My Hamartia – Rolling Raw and Real

Saturday, 14th October 2017

Dead Rhetoric: Considering you have members from Massachusetts and Connecticut, what are your feelings on the heavy music scenes in both states? Do you feel like My Hamartia is making good traction and connection with other bands, venues, promoters, etc. to build a bigger fan base?

Halligan: I definitely wish that the New England area in general had a larger metal scene. I think it could use a little help to boost it up to the likes of the NY and LA scenes. Perhaps the more bands that make a name for themselves in these areas will shift some of that well-deserved focus. I think we are making solid progress on the scene. We are constantly connecting with new bands, venues, and promoters. The only way to continue from here is UP!

Cyr: The metal scenes in both MA and CT are riddled with talent and styles. We really enjoy meeting the other bands and working with our favorites. We see movement in our reach as we try to balance internal and external progress. What I mean by that is we still have to write new material and develop music videos and merch while playing shows and generating sales in said merch. Being creative with our efforts is important. Keep an eye out for some unique merch ideas and new music videos along with fun stuff for YouTube that isn’t directly related to our album(s).

Dead Rhetoric: Who are some of the role models as far as bands that you strive to reach their same level of success or professionalism for your band – and do you believe it’s easier or harder to attain success in the internet, social media, digital-driven technological age?

Halligan: Some of my role models and favorite bands are Westfield Massacre, Slipknot, 12FT Ninja, The White Noise, Parkway Drive, DED, HedPE, Highly Suspect, Fire From The Gods, Lamb of God, Stuck Mojo, Walls of Jericho, Bury Your Dead, 36 Crazyfists, Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and Metallica. As far as the internet and social media everyone in the band has a role. I think we all wish we had more time from our 9 to 5’s to dedicate to it. Ultimately, I think it takes a team of people to help market and brand your product these days to ensure it breaks through the saturated crust. If I could quite my full-time job and just focus on this aspect and still be financial stable I would do it in a heartbeat.

Cyr: I take big inspiration from bands like Pantera, Slipknot, and Avenged Sevenfold while also taking inspiration from other local bands like Disguise the Curse, Values, and Carnivora who seem to be making a big impact on the local scene. In today’s techno age, I consider it a double-edged sword utilizing the platforms available as anyone can get on YouTube or what have you. What that does is oversaturate the music scene and requires creative and unique ways to gain notice among the masses. Being talented is not the only answer. It’s also been about who you know for a long time but, even beyond that, making waves by having a strongly interactive image with many ways of approaching the different audiences is equally important. DIY success can still be attained with perseverance and creative passion. Still, making the right contacts has never been a lesser priority. Understanding that hitting everything is not necessarily energy, time, or cost effective and that we have to find the right paths to reach the right connections is very important. It can be tricky but having a good strategy is a constant conversation piece in My Hamartia conversations.

Dead Rhetoric: What would you consider the three most important records (they can be metal/hardcore or not) that have shaped your outlook on music the most, and what has been the best, most vivid concert memory that you’ve had purely as an audience member through the years?

Halligan: I have to go back to my roots on this question. These 3 bands I was introduced to at a very impressionable age and helped drive me to what I love today. Those 3 albums would have to be Metallica – And Justice for All, Guns N Roses – Appetite for Destruction, and Michael Jackson’s – Thriller (Don’t judge…ha ha). Best concert, hands down would have to be back in 96’ I believe. And believe it or not I was with my current bass guitarist Phil Parker. We drove into Hartford to see Deftones, White Zombie, and Pantera! Pure, unadulterated craziness!

Adamson Jr.: I would say the majority in the catalogues of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Pantera, and Carcass. I also have to include the Conan The Barbarian soundtrack by Basil Poledouris. I loved that soundtrack as a kid and still love it today, I never get sick of it. I hate going to concerts. I’m 5’2 and always without fail have some extremely tall idiot that will stand directly in front of me and the guy who doesn’t wear deodorant right next to me. I prefer to watch concerts at home on my television or YouTube and avoid that aggravation. Local shows are good though, I can actually enjoy those.

Parker: Honestly, there’s way more than just 3 records, it’s impossible to choose. I could give you a few bands that would cover both records and concerts: Rush, Pantera, Children of Bodom, 10 Years, Crown the Empire…. I could keep going, there are way too many…

Cyr: The 3 albums that have shaped my own personal outlook on music are: Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, Nirvana’s In Utero, and Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction. There are many, many other albums that really influence shape my own views of music but after giving it some thought, I think those are the ones from which I find the most inspiration. Other bands that blend genres like Skindred and A Perfect Circle also have a heavy influence. Personally, I listen to a wide variety of music including more pop based stuff like The Killers and Katy Perry and even older music like big band from the 20’s through the 40’s while even including old country like Loretta Lynn and Marty Robbins. I was raised in a very Pentecostal home and my music choices were limited to gospel and the golden oldies until I was about 13-14 years old and that’s when I first heard Pantera and Nirvana which changed my whole life. I still enjoy the golden oldies a great deal.

Dead Rhetoric: What types of interests, hobbies, or passions do the members of My Hamartia have outside of music when you have the free time to pursue them? And do you believe friendships are important within a band to achieve all of your goals and aspirations?

Halligan: Free time? What’s that? On the rare occasion I do like to go to Yankee games, watch football, play some disc golf, corn hole, and sit around a campfire and hang out with friends! Friendship and communication within any band is key. We all have each other’s backs and can talk to each other about anything, that’s important! Personally, if I had more free time I would want to spend it with crazy bro’s of mine!

Adamson Jr.: I own a lot of movies. I also like to obtain certain types of collectibles.

Parker: My hobbies include, but not limited to motocross, ATV’s, motorcycles, r/c cars, r/c planes, windsurfing, snowboarding, camping, DIY house projects, and flying (I have my pilot’s license). Friendships among band members are more important than the music itself. Friendship leads to good chemistry, good chemistry leads to good music. Both of these lead to having fun and a lifetime of memories. If we’re not having fun than why are we doing this? I also like the fact that we are all there for each other, good times and bad, because that’s what friends are for…

Cyr: My other hobbies are various art projects from sculpture to sketching and painting. I enjoy disc golf and have got other members of My Hamartia into it as well which I am extremely happy about. As a band, we like to get together for a band jam/brainstorming session and knock back few beers, order pizza, play video games or horseshoes and corn hole while getting a bonfire blazing. We are all good friends and have been there for each other during our inevitable hard times. Our friendship is important to us as we feel it keeps our approach to our music equally cohesive and fluid. We don’t bicker often at all and even if that occurs it’s quickly squashed as our friendships are put into focus instead of any disagreements. Compromises are important to maintain friendship in our music writing/performing and our overall image.

Dead Rhetoric: What is the band’s stance on the use of technology when it comes to live shows? It seems like more and more often, many artists are getting on stage with laptops, triggers, etc. to envelope their sound beyond the rawness and natural energy humans produce…

Halligan: I’m not opposed to it, as I’m always open to try new things. It may work with other bands and that’s okay too. For now, and the immediate future, My Hamartia will continue in keeping it raw! We like it raw!

Adamson Jr.: I definitely wouldn’t want to insult an audience by using anything like that. I’m okay with a band sampling a movie quote or something of the like just to open a song. I’m not a fan however of basically watching a band play along with a studio track of one of their songs.

Parker: The only technology I need is electricity, a guitar and an amp. I’m the kind of guy who can barely even figure out how to turn on a computer. If I start using a bunch of other stuff live someone’s going to have to show me how to use it. Just get up there and rip it, that’s how you sound the best.

Cyr: We are a band that does not use laptops and triggers for our live performances. We prefer the raw sound that comes from actually playing our instruments. We have discussed possibly adding in samples of dialogue from our favorite movies and TV shows to emphasize the different moods and meanings being some of our songs but we do not ever use triggers, backing tracks, or click tracks for live performances. Raw and real is how we roll.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for My Hamartia for the next twelve months? Has work begun on the follow up to the debut album, and if so what is this new material looking like in comparison to the previous record?

Halligan: We have started working on new material which will go onto the next EP or album. I wouldn’t be surprise if we hit you all with something completely different yet still the My Hamartia that you have grown to love! Time will tell!

Adamson Jr.: I want to have a pattern of one album recorded with 8 string guitars and the next with six string guitars. I have so many songs and riffs written in standard and dropped D tuning that I would like to use. I already have around eight or nine songs worth of material written on the 8-string, so there is no shortage of material.

Cyr: The future of My Hamartia includes a new EP, more music videos, new T-shirt designs, and more behind the scenes videos showcasing who we are as people and the fun we have together as friends. We are currently focusing on a new music video and writing new material for a new EP. Our approach for this new set of songs is to be more refined in what we feel works for us while simultaneously trying new ideas with our more developed collaboration that has come with playing our music together for as long as we have at this point in time. Our music is continuously groove oriented and will always blend different subgenres of metal. You may even see some 6-string songs with our new material to add a different dynamic to our already diverse repertoire.

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