That’s HourCast, according to frontman Patrick McBride. The band, an amalgam of classic metal riffs, electronic textures and unabashed vocal fury, represents a new breed of rock’n’roll. There’s a hunger, a do-it-yourself attitude and a determination within the group that few modern bands possess.
“To be a musician today, you have to know your craft, but you also have to sacrifice what normal people have – relationships, health care, stability, and even the idea that somebody else is working for you,” says McBride. “You have to focus and be efficient. That’s why we know studio engineering, production, law, promotion, video, art, the Web. Hell, we even put ourselves on the ‘Rock Band Network’ – we did all the work for that on our own. You have to love every part of the process, because YOU are going to be doing it.”
Nothing’s come easy for the band, which explains their DIY mentality. McBride, a Minnesota native (currently residing in Missouri), was discovered by his HourCast bandmates in Boston through some demos on the Internet. “It was an unconventional start,” says the singer, who moved out to East Coast to work with guitarist Dave Henriquez, bassist Dave Sullivan and drummer Jerry Clews without “knowing a single thing about them.” Despite the long distance connection, the guys’ faith in the project was validated – McBride’s electronic background provided melody and depth to the Boston crew’s vicious, hardcore roots.
The band soon recorded its first EP, State of Disgrace, and toured around the Northeast, hustling along the way (“We’d hand out free CDs at other people’s shows,” remembers McBride). During this time, the group developed their striking logo, The Driller. “We found this artist, Vincent Marcone, and sent him our music,” says the singer. “He sent this design back and said, ‘This is how your music makes me feel.’” (Recently, the band tweaked the design for the new record, adding red wings.)
HourCast built up enough of a following to earn supporting slots with Breaking Benjamin, 30 Seconds to Mars, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and local heroes Godsmack. Their diligence and talent paid off, but came at a price. Soon after touring for the first record, the band took a hiatus, with McBride returning to the Midwest. “For three years we weren’t actively doing anything; I think we were just frustrated by the business,” says the singer. “But when we pulled it together, we were able to channel those negative emotions– our new CD reflects all the frustrations and sacrifices that we experienced.”
On Dystopia, HourCast takes their digital chaos in new directions. While the group’s mix of electronics and heavy rock is still present, songwriting has moved to the forefront. “We stripped everything down,” says the singer. “We focused more on the songs themselves – what they’re saying, the melody, and what each instrument was doing.” Lyrically, McBride used the record to rail against an increasingly medicated society (“Drug Me”), the fall of the American dream (“Trust”), the struggles between men and women (“Eden Shakes”) and, most notably, reality show stars (“Freakshow,” also the band’s first single and video.). “That song’s about shows like ‘Jersey Shore,’ it’s people going on TV and doing anything to be famous. These people are not contributing anything to society.”)
With the record’s release, the band hit the road this fall with CKY, with more dates on the way well into 2011. While the guys are hoping to play up their visual side in the future – ‘Hydraulic drum kits, video, lights, pyro!’ says McBride –the band also realizes they don’t need big production and other rock star trappings to succeed.
“Every night, we just bring it. It’s the interaction with our fans and the energy we create that keeps us going,” he says. “And like our fans, we’re looking forward to hearing, singing, screaming, crying, understanding, partying, fighting and f*cking to our music....’cause that's what we've been doing all along.”