I grew up in a small Canadian town called Williams Lake. The Hextalls weren't born in Williams Lake, but one of the greatest bands of all time was. I'm talking about Jiz Fucking Wiz. If you don't believe me, check them out for yourself. The guy singing is Byron Dauncey, and I owe everything I know about guitar to him. He called them power chords. I called them "Fuck this, it hurts my fingers". Bryan Adams wasn't fucking around in that song about 69'ing a chick when he said his fingers bled. God bless Jiz Wiz, Byron Dauncey, and Bryan Adams.
In the summer of 1998, I moved from Williams Lake to a town called Kamloops, for "school", as had Byron. There, he and a guy named Troy started a band called Dr. Evil. They found a cheap house at the address of 666 Selwynn, named it the Evil House, and we all moved in not too long after. The Hextalls were born in the Evil House, mostly in part to Troy. He manned the 4 track cassette recorder, the bass guitar, and introduced me to Nicole (Hextalls Fun Fact: Troy was the first and only person to say "Play that Diesel Queens album again" to me). Influenced by Beer and Scooby Doo, it took 3 days of song writing and a week of recording before we had a 10 song Demo tape called I Saw Chixdiggit Live. I think we sold 5 copies. It's been bitches and cadillacs ever since. By "bitches and cadillacs" I mean "writing the exact same songs with different swear words". Anyhow, I digress.
Our 2nd masterpiece of shit (recording) was a homemade CD release called I saw Stone Cold Steve Austin Live. Recorded by a guy named Kris Ruston from a band called the Squish. Kris recorded some shit for Byron and Troy's band Dr. Evil, so you knew he had to be good. He also liked to drink beer, so I thought, "what the fuck, hire his ass". By "hire his ass", I mean "I don't think we ever even paid him for anything". All things considered, he was a genius and did a bang up job with getting those 'DIANA DIANA I WANNA FINGERBANG YA's nailed in the mix.
It wasn't long after we recorded the Stone Cold album that Nicole introduced me to her friend Jeremy "JJ Vagina" Justice (Fun Fact: Jeremy and Nicole dated in high school for like a week or some shit but never even kissed. How gay). Not only did Jeremy have a karaoke machine for a guitar amp, but he also had all of the Screeching Weasel CDs! Bingo! Hearts around my head! Boners in the pants! I immediately told Nicole that we had to snatch this motherfucker up... and we did. One of the first songs we started playing with Jeremy was a smokin' hot jam he wrote with only a guitar solo and no words whatsoever. We played that song for years and years without any words. I made up different singing every time we played it. (Fun Fact: This song was eventually called "Life Goes On" and recorded as the first track on the Call It A Career album).
Bass players have been a tough sell for The Hextalls over the years. The first real steady true bass player to take over after Troy got sidetracked with Dr.Evil was Adam "Gunnar Handsome" Ant. Adam was one of Jeremy's long time friends, who was willing enough to let me buy him a shitty bass amp and practice with us once a week (Fun Fact: Adam wrote the all time best Hextalls bassline... in the song Hey Stephanie). We signed him up and the Hextalls were for the first time ever, a true 4 piece, and probably closer to being a "real band" than ever before. We were so real that I took Jeremy to Vancouver and we both bought Marshall Amps out of a store without ever plugging them in to see if they worked. We booked and recorded our 3rd album (Self Titled) in a "real" studio. Nicole booked us a cross-Canada tour. Adam kept showing up to practice. I bought a shitty rusted grey van that ran on propane. Off we went on tour, in the summer of 2000.
After coming back home and spending the last of the $8 that we made on tour, we sent a copy of our Self Titled CD to Shredder records. By some miracle (which I still don't understand), Mel decided that he was actually interested in putting out something for us and sent us a contract. I was pretty much shitting my pants because at the time I was the biggest McRackins fan in the world, and thought that being on the same label as them was better than being able to jack off on Drew Barrymore's face (Fun Fact: Jeremy and I dressed as Kepi Ghoulie and Bil McRackin one Halloween). Anyhow... I digress. We called the record that we sent to Mel Call It A Career, which was pretty fitting, as I ended up leaving the band to go to school in Chicago only a few months after it was finally released. Going to school pretty much left the Hextalls on permanent hiatus for the next 5 years (2002-2007), although we all stayed friends and did visit each other periodically.
In the summer of 2003, on one of my visits back to the motherland, we actually ended up recording 6 songs in Jeremy's basement. We pounded out some classic shit like "Dad Shot The Dog" and "Chuck Norris, King Of The Forest" in 2 days. I think I got drunk and labeled the MP3s as Songs From the Basement and gave them out to a few people over the internet a few weeks after flying back to Chicago. They were never officially or properly released. Jeremy went on to start his own kick ass band called the All Star Assassins and Nicole moved to Vancouver to go to school roughly around that same time.
By mid 2006, I finished school and moved back to the West coast. Nicole and Jeremy were both living in Vancouver and I moved about an hour away. By late 2006, I talked Nicole into jamming again for fun and she brought her (then) fiance James "Jimmy The Con" Conman along to play bass. If you haven't ever met Con (I call him Con because he lets me, but I'd probably ask him first if that's ok if I were you), he is a gigantic motherfucker. He must be 8 feet tall. I'm pretty sure that each of his balls are bigger than my fists. Bottom Line: He plays bass like the Incredible Hulk eats pussy. Anyhoo, I digress. It wasn't long after practicing with Nicole and Con that Jeremy started popping in for a few practices and laying down his signature JJ Vag style thunder bolts.
With all four of us (Nikki, JJ, Con and Me) living close to each other again, we've been able to bring the Hextalls back together again for a few shows and a few more recordings. Everything is total exploding vaginas. Call It A Comeback.
I can’t believe that the last part of the Hextalls timeline I wrote was from 2008, when Call it a Comeback was just coming out. 3 records, 7 years, and 40 or so fart joke songs later, here we are. It feels a little weird looking back on the past. Too bad I didn’t stop to write some shit down when I was in the middle of it. Oh well. Let’s hear it for undocumented, revisionist history!
Looking back, 2008 really seemed like a reboot and a launching point for the modern era of the band. By modern era, I am referring to when the band started to sound like a "real" band to me. You know, one that I can listen to and not cringe or feel embarrassed by my singing. The release of Call it a Comeback lead to us being asked to play a fairly big pop punk festival in Baltimore called Insubordination Fest. That, in turn, led to us making a ton of new friends, and yearly return trips to Baltimore to play the fest.
In 2009, on one of our trips to the Baltimore fest, we got to do a basement tour with the Dopamines. Lots of fond memories of hauling gear down into crawl spaces and being hunched over, yelling about being a unicorn rider, as water dripped from pipes onto our gear. We had a couple of sweet groupies who followed us from town to town. One was a German man who took a shit ton of photographs and only ate french fries. The other one was a thin man named Bickler, who had an army haircut and reminded me of one of the guys from king of the hill. The third member of their crew was a half Japanese man named Mark Wilson, who threatened to "cut everyone" every time anybody tried to talk to him. Not a single one of them were bimbos. We stopped to see the Buffalo version of Niagara Falls on that trip, too. I think the US side of the falls has a really shitty view, but everyone else was hungover and happy to be outside, I guess. We ended up hitting all the basements through New York and New Jersey on our way down to Baltimore again. When I got home from the tour, I immediately wrote "I'm an Alcoholic" and "Mark Wilson".
In 2010, we released those songs on what I call our "2nd listenable studio record", aka Get Smashed. It also has "Pacman" on it, for people keeping score at home. Anyhoo, We recorded that album in a studio where Mike Reno from Loverboy recorded some of his hits. I got quite a kick out of that when we were tracking vocals. I spent a lot of time trying to breathe like Mike Reno. After we made that record, we flew to Baltimore again and headlined what was described as a "Canadian" stage at the yearly festival. We were paid 100 bucks. Curiously, It was also the last year we were ever asked to play the festival. Hahahah.
That's probably for the best anyway, as in late 2010 there was all sorts of crazy personal stuff going on in "our" lives. By that, I mean that my wife pumped a tiny human being out of her body. If you've ever been around a baby, you know those things don't make it through touring and yelling about unicorns in mouldy basements.
During the madness of sleepless nights and baby raising in late 2010, we took a break from the yearly tour and shows. Around that same time, Jimmy the Con started to try to knock up our drummer Nikki Stixx, and I began writing songs like "Holy Fuck I'm a Dad".
Now that I think of it, I think I forgot to mention that our drummer and bass player got married sometime in 2007, so a Jimmy the Con and Nikki Stixx orgasm sandwich might not be as shocking as it sounds. Their whirlwind romance truly was the classic "bass player falls in love with drummer, while singer makes fart jokes" love story you've seen a million times on the hallmark movie channel. We even took a band picture during their wedding, where it looks like we are Salt Lake City Mormons getting married together or something. I digress.
As I was saying, my son was born and we stopped doing the yearly road trips, yet I somehow wrote a record's worth of songs between wiping shit off my son's balls/asshole and doing 3am tit feeding. That is either a joke about the boy feeding on me, or me feeding on my wife. Scooping baby shit off of tiny baby balls at 3am is something very special that ranks up there with the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. I digress.
By 2012, all the songs I wrote between diaper changes were recorded and released on our "3rd listenable" studio record called Rock You To Sleep. How any of that record actually happened is beyond me. It's a blur of grey. Anyhow, "Holy Fuck, I'm a Dad" is on that one, if you're still keeping score at home.
Remember how I mentioned our bass player and drummer were humping? Well, I hate to give away the surprise ending, but guess whose semen likes to eat drummer eggs for breakfast! Boom! Child! Boom! Birth! Boom! All the Hextalls have babies! Boom! Except for JJ Vagina who has no babies! Boom? We might have to refer to everything after 2011 as the Hextalls "Parenting" Era.
As proud as I am to be a dad that wipes shit out of ballsacks, I also want to mention that 2012 brought one my proudest band accomplishments of all time, too. Specifically, being included on the Livermore compilation that came out on Adeline records, called the Thing That Ate Larry Livermore. It was a throwback vinyl release done in the same style of the pop punk compilations he made as the owner of Lookout records in the early 90s. As I wrote years ago (at the beginning of this bio), I grew up learning how to play power chords from a guy who had half the Lookout records catalogue hanging on the walls, so this really meant a lot to me. We re-recorded "Me and My Dad" for the compilation, which was one of the songs I wrote in 2003 (from the Songs From the Basement era I mentioned earlier).
That rounds out 2012, I guess.
We spent most of 2013 and early 2014 in full blast parenting mode, doing band practices once a month. I wrote a handful of songs about teaching my son how to take a poo and other important things going on my life, like watching Michael J fox come back to TV as an older shaky guy without a hoverboard, to finally getting around to watching Indiana Jones 4, (the crystal skull aliens version) with Harrison Ford as an older shaky guy without a hoverboard.
In August 2014, we said fuck it and booked studio time to start working on these ideas. Luckily for us, Jeremy is a professional audio engineer when he is not playing guitar solos. He used his connections to book us into a super fancy studio where Aerosmith recorded "Pump", and where Nickelback recorded whatever shit they recorded. And now, I suppose it’s also known as “the place the Hextalls recorded the drums for Play with Heart", and "the place where Devin took a shit" and "wondered" if "Chad Kroeger" "ever" "took a shit there, too".
After the drums were done, we recorded the rest of the record in bits and pieces over the fall of 2014 in our spare time. Jeremy basically engineered the entire record, and even let us record vocals in his apartment. We took breaks from singing to feed the raccoons outside his window, and he made me tea. It was the best recording experience I've ever had in my life. So much so, in fact, I started drinking tea at home to remind me of him. I often call Jeremy my "son" and he calls me "dad". I love him. I digress.
After "fine-tooth combing" to make sure all the poop words rhymed and going through a box of Red Rose tea, we finally now have our newest record mixed, mastered and ready to go!
I think that brings us up to date. The new record is waiting in the wings and we are really excited for you to hear it. It's for sure the best recording we've ever done. Here's to continued rockin' throughout the Hextalls "Parenting" era. Cheers!
2015. Boners, poo and Scooby Doo.