By Nick Christophers
There is a limited amount of young artist today who have held onto their musical roots and ran with it. For anyone in search of a fusion of old and new look no further than the eclectic sounds of Greg Hoy. His mother was a tremendous inspiration to him musically as he grew into a young man. She was a member of the Columbia House Record and Tape Club and shared with Greg all the amazing music that was sent to her. Everything from Led Zeppelin, Herb Alpert, Barbra Streisand, The West Side Story Soundtrack to Stevie Wonder. Hearing this interesting mix of genres molded Greg’s musical playlist. Presently, Greg mimics what his mother did with his daughter while they trek across the US in his famous 1970s Airstream Van.
That Van has been the backbone to the music he creates. Greg believes in living and breathing the music one delivers. Traveling in the RV has inspired many a song when the simpler things in life invoke his creative juices to develop rocking music. When listening to his music one can catch the ever-present drumbeats that have taken a front seat to his music. He was first a drummer then learned to play the guitar, but the drum kit is his favorite instrument.
“A lot of my records tend to be just me playing all the instruments myself, and I always start with recording myself on the kit. In 6th grade, I stole some drum sticks from the middle school band room, went home, and put magazines on my bed spread like the toms on a drum kit. Then I sat and wailed along with the radio. I think a lot of Phil Collins, Van Halen stuff in the 80’s. Those magazines turned into little shreds by the end of the night. Drums are the best. It is hitting something with your hands… meditation, communication, coordination. Everyone should play the drums, man! The world would be a better place! And probably a lot louder.”
Greg has worked with some amazing producers/mixers on his music like Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey), Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Also, with prolific drummers Jason Slota and Steve Sutherland. They all have been an educational influence for Greg and what they parted to him has shown in his every track. Most of his records are studio productions recorded on 2-inch tape machine in a big room. Greg developed the project Greg Hoy & The Boys which he released a few albums with. The band is made of men and women of course.
Greg has broken barriers with his music by being featured on shows like “One Tree Hill” and MTV’s “Made”. His music has been noticed internationally as he took the stage at such venues like CMJ, SXSW and the Latitude Festival in the UK.
“My last east bay band The Royal Panics did two rather interesting shows at SXSW a few years back. The real fun is usually the 23 1/2 hours around the gig, and really there’s no better place to spend 23 1/2 hours than Austin, Texas.”
Recently, he has released a new track entitled “Can You Take It” which has begun to turn heads and feet tapping. The video for the track is a fun and playful take on the present state of our nation and the world. It is off the new album “Cacophony”. He utilized the riff off the track as an ode to bands he revisited like Devo, The Runaways, Queens of the Stone Age and The Go Gos. In the video he incorporated the talents of Ice-T who makes a quick humorous cameo. Greg has always admired Ice-T and his contributions to the music scene.
Greg pens lyrics that at times are a fine line between creativity and his own lifestyle. They are most of time characters that are intertwined within his own life experiences. This is what makes his music more passionate and attractive. At the time Greg feels strongly that everyone needs to speak the truth in any way they can. For him it is through his songwriting and the massive cross-country road trips. At this point Greg is focused on working on videos and looking to release the EP of “Cacophony, Part 2” in a few weeks. Part I and Part II make up a vinyl LP which should be out prior to the holidays. He hopes one day soon he will tour again. But for now, he wishes to share his music to the world in any way possible.