Less is more: More Hazards, More Heroes

Imagine you are blind. Put on the latest Lady Gaga single, close your eyes (after you have read this), forget about the meat dress, the weird hair / make up / clothes / the little Monsters / the expensive videos and listen.

What have you got? An average Madonna B-side from the late 80’s (which I don’t mind too much), but what I am trying to say is a lot of people seem to listen to music with their eyes.

Thirty minutes ago I didn’t really know what Brent Shaffer and Drew Lorimer AKA More Hazards, More Heroes looked like, having previously only seen their website and listened to their songs. That was a good thing though as there was nothing to distract me from listening.

If you close your eyes and listen to their songs there is something there, call me old fashioned but that’s what I like about music. The Music.

More Hazards, More Heroes interviewHave you written a lot of songs together?
We consider our next album to be already written, so we write a lot. However, we haven’t written many start to finish with each other. It’s more of a filtering process: Brent may weigh in on a song/idea, and say, “Why is there a two minute bridge? That’s stupid. Don’t do that.” or Drew will find a lyric and say “this phrasing sucks, say it this way”. We argue a lot, thereon.

Where did you record Dyin’ Ain’t For Death?
Dyin’ Ain’t For Death was recorded at Meta Studios. Meta Studios is run by our good friend Josh Muckala out of his garage. We recorded a few songs while hanging out one evening, and there was such an incredible energy we didn’t want to record anywhere else.

Most of it was done during the winter, so when we turned the central heat off to reduce room noise, we were usually bundled up like eskimos during the recording process; headphones always outside the hood.

Have you played many gigs yet?
A few open mics and a couple of shows in Nashville, plus our CD Release last month. The live stuff isn’t half bad.

Is there any other ‘Folk’ bands or scene near where you live?
It’s a rarer style in Nashville than one would think, but we’re finding more every day. Lulu Mae is a good group that’s friends with us. Also, Old Crow Medicine Show is very popular in the area, and the acoustics and intimacy of many venues in town compliment the style rather well.

Do you both play lead and rhythm parts?
We attempted some percussive tracks, such as myself beating the side of a box with his fist and Drew hitting a symbol and a tambourine with nunchucks. However, we brought a couple professionals in and they ended up doing a lot better.

Typically, whoever writes the song plays the rhythmic spine guitar and the other plays the lead. Drew did most of the songs on Dyin’ Ain’t for Death, so typically he is on rhythm and I’m on lead, but we’re very excited for the balance (and probable tension) with showcasing more of my writing on the next album.

more hazards more heroesDo you have any plans to expand More Hazards, More Heroes to involve more musicians?
No, we think two is the magic number. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam, Eve, and Cheswick. Also, having only two of us eases the logistics of practice, travel, payment, leadership, etc.

So yeah, laziness is a main factor.

What is the saddest chord you know?
Drew: ‘C’ He’s always getting overworked.
Brent: Any of the chords in “Who I Was

Has being in the band helped you to get laid?
Drew: My girlfriend finds me more attractive…but the regiment remains as is.
Brent: No, but I suspect being written up in Flush the Fashion will.

Who would you love to do a tour with?
There are so many, but mainly Bon Iver (Drew) or M. Ward (Brent). But we’d tour with anyone famous or attractive.

I love your website, did you have much involvement in it’s design?
Our friend Jason with The Black Elephant did all the hard work. We said we wanted our lyrics, music, and artwork to be the main focus, and stayed out of his way.

He killed it. Although it wasn’t intentional, those three things are all the components of a physical CD.

Do you think it is more important to get your music ‘out there’ at the moment as apposed to trying to make a few dollars from it?
We understand that we need to prove ourselves to an audience saturated with music. Ours has to be enticing enough for them to accept us into their music libraries. In turn we hope to be accepted and well received at a venue in their hometown, and let them support us however they wish. The perceived difference between cheap and free is humongous.

The album can be downloaded for free, but someone enjoying our music and telling their friends is worth so much more than a few dollars.

more hazards more heroes

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We have a Daytrotter session and shows in Chicago scheduled for the end of August. Nashville shows as always, and hopefully a California tour. And we’re already itching to get back into the studio.

Where can I find the best BBQ food in Nashville?
Drew: Jim N’ Nicks if you don’t wanna leave the city. But down in Brentwood, Judge Beans is even better.
Brent: I cast my lot with Jack’s BBQ. It’s a bit dichotomous, but get it “Memphis Style”.

What is some stuff I should know but wouldn’t think to ask you in a questionnaire?
We both graduated from Belmont University. We lived in the same dorm for Freshman and Sophomore year, and then moved in together for Junior year. Drew has performed in venues around Nashville as a rap artist under the name Jocka LowRhymer.

He performed a few raps over beats I wrote (DJ name omitted, too embarrassing). I also conducted a symphony I composed for my high school graduation and was Salutatorian of his class.

Download their whole record for free and check out their ACE website