It’s three in the afternoon and I’m talking to Paul Spatola, lead guitarist for Hurt, and I’m in Staples, scribbling down notes onto a pad of paper that I haven’t bought yet. Hurt is the Los Angeles metal band with 40367 MySpace friends that released their first album, Volume 1, in 2006 to resounding critical acclaim and is now promoting their new album, Volume 2. They logged two Top 15 Active Rock hits with “Rapture” and “Falls Apart”. Outside of the USA, their biggest fan base is in Finland. The winds have blown them across America to Hartford, CT where they are performing live tonight.
SCENE & HEARD: So, what are you guys doing here in Connecticut?
PAUL: We’re just did some radio Friday; we’ve been doing a lot of radio recently- we’ve been trying to do as much radio as possible. We’re doing some soundchecks at the moment and then we’re going to go out and play tonight. Pretty much what we do every day…
S&H: So, what are your major musical influences?
P: I’m actually influenced by everything. I started playing piano when I was five and I’ve been listening to all kinds of music, even classical music, since then. Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’ve got one single influence – I try to pick up as much as I can from everywhere.
S&H: How has the Internet and iTunes affected the recording industry? I’ve noticed that your songs are available on AOL music player…
P: Well, internet music, it’s good and it’s bad. On the good side, the fans can listen on the internet all the time and comment on the message board saying “I love this song” or whatever. But on the bad side, it’s ruining the recording industry. Especially with things like iTunes, people are no longer buying music and records any more, but they’re stealing them.
S&H: Your lyrics are really angry, what are you rebelling against?
P: I don’t really write the lyrics; Jay writes them about personal matters and puts spin on some of the situations he’s been through. We let him do that because they trust him to write his own lyrics. I just concentrate on making the music.
S&H: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to the band?
P: What do you mean crazy?
S&H: Like on tour, for example.
P: Well I can’t think of anything that’s been that crazy, when you get up on stage in front of thousands of people and play music, that’s crazy, y’know, you can’t believe that’s happening.
S&H: You say on your music blog that your music has the “power to save lives”, how would you say that’s possible?
P: I guess people out there that really connect with what we’re saying, they feel like they’re not alone any more. It really helps them through the day because they need that stuff and if our music saves lives, that’s great, that’s what we’re doing it for.
S&H: So, what are you listening to at the moment? What metal bands are good?
P: I don’t really listen to that much metal, I’ve been listening to Bloc Party a lot, they’re great. Yeah, the only metal I really listen to is Slipknot. Otherwise I listen to a lot of classic rock, Zeppelin and stuff. Apart from Block Party, I mainly listen to older stuff.
S&H: And what about the rap scene?
P: I don’t really listen to it; there are some good things but, no I don’t really listen to rap. But if there’s a song with something about it lyrically that’s good, I’m not gonna shut it out, you’ve gotta be open to everything, otherwise that’s ignorant.
S&H: Would you like to expand your music to an international scene?
P: I would love to go international, unfortunately it requires a great deal of planning and money and we’re concentrating on the US at the moment. We hope that we’re going to hit Europe as soon as possible, on our blog; there are fans from Germany, Britain and Finland, places that we’ve never been to before. We ant to bring the live show over there as it’s a pretty different experience and it seems that everywhere except the USA, people are interested in listening to good music and enjoy going to live shows.
S&H: How did the band form?
P: Well Jay was spotted out in Virginia where he played with a band. A PR guy said he liked his stuff but not his band’s and he brought him to LA. He was hooked up with Evan who was a studio drummer and Josh who was a guitarist from New Jersey who called me up when they said they needed another guitarist. We started doing tests and we were signed a couple of weeks later.
S&H: So, does your band have a message for Yale or America?
P: We don’t have a specific message. Jay’s lyrics are different versions of what ‘Hurt’ means, it can be pain, sadness or whatever. Jay doesn’t like to explain his lyrics, he likes to leave them to open interpretation. He wants people to read whatever they want into them. We’re not trying to be political; we don’t have a specific message.