By Appointment Only
On December 6th, 2014 I sat down with Jackson of HED (P.E) to discuss what is currently going on with HED (P.E) and what we can expect to hear in the future. The band dropped their most recent album this summer - Evolution. They have been touring non-stop since with various acts such as: Non-point, Recoil, and V.O.R.
Looking around the room during their set, it was palpable how in tune the crowd was. The electric current ran from the amps to the back of the house and I assure you there wasn't a dry seat in the house. Their set ran for roughly 45 minutes, and it included hardcore and rock tracks winding down to the portion of their set list referred to the "Champagne lounge." The eclectic set list ran from such tracks as Renegade and Blackout to a cover of “No Woman, No Cry.” The bands' core set list is fairly set in stone, but the order does change depending on what Vox front man Jared's mood is that particular night. Their sets are quite literally alive.
All though HED (P.E) has a loyal following, there are areas in the country where there is interest, but no animation. We discussed how different crowds can be and how noticeable East Coast crowds are compared to West Coast crowds, as an example. There are some "hole in the wall" clubs that attract concert goers who don't show any interest when the guys are playing on stage but will then demand an encore when their set is done; versus say the show I was in attendance - where the crowd could literally not get enough. Jackson spoke of the challenges these audiences can bring. He feels there is a challenge waiting to be accepted with these visually unentertained crowds to get them to move their feet and visibly enjoy the show. You can feel silly up there being so over animated in comparison to a still crowd, but it can make all the difference. “At the end of the day, these people are paying to see us, we have to deliver.” – Jackson. Any obstacle is considered a challenge waiting to be confronted and overcome.
The nature of the biz makes it a struggle for underground and smaller musicians to really grow because it can cost so much to record an album and tour. The guys more so prefer a smaller venue because it can make the experience that much more intimate and “alive” like it was tonight. The venue was packed and as I mentioned, everybody looked like they were having a great time. The set was tight and it makes the night that much more enjoyable for everyone involved. There is real meaning there when you leave a HED PE show and it impacts you. Jackson and I briefly discussed fans notifying them in how much they have impacted fans lives and made things better for a lot of the reasons music is known to be such a powerful entity.
Aside from touring, the guys are currently in the works for a more experimental album with a different trajectory that will be known as" Dred PE". The name change will break barriers that the band has yet to do with a broader genre exploration and it will allow a more exotic HED (P.E). Jackson and I spoke of how diverse their fan base is now, and this side project will only expand on that. They're looking to go into directions that might be too much of a stretch right now, but since they're constantly exploring and experimenting anyway: who knows? The main detour on this project comes down to one thing; funds.
HED (P.E) is also diverse in the sense they do things a bit differently than you'd expect. I learned the band members do in fact live states away from each other; creating more obstacles that they need to be overcome to put together a record as well as a tour. Each member will record their own tracks and submit; from there Jared will pick and choose what he thinks will work for what he is thinking vocally. It is common or to be expected that a verse Jackson or any other member may lie down could end up as a chorus or a bridge. There is an extensive cutting process of tracks to fine tune each album. The way the band writes and records come down to lack of options, but they make it work for them. They wouldn't be growing and expanding if that weren't the case.
In this upcoming year, HED (P.E) will be playing a European festival with a crowd size of upwards of 75,000 people. Possibly their largest crows yet. You can buy tickets for their upcoming tour dates here: http://www.livenation.com/artists/42212/hed-pe
In closing, please show your support by purchasing Evolution and go see them play and maybe buy some merch and move your ass when the music starts playing!