A year or two before I moved to Australia (’96, ’97), I was working as a temp at the Toyota Plant in Fremont, Ca. One of my buddies was working out there as well: Sean Kruithoff. He was one of the guitarists in the early incarnations of Zero Hour (back when Jasun Tipton and Sean were playing these fucking allloy guitars with holes in them..or am I trippin’?)..Anyways, getting off topic.
Sean was into the metal shit I was into, so naturally we started hanging outside of work. Eventually he was in with my group of friends and moved in with two of ’em. He and I also went to the Howard Stern book signing in SF, but that’s another blog altogether.
One day at work he gave me a CD of a band to check out called Haji’s Kitchen..said they were a Shrapnel label band, “like a cross between Racer X, Pantera, and Alice N Chains..” Wow, that piqued my interest, so when I got home, I cranked the CD in my room…..and HOLY FUCKIN’ SHIT!!
Fucking rad band..all my personal criteria was met; rad guitarists (not one, but TWO), rad singer, fucked up rhythm section. I loved it all, I really did. I think out of ten songs, eight had me by the balls, one was a ballad, and one didn’t quite get me there..The CD was so good that I had decided to write to them and tell them how much I loved their shit..So I sent these wild ass Texans a letter….
One of my faves!! I still get thanked by people who I had told to listen/purchase that album.
One night after rehearsal I got a call….from Eddie Head, Haji’s guitar player!! Wow..I think we spoke for maybe 10-15 minutes. He said he liked the letter, I said I liked the band, it was love love love..This must’ve been a month or two the ole’ LA NAMM Show. Eddie asked if I was going, that if I did to make sure and say hello to them. Obviously I told Sean and we made sure we were going.
Sean and I arrived at Namm, and I’d say within the first half hour or so of being there, we ran into the Haji’s guys!! In a nutshell, we pretty much hung out with them the whole weekend. Whoa, and from what I recall, I think I may have been sober the whole time!! Now THAT’S a feat!! During that day, I remember Derek (bassist) walking up and going, “Nice, I was just jammin’ on a bass, minding my business, when Victor Wooten walked by and told me he liked what I was doing..” We’d separate at times, but we’d always have a meet up time and place.
One of the nights (maybe even that first night) went to Denny’s with them. Rob the drummer had a medical condition and acts a bit wacky if he hasn’t eaten in awhile, so we sat there and watched him act a fool until our Eggs Over My Hammy was served. After food and laughs, we drove around in a van and told jokes all night. Great night. I also made Rob air drum the chorus to Time…and he obliged!!
Another thing I remember is on one of the days we met the guys at their hotel. Eddie and Scott Stine (Brett, who played on the first album, I think he had already left), these guys were playing Ibanez Universe 7 strings through Tube Screamers and Microstacks, AND FUCKING BURNING THEIR ASSES OFF. It was inspiring and terrifying all at the same time. They did some dual solo shit, showed me what their “spock tapping” was all about…It was all right there 3 feet in front of me and man, what a lasting impression that was. After they were done, they shoved a guitar in my face, and asked if I wanted a turn. I put the guitar on the stand and said, “Noooo fucking way, man..”
Here’s why I love this band: Each member is a fucking powerhouse in his own right. They have a rad combination of groove oriented riffs with fucked up chops. Musical as fuck and all ’round nice level headed dudes. Not a bad attitude in the bunch.
Guys, thanks for the rad album, sorry I couldn’t get into Sucker Punch but I was extremely loyal to that first singer. Every now and then I’ll be somewhere and if I feel the need to show someone what fucked up is, I’ll drum up YouTube on my phone and show them that 3 part harmony whole tone half tone diminished run y’all do at 1:15)…That is what boners are made of!! You fuckin’ rad fuckers, you!!
Anyways, Derek, I’ll see you on Facebook, and to the rest of the guys, I love you.
When I have time I’m going to put my vocals all over this bitch and send it to y’all…