I had a chat with For the Hornets about their new and honest album 'Fix' as well their impressive gig history.
Hey, hope you are doing well today. Can I start by asking you to give me your names and positions in the band.
Adz - Lead Vocals, Guitar & Trumpet Gabby - Guitar, Backing Vocals Lee - Bass Rod - Drums
So, you guys are described as genre-fluid punk metal. Can I ask what this actually means for your sound?
Gabby: Sure, it means we keep things pretty simple and loud, we mesh from a variety of different musical influences, and we are hard to pigeon-hole into one specific genre. Of course the term genre-fluid is a play on gender fluid and a nod to our support for gender fluidity and the whole LGBTQ++ community. Rod: Spose it's just a bit of everything, bit of punk, bit of metal, bit of jazz, bit of reggae. Adz: At the heart of what we do is punk and metal. But we chuck in whatever else we feel like, rap, ska, reggae. You never know what to expect and there's something for everyone. I'm gender-fluid as well so it's kind of a play on words with that.
Who would you say are your main inspirations for For the Hornets? Whether that be sound wise or just how you present yourselves.
Adz: Korn is a massive influence for me. I love bands who mix it up, I'm also really into Dirty Shirt at the moment. Lee: I love bands like System of a Down who aren't afraid to mix genre's; opera and metal with some Armenian folk thrown in! Rod: That changes for me. Because the band develops and progresses your influences do too so that changes how you play. I'm really into Bloodywood at the moment which is influencing me but I'm also into Motorhead and Kate Bush. Skindred, Fever 333, even bands we've played with like Fleas, iDestroy, and Girls Like Us. Too many to name! Gabby: I think the beauty of the band is that our musical inspirations are very varied, and hopefully these are reflected in our music. We are all inspired by the desire to give people a fun and energetic show.
You guys are releasing your album 'Fix' on the 29th of October. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of creating this album?
Rod: It's been a long time scale between recording and releasing which is new for us. Adz: Yeah it's been a long time coming, we did everything in house this time. I produced it and we recorded it ourselves. I think it's given it a personal and raw feel.
'Fix' sees you get candid about personal mental health. How did the decision come about to be so open with your listeners?
Adz: I've always put myself out there in my lyrics, it's one of my favourite things about being a front man and writing songs. You can say things in music you don't feel you can say out loud normally. 'Fix' has been a big passion project for me though and I've really poured a lot of myself into these songs. Rod: Too be fair I've always been aware of mental health. But I've never been so focused on it until making this album. It's made me a lot more aware and thoughtful of people around me that may be struggling. If the album touches one person with a mental health issue it's all been worth it.
How do you find that mental health may affect you when being in a band and on stage in front of people?
Lee: I always think of our shows as one of the safest spaces to be. Everyone has struggles and often feels in a minority, but when you're in a packed room of people who all feel the same you're no longer a minority. Adz: It's so cathartic performing, you have a shit day and you want to let it all out and whatever's going on in your life you can set it free. Even as a punter having that moment in a mosh pit to let out those frustrations in a safe environment is just so important. Rod: Your up on stage with people you like, doing something that's actually good for you and if people enjoy watching then that's a bonus.
Were there any songs that were harder to write than others?
Adz: They all had their challenges. 'P.O.S' has been on the back burner for a while in so many different forms because we could never get it to work. I'm glad we finally got it to where it needs to be. Rod: As I wrote all the songs. They were all very easy (This is a barefaced lie, Rod does nothing)
Are there any songs on 'Fix' that you think listeners of For the Hornets are going to love more than others or even any songs that your worried people may not love as much?
Rod: It's a moveable feast. It depends what mood you're in. Lee: There's a couple of departures from our norm which I hope the fans are going to embrace, like 'Stupidity' with it's big-band brass sections! 'Into Nothing' is our biggest risk as it's our very first acoustic ballad, four albums in! Gabby: I think we are all pretty excited about 'Blades'. It's been a very organic song and it's a little different but one hopefully will want to move to. I'm not worried about people not liking all the songs as long as they like at least one! Adz: I think it depends on what you're into, there really is something for everyone. If you don't like a track like 'Hand on the Gun', which is a angry rock song, then you might like 'Stupidity' with its brass section or if you don't like that you might like 'Blades' which is dark and gothy.
Do you have any personal favourites on 'Fix'?
Adz: I have to say I am really enjoying 'Blades'. We've been rehearsing it for our show and I play guitar on it which is so much fun. Gabby: 'Blades'. We haven't played it live yet so it'll be interesting to see how it goes down. Rod: 'Blades' is very visceral. 'Hand on the Gun' I love too.
I noticed you have your album launch/Halloween party coming up. What can people expect from this show?
Lee: All the usual madness of a For the Hornets show! We'll be playing the album in its entirety, followed by a few old bangers! Adz: It's going to be a big one that's for sure. So excited to play the SixSix finally and to show people this album we've been sitting on for ages. Gabby: PunkFest party. It's gonna be loud and messy especially with out friends Girls Like Us who are proper DIY punk.
I did also see you guys play live quite a bit; are there any gigs you have done that stand out more than others?
Lee: We live to gig! We played our 100th show together earlier this year, it was awesome to celebrate with a thousand people in a tent singing along with us. Gabby: Mauwi Wauwi fest and Strawberry Fair particularly stick out for me. They're both pretty big and you're playing for people who, for the most part, don't know you. So you have like 39 minutes to win the audience over. There really is no better feeling than when you do this. Rod: I like playing Balstock. And the Hunter Club. Adz: At the end of the day whilst we're pushing this album which we're really proud of. We're fundamentally a live band. You need to see us live to "get us". That's what a lot of people say, then they're hooked. One of my favourite places to play is the Hunter Club, it's always a highlight for me.
How do you find your local area is for playing live and having opportunities for bands such as yourselves?
Lee: It's hard. There's a lot less venues than there used to be, people go out a lot less. But we have seen live music venues absolutely thrive since the pandemic. So the future looks bright. Gabby: We do get a few gigs but it's really tough getting festivals in the summer. I think it is often more a question of who you know. There are so many good bands out there the competition for slots is tough. Adz: It's definitely getting there and it's hard to get your foot in the door sometimes. But again once a venue/ promoter sees us 9/10 they invite us back.
I've just a few more questions for you, if you could describe your upcoming album in one word what would it be?
Adz: Honest Gabby: Adventurous Rod: Grower (The more you listen to it the more you like it)
Are there any plans for For the Hornets for the end of the year you'd like to share?
Gabby: Just our album launch and Ipswich gig at the end of October. We don't have anything after that. Adz: Nothing planned after this weekend, may take a well deserved rest haha!
And finally, I always like to finish with a few this or that questions:
Dogs or cats?
Lee: Cats Rod: Always cats
Adz: Cats Gabby: Cats
Big party or small gathering?
Lee: Small gathering Gabby: Big party Rod: You go to a big party first then a small gathering after. Adz: It honestly depends on my mood but I'd probably go for a small gathering.
Horror movie or comedy?
Rod: Comedy Adz: Comedy. BUT I do love me some Horror! Gabby: Comedy
Thank you for chatting with me. Is there anything you would like to add for people reading this?
Adz: I just want to thank everyone who's supported us this past year. I also want to shout out Grace, Heather and Han who leant their voices and told their mental health stories for the intro track for 'Fix'. Thank you for being so honest and open.
Interview with Kayleigh McKenzie
Find For the Hornets online