Every so often, we come across a band that sets itself apart from the rest of the music scene. Whether intentional or not (and we think it is), Hierosonic is one of those bands. Formed in 2003 and hailing from Harrisburg, the members of Hierosonic have certainly proven themselves. While many others seem to be following a trend or desperately trying to stay away from trends, Hierosonic creates music that is entirely its own and at the same time not contrived.
I caught up with the band in mid-April at Gullifty's in Camp Hill, as they managed to gather quite a crowd for themselves on a Wednesday night.
The band explains how its sound has evolved:
H: We didn't set out to sound the way that we sound now. I think we did try to make sure it wasn't entirely “typical.” We had no real direction, but we knew what we liked. I think we just have a lot of different influences and each member has stayed true to their influences and their roots, and just kind of luckily meshed. Sometimes people come from different types of sounds and you end up with a mess. It's worked, so we're pleased.
Their approach is certainly working with music fans all over. The energy at a Hierosonic show is electrified, with every eye in the venue on the band. The band is simply captivating, and the fans are obviously not the only ones to think so. “Pornos and Razorblades” (released Fall 2005) featured Amanda from the Dresden Dolls singing vocals on one track, and Hierosonic were recently invited to perform at HUMANWINE's final date of their US tour.
Following their very successful first album was the limited edition “Circuits & Wires” EP that was available only to the people attending the release show in February. The band put on an incredible performance to hundreds that night, and as members of the crowd, we knew what the audience was feeling. I asked the band what their experience was like during that show.
H: We had a blast that night. First and foremost, we make sure that we have fun with what we do. Otherwise, it's kind of pointless. It's always a blast, no matter how many people show up or what kind of venue we play in. It's always fun. It's always a relief too, to see how much we're enjoying ourselves and everyone else is too. When you work so hard, not only promoting but just writing songs, and all the hard work behind it that people don't see, to know that they come out and can enjoy what you're doing. It's flattering. It's kind of funny how it goes from a song being an idea in your head and it evolves and all five members of the band work on it, and it gets put onto the CD, and all of a sudden you're playing it in front of like hundreds of people and they dig it. It's like when they respond it, that's just like the most fascinating part of any show that we play. Especially with the CD release show when we're putting out new material and people are eating it up, because to us, we remember how it started in our rooms, like being wrapped up in a blanket and drinking orange juice or something. You know, something really simple like that, and then it turns into something that a mass of people are listening to.
WOM: We thought it was cool how a lot of people were singing along, and you couldn't buy the songs yet.
H: Yeah. That surprised us, too, to tell you the truth. That always surprises us. I mean, it's wild to me to ever see anyone singing the lyrics. I remember what I was doing when I wrote the lyrics. When I see people singing along to certain parts, I remember exactly what I was doing at the point when I wrote that. It seems so simple. Some of the times we'll be in the van, and I'll pull out my notepad and jot some lyrics down, and that'll be how those lyrics come about. So, that's always wild seeing someone sing the lyrics.
The band has a few exciting projects coming up, including a slew of shows and a tour of campuses all across the US next year ending with a festival raising money for the restoration of New Orleans.
As dedicated fans of the band know, Hierosonic doesn't perform all of their shows locally. The band plays quite a few out of state shows.
H: I'd say in the past month, we've played more locally than we had in the past two years. We try to spread out our shows. We've just had several opportunities, like our CD release show, and a week after that was the Milennium Music Conference, and then Jimmie's Chicken Shack, that was a lot of fun. Then their (HUMAWINE'S) booking agent called and asked if they could be added to any shows because they were passing through the area. So a lot of shows happened to get planned that way. We've been trying to set up more out of state shows, because it's fun to play them.
Of course, sometimes it's necessary to travel to see your favorite band, as Hierosonic fans know, as well.
H: I never thought we would have a following. People that we meet out of state will come specifically to see us. When we played West Virginia, we were getting people that came to see us, and in Massachusetts. We did really well there. We had maybe 40 or 50 people there to see us, and for seven hours away, that's pretty flattering.