A little while back, this site premiered three demo tracks from North Carolinian doomers Hour of 13 with their new singer, whose identity was then a mystery. In the comments section of that post, you’ll find word from members of The Might Could that it was, in fact, Beaten Back to Pure, Birds of Prey and Plague the Suffering vocalist Ben Hogg filling the shoes vacated by Phil Swanson, and as a show at the Cake Shop in NYC proved early in March, they were right.
Hogg was a surprise to take that role, as Hour of 13‘s vocals have heretofore been clean exclusively and through his work in his other bands, Hogg has always proved to be almost entirely a growler/screamer, but as the demos demonstrated, he’s more than capable of matching key for key with Hour of 13‘s material, adding elements of his own personality to the songwriting of guitarist Chad Davis. The band has already started work on new material, it seems, and though there isn’t a release set for anything yet — Hour of 13‘s second album with Swanson, The Ritualist, was recently reissued by Earache — Hogg assures good things are afoot.
Even today, that’s proven to be the case, as it was announced Hour of 13 will join Kylesa for a week-long tour of the Southern US at the end of May into June, and in our interview, Ben Hogg leaked some info about more road time to come in July. Hour of 13, apparently, are about to become a full-on touring act, and as Hogg says several times over, that suits him just fine.
We spoke on opening day of baseball season (March 31) as the Cardinals were in extra innings, but Hogg was nonetheless forthcoming about how he came to be involved with Hour of 13, the nervousness he felt before making his debut with the band at the Cake Shop, the trials of owning your own wedge monitor, the band’s plans writing, touring, and much, much more. There were some phone-line issues, but I got everything transcribed the best I could, and the ensuing conversation was over 4,100 words, so there should be plenty to work with.
On a personal note, before I turn it over to the interview proper, I want to underscore my previous congratulations to Ben Hogg on landing this vocalist spot. The dude’s a lifer if there ever was one, and in this scene, that’s not easy. We’ve been in touch periodically over the years and he’s never been anything but cool to me and if the excitement he shows here is any indication, he’s genuinely glad to be a part of Hour of 13, and I wish both him and the band all the best going forward. Can’t wait to hear how it all comes together on the next record.
Complete Q&A with Ben Hogg is after the jump. Please enjoy.