Interview with Brian and Chris of Hay Perro
Hay Perro play a fantastic blend of metal and punk rock. I recently got to interview Chris and Brian to find out more about the band and their music.
MM-Please introduce the members of your band.
Chris: I’m on guitar and vocals, and I do most of the songwriting. Brian plays guitar as well. Dan plays bass and Emily plays drums, and are brother and sister. Brian and I are not even a little bit related.
MM-Tell us a little about your band’s history.
Brian: It’s a bit convoluted, but the short version is our old bass player had rented a practice space, and his other band bailed on him, so we all joined up and started Hay Perro. Ben, the old bass player left the band to get his master’s about a year and a half ago, and Dan came in and has been with us ever since. We’ve done a couple of EP’s and a split 7”, but this is our first album and definitely our strongest work.
MM-Who are your musical influences?
Chris: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Voivod, Minutemen, Husker Du, Black Sabbath, and to some extent any song or band I’ve ever heard and liked.
MM-How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Chris: Aggressive guitar music with harmonized riffs.
MM-Tell us some about your new album?
Chris: It’s our first full-length. I’ve never felt that any of our recording efforts before this really presented a cohesive statement about what we do, and I think this one does. Some of the songs we’ve been playing for a few years now, and some of them were written just before recording, but everything seemed to fit together well.
MM-What are some of your favorite tracks and why do you like them?
Chris: Well, I like them all. I’m particularly happy with how “Eastern Ideas of Death” came out. It’s the longest track on there, and in some ways was the most difficult to record, but it paid off. It has a bunch of riffs, this extended harmonized bridge part, and it reaches this heavy climax where we threw in some guitar and organ overdubs. It’s pretty awesome. “No Visions” I like a lot too as an example of our catchier side.
MM-What has been the response to your album so far? Brian: The response has been very positive. We’ve been getting some good reviews and some great feedback on the album. People really seem to like how various genres come together to make a unique record.
MM-What is the music scene like in Chicago these days?
Chris: I feel unqualified to make any kind of definitive statement about it, because this city is so big and there are so many bands. There is a whole lot of metal going on here, of all different flavors. There’s some great stuff happening, and I’m sure there’s plenty I don’t know about - it’s tough for me to keep up. I do think there’s a pretty open-minded audience in this city for the kind of stuff we’re doing.
MM-What bands have you shared the stage with so far?
Chris: Slough Feg, Bible of the Devil, High Spirits, Zuul, many others.
MM-Who would you love to share a stage with?
Chris: Any and all like-minded bands.
MM-Have the high gas prices impacted how many shows you play in recent months?
Brian: I wouldn’t say it has really affected us that much. When we go out of town, the primary focus is about playing in front of new audiences and getting more people to hear the music. The financial aspect is not a huge factor in whether or not we play more or less.
MM-What do you think about the metal/punk rock scenes in general these days?
Chris: Like always, there’s good music and bad music. I don’t give much thought to the state of any given scene. We just kind of keep our heads down and do what we do.
MM-Why should someone buy your new album?
Chris: To borrow my earlier phrase, because they like aggressive guitar music with harmonized riffs.
Brian: It really is a unique album that has a great energy to it. There’s some punk, some thrash, some doom and some NWOBHM, it really draws from a little bit of everything. Fans of aggressive music will not be disappointed.
MM-What are some of your favorite albums of 2011 so far?
Chris: These days I suck at staying on top of new music. From time to time I’ll hear new shit through other people, but I rarely feel like I have time to find it myself. “Nucleus” by Dawnbringer and “The Animal Spirits” by Slough Feg are two newish albums I’ve enjoyed recently, but I’m pretty sure those came out in 2010. I lose track of time.
MM-Choose the band you prefer from each of the following pairs and tell why you picked them.
Gang Green or DRI
Chris: DRI. Our sound draws from metal and punk, and needless to say DRI does that quite well.
Trouble or Impaler
Chris: Trouble. Psalm 9 is definitely one of my favorites. I could listen to “Assassin” alone all day. Plus, they’re from Chicago!
GBH or the Exploited
Brian: That’s a difficult call. Both bands were definitely influential by blending punk and metal, and I grew up listening to both of these bands a lot, but I’m going to have to say GBH. Kawasaki Live was a pretty big part of my adolescence.
Iron Maiden or Judas Priest
Chris: Ugh, that is a tough one, but I’d have to give it to Maiden. They just press this primal FUCK YES button in my brain like no other band. Not that Priest doesn’t. But yeah. Maiden.
MM-Is there anything else you want to say about your band, your music or anything else?
Chris: We really appreciate you taking the time to check out our record and put these questions together. At the end of the day, no one really gives a shit about another rock band, but it’s great when people take an interest in our music. We believe in what we’re doing, and we have a good time doing it. Also, dear readers: buy our record.