We Are The Hearse
Post Punk and Goth Rock Bleeding Black
From left to right Adam Fowler (Bass), John Burns (Vocals/Guitar), Lee Argano (guitar)
There is nothing quite like discovering a new band that leaves their music in your mind long after you’ve heard them. The Hearse had this impact on me the moment I discovered their track “We Bleed Black” off their Ceremony EP. It reminded of days long past in my teen years shopping hours for new music, and once a gem was found, calling friends over to share in the gloom and reflect on the lyrics and music into the dead of night. Though The Hearse had me waxing nostalgic, they are also unique and distinctive in their way of expressing post punk and Goth rock music.
They are also no stranger to Cemetery Confessions or The Belfry Network. DJ Gomez played the track “Ceremony” from the “Ceremony” EP on “The Requiem” podcast on June 18th, 2015 as part of his set. A few weeks later, DJ Gomez also gave an album review of the “Ceremony” EP on The Belfry Network July 2nd, 2015. In his review, he points out the four track “Ceremony” EP “has enough variety to keep it interesting” even comparing the first track’s vocals, “We Bleed Black”, to that of Peter Murphy. The overall rating for the EP from DJ Gomez is 4 out of 5 stars. Impressive considering this is the first EP out by The Hearse, and they formed a short time ago in November 2014.
It is also worth mentioning that the production value of their music is stellar even with the use of programmed drums and recording their music in guitarist Lee’s Studio Noir out of is home. I would not have known The Hearse was utilizing a drum machine or producing their own music if they had not mentioned it during our interview. This is due to how extremely professional their music sounds and directly related to their talent and dedication.
The band is not just getting noticed on The Belfry blog either. These are some of the statements other fans of them are posting on YouTube and the band’s Facebook page.
"Left me pensively staring into the darkness...atmospheric genius.”
"Have I fallen back into the eighties, into the dark and moody Goth scene when it was at its best? No, this is happening right now by this talented 2 piece from Peterborough bringing their own feel to a distinctive style."
"Here's some fan feedback for you. As all children of the dark will know; good Goth and darkwave is 'almost' exclusively limited to our forefathers of the late 70's to the early 90's, so The Hearse offer a breath of stale, haunted air and prove to all that the spirit of the melancholic hadn't died but merely laid dormant in the black hearts of the unborn. For fans of The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, black attire and the night time."
They were even kind enough to post my comment and participate in an email interview included in this blog. Here is my comment about them posted on their Facebook page,
"Your guitar riffs give Daniel Ash a run for his money. You guys are that great. The Hearse is a beautiful gift of Bauhaus, Sisters, 13th Chime, and Joy Division influenced with modern flair while remaining distinctively yourselves and not a carbon copy of your influences."
“Nevermore” single track May 15th, 2015
“Ceremony” EP May 15th, 2015
1. We Bleed Black 3. Faith Healer
2. Ceremony 4. Dimming Moon
“Mein Leiden” single track June 29th, 2015
“Ceremony” PT. 2
1. Depression 3. Running Up That Hill
2. Soul Solution (Kate Bush Cover)
The Hearse have two EP’s out “Ceremony” and “Ceremony Part 2”. “Ceremony Part 2”, a three track EP was released on August 25th, 2015.
Lee explains the reason for the two shorter EP’s, “We just put out part 2 of the“Ceremony” EP. The plan was to release it in its entirety as a nine track album. We decided to do it as two parts as we thought as one album, it didn’t really flow as well as we anticipated. Most of the material on both EPs were before Adam joined the band. So going forward, we now have three different inputs going into the new sound of The Hearse. It’s going to be a good thing for the writing of our album and the future of our band. Our three influences combined will pull the best out of us musically and within the genre we are writing in.”
The boys continue to rock and improve upon their already amazing sound. Initially, “We Bleed Black” and “Ceremony” were my personal favorites, however, those have been replaced with “Depression” and their cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” on the “Ceremony PT. 2” EP. In the last two tracks mentioned, Lee commands the vocals in melancholic tones emphasizing nuances not heard on previous tracks. This shows the diversity and talent within The Hearse. It opens a range for creative material giving birth to tracks like these, songs wickedly haunting whispering of murky depths to fall into. “Ceremony PT. 2” has raised the bar much higher for The Hearse to build upon in future releases. I’m very much looking forward to their new material and expect them to be around for years to come as they are definitely up and coming.
Their short but complete discography is very reasonable and can be listened to and purchased on Bandcamp at thehearse.bandcamp.com. Any Goth who loves post punk or the more classic Goth rock sound will enjoy The Hearse. I cannot recommend them enough and hope more people in our community find and support them. They are making music for the love and their passion for the genre and Goth subculture. Hopefully, this devotion will find a larger audience and The Hearse will continue, immortal and undead.
The Hearse also posted a Youtube video for the track “We Bleed black”. In their own words, “We have pieced together a video for “We Bleed Black”, featuring the true vampire, est. 1922.”
A Brief History of The Hearse
We are The Hearse, a three piece from the UK. Between us, we’ve been into the Goth/darkwave scene for 20+ years, listening to bands like Bauhaus, Christian Death, The Cure, Joy division, Sisters, etc.
We formed early November 2014 and have been constantly writing since. We currently have no merchandise for sale but are looking into having a small run of t-shirts and patches. And we have a Christian Death cover of their track “Spiritual Cramp” in the works.
We are currently unsigned and independent, but if a small time label were to approach us and only want to distribute our music, we would certainly consider taking that step.
We’ve played on local alternative radio in the U.K. and U.S. We are also No. 1 in our local Reverbnation chart, which is cool. It’s very difficult to get our music into the Goth scene, but obviously something is working if we’re reaching someone like yourself (referring to me).”
(All three members, Lee, John, and Adam, replied to the interview questions)
Angela: Are you guys specifically looking for a label to sign you? I know you stated in your description you are not opposed to the idea, however, are you guys actively seeking out a label?
The Hearse: We aren’t currently looking for a label as we are completely independent and do this out of pure love for music. If someone approached us about the distribution of our music, then it’s definitely something we’d consider.
Angela: Do you have a drummer yet?
The Hearse: No, we don’t have a drummer yet, it’s not something we need until we play live. Our buddy Frankendrum is doing just fine at the moment.
Angela: Any ideas on when the next EP is coming out?
The Hearse: We released “Ceremony Part 2” EP. Eventually, we will release something completely new with our new lineup; something that will really show people what we are really about.
Angela: Who plays lead guitar?
The Hearse: Lee is the main guitar player of the band, but John, the vocalist, also contributes to the writing process of riffs. We don’t have a lead guitar player per se, if someone has an idea that fits, we take it, mess with it, and then use it!
Angela: Lee, are you the only producer in your home Studio Noir?
The Hearse: Studio Noir is in the back of Lee’s house so he is at the helm recording and producing everything you hear. All of us has a knowledge of music and what they want something to sound like so it’s a communal affair in the end.
Angela: How did the idea to start a band come together?
The Hearse: The band started with John and Lee. We were friends at work that shared a complete love for the darkwave/Goth subculture music scene, or whatever you wish to call it. There seems to be hundreds of sub genres these days. Lee was doing a solo project which was very 80’s influenced, kind of dark pop/rock music. John was also doing an 80’s influenced ferocious Goth rock solo project. Naturally we decided to hang out and try some ideas out and see what happened when we combined our individual sounds. That’s how The Hearse began.
We tried adding a second guitar player but that didn’t work out for us. We then decided to get an actual bass player in Adam. I (Lee) met Adam when we were 16 and definitely shared a love for all things black. Coincidentally, John had brief encounters with Adam in a local rock/Goth nightclub many years ago but had not seen each other for a long time. John and I went to a local show and I introduced them. Strangely, they already knew each other! I knew Adam played bass but I was under the impression that he had stopped. We thought that eventually we would like to bring The Hearse to a live format, so adding a bass player was essential. There was no one else that even fit the bill more than Adam. He’s been into Goth from an early age, so naturally his knowledge and understanding is brilliant. He works really well with us and we wouldn’t consider having anyone else to play bass with us. He is providing us with exactly what we need as an aspiring darkwave band in this scene; pounding rhythms and melodic tones, all bass driven, and everything else follows.
You can find a rather funny quote from me (Lee) along the lines of, “Adding another member to The Hearse would be like adding Jeffrey Dahmer to a list of healthy eating promoters. It wouldn’t work.” We are currently super happy with our lineup. We have the right amount of commitment and enthusiasm to get The Hearse heard.
Angela: How did you guys decide on the name The Hearse for the band?
The Hearse: The name The Hearse sums up everything we are into and everything we are about. We feel it expresses our influence and who we are.
The Hearse is going to be a band to keep up with and pay attention to in future days. They are bringing retro Goth back with a razor’s edge and keeping the spirit of the undead. In recent days with concerns of our Goth subculture splintering, bands like The Hearse are critically important in keeping the core intact. They are the melding of music from the past brought forth in modern interpretation, delving into the dark abyss our black hearts love. I encourage the darkly inclined to dress in their best black and bring out their dead, The Hearse have arrived.