Interview: High Noon Kahuna
"What the hell is this?" I said as I read the name HIGH NOON KAHUNA for the first time.
Once I hit play on their new record Killing Spree, I started to get some answers in the form of their unique sound. Equal parts surf, stoner, and punk, High Noon Kahuna serve up something hard to categorize, but easy to appreciate it. So, I reached out directly to the band to learn more and here is what they told me...
How did you three link up to form High Noon Kahuna?
We have known each other for years and supported each other's bands by playing shows together and just hanging out. At the beginning of 2022 we finally got the chance to jam.
High Noon Kahuna is a unique moniker and definitely caught my attention. Where did the name come from?
Our sound springs from a magical intersection where spaghetti western, surf rock, rockabilly, punk rock, and noise rock sounds meet. After much deliberation on how to convey the band's sound in words, we came up with High Noon Kahuna.
Frederick, Maryland has a sneaky good stoner/doom metal scene. Your sound fits under that umbrella, but you also incorporate a lot of surf rock, punk, and many other genres. Was the sound predetermined or is it just what happened when you started jamming?
Well, heavy music runs deep in Frederick so that was a given. We all love and have played in heavy bands around the Frederick, Maryland area. However there is a unique twist for us in this band. Tim has played drums in bands for years but never played guitar in a band. Paul has played guitar and bass in bands for years but never played a Fender Bass VI. Brian adding his punk rock and heavy style gives the whole thing a cool vibe that we haven’t experienced before. The most important mind-set with the three of us is that there are no rules. We all share similar musical interests so when we get together and start freestyle jamming… what comes from that… well - it is what it is.
There are long sections with no vocals throughout the record. Was there ever consideration to be an instrumental only band?
Killing Spree has two instrumentals where our Self Titled EP is very sparse when it comes to vocals. We hope to add a melody or vocal element when it adds to the jam.
You recorded Killing Spree with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations in Baltimore, MD. Why did you choose him to produce/engineer the record?
Paul's band Black Blizzard started a conversation with Kevin that began a working relationship with him and has progressed to HNK working with him and his amazing studio. Kevin is fantastic to work with and no matter what kinda crazy suggestion we ask, he figures out how to do it! "Parachute" (fist song on K.S.) starts with Brian (drummer) skating down the street in Baltimore - Kevin brought the microphones outside his studio and hit record. There are no rules at Developing Nations - and we love that!
“Another Way Around” is the first single released from Killing Spree, do you feel this track best represents the High Noon Kahuna sound?
The band name, surf rock elements of your sound, and album artwork all create a cohesive aesthetic. Do you consider the visual components important to High Noon Kahuna? Did you give artist Jon Moser direction for the album artwork?
Visuals and imagery are very important to the band. In this case, it came down to happenstance. The HNK name was established approximately two or three years ago. Jon has been our friend for a long time and we have all played several shows with his band A.P.F.. When he posted his shark artwork the image just clicked. It was a magical moment.
You’ve got a record release show scheduled for November 18th at Olde Mother Brewing in Frederick. Any plans for tours or shows outside your local area in the near future?
We have started booking a Southeast US tour for Spring 2023 (VA,NC,TN,KY) and they will be posted once they are locked-in so check our social media pages for more show updates. If you're available, you should come to the show on the 18th. It's FREE - and we are playing with two killer bands who are our good friends, Severed Satellites and Mythospere. It will be a great time! Olde Mother is an awesome bar that's been hosting great local shows for a few years now. It's got a great vibe and we have always had fun there whether we are checking out a show or having one of their amazing brews.