Email interview with Hundred Year Storm, who released The Future Belongs to the Brave on June 9, 2009, through Doll House Recordings.
Introduce yourselves, names and duties in the band:
BJ: Brandon Johnson – drums.
Bill: I play guitar and do some singing.
Hundred Year Storm has had a pretty mobile history. Can you get us caught up on what you’ve been doing between now and the Floodgate years?
BJ: We’ll I’ve never really thought I’d here “Floodgate years” in reference to Hundred Year Storm since when Hello from the Children of Planet Earth came out the label was pretty much done. Since that record came out, we did a ton of touring and then slowly realized we really needed some time home w/ family and in Austin. That time at home lead to the making of Future which I can say is the album I’m most proud of.
Bill: Writing music and having babies. We have basically taken the last year off to be in Austin and live life at home for awhile. I have no idea what’s next for us but I just hope we keep playing music together.
In what ways have you grown during that time?
BJ: Life always has a way of bringing new joys and challenges. Now with the release of this record, three of us have kiddos and our bass player Justin is soon to be married. This new record and growth is reflected in the music and the over arching message of home in uncertain times.
Bill: Wow, I don’t know where to start. I have lost all drive to be a “successful” band in the eyes of the music business. I don’t want to deal with labels anymore, think about Soundscan numbers, try to uphold any kind of “cool” image, and anxiously await which magazine or website is giving us an incredible (or not) review. I just want to make the music I like. It’s like Willie [Nelson] said, “The life I love is making music with my friends.” I am just not sure about the “on the road again” part.
I’m sure these changes had some effect on your long-anticipated The Future Belongs to the Brave, which was released this June. What makes this record different from records previous? In your opinion, was it worth the wait?
BJ: This record was put out by Doll house Recordings (The Secret Handshake, Widows and Orphans, Knockout Kings, MSME) as the record we wanted to make, done our way alongside our long-time producer David Dreesen at Jacketweather Studios. These are the songs we wanted to deliver what we feel is a timely message. We want to wake people up and think about the world around them. In my opinion, this is evident through the record but highlighted on tracks like “Dying Giant,” “Sunset,” and “Lift your Voices.” We hope this record is a journey that is worth the wait for the listener as it has been for us.
Bill: We just made the music that we wanted and didn’t try to make it fit into a certain mold. We also took more time on it and made it at a relaxed pace.
A word I see used to describe your band is “space rock.” What exactly does
this mean to you?
BJ: For us it probably means more than most “space rock” bands because we actually write songs with references to and samples about/from space.
Bill: When I think of “space rock” I think of the following: instrumental – literally there is space in the music, big – maybe longer songs full of softness with periods of crashing guitars, slightly psychedelic – free form and sometimes drifty, repetitive or even trancy. Reverb and delay.
What role does faith play in Hundred Year Storm?
BJ: Faith is and will always be at the core of our lives and therefore our art.
Bill: Like everything we do it is completely inseparable. It is hard not to see it come through the music.
You and a few other bands took a trip with Faceless International not too long ago. Tell us about the experience and what you learned.
Bill: We went to Kolkata, India with a group of musicians and it was extremely eye opening. We were primarily working with a group called The Emancipation Network which exists to end human trafficking through education, financial independence and re-integration into society. Walking through the red light districts full of young girls (12-14 years old) who are being forced into a life that steals their humanity was tough. I know we were able to really encourage the workers and primarily the kids while we were there but I think the most important part of the trip was just raising awareness on the issue. In the last 2 years I have seen tons of organizations popping up taking on this issue and you’re starting to see a wave of opposition to slavery and this is going mainstream and hopefully will bring change.
Thanks for doing this interview. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we go?
Bill: Thanks for taking the time and interest in our music and band. We appreciate it.