Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Interview with Billy Hart of Old Habits!

At This is Hardcore I got to do a lot of interviews, perhaps my favorite was with this man, Billy Hart of Old Habits. Though I didn't know about Old Habits at the beginning of the day, I rapidly fell in love with their groovy metal tinged hardcore sound. In the interview we talk about the band, life, and the power of the music. If you want a band who understand what hardcore should be about, be sure to check these guys out!

Find them on Facebook:

How have you been Billy?
I feel fine, a bit tired, but fine.

After playing a great set like tonight how do you feel?
We started this band as a joke. It kind of evolved into being more serious. Two years ago we were joking about playing this, and now we actually are. It feels kind of ridiculous.

How did you stumble into it?
Our guitarist is also in Culture. He runs Eulogy and all that. He had Joe Hardcore check us out, and he liked it so he put us on.

Is this the farthest you've travelled for a gig?
Yeah. We usually travel up towards North Florida or as far south as Miami. We never leave the state!

Do you feel you have the chance to do an actual US tour?
No. Some of us work like 6-7 days a week and have mortgages and wives and stuff like that. We're on an 8 hour leash. I'm going to be flying back on Monday, we took off for this. We're spending the rest of the time at the festival.

Do you have a plan to grow Old Habits?
This might be the peak. We have three songs and a cover that we have recorded and mastered. It's supposed to go out on Knives Out records, we're just waiting for another band to jump on and do a split. It's kind of unpredictable. When you get to your late 20s early 30s its kind of hard. You might have a kid, you might buy a house, suddenly everything else takes the backburner.

Where does the name Old Habits come from?
Originally we were called Uncle Ruckus. I don't know if you watch Boondocks the cartoon, they have a character on their we named ourselves after. When John joined the band we wanted something a bit more serious. It's a Bishop song and we love Bishop and know those guys well. There's a band in Virginia that does bluegrass music also by that name, but we haven't had any problems yet.

How did it feel to have a man propose during your set?
We're actually staying with them in the hotel and he told me about it last week. He asked if he could get on stage for it, and I couldn't do that, but I definitely gave him a shout out. It's fucking awesome. I've never had anybody propose during our set and probably never will again but it was great.

So today is the highlight of your musical career?
Yeah, I don't see much more of this happening.

Do you have a sense of community with other Floridda hardcore bands?
It's a little bit different because Florida is such a big state it takes 8 hours to get out of the state as opposed to around here you can drive two hours and be in three different states. Florida is really spread out with bands in the north like Axis and in the south with Beast Plague. Then West Palm, where we're from has it's own thing with bands like Nebraska Bricks. Different areas of Florida have their own sounds, it's a weird state to come out of.

Are you looking at any other upcoming festival dates?
We just have local shows in Florida. We're doing one with Gunfight Reunion, they're a fun south Florida band doing Every Time I Die hardcore. They're having a reunion and a CD release on the same day. We've got some other stuff coming up, but nothing big like this.

Was this your biggest crowd ever?
We played a festival in 2011 called Bring It Back for the Kids with a bigger crowd but this is still awesome. Kids were still running in as we were starting here...

You won me over right away, I feel like you have a sound that could have crossover appeal with the metal crowd.
Our guitarist Thomas is a huge Pantera fan and does solos and stuff. John is a big metalhead, we have a lot of that kind of stuff. I like old stuff like Gorilla Biscuits. I'm a fan of anything as long as it's aggressive.

I want you to finish this sentence me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..."
That's the worst of it. I'm a stand up comic in my part time. I tell horrible stories about myself all the time. I have too many stories that are just terrible, they should be embarrassing but I don't have a sense of shame. I have a story about trying to upper decker somebody, and I was in the middle of shitting so I fell. Then it went all across the floor, and the wall, and the other wall, and the shower curtain. It was some sort of diarrhea fountain. I fell of the sink and kept shitting this geyser of insane black diarrhea shit that had the viscous motor oil type quality.

I don't have too many things I've never told anybody.

Does being a standup coming impact your music?
Yeah, I've been in front of people doing stuff my whole life. I was an actor for a few years. I did a few short independent films. When we got into the band it was an extension on that. I usually talk a lot on stage and fuck with the audience. Our sets are usually very long though. I was told that you got to trim the fat and not talk shit for this one. It's almost an extension of what I do now. I like being on stage, communicating, and everything really.

What do you love so much about music?
I think it's honestly stuff like Converge when they played last night. Everythign that Jake Bannon does on stage is so perfect. We're an angry band, all our songs are about being mad. He can write a song about how he loves someone too much. That's insane. I can't even think of that. That's a dude who can write a hardcore song about any feeling he has and make it amazing and beautiful. That's what I love about music, that there are people who can do that. Of course there are people who take activism too and if you are pro animal rights or human rights you can use this. Yell some stuff in a microphone and it will be perfect, there's not too much expectation about it.

Last words of wisdom?
Do something that you didn't do yesterday.

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