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Born Under a Bad Sign
A conversation with We Are Hex
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
We Are Hex have a sound all their own. It's a cross between blues, psychedelia, and a bloodletting. Think The Kills, Dead Weather, and Siouxie Sioux thrown into the same cauldron and boiled until their collective essence floats on top of the bubbling sludge. Just listen to their latest single 'Lewd Nudie Animals' produced by Jon Spencer (of a certain Blues Explosion) and you'll hear yelps, squeals, flames licking at ones undercarriage and the sense that these Indiana-based goth-meets-blues rockers know a thing or two about dabbling in the dark side.
For the last few years We Are Hex have been creating their own brand of aural mayhem and playing wherever folks will listen, including SXSW in 2011. Also in 2011 they recorded a track at Third Man Records with another purveyor of the blues, Mr. Jack White. On May 2nd We Are Hex are playing at CS3 with Heaven's Gateway Drugs and EmptyMansions, Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino's current musical love interest. I got the opportunity to talk to Brandon (drums) and Jill (vocals) about We Are Hex, their upcoming Fort Wayne show, incantations, and Black Sabbath.
EAP: It's been a couple of years since you've played Fort Wayne. We're glad to see you coming back. How did the EmptyMansions show come about?
We Are Hex: Brian from Riot House Records asked us to play the show. We've known him for a bit through shows we've played in the past. We've always had a good time playing Fort Wayne, looking forward to coming back.
EAP: For the uninitiated, how would you describe We Are Hex's sound? Who are some bands that influenced and informed the band?
WAH: We all listen to a lot of different music. It would be hard to compile a list of bands that we all like, and I'm still not sure that it would be a list of influences, per se. At this point, despite taking a break, we are so in tune with each other that the songs just happen. Rarely does anyone bring anything to a writing session. I'd like to think that we partly tap into each other's creative consciousness directly, but it may just be the booze. That said, we can really get down with some Sabbath.
EAP: We Are Hex had the opportunity to record at/for Third Man Records back in 2011. How was that experience?
WAH: The entire Third Man experience was great as we so respect what they do there. Working with Jack White and Vance Powell couldn't have been better. They really understood our sound and brought out the best in us. Getting to work with people who are passionate about analog recording solidified our love for recording onto tape as well.
EAP: So besides hitting CS3 on May 2nd, is there a more extensive tour planned?
WAH: We start playing shows again at the end of March. We'll try to tour as much as our wallets allow.
EAP: Is there a new album in the works?
WAH: We are almost ready to announce a new 7" on Latest Flame Records and then we will be back in the studio throughout the summer to work on a full-length.
EAP: So how does We Are Hex view the recording process? Is it something the band looks forward to? Or is it just part of the process in order to get to the stage and play live?
WAH: Writing and recording is the best part. It's when anything can happen and does. Starting with a riff or just a concept and sculpting into something bigger is so fulfilling. Playing live is all about trying to recapture the way you feel when you first write the song. That doesn't mean the songs, don't change with time, they do, but we like the feeling to remain the same. And when we stop feeling it, we stop playing it.
EAP: What goes down at a We Are Hex show? Incantations? Bloodletting? Sexual healing? I'm listening to Hail The Goer's 'Cutter/Giver' right now and I'm picturing and exorcism right on the stage.
WAH: I like the incantations, bloodletting, and sexual healing. However, we would never exorcise the demons. We let 'em right on in.
EAP: In all the years We Are Hex have been together, what was one live experience that stood out? One that you thought if the band broke up the next day, at least you had that show to look back on?
WAH: There are too many to count. Rarely do we give a live show that we think we didn't give it our all. I'm not saying that we didn't mess up or anything, but at least we almost always gave it a hundred percent. We had a great experience at SXSW in 2011. I think we played something like 9 shows in two days. It was pretty insane. I couldn't do that every week. But I think I could do it every other!
EAP: Are We Are Hex very familiar with the Fort Wayne indie music scene? You're sharing a stage with Heaven's Gateway Drugs, as well as EmptyMansions in May. Have you played with them before?
WAH: I'm not too familiar with the Fort Wayne scene since we've been out of the loop for a few years. Hope to rage.
EAP: What can we expect from We Are Hex in the next two years?
WAH: I think we are feeling darker. Not down really; just evil. Expect a 7” by the end of May, our favorite songs to date, and then a full-length in the fall. We're going to try and balance writing and recording with playing out all summer. Feeling creative and mischievous.
Sexual healing, incantations, bloodletting, evil, and feeling mischievous. Sounds like a typical Friday evening for me, and fine family entertainment to boot. On Friday May 2nd We Are Hex will be bringing their mischievous and evil orgy to the Fort at CS3. Do yourself a favor and be there. Riding crop and leather not required, but preferred. Check out We Are Hex at http://wearehex.bandcamp.com/.
***Presale tickets are being sold through Neat Neat Neat Records, Wooden Nickel Music and riothouserecords.com for $7. Each pre-sale purchaser gets a free screen printed poster by Michael Jenkins and Bob Storey at the door.