Thursday, 10 November 2011


Back across the pond for this weeks pick. Back in the late 1990s and start of the 00's I really started to get heavily into the whole garage punk/punk rock 'n' roll scene, bands like Gluecifer, Turbonegro, Puffball, Electric Frankenstein etc were on heavy rotation on my stereo, and I had a friend back then who had been into that whole scene way longer then myself and who would hook me up with cassette tapes featuring all kinds of garage punk rock 'n' roll bands, and on one tape he did me some stuff by this band The Hookers who I had never heard of before but as soon as "Satans Highway" (title track of the debut album) came raging out of my stereo speakers I knew that this was going to be a band I would get into big time....I asked him to tape me more stuff by them so he did and I would play those songs from various recordings on repeat, rewinding the tape backwards, playing the songs and rewinding again to get myself another Hookers fix!!. Then a good friend of mine came to my place armed with a Hookers CD I had never heard before which was the 2nd album and this album also blew me away totally, this album had a more old 70's rock/NWOBHM influence running throughout it ( the album in question is called "Black Visions Of Crimson Wisdom") mixed in with the full on gritty garage punk rock 'n' roll, I remember loving it so much I loaned it off my friend and never gave him it back for months..or was it a couple years?! I can't remember but I had it for quite a while and would blast it on a regular basis whilst kicking back with some smokes and beers.

The band have put out a few album and numerous splits with the likes of Electric Frankenstein, ANTiSEEN, Speedwolf since they formed in the late 1990's and have a new full length album which will soon be unleashed upon the world titled "Horror Rises From The Tombs", I was lucky enough to score an advance of the album tracks from vocalist and all round rock 'n' roll outlaw Adam Neal and I can safely say without any hesitation that it is possibly the strongest Hookers album to date, full of catchy hooks, plenty of rockin' riffs and captures all the best elements of The Hookers in one foul swoop, it's a rollercoaster of tempos and the band are definetly firing on all cynlinders and are sounding as mean if not meaner than ever! I sent Adam some questions about the new album and the upcoming European tour and here is what he had to say:-

Hails Adam, ok first of all please give the readers a quick background history on the band and who does what?
Current Line up is

The Rock n Roll Outlaw (Adam Neal) - Vocals
Doug Walker - Lead Guitar
Juan Badmutha - Bass
Chris Hamilton- Drums
Stoney Tombs and I Formed the band Loosely in 1994, after I quit Nine Pound Hammer, doing a more Johnny Thunders style of punk, but came into the sound we are known for in 1995. After that we released our first couple of singles, then the album "Satan's Highway". That album changed everything for us and allowed us to tour, put out a lot more stuff from big labels like Sub Pop and Man's Ruin to tiny ones like Sack o Shit and Devil Doll. Played tons of U.S. Shows with the likes of Antiseen, Dead Moon, Candy Snatchers, High On Fire. And even did a small euro tour before we split up in 2000. After that I did a couple of other bands, Brothers of Conquest and Blade of the Ripper, before we reunited in 2008 for a Black Lung records Showcase show. That went great sp we decided to do some recording and put out a couple of new single, which brings us up to now.

You guys have been active for a long time now and have a bunch of great albums under your belts, looking back which album or albums are your faves and for what reasons? Is there anything you would like to be able to change on any of the past albums or are your satisfied with those recordings?.

There are always things you want to change, usually its my vocals. My favorite recording of our is the Zombiemaker 7". Its a raw and rough one, but the energy is what I like about it and the full blown horror motif.

Please tell the readers a little in your own words about each Hookers album and where they can get these albums from? I presume some of them are still available?.

Actually most of them are out of print at the moment, vinyl is extremely scare of both of our Scooch Pooch records albums. Both are possibley being re-released next year. Satan's Highway-Our first album seems to be the fan favorite, its fast and mean. Drenched in early Venom/Motorhead meets Dead Boys style punk sound. Maybe our rawest sounding album also. We recorded it in 48 hours!
Black Visions of Crimson Wisdom- Also pretty popular with the fans, however when it was released every other person I met told me it was to metal, or two heavy or just not punk enough. now it seems to have found its audiance. The album its self is a slight departure for us, mainly because of the fact that we went to an actual studio as oppossed to a basement, where all the recordng before this album had been made. All we were listening to at the time was Manowar and Deep Purple and it shows. Bigger guitars and weirder song concepts, but its still just a heavy metal rock n roll album! Equinox Beyond Tomorrow-This was our last release and it was really along the lines of "Black Visons" but with more rock n roll attitude, but also songs like "Burn Witch Burn" and "Horse Named Misery", which are some of our heaviest tracks.

You have a new album called "Horror Rises From The Tombs" due for release in early November, I must say this album is a ripper from start to finish and features in my opinion some of the best Hookers songs to date such as "Crypt of The Living Dead" ...please tell the readers abit about this new album in your own words and what they can expect from it. Are you totally satisfied with how it turned out?

I am pretty happy with actually, and I rarely am. Its really a mix of the two sounds were are known for. Its certainly the  fastest album we have recorded and maybe the meanest, especially lyrically. All the songs are Horror obsessed and the production is stripped down and very raw. Hopefully people will dig it? Weve got another one written and ready to go.

So there was quite a gap inbetween the new album and the previous one...what happened with the band? How does it feel to be back, you sound like you are firing on all cylinders and are definetly kicking ass just as much as ever.

Thank You! Yeah its been a while, but yeah im glad that we are back doing it again. We broke the first time due to our guitarist and founding member Stoney Tombs had family commitments. Sadley he still cant tour due to his job and family, but it will always be our band, we started it togehter so he will appear on the new records in some compacity.

After listening to the new album a couple of times I must say that I think it is quite possibly the best Hookers album to date! It is just RIPPING from start to finish. What formats will it be available on?

Vinyl Only with a download code that comes with 3 extra songs not on the album for now. I just dont have faith in any other format at this point. The people who will want to buy it, will want it on vinyl

How did you hook up with the current label initially?

Currently were are dealing with Green Mist Records. We have been friends with them for years, Larry and Leslie did a magazine called Carbon 14 and we did an interview with them. They also used to do a label called Steel Cage record that put out a ton of cool stuff, great people with great taste in music!

You are due to hit Europe for a tour at the end of this year, what are your expectations for that? What can people expect from a HOOKERS live show, what does a regular show for you guys involve? What are your fave things about coming to and playing Europe?

There isnt anything I dont like about Europe except flying over there. Our shows now are maybe a little better than in the past, the band is tighter and everyone is on the same page. Primarily we play things from the first two albums, the singles and a few new tracks. Were also currently playing a song called "Teenage Blood" that comes out next year on Black Lung Records.

What are the chances of HOOKERS hitting the UK for some shows in support of the new album? Any plans? Have you actually played the UK in the past?

We have never played the UK, hopefully we will make it there next year at some point, we would certainly love to. We want to go everywhere we can with the new album.

How active are you guys on the live front thesedays? Have you been playing out live a lot in recent times? Throughout the years what are some standout shows and tours you have done? Any funny anecdotes you care to share from the road?!

Nothing that wont get me into trouble at home, haha! But yes we are playing out alot at the moment and plan to do even more next year. The biggest tour for us was the first tour we did with Nashville Pussy. That got us and the name out there and really helped alot.

Where do you plan to play and tour in support of the new album?

For right now its  Europe in December, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Austria and the back to the U.S. for soem Texas dates. We would practically kill to get to Australia and Japan

The lyrical themes on the new album seem very horror movie influenced, please tell us a little about some of the lyrical themes and inspirations on the new album.

Yeah im a huge horror fan, its my life outside of music, has been since I was a kid. Most of the songs are based around horror movie themes, songs like "Black Past" and "The Lying Witch" are figurative, while some of them like "Dont Go Near the Park" and "Crypt of the Living Dead" are about actual movies, sort of? But we still do satanic stuff to, like "The Devil Is His Name" and some sexploitation type shit in "25 To Life". But for me at this point in my life, I cant imagine writing non horror/satanic themed music.

Who designed the great looking new cover art? 

Leslie from Green Mist designed this one, the image is from a poster of a movie called EXORCISM, starring one of my favorites, Paul Nashy. I usually try to control the album art or do it myself, but I gotta say Leslie really knocked me out with that cover Idea. I think the rest of the package turned out very good to.

What bands fuel and shape the sound of HOOKERS? Main influences that make you wanna write your own songs and kick some musical ass?

Well im a big music fan so really it could be pretty broad. But really its still the records we listened to back then,The Devil Dogs, Zacherle, Danzig, Manowar, Dwarves, Antiseen, Didjits, Deep Purple, Roky Erickson and tons of other old school punk, metal and horror movie soundtracks. Me and Stoney have also always been obsessed with 77/Killed by Death style punk and N.W.O.B.H.M., both of those show through on the new album I think.

You had another band going for a while called BLADE OF THE RIPPER, and released two awseome albums with this band which to my ears was some kind of horror punk/thrash metal type hybrid, what happened to that band? Are the albums still available? What do you think of those albums looking back on them?

Yes horror punk thrash, both are still available I believe. My biggest problem with that band was, I just couldnt get the right guys to do it. To many jobs, girlfriends and pure laziness killed it. I like both of the albums, Probably like the second one best. But both albums are filled with things I wished we would have changed.

Also tell us about the ROCK 'N' ROLL OUTLAW band, you only had one album released on I used to fuck people like you in prison records, I have only ever heard a few tracks from it personally...fucking hard to get hold of!!! What do you think of that album you did looking back on it? What was the main purpose of that project/band/

Really that album just came about as a what if? What if I went in and recorded an album by myself? So I did and thats what came out. There is a U.S. version to on vinyl. Very limited pressing, so nowadays its more a people talk about but nobody owns. Plenty of fun stuff on it though, my only song that is about Halloween and even a Brady Kids cover.

Describe The Hookers in 5 words only

Heavy Metal Thunder From Kentucky

What the local scene like where you live? Any cool local bands you would care to recommend to the readers out there?

No not really. We live in Louisville Kentucky now. Which is known as an indie rock town. Not much of a  real Punk or Metal scene has ever existed here to my knowledge. In the 90's there was a hardcore scene here that spawned a killer band called Kinghorse and a handful of other good bands, but past that its all pretty derivitive. We do better almost anywhere but here. Still appreciate the fans we do have here because of the situation

Back when you guys first formed and hit the scene, the whole scandinavian garage punk rock n roll scene was really starting to take off and make waves, did that whole explosion have a significant impact on you guys and was it even an inspiration to start making such a hardrockin form of music?

No we werent into most of those bands actually, we always liked older music and were really into classic heavy metal and also bands on the Crypt label at the time at that time. But we did like Turbonegro, who were friends with our friend Steve Bass from The Devil Dogs, he was actually the first person to play them for me, it was the song "Midnight Nambla". I did a bunch of coke with him and the Candy Snatchers and he played a cassette of it, we all loved it. We also dug Glucifer at the time and got to play with them twice. Both of those had some great albums. Otherwise at the time we didnt care for much of it, or were just unaware of it at the time.

What other bands in a similar style to the Hookers do you personally enjoy and would recommend?

Thats a really hard one. Speedwolf, Mongo Ninja, The White Barons

"Ride the Dragon Into The Crimson Light" is an older Hookers songtitle, I guess you are a big Sleep/Doom fan?! You ever thought about doing a band in that style?

I do love tons of those records. not so much the stuff like that now, but the older stuff. I would love to do a bluesy Doom band at some point

As a musician what keeps you going and what has kept you going throughout the years and the good times and bad times with the band(s)?! Any advice out there for people who are just starting to form bands and getting actively involved in playing and creating their own music?

What keeps me going is just releasing new records, thats what I love the most about it. Getting the finished product in my hands and playing live. As far as advice goes I would say. first of all it  certainly isnt easy to do it or  keep doin it, its hard and people need to realize that. The one thing you gotta do is work hard at it and dont stop. If this is what you want to do, then do it and dont give up on it. Find what you like and what you want to sound like and fuck everyone else's opinion. Work hard, it's your dream not theirs.

What bands have current members been involved with or are currently involved with that are worth mentioning?

Our Bassist Juan Badmutha has killer band called Spreadeagle and our guitarist Doug Walker has a current Prog Punk band called Nixon

Another question, you have also done quite a few cover versions, everything from ANTiSEEN to Pentagram, which covers are your personal faves? Do you play any covers live currently? How many covers have you done overall in the bands history?

We have done so many, I dont have an actual number. My favorites were the Krokus song "Ready to Burn" that we did on the Sub Pop Single and "Two Wheels" by Centurion on the new album

A live and unreleased album called Ripped From The Crypt was released a few years ago, what was the purpose of that release and whos idea was it to put that out? Its a very rough and ready sounding release showing the live energy of the band!

Yeah it was really just stuff we had laying around. There were only a hundred or so made I think. Mainly those were made to sell at our first reunion show. They also feature the last songs we recorded in Germany before the break up

Who are some of your vocal influences? When did you first start singing and when did you find out you could sing like you do in The Hookers? 
What are in your opinion the most vital ingredients to make a band ROCK successfully like The Hookers...I would say plenty of catchy riffs and vocal hooks are important! You guys have those in abundance!! What is the songwriting process usually like for new songs? Is there a lot of jamming in the rehearsal room going on?

Biggest vocal influences were Elvis Presley, Howling Wolf, Glenn Danzig, Jeff Clayton and Stiv Bators. Sometime after the first album I really started to be able to sustain my vocal style. now if I raise my voice at all it sounds like that. Thankfully i dont have kids
 I think people forget how important good songs are! Also cool lyrics are important, it doesnt have to be poppy or comercial, just something that people can remember and rock out to. On stage its all about attitude and action, dont be a statue. If you dont like your own music enough to rock out, then why should anyone else? More than anything get into it and lose yourself in it. thats what its all about right? Escape?
As far as our songs, I usually write all the material alone and bring it into the band. We will jam on the songs and make slight changes here and there, but for the most part it is written outside the band room. Inspiration comes and goes, you just have to jump on it when you feel it and dont forget to write it down.

What are the plans for rest of 2011 and into 2012? Do you have much in the pipeline?

Tour, tour and more tour!
And another new album next fall!

The last words are yours.....plug available merch and anything else. Thanks for answering my questions!
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