By James Olson
VANCOUVER — 2016 is proving to be a year of rebirth and rejuvenation for three-piece stoner rockers Hashteroid. After taking an extended hiatus to regroup in the wake of personal tragedy, Alex Gidora (vocals/guitar), Mike Grossnickle (bass), and Grant Prouse (drums) are poised to make their return to the stage to celebrate not only the vinyl release of their debut EP but the second coming of Hashteroid proper.
Building upon Gidora and original Hashteroid drummer Steve Chambers’ tenure in Hugenelk, Hashteorid was conceived as a fusion between more traditional stoner rock influences (Kyuss, Fu Manchu) with the faster, heavier leanings of Saviours and local Vancouver heavyweights Baptists.
“In Hashteroid we seemed to figure out a different style of playing a lot faster and more sinister, with some different, heavier influences coming in at that point. Hashteroid is definitely faster and heavier” Gidora explains. “More to the point, Hugenelk had a lot of problems with bloated, long songs and we try to keep it pretty tight now.” Quickly bringing Grossnickle to the fold on bass, the first incarnation of Hashteroid made a name for themselves playing with the likes of Waingro and M16, performing at Burger Fest 2014 and recording the band’s first EP, Respect the Depths.
Recorded at Rain City and mastered by the prolific Stu McKillop (We Hunt Buffalo, Unleash the Archers), Respect the Depths was tracked live-off-the-floor, owing to the EP’s raw, punchy sound. Recording live enabled the band to more fully capture the organic, jam-based feel of their live shows and improvisational writing process. “We wanted the freedom to tease things out when we could. We jam a lot in practice…so we wanted to have that effect [on the record]. It seems to have worked,” Gidora says. “This release definitely seems more raw and coherent than anything we have recorded in the past.” Grossnickle agrees, “There were a couple parts, some of the solo sections where some of it was improvised. We just left it open every time we played that song. For the most part it went pretty smooth. We didn’t do that many takes per track and we finished quicker than we had booked for time in the studio.”
On April 1, Hashteroid will play not only their first show since going on hiatus but their first ever headlining show. Joined by friends in M16, Hallux, and Woe Monger, the power trio is electric with anticipation.
“This release [show] will really be us celebrating being back. It will be our first show with Grant on drums. We’re really looking forward to it,” says Gidora. With more shows, a possible summer tour, and work on their first full-length album in the works, Hashteroid are back and ready to scorch some trails.
Hashteroid performs at SBC Restaurant on April 1.BC, British Columbia, Hashteroid, SBC Restaurant