Life on the road is highly romanticized. Luckily, one of our writers Sean Gonzalez is about to be wed to that idea soon thanks to Hodera, a rock/folk outfit out of New Jersey. Expect lots of fun and scares from his adventures as he embarks on a six week tour to SXSW and back with the band.
Right now I am actually not with the band, but have been Facebook messaging the members in order to get acquainted. Between talking about Unicorns, SXSW showcases and some of our favorite albums, I can already tell this is a great group of guys to be sharing this ambitious and downright crazy idea with. Either that or they are all as sycophantic as I am and this will be like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: Van Edition.
Hodera first appeared in my life when helping do behind the scenes stuff for All Sounds, the record label who put out United By Birdcalls. Lead single, “Feel Better” shot an arrow right into my heart and I immediately was gripped by a newfound love for indie music. Needless to say, when the band saw an explosion of plays thanks to Spotify’s Top 50 Viral playlist there was a lot of excitement in the air. Now that the dust has settled, Matthew Smith, the one who put the group together is looking forward. “I have a new record and I am ready to record it,” remarks the singer/songwriter.
An avid poetry writer, Smith uses art as a way to express as much of himself as possible. “It’s just me vomiting what’s in my brain onto a page regardless of the medium,” Smith states in a conversation I had with him over the phone. He explained how he thinks he is too transparent in his writing and I could not help but connect because I feel the same way. But looking to the future, he wants to write a record that is more focused and more honest than United By Birdcalls. Backed by a great group of musicians made up of Alek Mager (Bass) Doug Tillo (Guitar) and Scott Tilley (Touring Drummer), I am not only excited to hear the news songs, but be surrounded by these four characters for the next six weeks.
My first morning of driving was to Eastern Ohio to get plenty of writing done and relax after ten and a half hours on the road. Between waking up to the image of an old lady with a knife projected onto my ceiling (I suffer from Sleep Paralysis) and driving through five hours of an Indiana Blizzard, I have already been tested to see if this really is the kind of adventure I should be going on. But then Alek just mentioned bringing twister and I snap back into the fearless part of me that dropped my job and put life on pause to do a mere side quest that will put me into the deepest part of the belly (or groin) that music has to offer. There’s a very good fun in being entirely scared and nervous about putting your past into boxes and living out of two backpacks, but I still can’t help but feel like I am under packed and under experienced for this life style. Maybe my 13 year old self was wrong this entire time. But then again, to be able to check off a life goal a decade later because you can is still rewarding.
This is the first post of a week by week tour diary that will develop these four musicians into characters outside of their roles in a band while also showcase the limitless talent that Hodera possess. Nothing will be held back, experiences will be shared and frustrations will be stated. I have no idea where we will be sleeping, where we will be playing or even who I will be hanging out with. This is either advantageous or downright idiotic, we’ll see what happens next week.