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Articles Home » Music Talk » Hogan’s Goat Interview with John & Wayne
Hogan’s Goat Interview with John & Wayne



Hogan’s Goat

Interview with John & Wayne

By Nina McCarthy, Senior Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio


“Hogan’s Goat tracks mud on your clean carpet. Located in Nashville, TN the band slithers in the swamps of Rock N’ Roll/Metal.” --bio




BRR:  Thanks for taking the time today to talk to me.


JS:  Thanks for having us.


BRR:  Just for an introduction for our readers can you introduce the band members?


JS:  You're on the phone now with John Salmon.  I'm the lead singer.  And you're on with Wayne Michael, who is the drummer.  Those that are not with us are Donovan Bettise, who plays guitar and Thomas Banks, who also plays guitar and Aaron Stoner, who plays bass.


BRR:  Now the name of the band is very unique. What's the story behind it?


JS:  Hogan’s Goat is an old folklore and it's basically a story about this farmer who has a goat that is the most ugly creature you've ever seen.  You can smell it from a mile away, it's got an eye detached from it’s skull and so our style is somewhat against the grain and we wanted something that was symbolic of that, so we chose Hogan’s Goat.


BRR:  It makes sense. Now you're based out of Nashville and many people only think of Country when they think of Nashville. But you guys are definitely far from Country, but I do hear some Rock, some southern Metal influence, maybe even some Blues. How would you describe your music?


WM:   Everybody brings a different thing to the table when we're writing. Our music shows, I think, that we didn't put this band together with any specific genre in mind and it’s kind of the best thing we can do with what we're all good at.


JS:  It's difficult to describe us.  I think we've got those elements of southern hard Rock/Metal there. So there's the Blues element and then we've got Wayne who comes from more like a Metal background, he and Donovan. So we’ve got a lot of like syncopation and some Metal drum stuff, rhythmically in there. So yeah, I think it's the broadspectrum for sure.


BRR:   I found it very hard to pinpoint a set genre from song the song but that's what I liked because I always like something unique.  That's what catches my attention.  Now your self titled and self produced debut album was released in July, 2017.  I read some raving reviews. It definitely sounds like you guys are going to go places. How do you feel about that?  Did you expect such a great response?


JS:  It’s hard tell because I think any musician, no matter what the talent level, is going to be really proud of what they put out just because you know all the blood sweat and tears that go into making a song and also an album. So as far as the expectations themselves, I feel like we kind of set our expectations low but our goals high so it was almost overwhelming to get to see some of those responses and writings because it just goes to show that even though you think you might be doing something right, then you have a bunch of different reviews backing those thoughts, so it becomes all the more real.  


BRR:  It must be pretty competitive in Nashville as far as bands go?


JS:  Oh yeah for sure.  I think there's there's a bit of camaraderie if you can if you can find it.  I wouldn't put it past people to come together in the city.  It's an awesome city but you know all the while yes, it's cutthroat. I mean because everybody is a musician.  I call our crowds here a bunch of standers because they literally just stand there with their arms crossed and kind of judge your every move.  Everybody in the crowd is a musician as well, pretty much.  Whether it’s from a jealous point of view or judgmental or whatever it may be, it can be pretty difficult. But, at the same time, like I said, there's there's a lot of camaraderie here also.


WM:  I come from a very small town and there weren’t a lot of good bands playing up there and I've  been down here like eight years and it was pretty intimidating at first. I mean everybody on the street plays music.  It only pushes you and that's a healthy thing, but it’s tough.


BRR:  Yeah I've never been to Nashville but it's my dream to visit.  Actually the owner of the radio station, Wayne, his daughter just moved there several months ago, so we definitely need to go visit.  And I've heard that about some cities that people just stand there and it's a compliment if they don't leave the room.  Around here, everybody moves and gets into it. But I've definitely heard that from touring bands, that in every city it's different.


JS:  Right.  We just got off a relatively short run, it was six or seven dates, and to go to places like Lincoln, Nebraska and Denver and Billings, Montana, where Wayne and Dono are from, just to see the reaction of the crowds there versus what we're used to here in Nashville, it definitely lets you know you're doing something right and it’s inspiring. You have to remember that Nashville is Nashville for that reason.   And so like you said, them just staying in the room as a compliment in itself.



BRR:  What music message does your music spread?  Is there a particular theme?


JS:  Do you ever notice how a sadder or depressing song can sometimes actually make you feel happy because you can relate to it?  I know that sounds cliche as shit, but a lot of our stuff is a little bit on the darker side. But overall, at least for me you know lyric-wise, I want to spread positivity.  I was listening to like some Barry White the other day and just listening to him talking about love and shit like that is like inspiring because you want music to be able to get back to a place like that.


WM:  Just trying to put something out that doesn't sound like everything else.  It’s pretty easy to put out the same product as other bands, but I just want people to hear our music and think, “This is different.  This is cool.”


BRR:  Believe me I go to tons and tons of shows so I know exactly what you mean. That's why I was saying how I like the uniqueness.  My favorite song on the album is “Annie Off The Rails which released the official video for at the end of December.   Can you tell me a little bit about the song and the filming of the video?


JS:  Yes sure.  That song is interesting because when we wrote it, I was in a pretty difficult place, like with addiction and stuff like that. So the song is about the struggle of addiction and just how it can take a toll on your life.  My vision for the video was kind of just in and out of this cocaine pseudo reality basically.  That song is actually taken on different forms of its own for me which is interesting and that was kind of what my goal was, just however anybody perceives the song I want them to take away from it what they will.  If it can impact them in any way, whether even if they don't even understand what the fuck it's fully about, if they can take anything away from it in a positive manner that that's kind of what my direction was for it.


BRR:  I actually interpreted it as a relationship based when I watched the video. Kind of, you hate yourself you love yourself.


JS:  Well and that's very true. The relationship with your addiction and drugs themselves, so that was kind of how I painted the picture.  Also the narcissism that comes along with it, like you said, to love yourself hate yourself kind of dynamic.


BRR:  Yeah, it's a great video and song. And now a lot of bands are independent these days. Are your plans to remain that way or are you label shopping?


WM:  We’re still testing the waters, but I think we're happy being an independent band at the moment.  I think that if we had the opportunity right now we're not going to count that out either.


JS:  Yeah I think we're going to entertain any offers we might get but we're going to be in the process of writing a new EP.  Actually we've already written most of it. And so that question will come up whether we want to shop the EP to make it into an album with a label or just self release it.  I definitely don't think we're going to shy away from that idea by any means.


BRR:  You aren’t all from the same state.  How has that been challenging as a band?


JS:  We all currently now live in Nashville.  I'm the only one that was born in Nashville. Wayne and Donovan are from Billings, Montana. Aaron our bassist is from Denton, Texas and Thomas is from North Carolina.


BRR:  That’s good that you all live in Nashville now so that's that makes it easier.  You mentioned you have an upcoming EP.  That’s exciting.


JS:  We’ll probably write 10 to 15 songs and choose  five and we'll hopefully get a Spring tour going.  I’m kind of in the process of booking that.  But one of our major goals right now is to find a booking agent because we want to take the show on the road.  We can only do so much on our own. So we'll just have to keep building momentum until that opportunity arises.


BRR:  We already found a good publicist. I work with Tom a lot.


JS:  He's great, isn’t he?


WM:  We lucked out with him. He's phenomenal.


BRR:  That whole team at TAG is great.


JS:  Tracy is great too. I know Natalie briefly. She does like the UK stuff.


BRR:  You already answered my next question about tour plans, but do you have any plans to hopefully come into the East coast or Northeast specifically?


JS:  Ideally we want to go everywhere.  My girlfriend is actually from Longmeadow, Massachusetts so I’m up there fairly often and I would love to play in Boston.


WM:  My sister lives in Boston and I’ve been trying to get up there anyway.


BRR:  Yes, Boston, Hartford ,that whole area would be great.


JS: Yeah. So we definitely have ties up there.  We'll be looking to make it up that way shortly hopefully.


BRR:  Great, because I'd love to catch you live.


JS:  That would be awesome.


BRR:  Now I appreciate your time. I'm looking forward to introducing you to our readers and listeners on Boston Rock Radio. Do you guys have any further comments?


JS:  We just really appreciate you having us, Nina and we wish you all the best and thanks for checking out Hogan’s Goat.


BRR:  Thank you.  I asked Tom to make sure to send some music over because we didn't have any for some reason.  So we will be will be playing you very soon. It was great talking with you guys and hope to see you in the near future.



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