House of Heroes

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Eric, IVM: Who are we talking to here?  Name and instuments.

Tim, HOH: This is Timothy Ryan Skipper.  I play guitar and sing in House of Heroes.

Your new album just came out September 23 on iTunes.  How does it feel to finally have this thing out there after all the complications?

It’s actually a really weird feeling.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely amazing and relieving to have it out. But since it’s been done for so long, all of our friends have already listened to it a bunch and gotten sick of it, so it’s weird because to us and the people immediately around us, it’s kind of old news.  But now it’s like this brand new thing again because people are just hearing it for the first time.  So it’s weird, but in a really
good way.  A really positive way.

How have the songs been doing live?  Are people singing along yet?

These new songs are doing REALLY well live!  We’ve been playing 3 or 4 of them for a year and a half now, so those ones are locked in, and have actually gone through some additional tweaks to keep them more interesting for us to play.  The new songs are a LOT of fun, and we’re seeing more and more people singing along everytime we play them.

Now, for a number of reasons, The End is Not the End is only available online at the moment.  Is this for good, or will there be physical copies someday?

Unfortunately, that was the only way that we could get the record out this year was to put it online.  We were sick of waiting and sitting on it, and we really needed to have new music available before we started to tour this fall, so we just went for it. And there are physical copies available now.  That was VERY important to us.  The fine people over at Zambooie.com have been selling actual CD’s in their online store, and we’ve had copies withus at all of our shows.  The plan right now is to have an actual retail release in February. We want to make it really special though so we’ve been working on a lot of extra stuff to make it a worthwhile release.  It’s looking like we’ll have some B-sides/new songs/covers as well as a DVD with the release, and we’re planning on keeping the cost still at 10 bucks for all of that stuff.  Hopefully that all works out, because i think it would be REALLY cool. We have some way old school footage of ourselves playing Silverchair and MxPx covers in the garage.

So why is the end not the end, anyway?

I’d like to answer that question with a few questions of my own:  Why is Usain Bolt so fast? Why do people still buy Nickelback records?  And last but CERTAINLY not least, Where’s Waldo? Deep, isn’t it?  …the answer is no.

Pick one of your favorite songs on the record and tell us about what makes it cool, musically and lyrically.

One of my faves is, “In the Valley of the Dying Sun”.  We wrote all of the music for that song before we wrote any lyrics for it, and when we wrote the music, we didn’t have any sort of restrictions on it.  We basically said, let’s just let the music go where it wants to go and that’ll be that.  So once we had all that together with a few of the melodies, it felt like we already had the story there, we just had to find the right words to
put to it.  AJ worked really hard on those lyrics, and I just love how the song really came to life and the
music and lyrics flowed together so seamlessly.  It’s one of those fine-line songs, where if you do it wrong it’s a disaster, but if you do it right, it’s absolutely amazing and the line between doing it right and doing it wrong is so thin!  Microscopic! Fortunately, in my personal opinion, we managed to do it right.

Name the three best musicians of our parents’ era, then the three best of today.

3 best of our parents:  Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page.
3 best of today:  Matthew Bellemy (Muse), Johnny Greenwald (Radiohead), and Danny Elfman (Oingo Boingo/composer)

Of these six musicians just named, which one has had the biggest influence on you personally?  How does influence come out in House of Heroes?

I chose all of those people based on the wide spectrum of instruments that they play and how well they play them, as well as their songwriting abilities and their understanding of all different types of music.  I’d say all of these people have had a massive influence on me, and on the band.  One thing they all have in common is their understanding and ability at songwriting.  They were all innovators in their own way and most of them were talented at more than one instrument.  I’m influenced by progressiveness.  By people who don’t settle. I LOVE the fact that Paul McCartney wrote “Martha, My Dear” and “Helter Skelter” and they somehow fit together so well on the same album.

What are the dynamics like in your band?  Does one person do all the writing (both music
and lyrics), or is it more collaborative?  Was it always this way, or have things changed with time?

We’ve been playing together in this band or another one for over 10 years now, so things have changed quite a bit.  We’ve refined and defined our way of doing things many times, and I think the best “rule” that we’ve come up with is that we always choose to do what’s best for the song.  It’s pretty collaborative.  Our belief is that what we can create together can be much better than what we can do alone.  So we all come up with music. Mostly just small parts. A chorus or a verse here, a bridge there.  Then we put them all together
eventually.  Then we inevitably take them apart and put them back together over and over until we’re satisfied.  As far as lyrics go, AJ handles the vast majority of that department.  The rest of us contribute
periodically, but I’d say he handles 95 percent of the lyrics.  I think he’s extremely talented and blessed as a lyricist, and I really wish that i could write as well as he does.

House of Heroes is locked in a bomb shelter for 48 hours with a bag of paper-clips, a microwave oven, and a can of hairspray.  What happens?

A lot of complaining about being locked in a bomb shelter for 48 hours.  A lot of conversation about why the heck there’s a bag of paper-clips, a microwave oven, and a can of hairspray in a bomb shelter.  Probably especially about why there’s a microwave oven and no food.  That’s a massive slap in the face.  We’d probably start using the microwave oven as a toilet eventually.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us.  Anything else you want us to know before we go?

Thank you for taking the time to come up with said questions!  We want you to know that….  well, see ya!