(Hed) Planet Earth are back and frontman Jahred has a few words to say about it!
How is the tour?
Great. It doesn’t take much to keep me happy on the road. We’ve been getting good receptions everywhere we go.
Do you ever step on-stage and look over the crowd and say to yourself ‘damn, I can’t believe these people are here to see us’?
Always, every night. (Laughs) Every time is a trip. It’s new every time. It’s part of the whole game that I often take for granted.
What goes through your mind when you put a record together?
I’m working as a lyricist from raw emotion. I’m working on being honest about whatever I’m going through at the time. And at the same time I try to flex a little to show the styles that I’m into.
Have you ever worried about trends coming and going, like a few years ago you were tagged as…
You are more trying to come up with music and in your brain you are thinking that ‘wow this sounds cool’ and I think about turning others on to the music. I try not to predict the future, its more art than that.
When I heard “Blackout” the first thing I thought was how your vocals went up a notch.
You know I have always wanted to flex my singing voice because I’ve always had those skills. But my idea of punk in past years weren’t about singing real good, but now I’m more into melody so I wanted to flex on that.
I was reading what fans were saying and they talked a lot about the vocals were stronger than ever.
My roots are in singing and then when I got into hip-hop it changed my life and I embraced rhyming. I have the heavy metal and hardcore roots and that is what gives me my strength.
Did you start listening to metal before rap?
I was into metal and then into rap, well rap is one thing. Rap is being on the mic and rhyming, but hip-hop is a whole lifestyle and its clothes and graffiti. You know what I mean? It’s just a huge thing. I think that is what a lot of journalists don’t understand when they call us rap-metal.
Was it around the time when Beastie Boys came out when you got into hip-hop?
When I was a kid, but it really was NWA who broke it open for me. Just the street core freaked me out.
I can even remember when I got that album. I don’t remember why I got it but it blew my mind. NWA was my new punk group.
There is a new punk for every age.
Did you get deeper and deeper into hip-hop after that?
By the time we started this band I had been influenced by hip-hop for years and different artists like Dre’s production and Beastie’s “Check Your Head” to Rage to Nine Inch Nails and Cypress Hill. It just goes on and on. There was so much music there ten years ago and that stuff is still good music.
Does it bother you being coined in a genre?
It doesn’t bother me at all; it is what it is. I like to rap and I’m into metal. Should I be bothered that someone calls it rap-metal? I could give a fuck, you know?
Does it drive you crazy that old fans never seem to all be satisfied? Like they always want what they had way back when?
It is true, but I can only stay true to what I’m doing. I can only write music for myself. The success of the music will come from honesty, that is the only way I can do it. I’ve gotten some reaction to the music and let them want what they want. I’m not in the business of dishing up stuff because they’ve liked it before. (Jahred lets out a laugh that even cracks me up)
Can’t please everybody, it happens in every aspect of life.
I know right? There are bunches of people that are like ‘this is your best album ever’ and others miss my dirty sarcastic rhymes. They still might get them in the future, who knows.
Where does a song start?
It depends if I’m writing the music first. It’s never the same. Sometimes I listen to the music and come up with a melody that I think is cool and fitting the words. I can’t tell you how I do it because I’m not sure, really. It’s weird.
Do you see it as a gift or a skill?
I see it as a gift that I have to nurture. It’s a gift for sure. It’s a gift of articulation. I have to work hard at it. I recognize it is a gift, but believe me there is a lot of effort involved.
Are you ever surprised by what you write?
All the time bro. Sometimes it feels like a third person when I hear it.
Any tracks on “Blackout” that you were surprised by?
“Crazy Life”, because it was a throwback. Fans seem to really like that because it’s me being sarcastic; they seem to love that out of my personality.
What is the kind of music you listen to when you are down and up?
I’m really into 50 Cent when I need to get motivated for a show and Sean Paul. When I work out I like to listen to hardcore rap like Killa Priest and Eminem, but when I run I like to listen to System (of a Down).
What about mellowing out?
There is this German sister Joy Denalane. I got her album when I was in Germany. She is really rad. Rven though I don’t know what the fuck she is saying I can feel it.
Sometimes we don’t even know what people are saying on our favorite songs.
Right, even in English. (We both laugh)
Now that you have achieved what many only dream for, record deal, being in a well known rock band and so on, what do you hope for in the future now?
Well to be honest I don’t really have much financial stability. Art comes first for me, but in this world I don’t want to be living in a fucking refrigerator box on the street in an alley. I never will because even if I have to play whatever I will always make music. But it would be nice to have money to fuel more the art I have in mind.
Anything in particular you have in mind?
I have another band by the name of Phoenix Jones. I’m trying to get that album out in like twelve months, right after we are done touring with Hed. I play guitar on it, it’s basically written. I’m really stoked because it has these really hardcore rhymes and ska melodies on it. It’s some killer shit.
[You heard it here first]
+ charlie craine