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06/01/2012 - ANO BAND BLOG #14: THE HOONS - RETROACTIVE!

by Jeremie Fincher





I wrote a piece on The Hoons last year, after they moved from the Big State to the Pacific Northwest (specifically Portland, Oregon). The first A&R Showcase results and feedback, amongst several other factors, drew the four Hoons out of the Last Frontier and into the Lower 48. I realized, after releasing the article, that it really didn't contain everything I wanted to cover. It wasn't in the same style as the rest of my work with Anchorage Night Out: it had several mechanical errors, it assumed the reader had previous knowledge of the subject (only a mechanical error, as everyone knows The Hoons), and it gave very little background information, so I've desired, since, to fill in the blanks. It also happens to be perfect timing for the band, as they are on the brink of releasing their long-awaited (or so it seems) second full-length album 'Terra Incognito,' named for the cartographer's term used to describe previously undiscovered land.



When KZND announced that The Hoons were the Homegrown Artist of the Month for May, and I realized my own Portland trip would coincide with their last few days in the lovely PDX area. This, in turn, allowed me opportunity to interview these gentlemen. I dubbed the old article an 'update,' and hopefully, this will serve as a retroactive and comprehensive addition to my Band Blog series, highlighting our beloved Alaskan rock and roll band: The Hoons.



The Hoons' lineup has changed a few times over the years, but Howland and Bandersnatch met when employed together at a local Alaskan pizzeria. Kevin came along a few years later when the boys asked him to join. He was playing in a few different bands with the infamous Josh Olsen. Evan was the most recent to join, and was recruited from another Alaskan band The Riot. The first three had formed quite a bond before Evan joined, but he wasted no time at all completing the circuit, musically and personally.



When The Hoons decided to move to Portland, they quickly set-up shop and started working with Producer/Manager Erik Braund in Supernatural Sound Studios.. There, they tracked the entirety of the most recent endeavor 'Terra Incognito,' other than the vocals, in which Sean flew to New York to finish up in Erik's personal studio. The band set up a successful Kickstarter fund-raising program, in which their family, friends, and fans helped accrue $10,000 to help differ recording costs.  After the album was recorded, The Hoons continued writing while waiting for mixing and mastering of  'Terra Incognito,' to wrap-up. Braund says, “We're very excited to have the album coming out, we spent over two years working on it! I just saw the boys in LA, they were touring with two bands that are on my label Braund Sound.” Some Alaskans will recognize one of those bands. Heros & Zeroes played shows with The Hoons and former rock band Kill Tango while visiting Alaska. Here's the poster from the Ash Street Saloon show in Portland.



The Hoons live in a small southwestern suburb of Portland called Aloha (pronounced differently than the Hawaiian salutation) in a gigantic nine-bedroom house. Sean and Jasmyn Howland, their two children, and extended family live in the main part of the beautiful abode, and Kevin, Evan, and Brandon all occupy the upper level living spaces. They have a quaint little practice room on the bottom floor of the house, and invited me to join them for their last practice before heading North. I literally caught Howland right before he left for the airport.



The guys played me four new tunes from the next album, which is already under construction: Vertigo, Patient Zero, Slow, and The City, and finished up with a fantastic run-through of their Michael Jackson cover “Billie Jean.” I was let in on an interesting little tidbit, too. The next album is conceptual, and it's inspired by the NPR show Radiolab. This sounds like a very interesting idea, to me, after reading the description of the show on Wikipedia.


 


The Hoons are returning to Alaska for three big shows at Chilkoot Charlie's, and also to make some money so they can continue focusing on the music while living in Portland. Brandon got a commercial fishing job and brought Wolhgemuth along for the boat ride. Sean has returned to his previously held employment as a concrete worker. Larrecou decided to take a summer-long semester of college. Their first show back in Alaska is the KZND Homegrown Artist of the Month CD Release Party. Tomorrow, June 2nd, The Hoons will play crowd favorites from 'Terra Incognito' alongside some of the new tunes. The Eternal Cowboys and Alaska ThunderFunk support, doors open at 7PM, music starts at 8PM.


 


I would venture to say The Hoons are still the most popular name in Alaskan rock. Go support Alaska's favorite rock band tomorrow night at Chilkoot Charlie's, and then again in July and August. Don't forget to buy a copy of my favorite Alaskan release to date: 'Terra Incognito.'




Jeremie plays bass guitar in Anchorage rock band Robots Helping Clones and is an Assistant Editor at Anchorage Night Out. You can reach him at bands@anchoragenightout.com.




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