House Of Heroes has certainly gained a good amount of fans within their 10 years of existence. In the past, they’ve supported acts ranging from Relient K to Avenged Sevenfold, and have even performed at the famed Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City. They are also consistently on the road, headlining their own shows all across the nation.
A new single Touch The Light is about to be released with a brand new collection of tunes to follow in July. The album will be entitled Cold Hard Want, and it shows a band at the very height of their creativity, ready to rock their hearts out once again.
We recently spoke with vocalist / guitarist Tim Skipper to catch up with all the latest House Of Heroes happenings, including news on the upcoming album, their show at the Gibson, an encounter with the WWE, and other topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in House Of Heroes, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Tim Skipper. I play guitar and sing lead vocals in House of Heroes. We’ve been a band since 2002, but Colin Rigsby (drums), AJ Babcock (bass) and I have been playing music together in one way or another since 1998. For this album, Eric Newomer played guitar as well.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Cold Hard Want?
Our last 2 albums (The End is Not the End and Suburba) were concept/themed albums, so we decided to gravitate away from that for Cold Hard Want. We really focused a lot more on the individual songs and the songwriting process behind getting the main points across in each song. Having said that, there are a lot of songs and a few themes that go together well and make this album very cohesive. It’s very personal. There’s a lot on there about really, truly standing up for what you believe in. Even when it’s difficult or seemingly impossible.
How will Cold Hard Want compare to the previous House Of Heroes releases?
Cold Hard Want is our most raw and rocking record yet. It’s also our most accessible. There are some really big pop hooks going on, but a lot of the music was recorded live and was left untouched giving it a very human quality. We veered away from studio tricks like “beat detective” and “auto-tune” as much as possible and really went for feel and vibe. I love all of our records in their own way, but this one feels special in a way others don’t. It’s got a certain ‘timeless’ quality that we’ve been chasing for a while.
What inspired the lyrics for the first single Touch This Light?
Lyrically, Touch This Light is a very spiritual song. It’s about feeling lost and alone with no confidence whatsoever to find your way out of a dark and desperate place. And then there is a glimmer of hope. There is something bigger than yourself to put your faith in, and that becomes your confidence, not anything within yourself.
What is the exclusive B-side of your single Dead about and why did this one wind up being a B-side?
Dead is straight up, meat and potatoes rock and roll the best we know how to do it! It was unfortunately the odd man out when it came time to sequence the songs for this album. We liked it enough to be on the album, but it just didn’t fit as well as some of the other songs so it became the B-side. The main idea is in the first lyric of the song, “I might be dead by the time you hear this song…” We’re saying, as a band, we might be dead and gone by the time certain people get around to hearing our band, which would be a shame if you ended up really liking our music. And it might be our fault that more people never heard us because we never compromised in places that we could have to gain a larger audience along the way. That sentiment is summed up in the lyric, “It was my greatest fault and my greatest gift, and I died like a fool for it, so tell them how I lived.”
How did We Were Giants wind up on the WWE Special Once In A Lifetime: The Rock vs John Cena and are you a fan of the WWE?
That was crazy! We have been pitched for a lot of film/tv type stuff and never got a single placement until that WWE Special. The real crazy thing is the album was maybe only done for a week when we got that placement. Someone at Brentwood Benson Universal Publishing pitched it to the music supervisor, and they loved it! I was a huge WWF fan when I was very young and I got WAY into it again when I was in high school and they changed the name to WWE. The Rock was just starting to get super popular, and it was fun watch the soap opera that was him and Triple H week in and week out. I haven’t kept up on it for a few years, but I still like it from time to time.
With Lovesick Zombie, what made you write the song and what is your favorite Zombie or horror film of all time and why?
We wrote that song a long time ago, and it just didn’t have a place on any of our records so we thought it would make a perfect Halloween song instead of doing more Christmas songs. With a few lyrical tweaks, it was ready to go. We knew it was gonna be a while before the next record came out, so this was a good opportunity to get something new and silly out. I’m pretty big on more psychological horror movies like the Shining, Jacob’s Ladder, The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs. Things like that. I like the stuff that is unexplained. The evil isn’t tangible or necessarily explainable. That’s what makes it so scary. Lack of rhyme and reason.
What was the experience like playing the Gibson Amphitheater and were you guys nervous at all at playing such a huge venue? What goes through your mind when you’re about perform on a stage that huge?
That was ridiculous. Those are dream come true type venues for us. We weren’t really nervous. More so excited. The adrenaline was definitely flowing that night. Earlier in the day a buddy told me he saw Weezer play the blue album there a few weeks prior to our show, so we played Say it Ain’t So and Buddy Holly at soundcheck that day.
At this point, would you consider House Of Heroes to be a Christian band or ministry. Why or why not?
We’ve always just considered House of Heroes a rock band. The idea of music being “Christian” or a genre being called “Christian rock” or whatever has always been silly to me. Our personal faith is in Jesus Christ. We believe he is who he said he is, and we try to live our lives by his teaching, so that will obviously influence everything we do, including the music we write. But at the end of the day, we’re a band. We will partner with certain ministries to help with causes and things like that because Jesus said to feed the hungry, bless the poor, meet the lost and the least in their place of need. But at the end of the day we’re just a rock band.
What do you think has kept House Of Heroes such a vibrant and creative entity after all of these years?
I think the freedom that has been afforded to us is a big key to our longevity. When it comes time to make a record, the team we have around us says, “We love what you’ve done and we’re excited to hear where it goes next, so we’re just going to sit back and enjoy the process. Do your thing.” What more could you ask for?! Support like that is truly amazing and without it, we probably wouldn’t be here today. Now if we could just get a few more people to buy a few more records/concert tickets!
What’s up next for the band?
Well, Colin and his family have a new baby boy coming their way in June! So we’re going to tour a bit here and there, but keep it pretty light so they can enjoy that. Then once the record comes out in July we’re looking to hit it hard this summer and fall. We’ve got about 4 or 5 music video ideas coming along and a few more interactive ideas that we’re really excited about developing.
Any final words of wisdom?
Final words of wisdom: Many hand make light the work. It’s easier to be wise for others than for ourselves. No man was ever wise by chance… This is starting to get a little too “Info section of a Facebook page”. I’ll quit while I’m only a little behind. Thanks Highwire Daze!!!
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)