Listen to the new song from Jordan and The Hashmites – Crawl
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I had been performing at the Bistro, a local pub’s open mic night and recording a lot of stuff for an old MySpace account when Mike Fuentes (the drummer) and the original bassist approached me with kudos for a couple of my songs. We started jamming together and getting some decent nights on the bill at the local pub with other great local bands like Dandelion Massacre and Broken Giant. After that, we had some wonderful shows out in San Francisco, the DNA Lounge is an amazing venue where we got to participate in a battle of the bands. The bassist and I were having a lot of friction at that time, we butted heads constantly. There’s a bit of controversy between our opinions of whether he left or I kicked him out. However, almost a year ago, just around Halloween-time of last year we picked up Adam Long (the bassist) to complete our trio. He’s helped us with a lot of obstacles that have faced us and he’s working out wonderfully.
What do you have coming up? What are some of the new projects we can expect to see?
We’re about to enter the oldest annual battle in the state known as The Chabot College Battle of The Bands. It’s their 50th annual battle and one of the judges told me that they were trying to get it televised. I’ll be on the Chabot College radio station, KCRH 89.9 FM on Monday the 15th of October talking all about it. For those who are outside of our area, you can catch me on the radio by going to KCRHradio.com where it will be streaming on the internet. Beyond that, we’re constantly trying to drum up some merchandise ideas and happen to have some awesome T-shirt samples coming to us in the mail as we speak. New songs are also on the horizon, we’ve had some great ideas spawning to life, as of late.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
“Crawl” is the first song Mike approached me about when the band formed three years ago. He liked it so much that he wanted to play it. It’s a dark, dismal song about alcoholism and the throws of its angry depression from a point of clarity that exposes the addicted brain at odds with itself. We recorded the track live at The Stork Club in Oakland earlier in May of this year. Yet the video is from Kimo’s in San Francisco and August of last year.
How does your music separate yourself from other artists and bands out there?
There is no separation. We’re trying to be part of something. We want to create sounds and words that make people move. We want to create networks of people having fun. We want to play with any and every artist that’s got love for the stage. “Why should it be that you can only see the differences between you and me? When you should be concentrating on our similarities.” We are a small family of brothers in a bigger family of music.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Self-production has been tough on us, as we’re all blue collar slaves. We’ve no current financial backers and I personally have never liked the idea of someone standing over me telling me what to play to secure his financial investment. So self-production is a burden I’ve had by choice thus far. At the same time we’re self-managed and the ebb and flow of getting shows can be rather seasonal. We all do what we can to pull the weight. Adam’s been helping me with merchandise, Mike’s been helping me with sound production and recording, and I try to set up shows and media “events” such as this.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
Priorities. We all love music, but other things come first. Gotta work to pay the bills, gotta pay the bills to support the family. I just recently learned that I’m going to be a father and the kid isn’t a “set back,” but the re-prioritization may take its toll on the band when the baby’s born. Mike’s got his kids too and we all bounce back by trying to get them involved. We bring the kids to shows, if we can. We teach them how to play. We may have full schedules with our families and other priorities, but we make time for practice and babies.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
The word “no.” A lot of ideas get shot down, a lot of people neglect the fact that there’s always time to do something else, something different. People refuse to collaborate due to differences and I can’t stand that in an industry where some people believe that “everything’s been done before,” they deny someone else’s idea.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Don’t stop. Don’t fall out of the rhythm, write three songs a day. Visit strange places at dawn and dusk and bring the guitar with you, bring the notepad with you. Play a sidewalk, play a park. Play wherever you find an electrical outlet you can plug into. Don’t be afraid, if you’ve got something that you’re proud of, show it to everybody. Go to the open mic nights, go jam with your friends. Have a good time, do or play whatever feels right and never compromise that.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
By showing people the goods. Playing a song for them, it’s better to show people what it is rather than just handing out flyers or stickers on the street. But all of which, every band member is a part of. We play at parties, we hand out CDs and stickers. We let the cops listen to a few songs in the jam room before they ask us to turn it down. The more cops that tell us to turn down, the more exposure. We keep ‘em comin’ back!
Where can people visit you?
They can visit us on the internet at Reverbnation.com, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. They can visit us on the sidewalk in downtown Hayward, at a local pub or in a local park. Trippin’ down the street in the heart of the beast. Or for those who don’t speak pig latin, the heart of the East Bay.