After almost eight years in the abyss, Kentucky’s heavy metal thunder The Hookers are back, roaring across the USA armed with a relentless powerhouse of riffs. They’re stronger than ever with numerous releases and a menacing sound that will destroy eardrums and posers alike.
After such a long break for the band, the first question for Hookers singer Adam Neal (aka the Rock’n’Roll Outlaw) has to be, ‘How did the reformation happen?’
“We got talked back into doing one show by our buddies at Black lung Records,” Neal explains. “They put out a lot of our early stuff and wanted to have a showcase show for their label. They talked us into doing a one-off and it went really well and I thought ‘Why am I not doing this band all the time?’ It seemed like a lot of fun so that’s how it started again.”
The band has come back swinging hard with countless releases with one similarity across them all; Neal’s love for horror movies expressed not only lyrically but also throughout the band’s entire catalogue. One look at their record covers or a read of their lyrics will reveal a bloodthirsty expression of Hammer Horror and B-movie scream queens. When presented with the thought of the Hookers starring in their own horror movie, Neal pauses for a moment only to confess, “We would have two avenues: Hammer Horror style with vampires or a post apocalyptic Mad Max movies. I can’t imagine us fitting into anything else except maybe a biker movie built around us as a gang but we’re also all vampires and it’s set in the 19th century yet we ride Harleys. Those would be the three we could fit in but the biker movie is probably the best. I’d bring Lucio Fulci back to life and he’d direct it and if he’s not available, it’d be Peter Jackson and suddenly be the biggest movie ever made – the next Lord Of The Rings yet it’s about us.”
In a time long before the internet, Neal grew up on a farm with his days spent milking cows. Access to underground music such as heavy metal and punk must have been a chore in itself.
“When I was a kid, my dad had a lot of eight-tracks that were heavier, seventies stuff,” he remembers,“the likes of Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Black Oak Arkansas. He was a biker so they had a lot of parties playing rowdy rock like Ted Nugent. As far as underground music, when I was a kid, my mother worked at the hospital in this town that was an hour away. Sometimes I’d have to go with her and I would just go and hang out in the record store. That was the first time I had seen bands like Misfits and The Exploited, which at the time was underground punk. That record store was called the Record Ranch in Danville, Kentucky.
“That was the first time I had seen or heard any of that stuff. I bought a lot of cassettes. That’s what got me into it. The second I got in to that kind of music (punk), I had an uncle that moved back from Texas and he was really into Motorhead and WASP. He started turning me on to the more serious underground metal bands of the time. He took me to see Metallica in 1988 and from there on, I was hooked on it forever. I just wanted to be in a band and play crazy music, fast, and headbang all the time.”
Reminiscing with Neal, one can feel the nostalgic value of growing up before the digital age, embraced in the search through record stores for those rare collectible records you just need to own.
“Every time I hear something new that I like, it’s wonderful,” Neal admits, “I just listen to it til I burn it out. Newer stuff I’m a bit more picky about but that’s probably because I’m older and jaded about it or something, I don’t know, but when I do hear something I love, I champion it to everyone. If I like something, all my friends are going to know about it and will turn them on to it because when I was a kid, that’s how it worked and that’s the only way it could work back then. You had to tell your friends about bands and they had to tell you about bands and that’s how you learned all this stuff, you know?”
It’s obvious Neal is passionate about his love of music and his band. After a lengthy stint in the underground metal scene and their reputation for explosive live shows, one has to wonder if an Australian tour could one day be in their sights. Neal is a realist yet optimistic at the thought of heading down under someday.
“I would love to tour Australia but it’s complicated because of the money. It has to be set up a certain way but we are certainly always on our management to try to find a way for us to get there. We really want to go there. I’d love it.”
And we’d love to have you.
The Hookers have recently reissued their 2011 full length Horror Rises From The Tombs on the Digital Warfare label.
GO HORROR OR GO HOME
With horror movies being the staple diet for The Rock N Roll Outlaw, Neal reveals to HEAVY Magazine his top five horror films of all time and why.
Return of the Living Dead (1985)
It was the first time I had ever seen punk rockers ever in my life. I grew up in the country on a farm, rented the movie and was unaware that this whole punk thing existed. I was milking cows every day, unaware that punk even existed. I saw this when I was eight or nine so it was the first time I had seen them besides maybe punks being on Chips or something like that. This film blew me away as it had punk music, nudity, amazing gore, and it was still a scary movie. It pretty much had everything you wanted. It was the perfect movie.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)
The movie’s insane. It’s just over the top and weirded me out so much when I was a kid and also has punk music in it. It has an unhinged kind of way about it.
Salem’s Lot (1979)
This was the first movie that actually scared me and gave me nightmares and my mum let me watch the mini-series with her. It was on TV before the VHS release and that shit just gave me nightmares for weeks. The Nosferatu guy, The Master, he is so terrifying.
You can’t stop this movie. It’s almost a horror comedy but it has some eighties sensibility that just blew me away when I was a kid.
City Of The Living Dead (1980)
This is probably my favourite actual horror movie. It’s essential. It’s unbelievably incoherent, there’s no storyline to it, it’s just raining maggots and priests are hanging themselves, it’s just absolute madness. When I first saw it, it really bothered me and I thought about it all of the time. I just loved it.