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House of Heroes - 07.23.10

Interviewed by: Linda Ferreira (07/27/10)
The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

House of Heroes
(answered by singer/guitarist Tim Skipper)

1. How did you get your band name?
We used to be a pop-punk band called No Tagbacks (actually it was You're it and the No Tagbacks) and that band sort of dissolved after one album and some disastrous touring. So we started writing this new kind of music, but we couldn't come up with a name that we all liked. So we gave ourselves a deadline to decide on a name and when that deadline came the names we had were, The Black Fantastic, The First Time, and House of Heroes. After a vote, House of Heroes won.

2. How did this band get started?

I met our bass player AJ playing baseball together in middle school. At a school orchestra concert I saw him playing upright bass and asked him later if he played electric bass. He said, "I can play 'Come Together' by the Beatles." I said, "Good enough. We're starting a band." At the same time Colin and Jared Rigsby had their own band and we used to play shows together in their parent's garage. Eventually we all started playing together and it made a lot of sense. We'd get together and play entire MxPx and Blink 182 albums from front to back every day. It was awesome!

3. What bands are you influenced by?
When we first started out it was all pop punk stuff. MxPx was at the top of the list, but we also loved Blink, NoFX, Slick Shoes, Descendants. Bands like that. As we got older, the bands that we loved even before punk rock ruled our lives started to become more influential. The Beatles, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins, Sunny Day Real Estate, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen, The Clash. These days it's a lot of that older stuff that continues to influence us.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

As far as modern bands, I would say Muse, Arcade Fire, the Killers, U2, Green Day. Pretty much any band who is AMAZING and inspiring live. All of those bands put on shows that blow me away and I'd love to see them night in and night out. As far as bands that are out of commission, The Beatles, Queen, Led Zep, The Who. That would be pretty ok.

5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
I'm gonna have to agree with my good friend and our current bass player Eric Newcomer on this one. Beings with animal heads and human bodies are just too weird to be around. He couldn't even watch the Fantastic Mr. Fox for that very reason. Fortunately, I'm not in a place yet where a woman needs to dress up like an animal for me to be attracted to her ;)

6. Why should people listen to your band?

Because we're good. We're a freakin good band that writes good songs. I've tried to be humble about it and let people figure that out for themselves, but not enough people are getting it. So I'm trying a new approach here. Just telling them that we're good and that they need to listen to us, and they need to come out to a show and see us play, and they need to buy all of our merch, and we need to be their new favorite band. We'll see how this new plan works ;) Seriously though, they should listen to us and see if it stirs something inside of them. See if it inspires them. If our music does that, excellent! If not, no worries. It's not for everyone.

7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?

I hate those games! Not because they're not fun or anything, just because I'm TERRIBLE at them! I can barely play them on the easiest level, so I have no idea how hard one of our songs would be on expert. I suppose if I had to choose one of our songs I'd choose "In the Valley of the Dying Sun" just because it changes so much and there are some awesome riffs in it.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?

I guess winning a Grammy would be cool, and I'd thank God and my family and friends and the record label and all of that fun stuff, but let's be honest. The Grammy awards are a joke anymore. You kind of have to question the motives of anyone who needs validation from an award show. Especially one that nominates that piece of crap Black Eyed Peas album 5 or 6 times for different awards including Album of the Year. We may not have a huge fan base, but when they say our music inspires them and you can see the honesty in their eyes, I'd much rather have that validation than a Grammy award. It would be pretty cool for my mom though. I think she'd get a pretty big kick out of her son winning a Grammy.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I used to wear myself out thinking about this question. Now it just hurts my head and feels counter-productive. I have no idea what I would change about the music industry. Whatever I would change would be very logical though. I'd probably try to convince them that you don't need to spend a TON of money to make quality recordings. Costs down, profits up. Logical.

10. Memorable tour experience?
Long story short...Van broke down in Arizona on our first tour ever. It took them 14 days to fix it! They referred to it as the Death Star at the shop. We started driving home and at about 1am the engine went. Our drummer, Colin broke his foot kicking the van out of frustration. We were all out of tripple A miles and 8 miles away from the nearest exit. Colin steered while the rest of us pushed our van and trailer 8 miles in the middle of the night. The next day, 3 guys flew home and my dad flew out and rented a U-Haul because none of us were old enough to rent one. Then AJ, my dad and I drove 30 hours straight home to Columbus, OH sitting 3 across the front, redneck family style. We got home about $8,000 in debt. I thought the band was done, but we all just loved making music together too much.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
AP.net is HUGE for us! We've had so many people discover our band through the site, it's amazing. It seems like a lot of the staff writers like our music and a lot of the users respect their opinions, so that has meant good things for us! Most of the staff seem like normal dudes we'd all get along with really well. Let's take good ol' Chris Fallon for example. Although it seems we differ on spiritual and philosophical issues, he seems like someone I would totally hang out with. He loves Batman, and he loves sports. Two of my favorite things in the world. I'll do my best to see past the fact that he's a die hard Mariner's fan. Chris, when we're out in Seattle next, let's go get a beer and make fun of stuff!

12. What is your favorite song to play?

I like playing "In the Valley of the Dying Sun". It never gets old and I don't think it ever will! So many peaks and valleys in a 4 and a half minute song.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Cape Town, South Africa! I have some family over there, and it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen in person. Specifically Cape Point, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Indian ocean. That and Seal Island! Largest concentration of great whites in the world. I was lucky enough to take a helicopter ride over Seal Island and see all of those sharks! So cool!

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?

AC/DC and Metallica for sure! I wasn't allowed to listen to rock music when I was younger, so in 6th grade the bad kid in class made me a mix tape of those 2 bands that I had to hide from my parents. I fell in love with music then and there!

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

Flight. Because it would be awesome. Easy.

16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
When we first started, I had 3 goals in mind. Play with MxPx, play overseas, and do a tour on a tour bus. We've now done all of those things, so my 17 year old self thinks we're WILDLY successful! However as you get older your goals change as does the definition of "making it." I think we have a ways to go personally. I read Dee Dee Ramone's book not too long ago and it was amazingly depressing to me. He said they had so many people constantly telling them how much more successful they could be that they didn't have time to enjoy how successful they were. Do I wish we sold more records? Yes. Do I wish more people came to our shows and we made more money? Heck yes. But I haven't worked a "regular job" now for 2 years. Making and playing music has been my life and my means of supporting myself and you better believe I'm grateful for that!

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
People seem to be surprised by my love of ballads. Haha. "Unchained Melody" (the Righteous Brothers version) is my favorite song of all time, followed very closely by "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King. I also really LOVE "When You're Gone" by the Cranberries and "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor (but written by Prince). In the right mood, any of these songs can make me tear up just a bit.

18. What's your favorite holiday?

I guess I would say Thanksgiving because it's always been about hanging out with my family. The older you get, the more important family becomes. Not just your immediate family either. Your close friends are your family as well. For some of my friends are a lot more family than their real family. Every Thanksgiving I hang with both sides of my family and then go see a movie with my best friends. Can't really beat that.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like writing songs, playing basketball, golfing, reading conspiracy theory books and rock n' roll biographies, hanging with friends, drinking good beer, watching movies, and listening to records. Pretty normal stuff.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?

I think I'll keep those talents hidden thank you very much ;)
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15.
03:07 PM on 07/28/10
#2
harley7733
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Tim and everyone in House of Heores (past and present) are the nicest, most down to earth, funniest, and most entertaining band live, plus they are super great to their fans. Im walking into my local record store tomorrw and demanding they have a shipment of Suburba in ASAP! I love HoH. I've been a fan since '05, and they never disappoint.
03:45 PM on 07/28/10
#3
aaronsuspect
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Wish I could say my highschool band played MXPX and Blink albums beginning to end... we just played a few
04:03 PM on 07/28/10
#4
beth_b3272
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I absolutely love his answer to number 16. It's just a fantastic perspective to have, and not just in the music industry!
04:14 PM on 07/28/10
#5
cscwell107
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Best of all the generic interviews. Hands down.
05:51 PM on 07/28/10
#6
Nardes
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Tim and everyone in House of Heores (past and present) are the nicest, most down to earth, funniest, and most entertaining band live, plus they are super great to their fans. Im walking into my local record store tomorrw and demanding they have a shipment of Suburba in ASAP! I love HoH. I've been a fan since '05, and they never disappoint.
literally exactly the same for me.

Got to chat with the other night after their show and seriously if anyone deserves success in this business it is them!
08:22 PM on 07/28/10
#7
iheartmusic043
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I love HoH! Sad to say that I only heard about them months ago because they are amazing! Such a refreshing bad because they are humble yet so epically talented. They never cease to amaze me. Keep up the good work guys and Tim, you are hilarious!
09:47 PM on 07/28/10
#8
Theow593
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please someday come to Montreal. I'll buy all your merch - but more importantly, I'll know every single lyric!
11:19 PM on 07/28/10
#9
silversea
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You can tell just from listening to their music that these guys are passionate about what they do. AP.net's review of Suburba faulted them for being "too epic, too over the top." If melodrama is your only error, you know you're doing something right. They want their music to be larger than life and as dramatic as it can be. Nothin' wrong with that.
01:24 AM on 07/29/10
cereal4life
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A sweet interview! Enjoyed it immensely.
04:20 AM on 07/29/10
Ryzenfall
makin' good time
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Great interview, band and group of human beings.
08:46 AM on 07/29/10
dangerofthought
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Awesome band, awesome music, awesome people. The story of the broken down van cracked me up even though I know it sucked royally at the time for them. I hope these guys blow up once Suburba drops.
12:19 PM on 07/29/10
brandonisstupid
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Love that guy. great interivew.
03:47 PM on 07/29/10
tossit
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fun read...seems like a cool guy
09:39 PM on 07/29/10
JordanBakerSays
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awesome interview. my band back in high school had the opportunity of opening for these guys a few times and they are honestly the nicest dues ever. everyone should buy this album multiple times and punch anybody that downloads it illegally in the face.
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