A Hidden Agenda
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A Hidden Agenda


Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Making of Pussy, Punk Rock & Pop*tarts"

Timing is everything. Maybe it’s because I was 3 weeks overdue that I’m always either early or on time for things. I arrived for the first day of A Hidden Agenda’s recording session early. I received a text from Jerm Plue, A Hidden Agenda’s vocalist, asking the address of the place he told me to meet them. I replied and waited for the band to arrive. I had no idea what I was about to experience.

I first heard of A Hidden Agenda after meeting someone at a concert in October 2009. Little did I know he passed my name and information onto Plue, the Executive Director of RiotRock Collective, who contacted me about the organization dedicated to promoting the local music scene. A month later, I attended a rehearsal of his band, A Hidden Agenda. They were raw, grabbing their music, like life, by the balls with an attitude that reflected the organization’s name, riot rock. The band, whose members’ influences range from Beastie Boys to NOFX to Jimi Hendrix, has been together for six years. All have been involved with music in one way or another for most of their lives. Plue has been involved with music since grade school, and after college in a cover band called Vinyl Distortion. Guitarist Travis Stone began playing bass at fourteen then later played guitar in a band with AHA drummer Alan Stout called Wired Strong to the Inside. Stout began playing drums when he was thirteen and played in another punk band named The Pre-School Dropouts. Bassist Dan Ralston started playing bass at sixteen and later went on to form AHA with Plue.

Later this year, I suggested I follow them as they record their full length CD. They were game and the fun began a few weeks later.

About twenty minutes after our first text, a bright orange van pulled into the driveway of the home of Ian Sheridan, a member of the band The Illest Array who engineered the CD. “A HIDDEN AGENDA” appeared on the side of the van. They found the place. Three of the four members jumped out of the van—Plue, Stone, and Stout. We went inside and down to the basement. I must admit, the last time I was in a recording studio was in college but this basement was pretty sweet. Guitars hung on the wall while a drum kit was set up in the main room. Cables and pedals covered the floor and blankets hung from the ceiling for recording vocals. As Stout and Sheridan discussed where to record drums, Plue and Stone got a feel of the room. Plue went over with me the eleven tracks they were to record – ten original tracks plus a cover of the Nard Voris tune “Been So Long.” I also learned something else about the band – this is the new lineup. When I first met AHA, there were five members. Now there are four. Stone took over on guitar, which is a return to earlier days.

“This is actually the original lineup for another band, Delorean Death Ride, which was a hardcore punk band,” Plue said.

After deciding where to set up the drums, the debate turned into whether or not to use a click when recording. After a few attempts of using one for their first song, “Been So Long,” they decided to not use one. Stone also decided to play along with Stout to guide him. Plue added vocals to help guide both of them. The drum tracking went by very fast, flying through songs like “Time Machine,” “Monica,” and “Against the Wall,” but all good things must come to an end. “So Yeah” proved to be a challenge. During the takes for this song, Ralston arrived. Once every “God Dammit!” and “Fuck My Life!” was out of his system, he had another musician to record with as Ralston played bass along with him. Stout began to find his groove once he finished with the drum tracks. Ralston was ready to record his parts with his new bass. Everyone was pretty impressed with the way it sounded as opposed to his previous one. By the time he began recording, he was already warmed up due to playing along with Stout. Each song was done in a couple of takes. Solid drum and bass tracks were laid down on day one. Everyone was pleased.

“Moaning to tap your feet to”

Another day of arriving at Sheridan’s house on time and waiting for the band. Day two would prove to be one of, if not the most, memorable day of recording. For the song “Monica,” a female voice was needed for “dirty” vocals. I was informed that a friend of Plue’s, Jennifer Lang, would be the voice of Monica. Stone took the lead in directing Lang in what to say and how to say it. “It’s for his career as a porn director,” Stout laughed.

After Lang’s first take, Plue yelled “Boner check!” She moaned and talked dirty into the microphone but laughter would interrupt some of her takes.

“It’s moaning to tap your feet to,” Stone said.

After her naughty vocals were complete, it was Stone’s turn to record guitar. He recorded the guitar for “Monica” in a few takes. He tried using a splitter to make his guitar sound not so “muddy,” then with a different amp, and then with direction from Plue on verse structure. In the time period of an hour and a half, guitar parts for three songs were recorded – “Monica,” “110 lbs.,” and “Against the Wall.” After recording guitars for “Been So Long,” Plue stepped into the blanket covered hallway to record vocals. He decided to split the verses and choruses for “Monica.” During the first take, he belted out the lyrics when a fit of laughter came over him.

“I just heard Jen saying ‘Ay Papi.’” Plue said. Lang’s vocals were muted during the remainder of his recording.

After hearing a mix of moans and Plue’s voice with the rest of the music, laughter filled the room and it was unanimous amongst the band—they were pleased with the results. He returned to the hallway to record vocals for “Been So Long.” Stout also recorded vocals for the end of this song. Again, laughter filled the room as he recorded the humorous statement. Were the other tracks going to be this much fun to record? Only time would tell.

Guitar Night

I’m on time again. Or is it they were always running late? On this night, guitars were tackled again. Six songs were recorded in a few takes each. “So Yeah” was recorded with two guitars, one that gave it a “clean” sound and one “unclean” sound. I will admit the evening was guitar heaven, but ended early for me. On the flip side, only one more guitar track to record. AHA’s CD was coming together quite nicely.

“The hallway always smells like dudes”

By now, I was used to being early. They arrived very eager to tackle the final guitar and vocals. While setting up for the session, they talked about how great the previous night’s show went and how they did a cover of “Eye of the Tiger.” The talk turned to this CD, titled Pussy, Punk Rock, and Pop Tarts. They talked about a release date of February along with a release party, distribution, and possible merchandise. “We’re scheduling the album cover art as we speak,” Plue informed me.

Plue’s vocals were raspier than usual due to the show the night before. Sheridan told him he sounded like a “cross between your normal voice and Lemmy,” to which the rest of the guys started singing “Ace of Spades.” As Plue worked on “Out of Time,” the guys were discussing how the beginning of “So Yeah” should sound. Stone practiced with an acoustic guitar and all three decided a party vibe would be funny. Each person would say random things at this party as the guitarist played along with Plue’s vocals.

Ralston contributed his backing vocals to “Out of Time.” “110 lbs” featured a rap section Plue recorded. Sheridan played around with the vocals until he sounded like, as Stone put it, “the ‘Humpty Hump’ guy.”

Plue wanted to rerecord the rap in a deeper voice. Sheridan told him “If I play around with the deeper vocals, you’ll sound like a 400 lb. black guy.” And he did. The band decided, as funny as it sounded with the edited vocals, Plue’s own deeper voice was the right fit for the song. Later, Ralston took over lead vocals on “Eddie.”

When it came to the song “Mainstream,” Plue wanted the song’s breakdown to sound like “the calm before the storm.” Sheridan informed them “This song, when it’s done, will be epic. I’m excited about this.”

“Monica” was rerecorded with harsher vocals. As they were getting ready to record “So Yeah” in another room, Sheridan got the microphone from the hall and stated “The hallway always smells like dudes. After every recording.”

The microphones were set up near the computer and the recording of silly party dialogue took place. They wanted a female to say something like “You did what?! Just because he’s in a band?!” and I, being the only girl present, got the pleasure of saying those words. I said them a couple of times but am heard toward the end of the party scene around the time another memorable line was uttered. I won’t give it away, but it’s good. Later that afternoon, Alex Poole and Jordan Karl did special guest vocals on another part of “So Yeah.”

“Made with Real Barf Noises”

On the fifth day, we shockingly arrived at the same time. Stone was stuck at an airport in Florida while the other three braved the cooler weather to record the final vocals for two songs and any other parts needed for the songs. They had a copy of the CD and heard a few things they wanted to change. As they got ready, Plue informed me when and where the CD release party would be held. They were looking for a major act to open for, like Rise Against or Teenage Bottle Rocket.

As Plue recorded vocals for “Time Machine,” Ralston and Stout discussed a scene in which vomiting would occur at the end of the song. The idea was thrown around at a couple of other sessions but would be recorded during this one. Plue emerged from the hallway. Sheridan suggested using flour, orange juice, and water.

Stout suggested “Just spin me around a few times…”

“and punch you in the stomach,” Plue cut in.

“We could put on the CD ‘Made with Real Barf Noises.’ Like on the cover, put it there, ‘Made with Real Barf Noises’” Ralston added.

Group vocals were needed for “Time Machine” so Ralston and Stout joined Plue in the hallway to record them.

“That’s solid,” Sheridan said after take one.

“Quiet Conversation” was the final song needing vocals. Plue’s vocals were so different on this one. They were much angrier and full of emotion. It sounded like he was singing through his teeth.

“It’s not against the army, it’s a dad and a son, trying to make him do this,” Plue described. “It’s also about those who are lazy who expect everyone to give them everything.”

The backing vocals sounded like “an army troop” according to Stout. They then went through each song to see if there were any changes needed. They rerecorded some parts.

“I like this song so much,” Plue said while listening to “Out of Time.”

With the main parts finished, it was time to puke. Sheridan created a concoction of Crystal Light, chopped carrots, and pieces of meat. Stout went into the bathroom and made vomit noises while dumping the gross mixture into the toilet. A debate ran whether to use Ralston’s vocals in the bathroom while Stout was in there or leave it with just Stout’s vocals. It sounded so disgusting yet so, so funny.

Sheridan informed the band each song should be mixed by Christmas. They were excited—their CD sounded great and it wasn’t even fully mixed yet. I too am excited to hear the final results. Throughout those few days, I found that even though the lineup changed, their music and their raw “grab life by the balls” attitude remained. They put a lot of hard work into a CD that reflects, what else, riot rock. - F.U. Zine


A Hidden Agenda "Self Titled Demo" (unmastered) 2007
Throw Up Records "Dry Heaves" Compilation Summer 2009
Throw Up Records "Dry Heaves 2" Compilation Summer 2010
Window Licker Records "3" Compilation Summer 2010
FULL LENGTH "Pussy, Punk Rock and PopTarts" February 2011



A Hidden Agenda started in June of 2005 with founding members Jerm on vocals and Danny-Boy on Bass. Shortly after Jenny and Aaron were added to the line-up to take on the role of guitar players, and The final addition of Alan on drums finalized the line-up. In the beginning the band wore the name Time Bomb Rebellion, but soon changed their designation to the current A Hidden Agenda. After 6 great years Jenny and Aaron decided to step out of the band for personal reason. Former guitarist for Delorean Death Ride, Travis Stone stepped in to take the role of rhythm guitar most recently and the band is currently auditioning lead guitar players. Dedicated to being a pop-punk band that breaks the mold of every other group in the genre singing pop-rock love songs, AHA brings you songs about standing your ground, staying true to yourself, quitting your nine to five job follow your dreams, drinking cheap American beers and random acts of stupidity. A sure-fire relief from the tacky sentimental crap that's been flooding your radio airwaves since pop-punk first came into existence.

Things started shaping up fast for A Hidden Agenda with one catchy pop-punk song after another rolling out of the recesses of their minds, including fan favorites "Monica," "Eddie Said," and "Time Machine."

They have recently joined the RiotRock Collective and are always adding new material to their ever growing collection of pop-punk jams. With goals that are beyond the clouds A Hidden Agenda is coming to a venue near you ready to rock you like a Delorean Death Ride!!