By Noe Gutierrez
House of Broken Promises are unfiltered and symbolize all that is right in the heavy music world. If you’ve never seen them live you’ve never laid eyes on the time-honored tradition that is Arthur Seay’s tongue wagging, his obligatory “FUCK YOU!” or the ultimate lesson in shredding. You’ve never bore witness to the intricate yet powerful pounding of the drums by Mike Cancino. You’ve never heard the beefy bellowing of lead singer and bassist Joe Mora, with his hip-swaying Cornell/Fogerty/Garcia swagger and soulful vocal performances that take you by surprise. HOBP, (what band doesn’t strive for the ultimate acronym), will be doing what they do best, show off, on Friday, 4/28/17 at 8 p.m. at The Hood Bar & Pizza in Palm Desert, California. The show, dubbed, ‘Desert Metal Night’ is FREE! Joining HOBP are Brain Vat and Drop Mob. DJ Metal Mania will be on The Hood patio playing all your cherished heavy metal favorites. In addition, ’Round The Corner Vinyl,’ the mobile record store, will be hanging out in the parking lot.
HOBP are currently in the midst of a new album that’s being produced at Seay’s Bittersand Recording Studio in Indio, CA. The release date for the new material has yet to be determined. Both Seay and Mora continue to work in the music industry and are on tour periodically with their respective artists. Seay plans to engineer and produce the new record. The new music has elements of stoner rock, old school metal and hard rock. I spoke briefly to Seay and Cancino for a candid conversation about their thoughts and feelings about HOBP and metal in the desert.
Seay: “We started mixing our record. I hear it in my head and I’m trying to get it as close to that as possible. I’m shooting for a big and raw sound. We’re back on track. This is an important record for us. It’s our second full-length and our first with Joe. I’m so very proud of these songs. I think it’s our best shit ever and we’ll be able to tour behind a great record and take it to the next level.”
On Desert Metal Night
Seay: “Desert Metal Night is gonna be a ‘three-ring-rock-metal-circus’. It’s gonna start off as monthly series with local rock and metal bands. I’ll also bring in friends of mine, touring bands, and international acts. Eventually I would like to see a weekly event with metal DJs and ‘Heavy Metal Karaoke’. I want to help build the scene back up because it’s in a very dilapidated state. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve seen it grow and collapse and now it’s back in the collapse stage. There needs to be a catalyst to continue its growth. I’ll bring you the whole auditory and visual experience.”
On the desert’s heavy rock scene
Seay: “For me, I’ve always seen that there’s a lot of metal in the desert. Stoner rock gets all the glamorization. There are some really great bands that have come out of that genre and I’m really lucky to be in Unida. HOBP gets put in there as well but I think we’re a little more metal. I remember all the desert parties I went to had metal bands like Enrage with Brad Garrow and Mikey Doling’s Solid Steel.”
Cancino: “Well, we are in the desert and as many of us know, growing up here forever, there isn’t just one scene here, there isn’t a metal scene, there isn’t a rock scene, there isn’t a hip-hop scene, there isn’t an R&B scene and there isn’t a country scene. There is only a music scene.”
On passing the torch
Seay: “If you’re in band and you’re trying to be a successful trailblazer. Do what you got to do. Is it important to have a metal scene? Sure, that’s gonna help you trailblaze. And if you’re trailblazing you’re gonna build a scene. They go hand in hand.”
Cancino: “If the 80’s parents are doing a good job of raising their kids with good metal, rock or whatever good music they’re around hopefully they can grow up listening to it and appreciate it.”
On the desert
Seay: “Go to shows. Support. Share the event. Get off your ass and don’t watch it on Facebook fuckin’ Live!”
Cancino: “As far as this desert is concerned we actually are lucky to have a couple venues that we can actually play that haven’t gone away in less than six months. Hopefully people will actually come to the show, but, that’s a hit and miss here too. We promote the lights out of our shows. Unfortunately, times are still the same; it’s whatever high school clique is happening.”
I urge anyone who reads this article to go to iTunes and purchase HOBP’s debut album, Using The Useless and their live album HOBP Live in London Deserfest 2013, recorded by Harper Hug and mixed by Mark Armentrout. They are cornerstones of what HOBP are trying to accomplish and represent the confidence every band should strive for. If Seay’s enthusiasm for the new album is any indication, the new music will continue to propel HOBP and the desert metal scene to a place of growth where collapsing is not an option.
YOU ARE THE SCENE!