of jobs did you have before you were in the music industry?
LL: Long ago it was installing sunroofs in Jaguars and various construction jobs. I moved into freelance event production and then started teaching music.
JG: I am pretty sure I’ve been fired from every job where I was not in charge. I own a home accessories design company with a partner now so no more ass-kissing under the romance of florescent lighting while anti-bacterializing my hands 43 times a day because what’s-her-face in the cubicle next to me is a petri dish. Yay!
Find The HUSH here: