Jeff, Thomas, Darren, Giovanni, & Steven - The Hunger

August 29, 2003

Give us a little background on the band.

Jeff: I'm Jeff Wilson. Singer, songwriter, general goof off in the band.

Thomas: I'm his brother, Thomas Wilson. I play keyboards live and also sing.

Darren: Darren Nelson. I play bass.

Giovanni: Giovanni Cappello. I'm the drummer.

Steven: I'm Steven Bogle. I play guitar.

Who are some of your major musical influences?

Jeff: We are more influenced nowadays by music as a broad spectrum but it's technology too. I think we can be more influenced by a cool keyboard that we find or a cool sound as much as music. That's my opinion anyway. We're actually only 22 but our influences go back years so they're very broad. Anything from Rush to Nine Inch Nails to half the techno music you've ever heard in your life coming to night clubs to anything really. It goes pretty wide.

Thomas: I like stuff that's real electronic or real heavy. I definitely like music that combines both.

I saw Ministry a few months ago and I really dug that show.

Steven: They were early influences on us big time.

Have you guys come across some technology that you really dig?

Jeff: For me it's one of those where it's just little things here and there. It's not one big awesome thing. We just invested in a really cool electronic drum set which is top of the line. That's an influence I guess you'd say.

Thomas: Keyboards coming out.

Jeff: Guitars don't seem to change much. Steven invents things on his guitar that other people don't have. As a whole, that's about it.

Your first album was Leave Me Alone. You apparently had some label problems.

Jeff: We signed with an independent label out of Philadelphia that went bankrupt before our record was actually released.

Thomas: The record got released, then they went belly up. There's a lot of different speculation about the label as a front for the Mafia and everything else. It got us what we wanted. It got us our first record and it made people a little bit more aware of us.

No one came after you with violin cases.

Jeff: No, nothing like that. I don't think we got paid for a lot of stuff but that's what you get.

No questions, eh? You've opened for a lot of major bands like KISS. I remember that one. Foo Fighters and Creed. What was the best tour?

Jeff: Probably each band member would give you a different answer. I'd say hands down the best tour we were on, just fun for us, would have to be the KISS tour period. Anything we wanted to do, we could do. Even you weren't KISS, you were the rock star there and they treated you as such.

Thomas: We did a lot of dates with the Deftones. I like those guys a lot. They were real cool to us and Sevendust too. We did a lot of shows with them and became friends with them. Those are some of my favorite tours. Gravity Kills. We did a lot of dates with those guys. Prong. We miss those guys. They broke up. They were great. Talk about electronic and heavy music.

Spaceman's Last Goodbye is your fifth release. Is that your latest release?

Thomas: It is but we're three quarters of the way done with the new record right now. I think I can say we're real proud of the direction we're heading in. We're taking a more electronic edge. We're trying to keep it heavier yet still remain a little bit melodic to keep it all in balance.

Jeff: Spaceman's Last Goodbye for us was an album that we put together for our fans.

Thomas: There are a lot of things on Spaceman's Last Goodbye that we're still continuing. There are definitely some things on Spaceman's Last Goodbye that we left behind us that I don't plan on doing anymore.

The last album that I bought was Cinematic Superthug. Is it similar or different?

Jeff: I think it's like Cinematic Superthug meets Leave Me Alone.

Steven: It's more focused maybe in a way than Cinematic Superthug was.

Jeff: For us, we pick out the minute details that most people wouldn't see in our music. We see letdowns and things we don't like in our own records that other people wouldn't see. That's why on this record we're working on now, we've really focused on making a really cohesive record. Something that we like plus I think we all actually like what we're doing. We don't have to vote on it and have this big democracy. We just agree with what we're doing for once.

Thomas: We're our own worst critics.

Dave Mustaine made a comment about you guys sounding like Metallica.

Thomas: More than Dave Mustaine. A lot of people have said that. When "Vanishing Cream" first came out, everybody thought it was the new Metallica. I never got it.

Jeff: I think people were really starving for heavier music at that time. That was the era of Jewel and all the folk rock stuff. Somebody heard something with a guitar lead and heaviness to it.

Thomas: His vocals sounded a little bit like Hetfield's vocals too. All that combination of things. I just never understood it because of the keyboards.

"Vanishing Cream" reminded me more of the Stone Temple Pilots than Metallica.

Thomas: More people than anyone said Metallica but we took all that as a compliment. We like all those bands.

Do you get a lot of radio airplay in Houston?

Jeff: Over the years we've gotten a lot of airplay. It just goes with the time. Obviously we're not pushing things. We're not trying to get a thing on the radio right now. We get a minimal amount of airplay. We get what we ask for but we do get airplay.

Thomas: We're mainly focusing on writing and recording and getting the next deal. We're looking at a couple of different possibilities.

Jeff: I will say this though. Robert Miguel at 97.1 KEGL has been taking care of us. We do appreciate him. Honestly we do.

I read an interview you did with a paper in Houston. They were talking about labels paying for radio airplay. How much does radio charge for playing a song?

Thomas: We have no idea. We just know it exists.

Jeff: It's around America. I think it's dependent on how much your record label would want to spend for you. Anybody can be bought. That's just a fact. When you're on a major label, they do pay to get you on the air. One way or the other.

Thomas: Yeah, it may not be cash. It may be a Caribbean cruise or something.

Darren: We know plenty of stories where the program director and his family from WXYZ gets sent to Paris for a week from WO records.

Thomas: Although when "Vanishing Cream" first came out, we were not signed to Universal Records. There was a really good guy named Cruz at the BUZZ in Houston. He was all behind us. He said when we finished that song, he'd play it on the air.

Jeff: A lot of the local bands around town said we got played because we were signed to Universal. He played that song before we were ever signed to a large label. It's people like that who really make a difference.

You aren't with Universal anymore?

Jeff: No, we're on our own. We're searching out a new path for ourselves minus Universal.

Are you looking for a major label or an independent?

Thomas: I think it depends. There's a new independent that formed called B1 Network and it's the guy from Orgy and his father put it together. We've been talking to those guys and we basically have an offer on the table if we want to take it.

Darren: We're fishing around.

Thomas: We're going to see what we can do. We want to finish this record and there are a lot of good songs that still need to be recorded that we're working on. Once we get it all together then we're going to go out and shop it again. We'll see what happens. It would be great to be on Orgy's label. We toured with Orgy. We like those guys.

You have a club called the Liquid Lounge.

Thomas: I opened the club. It's been there almost two years. It's great. It gives me flexibility. I can do shows. I can look however I want to look and don't have to answer to anybody. It just made sense. I bartended for so many years. It's what I wanted to do.

Any major gigs coming up?

Darren: Yeah, a whole slew of gigs.

Thomas: There's a new arena in Houston. It's huge. It's called the 610 Arena. We're playing there a week from tomorrow. I consider that a big gig. There are club dates. There are a few things like 610 Arena. You never know.

Jeff: We've definitely got a lot of shows. It's good to be back in Dallas.

Thomas: We just played the Verizon theater in Houston which is a pretty big place.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Thomas: Just stay tuned for the next record.

Jeff: Thank you for thinking about us.

The Hunger