An Interview With Tedd Hazard
A killer new album release from Tedd Hazard brings out a soiree of honest and edgy but melodic and truth driven acoustic punk songs that fall into the category of ska with full horns and also feel like classic pub drinking songs at times.
The Destructive Criticism album is brimming with a danceable and moshable edge and really feels like chapters from someone's life. It's almost like a concept record as a matter of fact, or it feels that way anyway.
The instrumentation is lush and full-bodied, and vocals are raspy and lovable as they just thrive with character and a certain attitude that helps the songs become what they are.
The songs bear all that brutal honesty and it's done by taking semi-serious topics and truths and spinning them with a rusty but compelling humor.
These songs are ultra-fun, and you can tell this was a damn good time to track from start to finish as Hazard clearly has a true love for the craft.
These tracks are all right up in your face and have tendency to slightly intimidate you at times, but you can't turn away at all. It's too addictive.
This record has a ton of gems on it and choruses are unique but somehow classic at the same time.
With such a badass release, we wanted to have a chat with Tedd Hazard to find out where all of this actually came from and what may be next.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the Destructive Criticism album. This record has a killer acoustic punk feel to it. Where did this album come from? I've been putting out folk punk records since 2009. Acoustic guitar, vocals, harmonica. Maybe some back ups if you were lucky. Sure, some albums like "Pack your Bags we're all going to Hell" had some electric guitar and bass and "Self Reconstruction" took the Bomb the Music Industry route of using a drum machine and additional instruments, but I always wanted to do an authentic folk/bluegrass record. This is the first record I wrote mostly on the banjo, so I think taking that approach helped me finally get the sound I was looking for all these years. Yes, it's still punk. It's still folk punk. But it's a different kind of folk punk. There's a lot more of that old timey sound. Which I don't think you hear enough of these days. Really kind of wanted to stand out from the pack. Buzz Slayers: So when did music start affecting you? When did you know making music was something you wanted to be doing? I went to high school in Northeast Pennsylvania, where there was a pretty big skate punk scene. I started going to shows in 2003 and really got into a lot of local bands like No Service Project and No Ca$h. I didn't really get into any mainstream punk until I bought NOFX's "The War on Errorism" and Rancid's self-titled 2000 record from the Quakertown Auction. They completely changed my perspective on what a punk song should sound like. I think the following month I started screwing around on the bass and started to teach myself how to write songs. I had played the piano when I was younger, but I didn't really try to write anything until after I heard those records. After I learned enough on the bass, I'm pretty sure the only thing I did for a long time was write songs. So I guess around 16-17 is when I decided "this is something I could enjoy doing with my life". Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song? Believe it or not, I have a lot of songs that aren't inspired by one thing in my life. I'm like a hoarder. I'll hoard a bunch of trauma and life events and then pick about 2 or 3 of them and combine them into a song. A lot of my songs are about past experiences/current situations. Some of my songs get political, but I'm not Bob Dylan or Matt Pless. I'll get political when I want to. Yes, if something that pisses me the hell of like police brutality, you better believe I'll write a song about it. But I try to stay in my wheel house of writing songs about what I've been through. It's what I'm good at. Buzz Slayers: This track has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences? NOFX, Rancid, Mojo Nixon, Propagandhi, Kermit the Frog, Green Day, Queen. Not in that order. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? Animating, voice acting, Working my day job. Trying to be a good boyfriend. Wrangling cats into bath tubs. They can get real stinky. Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now? The new NOFX album, Double Album, is really good. I haven't written anything major in about 2 years (a lot of Destructive Criticism has been fine tweaked over the last two years. Only a few songs were written up to the recording day) and it's really kicking me in the ass to start putting pen to paper again. Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now? I have one more show in 2022 in Wilkes Barre, PA at Curry Donuts with The Tedd Hazard Experience, which is the full band version of what I'm doing. And then in January we're planning on doing a run up to Upstate New York (Rochester, Syracuse), then possibly some dates in Altoona, PA, Trenton, NJ, and, next year, I'm planning on doing two tours. One down to Florida and back, and one in the Southwest. And I have my name in the hat for a few big festivals. At least I hope I do. Buzz Slayers: This album feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there? Don't do a 17 song album. This thing took 3 months to finish. Yes, it's an amazing record. It's probably going to go down as my best. But if there's anything I learned from this experience it's quality over quantity. I used to put out a record every year. I waited two whole years to release Destructive Criticism and it definitely paid off. The unfortunate side of it is that there is not a single one of these 17 songs that I refused to put on the record. I needed to get them all out there. And now it's definitely a tour de force of indiegrass/folk whatever. No. You know what? Go record that 17 songs album. Don't have me tell you what to do. This is the first record I've released that I'm proud of without feeling any regrets. Basically what I'm saying here is you don't have to rush to get something out. Take your time and release the record you always wanted to do. Because it'll be worth it in the end. Not just for you, but for your fans. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future? Like I said, we've got some tours coming up, there will be a lot more full band shows. I'm planning on doing a full band EP over the summer with the experience and, believe it or not, I'm actually planning on doing a Christmas album in the near future. It might be covers, it might be originals. All I know is it's going to come out of left field. Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you. This record wouldn't be the way it is if you people didn't demand that I ditch the guitar and stick with the banjo. But seriously,
thank you and thank you sharing the record with everyone you know.