TJ Hitt – MUSICIAN






TJ-HittInterview with musician – TJ Hitt

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is TJ HITT and I play rock n’ roll.

​Rocking out at 12th and Porter

​Rocking out at 12th and Porter

2. Why music?
I couldn’t stop writing music if I wanted to. I never really wanted to be a singer growing up. I wanted to be a paleontologist or a professional wrestler(!). I mostly played sports and watched monster movies, then I started messing around with a guitar we had at the house and I’ve never stopped. Basically, I’m just obsessed with the creation of it. I love putting the pieces together like Dr Frankenstien. If you’ve never recorded your own material, there is literally nothing better than hearing something that was once just a thought slamming through a set of headphones. “It’s Alive!!!”

3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be involved in music?
When I was 8 or 9 my older cousin Richiard used to break out this shoebox of 70’s – 80’s heavy metal tapes and blast them while doing doughnuts in my uncle’s car. It was loud as hell, and I was scared out of my mind… and having the time of my life!!! That’s what it’s all about! That’s when music found me. Since then, little by little, songs just kept creeping into my brain until one day they dragged me up to Nashville, TN where I started cutting records.

Live in Nashville, TN

Live in Nashville, TN

4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
I play Dinosaur Rock. That is, to say, I am not really producing any “contemporary” sounding music at this point. I’m more interested in digging up the old fossils and searching for influences in those forgotten moments of brilliance that might have been brushed aside by the never ending search for the “next big thing”. Just because something is “newer” doesn’t mean it’s better…I’d rather be a Tyrannosaurus than a turkey.

Cover art by TJ HITT (me)  for my next album which should be released  early 2015

Cover art by TJ HITT (me)
for my next album which should be released
early 2015

I think my best songs are chimeras or cross-mutations of one or more things. Lyrically a good example would be a song I wrote called “Time Machine” which presents a sincere lyric dressed up in sci-fi trappings. The same holds true for the stylistic aspects of a lot of my songs. I’ve always loved how the Rolling Stones sound like the Rolling Stones no matter if they’re playing disco, country, folk or just straight up rhythm and blues and I hope that I kind of pull that thing off. I’ve got songs like “Doom Patrol” that are vintage hard rock, as well as trippy synth ballads like “Lightning Flashes”, fuzzed out country like “…Til I’m Dead” and a whole lot of craziness in between.
I also enjoy writing lyrics that tell a story about a character or place. I think the best lyrics create imagery that compliments the instrumental, the way a film score effects the visual. When you listen to “Shogun” I want to to close your eyes and see hordes of samurai charging into across a battlefield, armor glistening in the red rising sun.

5. How do you work and approach a new piece that you are working on?
Every song is a different trip. There’s a tune called “Everyone Knows Everything” off my first record that instantly just came to me. I just sat down and played a finished song. Other’s begin as a riff or melody that starts buzzing around in my skull. Sometimes I’ll have a song title or an interesting lyric. I’ll tinker with these different parts in my head and bit by bit they mutate into a single entity. I never consider any song I’ve written to be “done” until I’ve properly recorded it. Chances are, if we’re having a beer or hanging out, I’m working out the chords to something inside the old dome. Occasionally, I’ll co write with bandmates of mine. My guitar players Ben Owens, Matt Casey and Daniel Davis and my keyboard player/percussionist Tom Schreck are all really talented songwriters in their own right and writing with those guys is literally effortless.

​Main Stage  at Nashville BBQ Fest

​Main Stage at Nashville BBQ Fest

6. What are your favorite musician(s), singer(s)?
Thin Lizzy, David Bowie, Neil Young, Kate Bush, Black Sabbath, The Isley Bros., Akira Ifukube, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Glen Campbell, Judas Priest, Queen

​Onstage at 3rd and Lindsley for “Panfest”

​Onstage at 3rd and Lindsley for “Panfest”

 

7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I’ve had some great songwriters cover and record some of my songs and I’ve had some artists/musicians, who are way more accomplished than I and whom I immensely respect, tell me they love what I do. I’m also gobsmacked and flabbergasted at the talented and successful players who enthusiastically volunteer their time to rock with the dude, however, the best response I’ve ever got is from my friends’ little daughter Fiona. She’s little, I mean TINY and she just ROCKS OUT to the SPYDERWULF record. I wrote this album for beer drinkin’, reckless drivin’ mayhem and this little girl eats it up. I LOVE IT!!!

8. What do you like about your work?
I write what I want to hear.

9. What advice would you give to other musicians?
Write CONSTANTLY. Never stop. Try to come up with a new idea every day and demo a full song a week. Don’t be discouraged if your first song isn’t “Yesterday” or “God Only Knows”, the important thing is to consistently create with the goal of improving on what you’ve already done. Before you know it you’ll have your own workshop of compositions to cherry pick.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Riding a Harley Davidson through a red skied post apocalyptic landscape of bloodthirsty mutations and desolate, skeleton cities with a six pack in my saddlebag, a telecaster across my back and the last known VHS copy of Godzilla vs Monster Zero in my possession on a psychtronic quest for revenge against the cybernetic overlords that killed rock n’ roll.

Photo by Tristan Wheelock

Photo by Tristan Wheelock

 

 

TJ Hitt

TJ Hitt

Email: SPYDERWULFBAND@gmail.com
Phone: 941 223 8032
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TJ-HITT-BAND/73689934297
TUMBLR: http://tj-hitt.tumblr.com
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/TJHITT
LINKS:
You can download my new single “Potter’s Road” FREE at BANDCAMP: http://tjhitt.bandcamp.com

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/tj-hitt-1
YOUTUBE (TJ HITT): http://www.youtube.com/user/tjhitt
YOUTUBE (SPYDERWULF): http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfu-pAFKpgnpVvwYwNKcMTw
YOUTUBE (BEN OWENS): http://www.youtube.com/user/joeben612