Every now and again there are still punk bands that are worth their salt, pushing the boundaries of punk music and making it their own. I have heard a lot of so called punk bands in my time, most are rip-offs of other bands or sing about the same boring old social fare that has been sung about so many times before. The Hoax is one of these bands that we should all be checking out, getting their music and going to shows to see them play. I received their first album and was impressed they did a Minor Threat cover, their newest album however “Stumbling Through” is a punk masterpiece. These guys are really branching out and even incorporating ska and rock-a-billy into their new tunes. Their music is sure to keep you interested and engaged. Anyway, read on about these guys, based on some shows they just played, I have a feeling they are turning some heads of some well know Christian punk and hardcore bands.
Q: The Hoax has been together for a while now, how and when did the band get it’s start?
A: We got together in early 2005, I don’t remember exactly when I think it was spring time. We were just a couple of bored kids who had just got instruments, except for Daniel he’d been playing drums for a while. and were inspired by Officer Negative and Headnoise. The hoax was originally a three piece, we added David in January this year.
A: We chose “The Hoax” originally just cause it sounded cool. When we started we planned on calling ourselves “50 Caliber” but after talking to friends and other people in bands we decided it didn’t sound like the name for a punk band. After we switched names we kept getting asked what does your name mean and at first we didn’t have an answer. But Daniel wrote Fake Reality, which was originally titled The Hoax Song and it basically says this world is a hoax, don’t trust in things of the world, put your trust in God.
Q: Who all is in the band and what does everyone do when they are not playing?
A: Tyler is our singer and he used to play bass also. He works at Ralph’s grocery store in the seafood department and is going to Cypress college. I am Johnny Hoax I play guitar and do some vocals. I work at Reliable Sheet Metal Works, I’m a fabricator. I’m also studying at Cal Poly Pomona. David Robledo is our new member, he plays bass for us. He used to be in an awesome ska band, Skamikaze! but they are on a break for a while so we stole him. Daniel aka Danimal plays drums. And he is finishing up an Accounting degree at Cal State Fullerton.
Q: Do any of the members in the band have side projects? What bands have members been involved with in the past?
A: David was in Skamikaze! That’s the most notable by far. Daniel and I had a grindcore side project with a friend of ours, Matt Dreer, but he moved back to Maryland so that died. Tyler was in a band called The Clerks, everyone in the band worked at grocery stores at the time but they never played any shows. Right now I am working on two side projects, one is a pop punk band and the other is a hardcore band.
Q: Saw that you guys recently had an 11th hour signing with our pals over at Thumper Punk Records. Can you tell us about the album you just released entitled “Stumbling Through?”
A: Oh the story behind this album, where to start. This album definitely tested us quite a bit. We’ve had this album ready for a while, we finished recording in August. We recorded at Live Wire Studio with Jason and Josiah from Spades and Blades/ The Havoc. The Hoax had originally signed to another label, but due to circumstances with their personnel we weren’t able to release with them. I had been talking with David from Thumper Punk and he offered to pick us up and release the album and we were stoked. We love Thumper Punk Records! TPR is an amazing label.
Q: I took a listen to the “Stumbling Through” and love the album, I really like how you guys are diversifying your sound, there is a little ska, rock-a-billy, and whole lot of punk, where do you guys draw your influences from?
A: We draw from everything we listen to. We like a lot of different music, obviously punk but we also are into hardcore, grind, thrash, ska. The bands we draw from most are probably The Crucified, Oi Polloi, Minor Threat, Toxic Narcotic, and The Deal. There are a lot of others but I would say musically these are the most influential.
Q: The Hoax played a pretty neat show recently including reunions of Officer Negative, The Deal, and also Headnoise, how did you guys manage to get on the bill and how was the show?
A: That show was amazing, we had so much fun being a part of it. We were able to get on the bill through Breakthru Entertainment, we’ve known them for quite a while. That show was unreal, I never thought I’d see the day Officer Negative got back together, let alone be able to play with them. Headnoise, The Deal, and The Havoc we’re awesome too. Headnoise is back! I’m really excited about that, when I heard about the shows I thought they were just doing a couple reunion shows but Robert announced at Chain that they were back for good.
Q: You guys planning to tour the US at all (or do a mini-tour?)
A: We are planning to do a small tour this summer, probably just a West Coast thing but in the future we really want to be able to do a full tour and make it out to play Cornerstone.
Q: What is the main purpose of The Hoax?
A: The main purpose of The Hoax is to be a light to the punk scene, we want to go play shows and be examples that you can be punk and Christian at the same time and that you don’t have to be drunk to have fun at a show.
Q: The Hoax is a Christian band, where do you guys draw your biggest inspiration from in the bible? What messages from the bible would you like to share with folks reading this interview?
A: Acts 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We know everyone is sinner, we want to show other punks that you don’t have to stay in that sin. We aren’t the band that will stand up on stage and point people out and say change your ways, we just want to show people God’s love and tell them that Jesus loves them, not criticize them because they know what they are doing is wrong. If their hearts aren’t ready, I feel our criticism will just push them away. I prefer to lead by example and just show them love.
Q: Now for some fun stuff, give us a funny story about the band, some great story about a show etc.
A: The Officer Negative show. I ran up onstage and sang part of JCHC then did a stage dive, it was my first stage dive ever and it was pretty sweet that it was during JCHC.
A: Everyone is listening to a lot of different stuff lately. Tyler is into a lot of grindcore and thrash. Daniel pretty much sticks to straight up punk. David is our ska guy. I’ve been listening to a lot of pop punk lately and I’ve been getting teased quite a bit for it but I’ve also been listening to a lot of ska, hardcore and metal too. I’ve really gotten into Big D & the Kids Table, they are a ska band they aren’t Christian but they are very good ska. Also Maylene and The Sons of Disaster, I really like their sound, it’s different from a lot of what is out right now. One band I was really looking forward to hearing their new album was Earth From Above but I think they have called it quits which is a bummer cause they were really good. I’m excited to hear False Idle’s new album, I can’t wait for that! I’ll only recommend one pop punk band, the guys will probably kill me for it anyway but check out Such Gold, they aren’t Christian but if you’re a fan of good pop punk you need to check them out.
Q: If you guys could be characters in any movie which movie would it be and which characters would you play?
A: Well I can’t speak for the other guys but I would choose pretty much any zombie movie, I am a huge fan of zombies. If I was in one I would definitely be the guy who doesn’t die. I’m prepared for the zombie apocalypse!
Q: What should we expect from the band in the future? More albums planned we hope?
A: I really would like to do a split album with another Christian punk band, that has been an interest of mine for quite a while. But we are going to continue writing music for as long as we can.
Q: Feel free to give shout-outs, share links, etc. Thanks for the interview and thanks for contributing to the HXCChristian.com compilation album!
A: I’d like to shout out to the local bands we are friends with Professor Panyck’s Schizophrenic Circus, Spades and Blades, Heart Like War, Higher Learning. And some not so local bands, The Way, The Kings Kids, and False Idle! Also check out Caustic Fallout Radio and all the other TPR bands. Keep the circle pit alive!