ION INDIE MAGAZINE April 2017, Volume 35 | Page 27

ION : Tell our readers about your band , Home Grown Head , how your group came to be , and how long have you been together ?
Home Grown Head : We ’ ve been together for about two years now with our current members . Before then , we had a band , but went through a few drummers and at one point even had a sax player . Drew and Tyler have pretty much always been there since the beginning . Evan , our drummer , started playing with us a little over two years ago , which lead to Will joining the band on trumpet . Those two guys were roommates , and Will was always there for practice anyway , so it only made sense to add Will to the band after a while . At this point , we ’ ve finally settled on members in the long term . I don ’ t think any of us foresee any changes in the near future .
ION : Can you share a little bit about each band member and their background , and what they bring to the band ?
HGH : On drums , we ’ ve got Evan Strippelhoff . He ’ s a killer drummer and his thoughts on music are always interesting because he loves to jam . Sometimes we ’ ll get in a rut trying to figure something out , a form or something , and he ’ ll always be the first to say , “ Let ’ s just jam it out !” He has a strong background in a lot of different styles of music , so he brings some unique elements to the rhythms and grooves , which really ties everything together . He also sings backup vocals on some tunes when we need a really strong vocal line or want to add some harmonies .
On bass is Tyler Stamper . Tyler and Evan work together really well as a rhythm section and whenever Evan gets into a groove , Tyler ’ s always right there with him . He ’ s really good at knowing just how to fit in and stay on top of the rhythm without overextending his reach , which is exactly what we need to keep everything moving along . When you only have four members , each person has to play a pretty specific roll , and he plays his roll very well .
Will Phillips is our trumpeter . It ’ s kind of unusual to have a “ rock band ” with only four people , and one of them is a trumpet player ( other than Cake ), but it works out really well in our case . Will seemingly always finds the right spot to put countermelodies to Drew ’ s lead lines or vocals that fit with the melody , or add some accent to the rhythm that Evan and Tyler are playing . He also is kind of our go-to soloist on a lot of things because he comes from a jazz background , so he brings that jazz element to some of our music .
And our guitarist and vocalist is Drew Cercone . Drew has been in the band since the beginning and we wouldn ’ t really have many songs without Drew . He ’ s our main writer . He ’ ll come to rehearsals with an idea either on guitar , vocals , or both , and we just kind of develop it from there until we have everything filled in . Drew has a tough job , because he ’ s really playing three rolls … vocalist , rhythm guitar , and lead guitar . As if singing wasn ’ t hard enough , he ’ s filling in a lot of the rhythms that overarch what Tyler and Evan are doing--then he might have to switch rolls immediately and go straight into a solo or a lead line .
ION : What would you say , thus far , has been the highlight of your career ?
HGH : We ’ ve had a few highlight moments , most of which involve sharing the stage with some of our idols . We played a show with Cedric Burnside not too long ago , who is a fantastic blues artist , and I think we all really loved that show . Especially Drew , because he actually got to get on stage and play a couple tunes with Cedric … which was awesome ! Just a couple weeks ago we played with Holy Ghost Tent Revival , and that was another highlight … again , because we just really love those guys ’ music . We ’ re thankful we got those opportunities ! Other than that , I think our biggest highlights are just those random shows where people are just really digging what we ’ re playing . It could be a smaller gig , some dive bar , but when the audience is feeling it , it takes us to a whole other place . It ’ s a great feeling !
ION : The music business is a tough one . What is the biggest mistake you ’ ve made so far ; what would you have done differently ?
HGH : The music biz definitely is tough … I ’ d say any mistakes we ’ ve made have just come down to rushing into something , or setting our expectations too high . Everything in music takes time and you have to be extremely patient some times , but that ’ s hard to do . It ’ s hard to say anything specific , but generally we don ’ t realize we ’ ve made a mistake until we ’ ve already made it . Then it becomes obvious : “ Oh we should ’ ve planned more for this .” I ’ m sure there are plenty more mistakes to come , but it ’ s always a learning experience . So you learn and move on and try not to make the same mistake twice . I do believe we ’ re getting better with experience though .