Half Past Human 24 February 2016 on Rocket Shop
Words by Tom Proctor. Photo by James Lockridge.
Ben Wimett and Brandon Pillsbury of Half Past Human joined host Brent Hallenbeck on 'Rocket Shop', Big Heavy World's local Vermont music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator. You can listen to more at www.reverbnation.com/halfpasthuman5
Half Past Human are veritable veterans on the New England scene. Kicking around for almost a decade now they have delivered the big sounds all across the North East, establishing themselves as a standard for metal nights everywhere. Recently sparking interest from promotional group Crowe Tribe Live they are set to perform in a number of landmark gigs at big venues in the region.
In the studio to discuss Crowe Tribe Live, their headline gig at Higher Ground and the general pulse of the Vermont Metal Scene, Tom Proctor meets with two of the members of the metal establishment.
Tom Proctor: So where did the band name come from? I googled it and a conspiracy website popped up, any link there?
Ben Wimett: There's also a book I think as well. It's not from the book though, Sawn (the drummer) came up with the name, he doesn’t read books though so I don't know how he came up with it. Probably from some drunken night.
TP: You guys live all over the NE, how do you find the metal scene in Burlington?
BW: It's pretty good, we have a good following up here and when the band started we played a lot of shows in Burlington. We’ve played Higher Ground a fair amount, they had a lot of metal showcases back in the day and we’ve performed many times in different venues around town. For Vermont, the Burlington metal scene is the best. Metal is making a resurgence right now as they are many different splinter genres that are getting a lot bigger. There's a metal for anyone these days and the variety is really bringing in a bigger audience.
TP: Are you seeing a resurgence in this area in particular?
BW: Metal’s popularity comes and goes in waves. It gets big then pulls back, gets big, pulls back so you've just got to ride the wave. The trick is to go other places, in the past we’ve gone to Massachusetts, the next jump for us is Conneticut.
TP: Why do you think its popularity goes in waves?
Brandon Pillsbury: Honestly I have no idea (laughs.)
BW: It has to be something to do with the popularity of all music. These days you can just find obscure bands online and there's so much of it you never know whos big and who's not. When I was growing up I had to penpal someone to send me a cassette tape of Cannibal Corpse ‘cos I couldnt find it in a record shop anywhere close by. These days it's just so much easier, so I figure it must be that.
TP: How did you come under the umbrella of Crowe Tribe Live?
BP: He asked us (laughs.) So we said yes.
BW: Richard Comb contacted us and was trying to get us to play a gig last summer but we weren’t available. He got back in touch regarding this upcoming gig at Higher Ground and it just worked out. When we found out we were headlining it was a bit of a shock, I thought we’d just be playing the show.
TP: Do you feel there's much difference between Crowe Tribe Live and other promotional groups you've worked with in the past?
BP: These guys seem pretty serious, so it’s all good. I like that. They seem like they care a lot about the music, more so than others, so thats a big difference.
TP: As someone that is pretty unknowledgeable in the metal department, I've always wondered how metal singers can maintain their voice throughout a performance. Any thoughts on that?
BP: (Laughs.) I don’t sing, that's how I do it.
BW: Isaiah tells me it takes a lot of practice and you’ve got to know your limitations., If you go beyond them that's where you do manage, He’s trained himself to sing like that.
BP: Theres an art to screaming, it doesn't just come from the throat it comes from your gut.
BW: It takes a lot of practice.