Audacious! In your face! Hairball keeps rockin' out
Crowd-pleasing band measures success with audience response
September 5, 2019
For fans of rock n’ roll, the Clyde Theater will be the site of Hairball, a rock band that covers classic hits from KISS to Journey, all while providing an awesome light show and high-intensity performance.
Scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13, fans can look forward to seeing a variety of their favorite larger-than-life rock stars, complete with audacious attitude and in-your-face style.
Power of the Three Chords
“I consider Hairball to be the travelling convention for cool rock n’ roll, so as much as we are the band, we are also fans of this kind of stuff,” lead guitarist Happy said in an interview with Whatzup. “A lot of times, it’s an opportunity for a gathering of people just to talk about these kinds of groups and kinds of concerts. There’s a camaraderie that happens with the gathering that is Hairball because they don’t make rock stars like this anymore. There was a time and a place that will forever be cool, but it will be hard for the world to travel back in time before there were cell phones and the internet.”
Happy has a personal understanding of how powerful music can be. From a young age, he was committed to learning and exceling at guitar.
“My love for the instrument was born through the power of the three chords that would have been Boston or Ace Frehely, just that power, and I never got away from it,” he said. “I still enjoy the power of the sound of the instrument. I just wanted to do it so bad, and I invested into it so much. I got over the hump, and the joys and what the guitar had to offer my life unfolded and opened up to me.”
This dedication to music is a consistent theme throughout Happy’s career. From personal pep talks before shows to rebuilding strength after a battle with cancer, Happy shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
“I try to always think back to the 16-year-old kid who I used to be that used to dream about playing for a couple hundred people and used to draw pics of amps and guitars he wanted to own,” he said.
“I take a moment to imagine people who convinced their friends to come to the show, and I don’t want to let that person down. I think, ‘Suck it up and prove that person right and put those people’s chins on the floor again.’ Just like I felt every time I had a Van Halen ticket or KISS ticket and told my friends, ‘You gotta go.’”
Better than a tribute band
After nearly 20 years of touring, the band does not consider themselves to be a tribute band. Instead, they view their concerts as a rock-filled, theatrical experience.
This is best demonstrated by the band’s need for not just a tour bus but also a semi-truck. Plenty of room is needed to accommodate the band’s many costumes, lights, pyrotechnics, and even the occasional live snake.
Their unwavering commitment to performance has allowed them the opportunity to open for and perform with well-known headliners, including Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons.
“Those who want to remember Freddy Mercury and Alice Cooper and Dee Snider and Gene Simmons all in one show get to honor this music. I like to see it with fireworks and huge light shows and guys going out there and physically pushing it to the edge and sweating and bleeding on the stage.”
While Hairball’s success has offered them incredible opportunities, the band ultimately measures the success of their concerts by the audience’s response.
“Hairball is doing its best work when I take somebody who might be in their 50s or 60s and put them back in high school or when they first held that piece of vinyl,” Happy said. “What it is really cool is when their 8-, 9-, or 10-year-old son or daughter is standing next to them, and I just open with Guns N’ Roses or Mötley Crüe, and they know the music. When I see those generations sitting next to each other singing the same song and fist bumping, I know Hairball is doing valuable work by getting people off the couch, singing, and enjoying the same kind of rock n’ roll.”