The following is an interview Corey Hoffmeyer did with Jahred Gomes of (Hed)P.E.
Corey Hoffmeyer: If you had to pick one, what would you say was the major inspiration for writing this album?
Jahred Gomes: LOVE. Love is the ultimate force behind the album. Sounds corny, yes? Vibrating LOVE is the most punk rock thing you can do in these days and times, since hating and violence seem to be the hippest things to do in this era. The album's purpose as a whole was to steer listeners towards the direction of LOVE and self empowerment.
CH: How would you rank Truth Rising as far as favorite (Hed)P.E. albums go? It’s personally my favorite album from you guys. It really shows a leap in maturity and a nearly perfected sound.
JG: Whoa!!! Thank you very much!!! Hard for me to rank album, because they all hold a different place in my heart and mark a certain location on my path, both as a human being and as a engineer/producer/mixer, etc. Since Jackson and I have been writing together for almost 8 years, we are getting more focused on what (Hed)pe’s sound is in this time. This is our fifth album we have done together, and I hear the sound becoming more focused. Also, because of the success of New World Orphans, I had the cash to invest into my home studio, and you can hear the subtle difference in the audio. I use my home studio for recording vocals and producing and mixing the entire album. I look forward to doing the next album, and continuing my learning curve.
CH: You reference 2012 a few times throughout – do you personally believe in the predictions for 2012, or was it more a theme to follow creatively?
JG: Well, the topics for the album are a reflection of my studies and where my life is at the moment of creation of each track. The Mayan date of 2012 is one that I give attention to and continue to study about. As far as predictions for 2012, yes, I do believe in the idea that 2012 bring about a new age. However, I do not buy into some of the more Hollywood style doom and gloom prophecies. You know, the end of the world bullshit.
CH: Any plans for the next album? If so, will it be as politically charged as Truth Rising?
JG: Hard to predict my creative heart at the time of the next album. However, each album is another chapter in my life and is always created from real thoughts and hopes at the time. I believe our next album will be released in 2012, and so should probably be titled simply “2012”. I actually don’t even view the albums as being political, as much as I just view them as “lifestyle” albums which reflect a certain philosophy. And, keeping that in mind, the next album will once again reflect my thoughts and philosophies about life at that time when it gets here.
CH: The one thing that’s always impressed me with you guys is your ability to continue to creatively mix genres like metal and rap, even reggae (which I have to say is awesome). Does it ever become hard to come up with new ways to mix these genres so creatively? I know for sure I could never pull it off.
JG: (Hed)pe is all about combining styles. We are not purists. For me, personally, I am all about heavy metal, hardcore punk, reggae and hip hop. These would be the most obviously influences, although we are not afraid to fuck with anything including country. Haha. Ok, maybe not country. Combining the styles comes quite naturally. If anything, it is trying to obtain a cohesive style that is challenging. Making the styles flow together effortlessly is the trick.
CH: If you had to name one band or group that’s continued to inspire you throughout your years with P.E, who would you say it was? Any particular reasons?
JG: Because our influences are varied, it would be impossible to name just one.
CH: Looking back at your previous albums, are there any you would re-do or change in some way?
JG: Oh yes. I would re-do BLACKOUT, which was my third album. I was going through so much shit with my record label at the time, and had some intense problems with the guys that were in hedpe at the time, that I really did not give it 100 percent. Although, I will say that every part of the album was honest, I was so caught up in the industry bullshit and my own personal bullshit that I was unable to produce an album with the integrity that I now produce albums. But, everything happens for a reason, and believe it or not, some people have told me that is their favorite album. To each their own. I learned from that experience that I have to always give my all to every album, because my listeners will hold me to a higher standard than I hold myself.
CH: What would your advice be to aspiring musicians struggling to make it today?
JG: I always give the same advice to upcoming musicians. Concentrate on creating a demo/CD that truly reflects your talent; one that you can play for your friends without making any excuses. A demo that you can be proud of and a demo that is a true reflection of your artistic dreams. If you can't play your demo for your friends around your neighborhood, how can you expect people who don’t know you on the other side of the country to enjoy it? Without a proper demo, you will not have any forward motion in your career.
CH: Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it. I look forward to the next album. It’s always a pleasure listening to you guys work especially when you sound like you still genuinely enjoy making music.
JG: Thanks very much. Please keep in touch. I have taken over the Facebook from the label and I run it myself. So, tune into the facebook to see and hear what I am thinking. http://www.facebook.com/hedpe