January 31, 2015

2009 Lonely H Interview

Here's another interview from the vaults, originally posted on the now defunct Popwreckoning in 2009. Although not a local band, certainly a regional one, originally calling Port Angeles, Washington home. 

I like their self identified genre: denim rock.


If you grew up listening to classic rock and wishing you were born a decade or three earlier, you should head on down to the bar when the Lonely H roll through. They're on a massive tour and there's a 50-50 chance they are coming to your town, if they already haven't been there already. They may be young, but they're earning their stripes by logging some serious miles in the van and playing almost every night.

Eric Whitman, the Lonely H's lead guitarist, probably described their music best when he took a couple minutes between towns answer a few questions via email: it's as if "The Byrds, The Band, and Mott the Hoople all got in a station wagon and blew the fucker to pieces. We are the wreckage."

I'm partial the gritty Faces-channeling vocals on "Phoenix" and "Right Down To Me", but really you can't go wrong if you stick their new album, Concrete Class, in your car stereo and turn it up loud. And if do catch their show, consider buying them a shot. Judging from Whitman's road stories, it sounds like they could use it.

Quickcrit: How's the tour going?

Eric Whitman: It's been great so far. Nobody has contracted any diseases or broken any bones which is always a good. Then again we're only about a month into it. There's still another month and a half of mayhem to come. The Minneapolis show was amazing as was the New Orleans show, but other than that they've been moderate to good.

QC: Which songs are getting the best response?

EW: It really depends night to night though – on some nights the people dig the rockers, i.e. "Cold Blues" or "Other Side of the Water." And then other nights they go for shit like the "Girl from Jersey" or "White Horse Tears."

QC: Have you accumulated any crazy road stories?

EW: Oh God, there's been some real benders. One night I got shitfaced and tried to bareback a pony outside a barn North Dakota. We ended up sleeping in the barn. Just a few nights ago in Charleston, South Carolina, Caleb (from Caleb Caudle and the Bayonets, who we're touring with now) and I cleaned the bathrooms at the bar for some extra booze. They gave us windex and some rubber gloves. As for food, we've just been eating at Cracker Barrels, all of which are amazing.

QC: What albums are on heavy rotation in your van this tour?

EW:Yeah, that would be a little moronic to listen to your own album 24/7, but we do enjoy it. We go in cycles in the van, occasionally we'll listen to the absolute shittiest music possible – screamcore, modern country ballads, you know what I mean. But that makes good music even better, so then we'll move onto stuff like Gram Parsons, Tom Petty, or The Eagles. We listen to a lot of old country too -- Waylon and Willie, George Jones, good driving tunes.

QC: Are there any artists that have had a greater influence on your music?

EW: Limp Bizkit, and anything Fred Durst. Kidding, obviously we love our classic rock, as for this album, we definitely channeled The Faces "A Nod is as Good as Wink to a Blind Horse," The Eagles, The Band, and Bob Seger. We like to call it Denim Rock, and we copyrighted that, so don't steal it.

QC: I read that Concrete Class was recorded on analog. What appealed to you about that recording process?

EW: Yes all analog. Not a single computer was used in the process of making the album, until we transferred it to CD. I'd say it's the same as any recording process, but you just have to perform better because you can't punch in and and digitally chop your songs to pieces. In the end it sounds more human and warm. Au naturale, bitch.

QC: This album sounds like a couple steps forward from your last album, Hair. Were you trying for anything in particular?

EW: This album is more cohesive as a whole. With "Hair" we just wrote the songs and recorded them, not really considering the album as a single entity but rather each single song as its own entity. We moved more towards country and blues, rather than straight rock. There's so many bands out there that think they can be Zeppelin, but there's no way that can happen.

QC: Which comes first when you are writing: the lyrics, a riff, a melody, or something else?

EW: It depends. Say I'll write the guitar part and then naturally it will progress with lyrics, drums, accordion, mandolin, harmonica (if applicable), bass, backing vocals. Whatever we want to put in the song. When recording, we just add more and more shit until we ruin the song.

QC: Finally, I'm always on the lookout for new rock and roll. Are there any bands you've played with, either on the road or here in the Northwest, that your fans would love?

EW: Oh definitely, our friends the Raggedy Anns and Doctor Doctor from Seattle are great. We toured with Dirty Sweet out of San Diego. The Parlor Mob out of Jersey is fucking incredible. We're touring with Caleb Caudle and The Bayonets; they rip ass. And they're nice people. We love the Wildbirds from Wisconsin. Oh, and Fred Durst.