With the release of their first album, ‘Welcome to Everott’, last summer (2013) Washington based punk group Johnny Hoffman and the Residents (JHOFF) are gaining a lot of attention. Despite their growing recognition by the likes of MTV and Warped Magazine relatively little is known about the two-piece band – until now!
They both come from relatively fraught backgrounds having experiences loss and tragedy from a young age. Joe lost his big sister to a drug overdose when he was young losing a best friend and a role model as someone who influenced a lot of his music and writing. The Name “Johnny Hoffman” is in honour of John Hoffman, a late great uncle of Joe’s who was also lost around the same time.
These losses have allowed JHOFF to deal with some difficult emotions which only adds to the strength, sincerity and rawness of their music. They recorded Drug Hotel, Tracy Girl, Inner City on a digital 16 track Roland recording system in the upstairs bedroom of Joe’s Dad’s house. Their lo-fi sound comes from the techniques they used to record in boxing up an old Peavey amp in a cardboard box with high gain and mic’ing it up from the outside.
“Most of the time we relied on instinct and intuition to guide where the songs should go next. Basically flying by the seat of our pants, recording every noise, rattle and hiss that made the hair stand on the back of our necks”.
Their inspirations at the time of writing and recording were Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes, The Pixies, Captain Beefheart and The Beatles. But they are also very involved with the local hardcore punk scene working with and being influenced by bands from various spots around the Washington area.
“We express a very particular groove native to our area and can never be replicated due to the struggle and life lived behind each song”.
Joe also runs an all age’s underground venue, called The Creative’s Underground, in the building where they live where they get various performers from the Northwest to perform.
Drugs have also influenced them to some extent: “We have also had our fair share of experience with psychedelics, that we believe open up the flood gates to a synchronicity in writing new music.” They are not short of a few weird tales: “Black Sabbath, strobe lights and standing out in the rain with our brains oozing… we have seen vinyl album covers talking to us and been lost in a large wooden play structure…”
Want to hear more? Check out ‘Han Solo’ taken from their previous release ‘Knuckle Deep’:
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