The Rocks Off 200: Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Hank Doyle (far left) in Back to Back
Who? At one time, Hank Doyle was just a kid with a slab of wood. "I had a 2x4 that I had drawn guitar strings on," he explains. "Every morning before school, I would listen to Nirvana's Live: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah and play my fake guitar and jump around."
Since he got a real guitar, Doyle says music has been his only real interest, from punk and hardcore to experimental and noise. He started booking shows around Houston and eventually formed an organization called Odd Hours, which currently handles booking as well as record distribution.
Home Base: Unfortunately, Doyle's favorite space to play is long gone. He laments the death of the old Mink, which is the Alley Kat Bar and Lounge these days. Otherwise, he says it really doesn't make a difference to him as long as "people are excited and the vibe is right."
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Why Do You Stay In Houston? In short, Doyle admits he isn't totally sure. However, he explains that "Houston is one of the largest cities in the US. We have a great number of art museums here and lots of amazing free and permanent art installations around the city. We certainly have the potential to be a cultural hub of the USA. However, this potential is all too often pissed away."
As for why this potential is squandered, he took local publications to task for writing about "which local bands have the hottest girls in them" or "corporate music events which already happened" rather than focusing on upcoming shows or helping small promoters. He also called out bands for "too much competition and not enough camaraderie."
But Houston's potential still stands out in his mind, and he says he's willing to put in the work to make that happen. "I was born and raised in Houston, I grew up going to places like Rockin Robin, Sound Exchange, and Walter's on Washington," he says. "It's hard to want to leave all that behind because it made me who I am."
Story continues on the next page.
Good War Story: Doyle mentions a few horror stories -- shows getting canceled on tour, amps blowing up right before big shows, fights breaking out at shows, etc. -- but says he prefers not to complain about them. "Music would be really boring without all of those things," he says.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Who cares what I think?" Doyle replies. "Do what you love. Find out what makes you happy. Play the music you want to play the way you want to play it, and don't let what people say about your art influence you. Don't join a band. Start a band instead. Don't try to sound like bands you like. Be a band you like."
Best Show Ever: Doyle admits he hates this question because he doesn't think that he should be focusing on nostalgia with so much left to accomplish. However, he mentions a show Back to Back played in Austin with Institute as a highlight.
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Agnostic Front, Victim in Pain
- Country Teasers, Satan Is Real Again
- The Dead C, Harsh '70s Reality
- Mutiilation, Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
- Neil Young, After the Gold Rush
First Song You Fell In Love With: "Probably Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' because it was on the radio a lot and had loud guitars," he says.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
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