Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Hoozebeth is living proof that rock’s reckless roots are alive and kicking in an age where “hook and chorus” pop seems to rule the airwaves. Their neo-vintage sound pays homage to the raw elements of early rock while pushing to explore the energy of their own distinct voice. Since it’s inception in 2011, the band has been creating a buzz locally and is poised to challenge the music scene with their innovative direction.
Hoozebeth is fronted by raspy vocalist Shay Allen, with guitarists Karl Tek and Scott Allen creating the melodic leads. Bassist Unkle Raja and drummer AJ Kahn lay down the rhythmic core to complete the sound.
Contributing DRNRM editor, famed Radiobirdman guitarist, and brother of Hoozebeth guitarist Karl Tek shared this brotherly Q&A today...
Deniz: What are your main influences as a guitarist and songwriter?
Karl: When I first started playing I was really influenced by Jimi Hendrix, loved it. His music really motivated me to learn some of his songs and also just to try to play along with his recordings even when I didn’t really know how to play the guitar. Later on, I got into Van Halen, The Stooges, Alice Cooper, the Stones and your music of course. I was really into Blue oyster Cult too.
Deniz: What are you listening to these days? Has this changed much over the years?
Karl: I still like most of the bands I grew up with some exceptions. I still often listen to old blues and surf music too. I like listening to more obscure cuts lately. I suppose since you can hear anything and everything these days all the time.
Deniz: You have a new album out, of all original music. In this age of digital streaming, some say albums are obsolete. Why make an album in 2019?
Karl: Well, Hoozebeth started as a cover band and we wanted to create something original. Something we could hand to our friends and family.
Deniz: What words of advice would you have for a young guitar player just starting out in bands these days?
Karl: So many kids these days have great technical ability and can play very complex stuff. What I’ve seen lacking with some kids these days is the ability to improvise at the moment and to play without a plan.
For instance, try sitting down with some music you like and try to make sounds on the guitar that go with it. Like humming or dancing. That may seem like unsophisticated way to practice but it can be a useful tool to play more naturally.
Deniz: What challenges is the band facing going forward, and how do you plan to meet those challenges?
Karl: Time! We are all really busy. The other members play in one or two other bands. I have my own business to run and actually play the least in terms of performing. AJ (drummer) is a dentist and plays in the Memphis Thrillbillies with Shay (singer) and Scott (guitarist). Roger (bassist) is busy with various musical pursuits and other commitments also.
Deniz: You are from the Ann Arbor / Detroit area. What does it mean to you and your band to be rock musicians in the context of this rich heritage?
Karl: It’s great to be here in the midst of this great rock ’n roll culture. We all contribute to writing music and our songs reflect that. Our sound is unlike anything else I’ve seen out there. I think people will appreciate that.
It's a Twister
Waiting for You
I Don't Care
Who Is Beth?
On with the Show
Crash and Burn
Leave Me Alone
Atomic Bitch (Because I Can)
Hoozebeth is playing a free album launch concert on Oct 5th at Ann Arbor’s “Live” nightclub
!!! Their self titled album will be available at the show or via Amazon
. Event info on Facebook
★Deniz Tek, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a proliﬁc guitarist, singer and songwriter currently based in Sydney, Australia. His career in music, grounded in late-60's Detroit, extends through several decades and across continents. He is best known as a founding member of the inﬂuential Australian independent rock band Radio Birdman.