Some readers may recall seeing or hearing about the documentary “Some Kind of Monster.” The film, released in 2004, follows heavy metal rock band Metallica as it travels to performance venues across the country with a therapist in tow. The band, as the film reveals, has contracted with the therapist to help them resolve their considerable and longstanding interpersonal difficulties.
In contrast, local band Humanoise (formerly The Rez), whose members have played together for the past seven years and have known one another since they attended Franklin High School together, is remarkably harmonious. The band’s harmony extends beyond the members’ relationships to their musical chemistry, which is evidenced in their new and first full-length album, also called “Humanoise.”
Guitarist Harrison Stone, 28, is the band’s singer, primary songwriter and lyricist. He has been playing music since the age of 4 and began writing music when he was about 14, the same year he and Humanoise bandmates Carson Korman (bass) and Dave Cavalier (drums) formed their first band, playing ska music together.
“The ska band was fun, but the lyrics were ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic-ish. We started wanting to do some more serious music,” said Stone. “I was an English major in college, and I loved words. We didn’t want to be pigeonholed, so we started a new band [The Rez], where we played reggae, rock, acoustic, funk, heavy rock and psychedelic. That’s when Marc [Shapiro] joined the band.”
Stone said Humanoise’s music has been likened to ’90s rock, which “makes sense, since that’s what we grew up listening to. We’re anti-pop, catchy, riffy and often heavy rock.”
In addition to musical groups from the 1990s such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone and Shapiro, who plays lead guitar, are both heavily influenced by the music their parents used to play — The Beatles, Led Zeppelin.
“One of the cool things about us is we all have unique tastes, and we bring them all to the table,” added Stone.
Stone said that songwriting is a “democratic process” for band members. “Generally I’ll have lyrics and a rhythm guitar part. I’ll send it to [the other band members], and they will write their own parts. I just bring a skeleton of a song, and they’ll finish it.”
He continued: “The lyrics have gone from being love songs when I was younger to more philosophical to more political.”
The band recently changed its name from The Rez to Humanoise to reflect its more thought-provoking subject matter.
“It’s about people being heard,” said Stone. “Now it’s more possible for people to be heard because of the Internet. Look all over the world. People are more and more informed. People are outraged [about inequality and other issues]. And they should be.”
For more information about Humanoise and its new album, visit facebook.com/makehumanoise.
(Full disclosure: Marc Shapiro is a JT staff reporter)
Simone Ellin is JT senior features reporter — firstname.lastname@example.org