By Lisa Morgan
For brothers Josh and Steven Hall, a life in music was as natural a choice as breathing. Where other families would expose their children to a culture of music at public venues or through recorded music, these boys had all they ever needed, live within the walls of their own home. Five years apart in age, the common thread of music ties these siblings together as best friends, confidants and advisers. But it’s the almost tangibly electric under current of passion and energy that is their most visible common denominator. Younger brother, Josh Hall, is the co-front man in the high intensity, award winning, Hip-Hop/Rap, rhythmic word posse known as Thr3 Strykes, with music brother, Josh Fimbres. Big Bro, Steven Hall, one of the most dominant forces of thunder ever to be contained behind a drum kit, contributes his super power to the award winning, face frying, punk band, Se7en4. These power house entrepreneurs and their natural energy source can all be traced back to the man who looks proudly on, with his whole heart behind their every endeavor; their father, Steven Hall Sr., aka drummer extraordinaire, Ballsey Hallsey. The patriarch carved his own indelible path through the Hollywood music scene of his day with bands Van Halen, Motley Crue and Rat opening for him.
Josh Hall: “When it comes to my greatest musical influence, I have to give it up to my dad. He was always rocking out in the car, showing me his music from ‘Stormer’, the band in Hollywood that he was in before I was born. I remember sitting on his drum case rocking out. My brother became a drummer at the age of 8. I’d always be watching him in the garage while they’d rehearse. It was a normal every day thing for me. Between going to my Dad’s gigs and hanging out with my brother, it was a way of life. I never really knew anything else.”
“I also have to give a lot of credit to my brother, Steven. He’d play a lot of the good old stuff like Metallica. My dad bought me a guitar when I was 7 and told me he didn’t want to be like him and my brother because it was a hassle to carry the equipment around. He showed me a few chords and I picked it up. But at the time, I didn’t take it all that seriously…I was just a 7 year old kid. I was more into comic books and sports.”
The five year difference in the brothers’ ages contributes to their difference in genre choices, but not in their deep interest and pride in the other’s projects. “It was a generational thing,” Josh explained. “Hip Hop was on TV, I learned the art form, and it became a passion. I understood it. Steve likes the genre, but he doesn’t get it like me. I was 16 when I started performing seriously. Me and Thr3 Strykes played a lot of house parties until venues started opening up to us around 2005.”
Josh attributes much of his work ethic to his brother Steve’s example. “Steve is really supportive. He ‘gets’ me and my music and the business. He’s a responsible guy, and I see that as a huge value. He’s just responsible across the board in life and music. I think we help each other out. We talk a lot about the business, there’s no ego involved, just straight talk. He’s a schedule guy and he works extremely hard. That’s another reason I’d like to see Se7en4 go far. He has put the time in and he really deserves it. They all do. They’ve been doing this so long.”
Often times, locally, Josh’s band will share the stage with his brother’s band. “It’s fun to go watch him even when I have nothing to do with it, let alone be part of it. We’re two different genres. But when we blend it, it works!”
Josh’s musical goals are somewhat typical of any serious artist. “I want to see how far we (Thr3 Strykes) can take it,” he shared. “I want to make this a business that allows us to do this for the rest of our lives. We never thought we be still doing this almost 15 years later, winning awards, making money and getting noticed.”
When it comes to his hopes for his brother’s music, he shows no less passion than he does for his own. “I would love to see Se7en4 go on tour with a major band, and I really want to see their new album, Get High and Fight go far. They’ve all worked so hard on it and with Mikey Doling producing the whole thing, they really have a chance. I want to see my brother and his band make money doing what they love on a major level. I’d love to be part of that somehow.”
Steve: “Dad ran with the best of them back in the day,” shared Steve. “He did it, he lived it. Music was never forced on us. We could have done anything we wanted, but it was a natural choice. There were drums lying around the house and even when I was too young to sit at a kit, I’d bang on one piece of it. Eventually, I’d collect pieces of my dad’s sets until I had my own. Josh was always around. He’s a good little brother to have; he’s like my best friend. We were always different but we still had a lot in common. When the Beastie Boys hit, I brought it home and he loved it. Eventually he’d start bringing his own music home. As he grew he just developed his own thing, and he’s gotten really good at it now. It’s really bad ass. I don’t like calling them hip hop because they’re more than that…you don’t get the show you expect. They’ve got so many rock samples going on, on top of their beats, it’s basically a party. I’m actually a bit jealous. They can just roll up and get out and just hit it. I get to a gig, I’ve got to get to work unloading and setting up my kit. Those kids just get to live the life. Josh Fimbres has become like a brother too.”
Steven has big hopes for his little brother’s project. “I would like to see them continue to play shows…they keep progressing with every show, and eventually land on big venue stages like Coachella Fest or even in Europe. With the kind of energy they bring, they could do that. It would be awesome to see them on a giant stage with thousands of kids jumping for them. I see it coming.”
This Friday night at the Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert, Josh’s band Thr3 Strykes will hit the stage, opening for another local favorite, Pedestrians. But this show will end with a little something special. Both Steve and Josh will share the stage together for an encore performance with some other great players. According to Steven Hall, “It should be fucking dope”! It will definitely be a show no music fan should miss.
Josh Hall’s band Thr3 Strykes won the award for “Best Hip-Hop/Rap Band” at the 2014 CV Music Awards and Steve Hall’s band Se7en4 won for “Best Punk Band” and Steve was also nominated for “Best Drummer”.
You can follow Steven Hall’s music with Se7en4 at www.facebook.com/Se7en4 and find their newest album “Get High and Fight” at Se7en4music.com. They will be playing the Viper Room in Hollywood, Aug 5th, and at The Good Hurt in Venice Beach Aug. 13th.