Hillbilly Herald Talks “Sunday’s Best”
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:17:14
"This isn't fake," assures Hillbilly Herald singer Jimmy Herald. "This is how we really live. Every lyric is something I've gone through."
That raw, rough-and-tumble honesty percolates throughout Hillbilly Herald's forthcoming Sunday's Best EP and live DVD, out February 26, 2013. The outfit arises from Los Angeles with gritty, gutter rock that's heavy on hooks and power-slamming riffs. It's an impervious knockout punch that could very well revive rock 'n' roll for good. If you aren't hip to Hillbilly Herald, you'd better get with it now as they're everything that the genre needs and so much more. Meet your new favorite rock band.
In this exclusive interview, Jimmy Herald discusses Sunday's Best and so much more with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino…
What was your vision for the Sunday's Best EP?
The vibe and vision that I had were live. We're more of a live band. We hadn't really done any shows before that first record. There was a couple. I'd just been getting started when that album was recorded. We found ourselves in the live show. I wanted to capture that. We actually recorded the whole damn EP in one day. We did a lot of preproduction and rehearsal in one day. We got to try those songs out on the Slash tour and figure out which ones we wanted to use. We got a vibe from the audience, and we chose the songs we wanted to do. We rehearsed the shit out of them. We booked one day at the studio. Everybody was like, "You have to do it in a week!" I wanted to do it one day. We went through each songs three times, and we picked the best one. If you messed up, you had to live with it. We captured the live vibe on this new EP.
Where did the title come from?
Sunday's Best is the very best of whatever you've got. It's your suit, your car, or whatever you're going to try to go out and impress everybody with. That's what I wanted to get across here. This is our very best. We're not holding anything back. We're not waiting for another EP. We gave it everything we had. I totally dig it. It's the best work we've done so far. It is our Sunday's Best.
What song speaks to you the most on the EP?
I'd say "Shame on Me". What's interesting is when we in to record we had time. We didn't run "Shame on Me" much in rehearsal. The band didn't plan on recording it, but I did. I went into the room and said, "We're here. Let's just do it!" It became the best song because of the attitude in the room. It really captured what we were doing musically, and it set the tone. It's everybody's favorite now. It had that vibe everyone was pissed off with each other because we were done for the day but had to do one more song.
What's it about lyrically?
It's about everything you do. It talks about smoking weed or cigarettes. We all know I do a lot of wrong stuff, and I know it now too. It's okay, you don't need to point your finger and tell me I was bad. We all know! I'm just letting you know that I know. It's okay to make mistakes as long as you're not hurting other people. It's okay to smoke a joint every now and then or drink a beer. It's when you're doing it every day that you have a problem and need some people. Shame on me. I did it. I'm going to be fine.
Is it important for you to tell stories within your song?
It's the most important thing to me. It's the only way I know. I just started doing this five years ago. I had to paint the picture in my head. It's interesting you ask that. When I write a lyric, it has to make sense. I'm taking people on a journey of where I am and who I'm dealing with. It's got to be right and tell a story. You have to be able to go through each song as a mini-movie.
You can see the songs as much as you can hear them.
In music today, that's getting lost a lot. They're just trying to find that hook. We're not after a hook. We're after a great song. We're trying to have a great time. Bon Scott was like that. He could tell a story in "Whole Lotta Rosie". When you hear "Hollywood Nights" come on the radio, you're there. It's the '70s again, and it takes you on that journey. It never gets old, and you always want to go back. That's what I try to do.
If Sunday's Best were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
It's action-packed for sure. You've got titles like "Shame on Me", "Bad Boy Bruiser", "Sucker Punch", and "Jump Back". I think it's our own version of where we're at today. This industry will beat you down, and you have to fight back. "Jump Back" says, "We're going to get our day whether you like it or not". You can say, "Not today," but we'll be here tomorrow, the next day, and we'll keep pushing. "Sucker Punch" has that vibe. It could be your past or what's in front of you, but you've got to be ready for it. When it hits you, you're going to be knocked down, but your friends, family, and that core will pick you up and you'll keep going. That's how I look at it.
What artists shaped you?
My favorite of all-time is Axl Rose. Then, there's Elvis Presley and Bon Scott. There was something real about Axl and he didn't hold back. I found some of the ranting and raving interesting too, because it brought an element of recklessness to the show. People always bought tickets, and they still do. He's not telling you what you want to hear, and he's not afraid to express it. Eminem was like the Axl of the '90s. He had the same vibe and was saying how it was in the lyrics. Bon Scott was very good at it. That's who I try to follow. Those are my favorites. It's been a long time since I saw a lead singer who made me say, "I want to be that guy". When I saw Axl as a kid, I was like, "I want to be that guy". The pain and everything he had—I wanted. With the pain comes the great songs. You've got to have it all.
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