Tim Mahoney – guitarist for 311 – joined us this past weekend for a very special episode of the Whalepod! Listen here or on iTunes and Stitcher:
Recorded during SXSW with Chad Stokes (Dispatch / State Radio)!
Hoag sits down with Ian Wheeler of “Wheeler’s Weekend Jams” (Chicago, IL) to answer detailed questions about the “Lockers” album, the new recording studio, the bass player search, lyrical inspiration, and so much more! A GREAT in depth interview. Thanks for having Hoag on the show, Ian!
Hoag recently gave a detailed answer to a fan question on facebook about the story behind the new song “Corn on the Cob” on the album “Lockers.” Some good background story behind the music! Buy the album “Lockers” on iTunes and rock it.
SEAN (DALLAS, TX): “Hoag… can I humbly ask you guys what was going on in your heads regarding Corn on the Cob?”
HOAG: “I wrote the song (except for the intro riff) during a lesson I was giving to a drum student back in probably 2012. It was without words for three years. When we decided to put it on the album I heard some vocal melodies in my head but also wanted to include samples, almost like a hip hop track. I was watching batman returns and basically everything the penguin said sounded so cool to me. One thing I didn’t end up using because I couldn’t find the clip on YouTube and was too cheap to rent the movie was the line “It’s amazing what a little TAPE and PATIENCE can do”. The penguin had spent hours taping back together the incriminating documents that Christopher Walken’s character had shredded. And the lyrics fit the dark lyrics I already had. The lyrics I came up with have to do with maturing or evolving out of idealistic mindsets of youth (“am i wise? Or have I just lost hope?” etc), and feeling sometimes just how quickly time passes, and if I’m doing life in the right way (“don’t do the math, it makes it worse”). And because it’s a trippy schizo song I wrote some lyrics that have to do with those times when I used to have a lot of panic attacks and anxiety (“not sure how long I’ve been in this glade, might be a day or fifteen years. Melt up a red sun and a purple moon, notice the stars are not the same”. Sometimes you get lost in time and space when you’re panicking or things are weird. Which reminded me of the land of “Fae” that the character Kvothe slips into in “Wise Man’s Fear” (a book). It’s a parallel world where time is fluid and the colors are slightly different than earth colors and when you look up in the sky the constellations are totally different. When I used to have really bad panics it would feel disorienting and scary like that. I only get them anymore if I eat too much weed. It “Sounds fun!” at first but it can get frightening and you can slip into The Fae. I love the two-edged sword of saying the phrase “sounds fun” in such a creepy, suspicious way. As for the instrumental break towards the end, that came as a little mathy experiment in feel changes. The drums approach each pass through that angular breakdown riff very differently each time. First the drums mimic the melody of the riff exactly, then they play a syncopated beat over top that grooves a little more naturally, and then finally they just slam a heavy backbeat that a listener can actually nod their head to without feeling off balance. Think I covered it all!”
Back in 2003/2004, before we had a bass player, before we even had Smell in the band, Bonesaw and I wrote and recorded a very minimalist, bare bones acoustic album of songs with titles like “Olivia”, “Lizards on the Tree”, “Pizza Song”, “5:42“, and more. Going back and listening to your earliest, rawest records is tough, because your hear all the stuff you did poorly that–over time–you’ve learned how to do a lot better. Everything from arrangement, to lyrics, to vocal technique. But there’s something cool about these songs for sure, and there are some really hardcore fans of the album. Two of whom (Jon and Felicia McGuire) asked if we would come to their house and play “Irie Love” in its entirety. So we had to dig back into the vault, re-learn the songs, and revisit them live 11 years later. So without further ado, here is “Irie Live: Irie Love 2015”
Great live shots from Sunny’s last show in Dallas, TX @ The Liquid Lounge by Barry Dolton! (click link or image for more shots)
Dear friends, Fansaws, Circus Freaks, family..
Four years ago my future was completely unknown, other than the fact that I wanted to play music. A blank canvas with hopes of great and wonderful things. I had moved to Austin a few months prior, and was playing bass with a number of people before meeting the fellas you all fondly know as Bonesaw, Hoag and Smell. Full Service. It was such a blessing to find a group of incredibly talented guys with a similar mindset and lifestyle as me who were making their dreams a reality, traveling all over playing music and creating a loyal and awesome fan base. What a job! As I grew to know them, their music, their determination, drive, and creativity, it allowed me to see what it takes to truly chase what you want and make it happen. Sure, Full Service isn’t world renowned (yet) or selling out stadiums (yet..), but we have toured all over the country, to Jamaica and the Bahamas, Canada.. we’ve taken hikes in some of the most incredible spots this world has to offer, and met wonderful and amazing people who support all we do both financially and emotionally.
During this period, the length of an entire college career – Full Service University! – I grew more and learned more about myself than during any other time in my life. I learned to trust, to work, to love, to create, to be dedicated, to live the way I want to instead of the way people expect me to.. I lived in a van for 2 years so I could exist frugally and focus on enjoying simple pleasures of life without stressing over money. I biked everywhere and got real into running and staying active. I discovered new passions for painting and designing, for metal work, and rediscovered my passion for stones and the natural raw Earth. Music all the while was still there, still constantly with me, making me want to sing, to tap my fingers or pluck around on a guitar to find some beautiful progression of vibrations.
The reason I’m saying all of this, though, is that during my time with Full Service, I grew and finally figured out what I’m supposed to be doing. And the sad part of the story is that the path that I see myself walking from here on out is going in a different direction than the one before my brothers in the band. I had thought that if I found a band that toured and I could make some money and see the country while playing music, I would be content for however long that would last. But once my personal drive for creating really kicked in, I became mentally consumed by that desire and the fulfillment I felt through it, and I know that I am unable to give the necessary energy to fill my roles in Full Service any longer. We work our tails off as a completely independent band, setting up shows and events, touring, making merchandise, mailing merchandise, rehearsing almost daily, making promo skits, etc.. And I know that they will not slow down, will not stop creating and recording amazing music, will not stop touring the country to visit you all, will not stop chasing their dream. But I have created dreams for myself now too, and I would be a remiss human if I were to delay or put those aside in lieu of something that doesn’t personally fulfill me as much.
Several of you have supported and encouraged me so much in my art endeavors, and even if that is partly because I am in a band you enjoy, it still has given me the courage and confidence that I can make art a full time career eventually. It will take time, but it is something I feel I must do now and really devote myself to every day. We never know what tomorrow holds, or if tomorrow even exists, so my advice is to take inventory of your life and see if your time and energy is being put into the things that make you feel alive and make you feel fulfilled. If not, reevaluate, reroute, redirect. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and if I didn’t feel so strongly that this is something I must do then believe me, I wouldn’t be doing it.
I will miss touring and rocking out with my brothers, and will miss seeing your faces all across the country and celebrating life with you. This period of my life will always be one of beautiful memories, killer music, fantastic adventures, and irreversible growth. I thank you all for the roles you’ve played in my journey, and I hope that our friendships will remain after my days of rock stardom pass into the more humble days of being an eager artist. Feel free to send me personal messages if you care to talk, I will be available in the next couple days to answer questions (mainly, “what the hell are you doing!?”, I assume..). But know that there is no bad blood within the band, and this by no means signifies any breakup or slowing down of Full Service. There will still be a new album this fall, and touring and such will continue. It is just my time to chase my own dreams, and really jump in with both feet to do so.
My final shows with the band will be August 14 at Stubb’s in Austin and August 15 in Dallas. Hope to see you there and give you a big ol’ hug! I love you all, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the endless support and encouragement, and I’ll be looking forward to our next hello!
Sean ‘Sunny’ Eckel