by Carl C. Sundberg
When The Hounds of Jezebel get the party started, they get the party started right.
As the Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas began to fill for the Awards Ceremony on the final night of the 2016 RadioContraband Convention, Lou Brutus and The Hounds of Jezebel were just starting the song that would become the theme of the night. We're not talking some auto-tuned diva in a ball gown, no princess chart-topper squeezing out some putrid glitter hit to a bunch of suits checking their smart phones.
No. This was not how the night would proceed.
This night was for rock. And the song, well it was a song so vulgar, so off the charts profane, that it could never be played on the radio without heavy editing and near constant beeps. It was raw. Fast. Loud. And no one was prepared for it.
With the help from their good friend, Mr. Lou Brutus, host of the nationally-syndicated Hard Drive radio show, who was dressed in a tuxedo with the tails, The Hounds of Jezebel, fronted by the maniacal Brutus, unleashed the thunder and kicked out their jam in full punk rock fashion, complete with a Johnny Rotten-esque accent, “If I Don't Win My Award Tonight, You Can All Go Fuck Yourself”.
The crowd all turned to the stage. Did that just happen? Yes. Yes, it did. By the end of the song, the entire room, all these bands and veterans in the rock industry, they were singing along. It was the greatest start to any awards show that has ever taken place in the history of the world.
“That is a pretty funny story how that all came about,” recalls John Curry, singer and guitarist of Hounds of Jezebel. “Lou knew we would be playing first that night and having never met him, he called me up to see if we would be interested in doing this song he had written lyrics for. We had never met, and I told the guys in the band about it. They were like 'Is he gonna send us a copy to rehearse?' and I told them he just had lyrics and we'd figure it out when we got to Vegas. A little reluctant we agreed we'd give it a try. So, we get to Vegas on Thursday and meet with Lou at the bar before the kickoff party and he tells us the lyrics while we all break out in laughter.'
'We all start drinking and never discuss it again the rest of the night thinking we'd have plenty of time at soundcheck! Well......as we all know......shit runs behind when production is involved and needless to say we had literally about 5 minutes before the show started to put it together!! I think it went pretty well all things considering! Lou is a great guy and we had a blast doing it!”
That was just the beginning of a crazy night in Vegas for the Hounds. After wrapping up the awards show with a raging set, things got crazy for Hounds of Jezebel. Well, for Mr. Curry at least. Perhaps you've seen the Facebook clip of him passed out in his underwear outside the hotel elevators. Maybe not. Either way, we'll get to that tale soon enough.
The Hounds of Jezebel, as you can imagine, make you believe in rock again. They don't pull punches and they aren't afraid of crossing the line. They rock like a band is supposed to. Full tilt. Balls out. Pure Rock Fury. Just like a band from Houston, Texas should. “There are a lot of great bands in Houston,” says Curry. “The thing with Houston is that it's so spread out that it's sometimes hard to put on big shows because everyone is spread out everywhere. You can literally play North and have a totally different crowd than when you play South or East or West. We generally try to do at least one big centralized show about every 3 months to get all of our fans in one place. If you play too much people take it for granted and stop coming, so if you make the show a special event that doesn't happen every week you usually get a great crowd.”
Starting sometime in 2012, Hounds of Jezebel is still a relatively young band, but that doesn't mean this is their first rodeo. “We were all in different bands,” recalls Curry as he explains their early days. “Mike Neyra, our drummer and Chris Loveless, our guitarist were in Earshot and then Daniel Willis, our bass player and myself actually played for Scott Stapp. We all had similar displeasing experiences and after everything fell apart I came back to Houston. I didn't play music for like 2 years, but it was really taking a negative toll on personal life. I called a friend to see if he'd be interested in jamming and he had too much on his plate but told me about two guys that were looking to do something. We had never met but got together at one of my acoustic shows, so they could see me sing. I guess they dug it because literally the next day we wrote a check for a rehearsal space and wrote 6 songs in 6 days. The rest is history!”
The story of the band's name is kind of funny according to Curry. “First of all, every band knows how hard it is to come up with a name. We were no different. I'd say 3 months in we were still getting nowhere and when I say nowhere we had some pretty shitty ideas. One day I was talking with my wife and she recommended something to do with animals or the earth. I loved Hounds. I liked The Hounds of the Baskervilles and was wanting something similar. I was laying on the couch one day watching 'Waterboy' and when his mother said, 'Sep some godless Jezebel like you' a lightbulb went off!!! Hounds of Jezebel!!! I remembered her being in the bible but after reading the story of dogs eating her body after her death I loved it even more!!! I went to rehearsal to convince the guys that this was it!!! They were not impressed to say the least. I told everyone to leave practice that night and ask at least 5 or 10 people what they thought, and we would reconvene at the next rehearsal. Well apparently, everyone loved it and Hounds of Jezebel was born. The name definitely grew on everyone and now it's who we are!”
Their sonic fingerprints are diverse, but familiar and firmly rooted in a bluesy-grooved, whiskey-soaked gospel thunder, belting out sweaty anthems, meaty riffs and sorrowful ballads that would fit perfectly in any southern bar at last call. The Hounds of Jezebel weave tunes for the beer drinkers and hell raisers of the world.
“We definitely aren't reinventing the wheel or doing anything totally different,” admits Curry. “But I do think we have our own sound that's all ours. You can definitely hear 90's, Southern Rock, Blues, and maybe sometimes a touch of country! At the end of the day we are fans of music so what you hear is what you get. I know that each of us have been influenced by many different artists and if you hear an influence here or there it's our way of saying thanks!”
When it comes to songwriting Curry's ego doesn't get in the way of a good story, although at times his writing gets a little personal. “I read a lot about current events and history and stuff and usually from a lyrical standpoint use that,” Curry says. “There are the occasional autobiographical songs though. Those guys make it pretty easy to write. They come up with such cool music and I close my eyes and picture how it makes me feel, I tell a story and then voila. It usually comes together pretty effortlessly! We truly love writing music together!”
Their first album - “Vol. 1” - was released in 2012 and on April 1st of this year, they celebrated the unleashing of their next release, “The Shakedown” a five-song EP, in their hometown of Houston, TX with a rowdy EP Release Show at The Last Concert Cafe. “We really feel like the songs on this EP are really showing the growth in our sound compared to our first release,” says Curry. “So far we've been getting the same response from our fans!!! It really means a lot when you really take your time creating something special to you, and everyone else takes notice and feels it's just as special to them as it is to us!!!! As far as the show the night of the release...WE ALWAYS ROCK!”
One of the highlights of that EP Release Show was the debut of the Hounds' first video, “The Shakedown” which involves a pretty epic trainwreck and lots of fire set to the rippin' title track of their new EP. “We have this old RV that we wanted to burn down, and I contacted the city to see how we could do that legally and shoot a live performance video around it,” recalls Curry. “Well we ended up finding this other location with train cars off of the track and turned over school buses that looked like the Zombie Apocalypse! We just wanted to do a live performance that didn't look like every other band's live performance video and I think we accomplished that! It was an amazing shoot! All of the people involved, cast and crew, were absolutely amazing to work with!”
Now, about that video of John Curry sleeping in his underwear outside the elevators at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas...
“That same Thursday night we had the kickoff party, where we met you as well, and being a rock band from Texas we like to drink,” remembers Curry. “Unfortunately for me, sometimes when I drink I sleep walk. We had been partying and the guys were tired, so they went to bed and I went to sit at the Poker tables. I got back to the room around 3 am and went to bed. At some point I got up to use the restroom - asleep - and after finishing instead of taking a left back to the bed, I took a right and walked right out of the room in my underwear. I continued to sleep walk all the way down the hall and post up on the couch right in front of the elevators!!!! The guys found me at around 8am sleeping on the couch in my underwear right in front of the casino elevators!!! So, they took video of me and posted it online! Guess sometimes what happens in Vegas makes its way to the internet!!!”
Originally published on radiocontraband.com