When they first began writing their debut album, AshenMoon
bassist Garry Beers, singer Toby Rand and guitarist Jimmy
Khoury unraveled their personal songwriting and began col-
laborating a “Passion Project” in Beers’ garage studio.There,
in the heat of the San Fernando Valley (LA), they created the
recipe and sound of AshenMoon. A fusion of 70’s, new wave and
modern rock n roll. Produced by Beers (co-produced by Rand),
the album is influenced by the electronic grooves of Beers’ work
with INXS, hooky riffs inspired by Khoury’s work with Beth
Hart, whilst Rand traverses his range emotionally with tales of
heartbreak, love and redemption; something uniquely his own.
The band formed in the early 1990s with the line up of
guitarist Tommy Vucur, drummer Jack Lukic and bassist
Joe Del Mastro, from an earlier band Eye. Vocalist Silvio
Massaro and keyboard player Pep Sammartino joined the
band in the mid 1990s and the band changed its name
to Vanishing Point. Soon after Andrew Whitehead joined
as a guitarist. After several member changes the band
returned in 2020 to release one of the best albums of the
year. Dead Elysium is a powerful record with soaring
melodies by Silvio Massaro and furiously passionate gui-
tar work and arrangements by Chris Porcianko
The Honest Heart Collective
Anchored by four lifelong friends, The Honest Heart
Collective was born from brothers Ryan and Nic MacDonald,
a moment at a Springsteen concert, and a rotating cast of
musicians made permanent.
Their new song “Linework” embodies an old soul take of
heart-on-sleeves storytelling accompanied by a guitar-driven
backdrop and big production.
A fixture on the Launch Pad Live for 3 years now, the band
from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, The Honest Heart Col-
lective will continue to be a socially conscious, hit writing
machine for years to come.
Which do you prefer better…..do you
prefer being a studio rat? Or do you prefer
HYRO: I prefer playing live all the time, man. It’s too much fun getting
up there with the people, rocking out and shit you know what I’m say-
ing? I do love the studio, but I write music fast. I never really spend all
day and all night in the studio. I don’t know what people be doing all
night in the studio. When we make a song, the music just comes to me
and I’m done. The music kind of carries me where I want to be. I get
sleepy at night. I don’t want to be in the studio all night long.
What was on Hyro’s ipod when he was 10
HYRO: Aw ten man? Shit. I don’t know about 10 but it was mostly hip
hop when I was 10. But it’s Tupac all day. I come from Houston. DJ
Screw, Snoop, R & B. I like R & B. Immature, and Bone Thugs, that
kind of stuff. There was a lot of hip hop and R & B when I was young
at 10. Then when I got to high school that’s when the rock was sneak-
ing in but I still wasn’t in it like that. But I seen people put Korn on the
desk, the Deftones, carve it on the desk. Slipknot and things like that.
Marilyn Manson. He’s evil. That’s an evil motherfucker right there.
I’m scared of him and shit. So I didn’t really mess with it. And then my
senior year, that’s when I really dived in to rock and started going in
and digging. Like Rancid I was listening to, At the Drive In I liked later
on, Bad Brains, Fishbone. ‘Cause I saw they were black and I was like
oh shit black people doing rock? Jimi Hendrix I learned more about.
I just started diving in to all that kind of stuff like Rage Against the
Machine. They were always was around. It was like oh shit somebody’s
rapping on rock. So I changed the channel to MTV and I see it.
Photo Credit: Joe Schaeffer
Is there one old school song that you want
to redo? Or kind of mash it up and do your
own thing to?
HYRO: “Sabotage” for sure, I’d like to make that fucking awesome.
Your music always
has a human connection.
I appreciate that. That’s the thing is when you
write these, I know how deeply I feel about them,
and maybe everybody feels that way about all their
songs. It’s always hard to judge if other people will
connect with it in the same kind of profound way that
I do ‘cause you know, I wrote the lyrics, right? As
humans I think we all have this deep desire to con-
nect with people in more ways than just over sports,
politics and football teams. We all want a deep spir-
itual experience with others to share other humans.
It’s how we’re wired. Being able to put out a song
that, it still blows my mind when someone can hear
a song that we wrote and just connect with it and
tell me a story why this means something to them
and how much it connected with them. It’s really the
ultimate spiritual way of connecting with people. I
know that sounds maybe hokey and weird to some
people but as an artist, isn’t that what we’re all try-
ing to do? We’re using our art to connect with peo-
ple. All of us want to feel like we’re not alone, we’re
in this together with other people, and sometimes it
doesn’t always translate. I have songs that I’ll prob-
ably never release or play for other people because
it’s just something that I connect with, I don’t know
if it would ever resonate with them in any kind of
way. But who knows, maybe it will. That’s kind of
how I feel when I hear stories like you telling me
how much it connected with you. It’s really like the
ultimate….it’s not to get famous, it’s not to get rich,
it’s to have that deeply personal spiritual shared ex-
perience with someone.
We’ve been working on an EP that’s coming out
pretty soon that’s part of the video. So we’ve got 5
songs we’ve been working on, recording and finish-
ing up. We just started producing this other one that
we’re going this weekend or next weekend we’re go-
ing to hit the studio on. We got the song I just sent
you the other day I don’t know if you had a chance to
listen to it, “Pushing Daisies” – we got a little video
coming out for that. It’s another song we’ve kind of
been sitting on for a while.