I (B. Hold) need to get some creative juices flowing, so I decided to do a very brief write-up of each band member over the next couple of weeks. Get to know Steppin’ Razor a little bit better with these random facts about your four favorite reggae rockers. Some of these statements might not even be true, but they are guaranteed to give you some valuable insight into the inner workings of this band.
I decided to start with our lead guitarist, James Hoy, because we just released one of his songs from the upcoming album. If you didn’t catch “Rise Up” on Wednesday, check the Soundcloud link below.
James is a 29-year-old finger ninja from Intercourse, Pennsylvania. He says the most random things to strangers, and occasionally writes down his thoughts in a collection called Deep Thoughts by P. Dub (we hope this will be released in hardback someday, after some serious editing… because James is a terrible speller). Why “P. Dub”? Well, that has been James’s nickname since the summer of 2006, the first summer that Steppin’ Razor occupied the Jersey shore. It’s a long story, but James earned the “P. Dub” title because of beer pong (or was it beer pool?) and Venus Williams. Let’s just say Hoy has one mean sinker.
James’s bragging rights: he once survived a fall down 500 stairs (he got to ride to the hospital in a helicopter that night!). He invented whiskey thousands of years ago. He can play really fast. He makes really good chocolate chip cookies. His girlfriend, “Double-N,” is one groovy chick. He fashions things out of recycled rubber, saving thousands of lives every day. It’s true.
Most importantly and pertinently, however, James Hoy has contributed some brilliant songwriting to Steppin’ Razor over the years. He doesn’t write a lot of songs, but his tunes are always crowd favorites. Take “Guidance,” for example. Featured on our 2009 debut album, Gold in Rule, this song consists of a simple but captivating riddim over which Hoy glides, whammies, and spanks notes up and down the fretboard. As we did with the title track on our upcoming 2nd album, …Against the Current, Johnny and I put lyrics over the “Guidance” riddim, a fun basis for such a collaboration. Originally, I rapped a verse, and then I remembered that I’m a dork, so I wrote some simple lyrics I could sing, which fit the song much better. Hoy’s music is a lot of fun to sing over, because it’s not complicated – it’s catchy and in-your-face, and it’s repetition doesn’t wear on you, as long as you’re willing to let go, feel the groove, and dance (or whatever your body does when music comes on). He’s also that way in person: he doesn’t say a whole lot, but when he talks, he’s to-the-point, honest, and often sidesplittingly hilarious.
Here’s one of his greats, “Rise Up” (lyrics by John Myers), from …Against the Current (coming next month).