Interview: Jared of (hed) p.e.
Fusing rock, punk, rasta, gansta rap and soul into something truly unique (and affectionately known as G-Punk), (hed) p.e. have been a mainstay in the rock and metal community since forming in 1994. Over the course of their ten albums the band have continuously attempted to bring down the New World Order and the global elite via their socially aware and enlighten lyrics. Bringing attention to the evils that go on around us and control our lives. In 2018 this is more relevant than ever! (hed) p.e. are the voice for a movement that empowers youth and explores secret world history, and at the same time promotes unity and political activism. Couple that with their poundage riffage, solid grooves and funk infused rhythms, you can dance your ass off while simultaneously tearing down the establishment! The genre melding masters, (hed) p.e. will be making their long overdue return to Australia this March as they embark on their Worldwide Unity Tour! We got to speak with original founding member, social activist and punk rocker, Jared, before they headed over here for this run of shows.
Thanks so much for speaking with us before you begin your Aussie tour here, how have you been and how's life in general?
I'm stoked to be heading back to Australia, the last time we were there was 2015 if I remember correctly when we played with Snot. I remember it was an amazing tour and I'm glad to be heading back, we always get treated really well in Australia.
I remember seeing you guys here roughly 10 years ago when you toured with Kottonmouth Kings, it was an awesome experience and the live shows were phenomenal. Have your live shows evolved much since then for those who may not have seen (hed) p.e perform for a while if at all?
Oh wow, yeah, I remember those shows. A lot of those shows made it onto my DVD "The D.I.Y Guys" and that was a pretty hyped up time for the band. I'd say that the only difference now is I have a couple of different members in the band now and they bring a different vibe, and I think we're kind of doing more reggae now than anything. But you know, it's still a (hed) p.e party man, we still play our punk rock and heavy metal songs.
You guys have so many awesome albums to chose songs from, is it hard picking out a setlist these days when you go on tour?
(laughs) That's a good question dude, our crowd is very understanding about the fact that there's so many records like you said, so I really try and play what I think people want to hear, but you're never going to please everyone. Some people know us more from when we were on a major label releases, some people know us from when we were signed to Suburban Noize which was more underground. At the same time that I'm trying to please people that are coming to the show, I'm also trying to please myself artistically. It's not just a job for me, so I'm trying to get something out of it as well.
(hed) p.e are known for mixing a bit of metal with rap, hip-hop with punk rock, reggae with rock, the list goes on. Tell me about how awesome it must be to be able to reach out and connect with so many different people that enjoy your music from all walks of life.
Wow, yeah dude, that is a blessing. I just got back from Europe and then the last few shows were in Poland and Ukraine, we did some shows in Russia also, and that is when I really feel blessed to bring my brand of music, like what you said, the blend of styles, to the other side of the globe. It's an unbelievable feeling man, culturally it's something different for them, I think people might be a bit jaded because there's just so much going on all the time musically. There's so many bands, so many DJ's, so many performers and it's almost impossible to listen to everything that's out there now.
For me personally, I'm a bit more of a metal fan, but I've always loved your diverse sound no matter what era of (hed) p.e I'm listening to. What are some heavy bands that have influenced your music over the years?
One of the bands I would have to say would be, and I don't even know if you'd consider them heavy, but this band called TesseracT, I really like what they're doing right now. I love the Casualties, as far as punk rock goes, that's just the top of the food chain for me personally. In terms of like heavy metal and what's going on right now, I have no idea, because I'm more into the heavy metal spirit of things, but I don't listen to metal in my spare time, I'm more likely to listen to trap music or different styles of reggae. But when I'm on the stage, I want to hear heavy guitars, so it's just like two different things for me, with what I enjoy on the stage and off the stage.
If it came down to it and one day (hed) p.e had to call it quits and you could book any farewell tour that you wanted, could you name a couple of artists you'd love to have perform with you?
Let's see, I'd probably do something selfish so I could watch them play and that would be Bob Marley, Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, I'd be in heaven man.
Do you have any words for you Aussie fans before you say goodbye?
Come out to the shows and have a good time, it's got something for everyone, heavy metal, punk rock, reggae madness that we throw down every time that we play so it doesn't matter who shows up, it's always a party and you're sure to have a good time. We don't get to come to your beautiful country that often, so let's make it count right?
Written by Steve Jenkins