1. How did the band get started? How did you
meet and how long have you been together?
Derek Harn: Himsa was created by Mike, Brian, myself and
Aaron. After Mike, Brian, and myself quit our old band Trial we
decided to start a new band with Aaron. We wrote and practiced a
bunch and then Christian moved to Seattle from Philly and put the
finishing touches to our sound with his poetic lyrics. All this
happened about a year ago (Oct 98). Now Aaron has left Himsa and
we are currently trying out new guitarists.
2. How would you describe your music?
Derek Harn: We're all over the place musically. I don't like
to describe our sound. I'd rather people come up with their own
opinions because I think there is a lot of room to describe and
similate our sound to. Keep reading and you'll probably get an idea
of what we sound like.
3. What are your biggest influences?
Brian Johnson: My biggset influences are anywhere from Motley
Crue, Slayer, Testament, Unbroken, and Obituary in the time frame
from Cause of Death up to World Demise. I wasn't a big fan of their
Derek Harn: I'm influenced by tons of things, movies, people,
society, photography. I'd say that the environment you live in has
a lot to do with what and how you create. I know I find myself influenced
by weather, money, love - the same things that are around everyone.
If you're asking about bands, I'm in to bands like Dillinger Escape
Plan, Cave In, Sensefield, Errortype 11, Turmoil, Bane, Countervail,
Death by Stereo. I don't know, I listen to a bunch of stuff and
not all of it is new those are just the ones I listen to now.
4. What influence do you think your bands has in music and metal
Brian Johnson: I think in music we have alot to offer, people
from all different scenes could probably find something that they
like in our music. We all come from a lot of different backgrounds
musically so I think through that we cover a bunch of different
Derek Harn: I don't think too many people know who we are
yet. Our full length should be out by the time you read this so
we'll wait and maybe you can tell me later.
5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you werent
in the band what would you be doing now?
Brian Johnson: I've been playing in bands since I was 14
and I'm 22 know, for me, music was the ultimate form of expression.
I could write music for any kind of mood I was in. As for what I
would be doing if I wasn't in the band, I would be and am trying
to go to school. My main focus would be envirometal studies. It's
pretty hard to do everything, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Derek Harn: I wanted to be in a band with Brian and Mike
and since Brian and Mike wanted to quit Trial I figured I'd quit
too so I could continue to write with them. I didn't mind starting
over. It hasn't been easy, but I don't regret making the decision
to leave Trial. Mike and I often think back to what life was like
before we were in bands. I don't look back on it with enthusiasm.
I find myself continually restarting my life, whether it's with
a new band, or finding a new job, or finding a new place to live
after a tour. Starting over keeps you humble in a way. It lets you
keep your priorities in check and reduces your participation in
the rigors of 9-5 life. I often wonder what I'd be doing right now
if Himsa didn't exist. I think about it often just because you never
know what might happen tomorrow. I'm sure I'd be working at a job
I wasn't very happy with living a life I didn't feel very comfortable
6. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they,
and explain a little about them.
Derek Harn: Oh, so glad you asked. We currently have a side
project going right now. We call it The Hanuman Project. After our
failed US Himsa tour, I found myself with a certain emptiness and
I knew this project might help that feeling of failure. It's Brian,
Mike, myself and our friend Chris LaPointe on vocals. Chris is really
politically motivated and a total spazz so it should be fun. We
actually tried him out for Himsa, but it didn't work out because
of his occupation and the fact that he lives in Arizona and we live
in Seattle. We wrote three songs last Saturday and are recording
them this Saturday. We recorded our practice and sent a tape to
Chris. He's putting his lyrics to our songs and then he's flying
up here this weekend so we can record the songs. It's only a week
long project. We wanted to do it quick as not to let it interfere
with Himsa. We're going to release the three songs as a 7" so be
on the look out.
7. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and
became very well known?
Brian Johnson: I don't know I guess I would be pissed, but
then again that shows we must have really influenced someone that
watched us or heard us before. Then after feeling OK with that for
awhile, I would find them and kill them one by one.
Derek Harn: I don't think they would be able to pull it off
because they would have to take a couple years to grow out their
hair. Our rock comes from our hair and can not replicated unless
the hair is flying!
8. What current bands do you like or respect?
Brian Johnson: Right now I'm into a lot of 80's hair bands
because a lot of them are still playing what they want to. For instance,
take a band like Cinderella, I saw them about six months ago in
a small club and they rocked just as always. This band went from
playing huge places and now they are playing small clubs and giving
it their all. I can respect that 100%. As for newer bands, I think
Dillenger Escape Plan is making some pretty damn interesting noises,
the same with Seattle's Botch. Both of these bands could be the
future of modern heavy music.
9. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!
Derek Harn: Well we currently have a 7"/CD self-titled single
out on Revelation Records. It actually was our demo. Our full length
CD entitled "Ground Breaking Ceremony" is out on November 2nd. We're
really excited for it. The songs from the 3 song CD were actually
supposed to be on the full length, but we wanted something out fast
and the demo was recorded well enough that we could release it as
a Single. Other than that we have a song coming out this winter
on a split 7" with Kill Sadie. That will probably be out on Excursion
Records from here in Seattle.
10. What demo/album do you like the best?
Brian Johnson: I like the new record the best I think it
has a lot to offer musically as well as lyrically.
11. What is the meaning behind the songs?
Derek Harn: Most of our songs have double meanings. Our theme
for the record was natural disasters. We have a song called "Another
Version of the Twist" which deals with the cover up of the Clinton
scandel with the raid on Iraq - all while under the theme of a tornado.
Another song called "White Out" has to do with the government's
allowance of the Makah tribe to hunt and kill grey whales here in
Washington. Some songs have a personal element to them, but most
of them have a politically motivated flair to them.
12. What are the bands favorite songs?
Brian Johnson: My favorite songs to play are Mud, Whiteout,
and The Great Deppression, but of course I love every one of the
songs. It depends what kind of mood I'm in.
Derek Harn: I'd have to say I like "Daylight Savings" because
it's the fatest, craziest and most personal. I also like "Cremation"
which is about the incedent at Columnbine High School in Littleton
Colorado. It's a lot different from our other songs, but then all
our songs have different elements to them pretty much.
13. What does the future hold for the band?
Derek Harn: Aside from the records that I mentioned before
we plan to tour in the Spring, hopefully make it to Europe and play
as hard as we can. I'm working on trying to get us to Asia to play
shows there to. I'm taking a trip there next month and have already
contacted many kids over there about the possibility of Himsa touring
there next fall. I have a plan, but I won't know if it's going to
work out until I visit there next month to see the reality of it.
14. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?
Brian Johnson: Slayer and Testament because they are gods.
Derek Harn: Fight for Change becauses they really had some
good ideas when they were around.
15. Who writes the majority of the music?
Derek Harn: We have a monkey that comes in and bangs on our
equipment. No, we actually all write our own parts. One person comes
in with something and we all add to it or change it to suit everyone's
taste. We're a pretty democratic band.
16. Who has been the favorite band youve played with and
Brian Johnson: This band from Boston, Bane, they are one
of the most inspirational bands to watch live. They are on Equal
Vision Records and have a new record coming out soon check it out.
Derek Harn: I've enjoyed touring with Countervail, Bane,
and Kill Sadie. There are so many great people in all those bands
that I don't even think of them as bands really. I admire these
people because they tour with people who are their friends and not
because the other band is going to get them scene points. They know
how to tour and what touring is about - fun.
17. Where did you get the band name from?
Derek Harn: It's the opposite of Ahimsa. Ahimsa means to
live your life with the least amount of possible harm.
18. Describe what the band is like live?
Derek Harn: Brian head-bangs, Christian dances around like
a fairy, Mike makes evil faces, and I incorporate all their trates.
19. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?
Brian Johnson: THINGS and STUFF
Derek Harn: I would want an image of Brian standing at
a chalkboard pointing to the words "Things" and "Stuff". What kind
of answer was that Spicolli? Could you be less vague in an interview?
Anyway, Christian has been putting a video together for us to play
to when we play shows. It's mostly just destruction of the planet
via natural forces. I really like the idea that Unsane used in their
video with skateboarders fucking themselves up. That shit makes
me cringe and walk funny.
20. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?
Derek Harn: I think we covered that one already.
21. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?
Brian Johnson: We'll either end up in looney bins our rehab.
Derek Harn: We'll be playing sold out parking lots and
we'll have Depends undergarments screened with the band name on