This post originally appeared in issue 11 of VultureHound Magazine.
In the fall of 2009, I sat in my first car and listened to …To The Beat Of A Dead Horse in the parking lot of a mall where I had an exhausting and unrewarding retail job. Jeremy Bolm’s voice cut through the warm September air, and I remember thinking how unique his wails were, how passionate the words came across, and how quickly songs like ‘Honest Sleep’ and ‘Always Running Never Looking Back’ resonated with me. I had never latched onto an album so quickly.
Fast forward to 2012, Bolm bands together with Neeraj Kane (The Hope Conspiracy, The Suicide File, Holy Fever), Stephen LaCour (True Cross, Trap Them), Jay Weinberg (Madball, Against Me!, Slipknot) to create the ultimate supergroup, Hesitation Wounds. Their first self-titled release showed a new side of Bolm: the storyteller.
With a debut full-length, Awake For Everything on the horizon and hard at work with his record label, Secret Voice, we were able to catch up with the busy frontman for a quick chat.
Hesitations Wounds comes across as the ferocious cousin of the brooding persona that’s presented in Touché Amoré, and both have resonated so well with a wide audience. Was it always in the cards to move further down the path with this band after the self-titled EP was created?
There was never a set plan for Hesitation Wounds and I think that’s what’s the beauty of it. With all of us so wrapped up in our own personal lives and other endeavors, this band is purely a great release to have when the four of us find time to get together.
Your EP was released on your record label, Secret Voice, but for your first full-length album you’ve chosen to release the record through 6131. What influenced this choice?
I love doing Secret Voice with a passion, but I can’t devote the time and energy needed to pushing an LP. This is the reason I’ve only released 7”s thus far. There’s not a lot of pressure put on releasing a 7” for a band. They’re more fun than anything. I’ve got a discography for the band SAETIA coming out soon, but they’ve been broken up almost 20 years, not a lot of pressure there either, haha.
I’ve worked with Joey Cahill (owner of 6131) with Touche Amoré and he also happens to be my best friend. He came to me at a time when we were trying to figure out where it should land and it worked out great. I haven’t released anything with them since 2010 I believe, so it’s great working together again.
The songs on your EP rolled together like chapters in a book, offering a story to the listener. Would you say you took this same approach with Awake For Everything, but with a more socio-political theme?
Well we had more time, but truthfully we were as productive as we were with the 7”. I believe we wrote 3 songs Monday, 4 Songs Tuesday, 3 songs Wednesday, went over them Thursday, [and] recorded drums Friday. One of the songs we wrote the time we got together to play our first couple shows because we needed another song. The recording process took a while though. Jay tracked drums in one day, and then Neeraj got in a motorcycle accident and fucked up his wrist, so guitar tracks came a bit later. Scuba recorded his bass tracks back in Arizona where he lives. I had a few months to get vocals together.
The lyrics in ‘Hands Up’ are very politically charged, addressing a large issue we have in the US, police-related deaths and how race plays a part in that. Other than the obvious injustice of these events, what brought you to write this song?
I’ve never considered myself a politically charged person, because honestly I don’t follow politics as closely as I maybe should. I do however feel the same sadness and shame that you’d hope most people do when they see what’s happening in this country without having to search stories out. I’d only taken a stab at a political song once in my life and it was for a Touché song from our first record called ‘History Reshits Itself’ about the ban on gay marriage.
I think it’s a confidence thing with me that I just don’t feel like I’m the right person for the job, but when writing the lyrics for this record, it was post Ferguson/post Charleston shooting and the waves of sickening FOX media coverage and lack of concern from congress that made me put pen to paper and do the best I could at expressing my feelings. It’s the same reason I wrote ‘Guthrie’; the right wing response to immigrants from Mexico/Refugees is enough to write a thousand pissed-off songs.
How have your political views changed over the years, and how has that influenced your music?
I’ve always voted Democrat and consider myself a liberal. This hasn’t changed. I was raised by a mother who was a Democrat, so it wasn’t hard to convince me. It hasn’t influenced my music, but more my musical taste. It wasn’t how I found punk rock, but it helped me feel like I was where I belonged.
As a fellow record collector, I’ve been dying to ask this question for a few years. What is your most treasured record in your vast collection?
HARD QUESTION… I have two. Both for sentimental reasons. 1. Converge – Axe To Fall (clear w/ color shards – 1st press of 100). This was a gift from the staff at Deathwish, Inc. when I first got to know them. It was such a kind gesture and it’s forever in my heart. Deathwish was always my favorite label and Converge my favorite aggressive band. One of those “Is this real life?” moments. 2. Far/Incubus split 7”. Far was my favorite band for SO many years and my Mom mail ordered me a t-shirt from Immortal Records for my 14th birthday. My Mom must have told them it was my birthday because they threw in a lot of extra stickers, etc., but included this 7”. It was my first record well before I started collecting.