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Interview with Hester Prynne!

Band: Hester Prynne
Genre: Deathcore
Q: When did you decide to start making the kind of music that you do? Any particular person who influenced your decision?
I think we all started playing in metal bands around the same time, somewhere around freshman year of high school. As far as influences, we all certainly had our own individual inspirations, but speaking for myself, I think my first influence in making our kind of music, and what truly motivated me to be a metal frontman all-together would have to be Slipknot and their self-titled LP. There was just so much raw emotion and vehemence on that album and it really sparked something in me from the first time I heard it.

The music seemed to become more livid with each verse, regardless of how heavy or tonally influenced the music was. I saw that you could do so much more to a song with vocals, that you could actually change the music entirely without a single difference in the actual instrumental composition. I realized vocals as something more than just an element of the sound, but as the forefront of it. To me, that band was Corey Taylor, and from that moment on I always wanted to have that kind of impact in a band myself.

Q: Where did you get the name “Hester Prynne” and why did you stay with the name?

The name actually started with the original members/founders of the band, none of which are involved any longer. I believe they were all in high school at the time and one of them had to read “The Scarlet Letter” for one of their classes. Obviously, they liked the name of the main character for their band, and so goes the rest of the story. We decided to stick with the name for a couple reasons. Mainly because we think it truly fits our music and our “image” as a whole.

The kind of outcast, black sheep of the town thing really suits us, as did it the original Hester Prynne. The second reason was because at the time we made all the member changes and were getting ready to sign with Torque, we had already established ourselves as Hester Prynne and all agreed that we should just keep it that way…so we did.

Q: You were signed with a label for your album The Goswell Divorce (2009), what label was that and why did you part ways with that label?

We released our first LP on Torque Records, which was more or less just a independently operated label with all it’s distribution, marketing, and label duties run through Victory Records. We chose to leave Torque after fulfilling our two-year contract because the label did not live up to it’s contractual obligations, and more or less just sent us into the studio and left us to fend for ourselves afterwards. Might I add that we paid for our first album entirely, and did not receive any help what-so-ever with the funding for anything we ever did while on that label. Not to mention, all the while not paying us a single dime for any of the records sold, nor holding up to any of the other promoting/marketing/management help for our band as their contract had promised.

So, to put it simply, we said “fuck you”, turned our backs, and never looked back.
After parting with the label, what happened with Hester Prynne exactly? It was known that the band split up, but no specifics were made.
After finishing our contract and opting not to re-sign, the band continued to try and thrive as independent artists, but soon found ourselves unable to afford and manage continuing as we had for the past several years with touring, recording, etc. We also had a lot of personal circumstances arise among a couple of our members that also contributed to keeping us from moving forward in 2011. I won’t go into specifics as to exactly what those circumstances are, but let’s just saw the long end of the law caught up with some select members of our band.

Q: Why did you decide to start a fundraiser for your upcoming new album Black Heart Market (2013)? Instead of the band funding it themselves?

We decided to start the Kickstarter project solely because both we and our fans wanted Hester Prynne to release a new album, and we just simply could not afford to do it on our own. Between our legal woes, debts, children, and minimum wage jobs (it’s hard to get a good job when you dedicated your life to being a traveling musician), there just wasn’t any room to fund another worthy studio album. So instead of putting together a press kit and trying to get back on a label, we decided to try something that seemed to be working out for other bands in our situation, and now here we are with a successfully funded project and a date to return back to the studio next year.

Q: What was your reaction and thoughts upon knowing that you achieved the amount of funds you needed to fund to Black Heart Market (2013), merchandise, and potentially funding a tour?

It was absolutely incredible to see the project come together like it did. We have always been amazed at the support from our fans from day one, and this accomplishment just furthered that astonishment to a whole other level. I think “fucking incredible” appropriately sums up our collective thought about our project’s success.

Q: Will there be any major differences between The Goswell Divorce (2009) and Black Heart Market (2013), sound wise?

I’m not going to say that the new record will completely re-define Hester Prynne as a band all-together, but I also can’t say that we haven’t grown as people, progressed as song writers/musicians, and taken on a whole new outlook and approach to our music, either. I will say that there will still be the core elements that drew everyone to the band in the first place, but at the same time – our fans should definitely expect (and look forward to) a new take on the music we love making for this next release.

Q: When can we expect a new single from Hester Prynne? If so, anytime soon?

Yes! We are currently in the process of setting up a little visit to a local studio to record a teaser track for the new album. However, at this point we don’t have any solid time frame as to when we will be able to drop it. We’re shooting for sometime in late December, but as I said, it’s still all up in the air at this point.

Q: Between now and the release of Black Heart Market (2013), what can we expect from Hester Prynne? Singles? More thought provoking essays from the vocalist?

“Thought provoking essays from the vocalist”. Hahaha, I love that. YES, you can expect a lot more of that for sure! But in all seriousness, we are aiming to get the ball rolling again for 2013 with the band as a whole, and have been talking about even possibly doing a home area show sometime at the beginning of the year as well and playing some new songs off the album. Other than that, we’re just going to keep writing new material, putting out new merch, and looking forward to the new year and the release of our long-awaited sophomore album.

Q: Have any shout outs to give?

Absolutely. We would like to send out a very special thanks to everyone who helped make our Kickstarter project a success. You are the sole reason we are able to record a new album, and also responsible for re-asserting to us just how supportive our fan base is. With that being said, we would also like to thank every single person who has ever came to a show, picked up a CD, or spread the word about our band to their friends. To every fan we have, to everyone who has ever supported us in any way – thank you. We owe every bit of our accomplishments and amazing times to you guys, and there isn’t a single thing in the world that can ever take that away.

This experience is something irreplaceable in our lives, and all of our fans are the reason we were able to achieve it. And last but certainly not least, we would like to give a shout out to our dear friend and the man responsible for recording and helping produce both our first release, as well as being signed on to do our upcoming one, Josh Schroeder of Random Awesome Studio. Josh is truly one of the greatest human beings we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, no less working with, and he was also the one who pushed us towards doing the Kickstarter for the new album in the first place. He’s been an integral part of our band from the beginning, and we have so much to thank him for throughout that journey. So to our good friend Josh, thanks so much buddy….now get ready to help us make the greatest fucking metal album you’ve ever worked on


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