I was listening to Eddie Trunk from Volume 106.. and I hear about this cat livin’ in L.A. named Hillbilly Herald…(real name Jimmy Harald)I pull over and google… the name.. Hillbilly Herald.. and what I found was a singer with cocky rhymes and songs that totally kicked my ass. Herald may borrow from his influences and he may recycle celebrated shopworn clichés but he does it with flair, style and a backwoods good ole’ boy charisma that shines through.
Its what makes Hillbilly Herald.. a true artist.. sure he’s irresistible, silly and foul-mouthed… But as obvious as he is you just can’t help but like the guy! He snarls out the F-word with a devilish truculent smirk and has the best time singing songs about booze, cooze and rock and roll. Wailing away as if his life depended on it! He’s been working recently with Gilby Clarke from Guns’ N’ Roses…and has a new track just released, “Sippin Tokin Lovin”. After one listen you too will realize that Herald can write hit songs! Its straight forward hard drivin’ boogie shuffle with a compelling edge that’s pleasingly catchy and accessible.
Despite its derivative nature..I enjoy his raucous and unpredictable lyrics. Maniacally carries on the shit-kicking tradition of Hank Williams Jr., ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Guns n’ Roses and Ted Nugent…with a twist: being everything that Hollywood wants him to be. Just don’t get your hopes high to see Herald on the cover of G.Q. magazine!
In a carnival atmosphere his band are a bunch rough and rowdy dudes; and in ways they seem to be roguishly charming. And that in a nutshell is Herald’s gift… He’s a traditionalist who’s aware of shifting times; adjusting just enough so not to alienate his fans while maybe capturing a swarm of new ones. I’ll tell ya… it’s an out of body experience… It’s spiritual… A sonic baptism..Its rock and roll!
Rock Bands of L.A.com had the pleasure of interviewing Herald.. and let me warn you!
Rock Bands of L.A.com: They say rock and roll is dead.. I don’t believe in that.. Hillbilly Harald those bands that can still kick ass! You could debate that statement, but it would be pretty damn hard to find anybody who does it better? I’d like to call it a sonic baptism… There’s fiery-hot guitar leads, it does not come off as your typical 70’s over indulgent fare — every single note counts; and it wails away as if your life depends on it. What is the story behind your band? You have a “brand” that has been missing for a long time… Is rock dead? Are you up to the task… “Keep America Rockin”?
Hillbilly Herald: This band carries my name my family and my faith it’s about the message of hard work equals success. You aren’t the first and won’t be the last to spell it wrong. But, I want to thank you for doing this interview. Everything with the band started at work. I was bar tending at a bar called The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks and Slash starting coming in pretty regularly. We became friends and one day he suggested I go start a band. I know that sounds crazy, and it is, imagine, my biggest influence is Guns N Roses! I feel like I’ve already won. I mean, it could get better, obviously I could open for Guns N Roses LOL (wow! could you imagine)! Rock n Roll isn’t dead, its alive and well! What we need are new ways to get the music out there. And we need new ways to make money at making music. It takes money to break a band, thats just how it is and I think we are slowly learning how to do this through social media and other platforms. When music became free I don’t think anyone really knew what to do and now we’re trying to play catch -up..
Rock Bands of L.A.com:You mentioned that you had over 40 songs ready to go.. Tell me about them? Are they going to be like your new single, “Sippin tokin Lovin”? Which sounds like a prime slice of testosterone-heavy, raging, unapologetic rock & roll..!
Herald: I do as much as I can but there are limits. I’m up for the task, for now like anything we grow we find new ways to express our selves. I’m really all over the place with music. I got to do a record with Keith Olson, then turn around and work with Jay Rustin, Jacob Bunton, Bryan Carlson then end up at Gilby Clarke’s making a record. I have a lot of music records that i want to get out there sooner than later. SHIT, we have a live record we recorded opening for Slash at The Whiskey…. That’s a great record! My audience is whoever is into REAL DEAL ROCK N ROLL! There is no age limit on RNR! When we did this new record it was important to write with as many people as we could….”Sippin Tokin Lovin”Was written by Stix Zadinia and myself. We also did a song called. “Loaded With Disease”, then turned around and did a song with Michael Star, “Eat’m And Smile”. I wrote two with Gilby Clarke, “Company We Keep” and “Rattle My Cage”. Then turned around and worked with Ronnie James, Nic Frost and Tommy Peacock, I wanted different songs I didn’t want the same vibe on all ten tracks. This new record is a fantastic record, It really is, we all worked hard on it.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:What music did you grow up listening to???Did your parents influence you while growing up?
Herald: My parents really influenced myself and my brother growing up with their choices. I can’t tell you how much music saved and changed my life. my earliest music influences come from Kiss, Aerosmith, Bob Seger, ZZ Top, Kiss being the ones we really took to. It was KISS full force in our house, my brother leading the charge on that front. Then Ratt came along, I saw them open for Billy Squire, that was my first concert, Bon Jovi opening the show, no one knew who the fuck he was, he really showed everyone! LOL! then Cinderella.. Loved them. Fred Coury actually played drums on the new record, he’s on 5 songs! I have a great story of how he and i met when i was a kid, then all these years later he played on the record! Does it get better than that?!! Where was I? Then i went to a friends house and picked Up “Appetite For Destruction”…. Game Changer! That’s when it all made sense, that was my vibe, that was it for me, GNR all the way to this day!
I wanted to thank Jimmy Herald aka.. Hillbilly Herald for taking the time to do our interview.. can’t wait till he’s back on the road…