By Tracy Dietlin
The wait is over Thr3 Strykes fans. The highly anticipated release of their album is finally here and I for one can’t wait for this show! For those that have witnessed Josh Hall and Josh Fimbres on stage you already know that their high energy performances get rather rowdy and balls to the wall, but this show will be one for the books. And they’re bringing some pretty impressive friends along with them to perform. Thr3 Strykes have won 3 CV Music Awards for Best Hip Hop/Rap Artists and also an award for Best Live Performance Band so that tells you something right there.
This album has been a couple years in the making and almost got released a couple times, but life happened and it got delayed. Everything happens for a reason they say. And in this case these guys wanted to make sure it was the right time. I sat down with them for a couple of hours to do this interview and it wasn’t easy to stay on task. They definitely are the yin to each other’s yang. They were adamant about not dwelling on the past as to why it took so long to get the album done. They’re just excited that it’s here and for the party that will happen this weekend.
Here are a few excerpts from their high energy interview.
CVW: Of course I have to ask why it took so long to get this album out?
Fimbres: “Well we made songs with another person and then that person wasn’t with us anymore so we decided to write new songs and that’s what we did. We write like a new song every week. And then we wanted to take the time and make sure we were putting the right songs on the album. It wasn’t like a fuckin Chinese Democracy kind of thing we just wanted to make the best record we could.”
Hall: “We’re not signed to anything, we have no boss, so we felt like we would release the record when we wanted to. I mean it’s not like my dad was gonna ground me if we didn’t finish the record, Josh wasn’t going to not be my friend anymore if we didn’t finish a song. We didn’t want it to be some piece of crap that we did one night at 3am in the morning because we were trying to rush it and make other people happy.”
Fimbres: “We were making new music the whole time we were recording the album. And we were still doing a bunch of shows, and photo shoots, interviews and traveling a lot and doing tours. We already have new singles we want to release that aren’t on this album.”
Hall: “There are at least 12 songs on this album that most people haven’t really heard out of the 15 songs on it. I have to say that all in all, the album is crisp.”
CVW: Does one of you write more lyrics than the other or is it a collab thing?
Fimbres: “We never got caught up in who writes more of the lyrics than the other.”
Hall: “It could be a whole stanza of 16 lines and I’ll get to the 14th and not know what to say and Josh will come in and bam there it is.”
CVW: You both have several other side projects that you are in like SonStormer, Drum Hall, Dirty X’s and Michael Keeth’s band. Does that hinder or enhance your gig as Thr3 Strykes?
Fimbres: “That’s something where I’ll go off to play with other people, and it’s like how Jimi Hendrix band was when they would go do that and they came back with this re-invigoration and it added to what they were doing. It’s the same with us.”
Hall: “It’s like Wu-Tang, they all had different projects.”
CVW: So what was the feel like making this album towards the end?
Hall: “Everything has a flow from the tracks, to the font, to the artwork and logo and that’s what makes me know that what we’re doing is right. It’s not forced. It’s like the people that we work with like J Patron and Million…there’s a vibe there and it’s a beautiful thing and that shit is just supposed to happen.”
CVW: You said some of these songs people haven’t heard. What was the last song you recorded on the album?
Hall: “The last song recorded was “Hate is a New Love.” We recorded it different than any of the other songs. I met this guy out in the San Fernando Valley from my friend Tariq Beats who produced like 90% of the album. The guy is Xhibit’s engineer and when I met him he gave me his number and told me to call him if we wanted to record. So me, Josh and J Patron went to his studio in his home to record that track.”
Fimbres: “So we roll up to this guy’s house out in the valley and he’s got a basketball court in the backyard and his studio was sick. We just sat around smoking and drinking and recorded this song.”
Hall: “He had just gotten done recording Dizzy Wright’s album there too.”
CVW: I know you both have musical families. How much have they influenced you?
Hall: “I remember early on my Dad had a drum set out in the garage when we lived up in the cove on Diaz and he used to play in a band called Rumors with Randy Hewitson and they used to play at the bowling alley in PS and my Mom would sing. And then my older brother Steve (Se7en4/Drum Hall) played drums in a bunch of bands and he was in a band with Mike Pygmie called Thelonious Pygmies and that’s when I got into Jimi Hendrix, because they had a cover song they did of his “Light My Fire” and I remember going to Mario Lalli’s club Rhythm & Brews when I was like 11 and hearing him, and bands like Super Fun Happy Slide and Voodoo Glow Skulls.”
Fimbres: “My Pops has always been a shredder and for a long time I wasn’t sure I wanted to play the guitar because he was so good I didn’t think I could ever be as good, so I quit for a while. And my Grandpa played with all the big bands and my Mom can still pick up the clarinet and play. Both my brothers play instruments too.”
CVW: Give me your top 5 bands that you’re listening to right now?
Fimbres: “I go from Humble Pie to Alice in Chains to new age rap shit like ScHoolboy to Incubus and Pantera and I listen to Eek a Mouse like every day.”
Hall: “Stevie Crooks, a cat named Azizi, J Patron cuz I’m in the studio with him all the time. I listen to a lot of New Age shit too and I like dark, heavy stuff like Black Sabbath and Pentagram. I really like a lot of old 70s stuff like Deep Purple, classic rock like Steve Miller and Whitesnake too.”
CVW: What band/artist in the valley do you most admire without having to think about it?
Hall: “I respect the dudes who get out of the valley and then come back and have stories to tell like Mikey Doling. Like I can’t respect someone if they’re not real and their personality and their music don’t go together. Eek a Mouse is another one. Sometimes you meet your idols and they don’t measure up, but he was really cool when I hung out with him when he played at the Ace.”
Fimbres: “For me it would be a band that used to be called Jekkel that got even better when they became Bridger and for me that’s my shit right there. I like everything about them, their music and even the way they packaged their album.”
CVW: How do you feel about the music scene here?
Hall: “I like what’s going on. It’s a new era, a new wave.”
Don’t miss Thr3 Strykes CD release party this Friday where they’re sure to be in rare form.
Check out their new website: www.thr3strykesmusic.com.