Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hoods interview with vocalist: Mikey Hood. August 11th. 2011.

Vista: O.k., basic stuff...Who's in the band & who does what? Also, what year did Hoods start?

John the Jew-guitar.
Big Craig-drums.
This is the same line-up for the last four years. We started in 1994.

Vista: As far as albums go, what has been released so far & what is still in print?

Mikey: Still in print is, "King Is Dead/Ghetto Blast"- Eulogy Records and "Pit Beast"- I Scream Records. The other shit we don't play anymore, actually we are doing a live studio album of all those older songs on those three albums.We are taking our favorites and making them better.

Vista: There are a bunch of questions that I've really wanted to ask but have had no idea about. At one time the band was known as, "Sacto Hoods". Why did you change the name & what time era was that?

Mikey: It was never known as that from us. It was more or less kids called us that because we are from Sacramento. on some flyers people still call us Sacto Hoods.

Vista: Speaking of the beginning of the band, what were your goals for the band? Maybe not "goals" per say, but what were some achievements early on, if any? Was it just to play some shows locally & make people fight during your live sets? Ha! Or was it just to do a demo? Or was the idea to get as big as possible?

Mikey: It was just like we jammed and it went really well. Small local shows turned into weekends, then blamskies. It turned into a beast. We did it at the right time I guess.

Vista: As a vocalist, who are some of your influences? Also, speak a bit on behalf of the other guys in the band. Who are some of their influences, musically?

Mikey: Day of Mourning from Canada. Cold As Life Detroit. Integrity. I never took from them but those are vocalist I love.

Vista: What was the first punk/hardcore show you ever attended? what year was that?

Mikey: I think it was 87'. It was D.R.I., Circle Jerks 7 Seconds. Pretty cool right. As far as music I grew up on,  youth crew and skinhead music. The first time I heard punk/hardcore was about 83'. I was captured by the aggression. Black Flag, Fear, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, 7 Seconds, Corrosion Of Conformity. It's weird because when I saw D.R.I. I think I was 11. And years later when we were on Victory we did like a 60 day tour with them. Talk about full circle. We are playing with them here in Sacramento Sept. 21st. D.R.I. rules.

Vista: Hoods have been a band, in one formation or another now for 16 years. Is that crazy to think about or did looking back to the beginning of the band, did you always know/feel you would keep the band going, no matter what?

Mikey: I didn't have anything better to do. Just Kidding!. Well I always loved hardcore and to me it will never stop. It's what I do. We are the Willie Nelson of hardcore!

Vista: Tell us what's up with the Hardcore in your area? Where are shows going on there? Clubs, Basements, Legion Halls? What bands are worth checking out? Also, is anyone doing any zines out there or are zines a dead format?

Mikey: Someone needs to do a real fucking ZINE! I want to but Im stupid on shit like that. Bands... Wow there's a bunch. Maya Over Eyess from San Jose and Domination from San Jose as well. They just signed with Westcoast Worldwide. Havenside, Folsom, Hammerfist, Terror, Out For Revenge, Boundaries. etc.. I still do tons of shows at various clubs.

Vista: Hoods started out in a time era where there was no computers, facebook, Myspace, etc...It was a time when kids had to write letters & had to seek out bands that they really loved. People did zines, made fliers & there were so many kids doing D.I.Y. distro's. What are your thoughts compared to say, the 90's to now, here in 2011?

Mikey: I booked our first tour with stamps, envelopes & phone calls. We had like 62 dates booked and made about 41 show before our van broke down in Pennsylvania. We were road nomads. For over 12 years we did over 225 shows a year. Now kids have that shit easy and it takes away from hardcore being something you had to work for. We lived on door deals, robbing stores and food, living in the van for months. No management. No deals, nada!

Vista: Speaking of robbing food marts on tour...Which band member is the best at it & which one of ya's have gotten caught the most?

Mikey: I'm the best. Mario has got arrested the most but he hasnt been in the band for years. We used to always get arrested for tons of shit.

Vista: While on tour with All Out War...Me & the drummer were known as the "buffet-bandits". Buffets in the South think everyone is honest!! HA. Dumb on their part!

Mikey: Well most people are dickheads like people in bands.

Vista: hhahah...Correct!

Mikey: Shit, I have dined and ditched over 1000 times. What an asshole. I dont anymore. I dont steal anymore. I dont get in fights. I just rock the shit and party.

Vista: damn man! no fights & theft? you are worried about your karma?

Mikey: No, after I got jumped about 4 years ago I stopped everything. I was almost killed and now I think I have a clean slate now!

Vista: Shit man! What happened?

Mikey: I have good karma. I'm good to the kids, and nice to animals. Some dude called my boy a "nigger" and I fucked his ass up. Little did I know he had about 6 home boys with him and they broke my spin in 3 places. 4 ribs...Bat over the head...74 staples, brain hemmorage, my brain actually moved and I almost died right there.

Vista: Fuckin' hell man!

Mikey: Well for years all we did was fight, fuck people up & wreck shit. It had to come to a good end. It's worth the story. Now I'M the one breaking fights up! Kids nowadays are pussies. In a way the scene is better but shit, I used to be terrified at shows. That's what weeded out the fakes!

Vista: Nowadays it seems more like a fashion show. And filled with guys in girl-pants & flat ironed hair & just to add to the "look", they throw on a little guy-liner eye makeup!

Mikey: Kills me. Those kids don't really come to our shows. I call them "Dude-Bitches"! Hahaha. Hardcore is on the way back, trust me.

Vista: What are your personal, top 10 essential Hardcore/Punk albums of all-time?

Mikey: Well...I'll try to not list the obvious:
Uniform Choice- "Screaming for Change".
Fear- "The Record".
Corrosion of Conformity- "Technochrac".
Alone in A Crowd- "Demo".
Raw Deal/Killing Time.
Black Flag- "First Four Years".
Too many to list but those stand out.

Vista: Outside of all that is involved with being in a band that writes, records, tours, etc...What are some of your interests & hobbies?

Mikey: Soccer. I played that shit pro for a few years. I was back and forth from Europe from about 15-20. I played in Belgium, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden. Now I am a full time Barber. Old school shit. I ride my bike, been vegetarian for about 19 years, play guitar, play bass in my thrash band MURDERLICIOUS, love my cats and friends. I'm simple.

Vista: When did you first start playing guitar? how old were you? did you take any formal lessons?

Mikey: I started playing guitar about 10 or 11. I took some lessons but I learned so quick. It was really natural. I have and always will write 99.9% of Hoods songs. I wrote them all. People always say this song and that song are better, blah blah, Little do they know I wrote even fucking one of them. I hate when people are like oh that song writing was better. hahahaha. Some people are like, "that song in 94 was really well written". Hahaha. I didnt know what the fuck I was doing

Vista: As far as soccer...Do you think here in America, soccer will ever be as big as it it is in europe?

Mikey: Yes it will. In 1994 the World Cup in America averaged the most spectators ever. 94+ thousand every game. No one will beat that.

Vista: Hoods was on Victory Records for many years. How many albums were you singed to {if any}? How was that experience with them? Is it true that you guys tried to get off of that label? From your perspective, were the decent or the shits? I've heard many bands have gotten ripped off from them, sued them, threatened them, etc...Thoughts?

Mikey: You cant sue Victory Records unless you have tons of money. I don't feel we were treated right. It's been sooo long and I don't really care anymore. I should have known better but we were sooo young. Now it would have been a lot different. I think we were on for 5 albums. We basically left after 2 albums & said fuck this shit. Between various crank calls and threats we were "dropped". I cant get into all the details but hahahaha...Wait till I write my book.

Vista: How long have you been working on a book? What topics of your life does it cover?

Mikey: It's gonna be fuckin' nuts. My life in hardcore and just growing up. I was a fuckin' nut-job, so it will be a best seller! Then, I can retire and but a small hardcore club.

Vista: You've been part of the Hardcore scene now for a hell of a long time. What bullshit trend sticks out as the worst? And some bands are too P.C. to answer this...They just say, "oh, I don't pay any attention to trends in the Hardcore scene"....Which is bullshit, because if you are in a band or if you take a real interest in the scene you can't help but notice all the garbage that floats through it. So, my questions is, which trend was worse: 1. Guys in girl pants & eyeliner makeup w/choreographed stage-moves? 2. Jenco jeans, chain wallets to the kneecap & more than seven facial piercings? 3. Neck & face tattoos? Or is it a combo of all three choices?!? Or did I overlook a few other options?

Mikey: "Dude-Bitches" were the worst. Wiggers were lame too. I wont candy coat it...At least they really liked hardcore and had a little thug about them. Hahaha. Facial tattoos aren't too smart unless you have a rad job. Piercings are dumb.Emo was the worst. I hate emo kids. However I love the Smashing Pumpkins and Robert Smith.

Vista: Seems like facial tattoos are the new thing these days?

Mikey: Yup.

Vista: Maybe that is more of an East Coast thing?

Mikey: It's everywhere. Wait till they move out of moms basement. I'm almost 38 years old and I see kids now at a show with zero tattoos...2 months later they have more than me! Fake pussies.

Vista: Over the years, is there a hardcore band that was just completely overlooked? Shit, there are a million, I know. But, in your opinion....Is there one or two bands that come to mind that just never got the recognition they should have?

Mikey: Folsom. Great people and an amazing band. They were from Las Vegas. They were like a country band playing hardcore!

Vista: When you leave for tour, what are your three essential items that you gotta have?

Mikey: Gun. Blue shorts. Shoes.

Vista: What are your thoughts on everyone over the age of 11, downloading every song ever made? Does it bother you or is it just the way it is? Does t affect a band at your level? Shit, even major labels bands flip the fuck out. Not to mention, a bands new release ends up on some kids site as a download four months before its even officially released! I suppose it makes you happy you are in a band instead of a record label owner!?

Mikey: That's just the way it is. Kids are lucky they can do that. When I was that age I bought a grip of shit albums. Like Fugazi. I look at it like if you steal it, fuck it I don't care. Just come to the show and buy a shirt. In reality smaller bands ain't gonna see $hit anyhow.

Vista: How many tours have Hoods done here in America? Also, how many tours have ya done in Europe? Hoods also went to Japan as well, I think?

Mikey: Europe about 75+. Japan 1 tour. Puerto Rico 5. Mexico about 11. Canada 3. USA about 3000 shows.

Vista: Amazing. That is a crazy amount. What have been some highlights as far as touring? you mentioned earlier that you looked to the D.R.I. tour as being special. Are there other tours with certain bands that really stick out in your memory?

Mikey: Dying Fetus and Mastadon was insane. It was MastadonTs first USA tour. those dudes party hard. That should have been called the "Swiss Alps Tour"--{wink}. Hoods and Hatebreed in 1999 was amazing. Hoods and Merauder 2005 was amazing. There's been sooo many great tours!

Vista: What would your advice be for a young kid, in a hardcore band just starting out?

Mikey: Work as hard as you can. Try and find a cheap van. Do a 5-7 song e.p...Promote it and hit the road as much as possible. Network.

Vista: As far as touring goes, what countries/states are some of your favorites to play shows and visit? What country has the absolute worst food?

Mikey: Worst food...ENGLAND!!!! Best places to play BELGIUMMMMM! Poland. Switzerland. Miami. Texas. So Cal. Chicago. Ohio and Detroit. Boston. NYC. Philly....Acyually, everywhere is rad!

Vista: Over the years now, what cover-songs have Hoods done?

Mikey: Warzone-"In The Mirror". Cro-Mags- "Hard Times". Warzone- "Wound Up". We did "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J. "The Storm" by Judge. We still cover "Friend Or Foe" by Agnostic Front. It's on "Pit Beast" as a hidden track.

Vista: Who did the artwork for the album, "Pit Beast"? Also, the album is on I Scream Records. How did you guys get hooked up with them & how have they done for you guys, compared to Victory Records and Eulogy Records?

Mikey: The artwork was done by Craig Holloway. He's amazing. He's from Detroit. He did all the new Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags shit. I Scream Records is cool. I hate the industry but love hardcore. Eulogy Records was rad. I have no beef anymore with labels. That's their jobs & basically unless you sell a million you ain't gonna see shit kids.

Vista: As of this interview {August 10th, 2011}...What are some plans for Hoods? Any tours or studio time booked or just local shows going on?

Mikey: Studio. 3 songs done...New album. Texas in Sept. Europe late Nov--early Dec.. We are looking for a new agent and then USA! Japan next year. Canada SOON! 3 new videos as well from Will Darosa.

Vista: Mikey. Thanks you for taking the time to do this interview! People out there should know that you took the time to do this interview in between your work day at the barber shop & I appreciate it. Any final thoughts? Final words to kids who continue to support Hoods after all these years?

Mikey: Hardcore will always, always be here for you. Don't take it for granted and be safe. Support your locals! Thank you ninja cat.

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