We strive to borrow from our influences enough to carry on their musical ingenuity while innovating more than enough to set ourselves apart from all others. In this way, we provide listeners with music that’s exceedingly unique in musical character and nearly impossible to dislike.


HAK was born in 2002 in drummer Andy Coldwell’s bedroom. Coldwell’s schoolmate, Kyle Strohmaier, had brought over his new Epiphone for an attempted jam session. The two boys, 13 years old at the time, managed a couple recognizable verses and choruses of Purple Haze, and were subsequently addicted to the idea of forming a band. Shortly thereafter, Strohmaier contacted Hugh Gilmore, bassist and former bandmate from a short-lived jazz sextet. It was after the addition of the third member that the first-name acronym HAK was chosen as the band name.
Gilmore, Coldwell and Strohmaier quickly became loyal friends; HAK was, and remains, secondary to their friendship. The band underwent rapid musical development, playing cover songs at small gigs when possible, but truly began to experiment with originality and more complex musical texture after the addition of keyboardist Mark Bates in 2004. Led by Strohmaier, the band began to compose and arrange its own music. By 2005, the band had accumulated enough original material – mostly blues and jazz-infused rock – to begin work on its debut album. In Too Deep dropped in May of 2006, the bluesy “Some Kind of Woman” and mellow “Winners Lose” being favorites among audiences.
In early 2007, a band conflict led to the dismissal of Bates, and the three original members quickly picked up Zach Dimond, an excellent vocalist with some keyboard and guitar skills. The budding friendship and personal similarity between Strohmaier and Dimond led to collaboration on an abundance of new original material. The music shared a similar style with the first album, but took on a new energy and musical precision. In June of 2007, HAK began recording its second album, Greg Minds Think Alike. Whereas lead vocals had been purely Strohmaier on In Too Deep, the task was shared equally with Dimond on HAK’s second studio endeavor. In September of 2007, the band released Greg Minds Think Alike, an eclectic mix of songs that get straight to the point – no musical nonsense.
Since its formation, HAK has steadily become more active in live performance. In just a few years, the band has progressed from small-scale private gigs to frequent performances at various musical venues in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The combination of a complex but crowd-pleasing repertoire and the shock-factor of the band’s young age has led to HAK’s popularity among bar and club owners. These same factors guarantee that HAK will continue to be dynamic musical pioneers.


In Too Deep (2006)
"An extraordinary genre-bending album from an up-and-coming Minnesota band. Blending blues, rock, jazz, pop and funk, these Twin Cities natives are proving real music is alive and well."

Greg Minds Think Alike (2007)
"The sophomore album from HAK blends their soulful, bluesy style with modern pop and delivers a tasteful, timeless album."

Set List

HAK has played a wide range of venues from clubs that require all-original music to events that lend themselves more to cover music. Generally, HAK plays sets which contain a mix of both covers and original songs, the ratio depending on the feel of the venue. Here is a sample of some tunes covered by HAK:

Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
American Woman - The Guess Who
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Long Train Runnin’ - Doobie Brothers
The Joker - Steve Miller Band
Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf
Have You Ever Loved a Woman? - Freddie King
Crazy Love - Van Morrison
Surrender - Cheap Trick
Funk #49 - James Gang
Feel Like Makin’ Love - Bad Company
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
The Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin
Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Midnight Rider - Allman Brothers
I’m Tore Down - Freddie King
Mary Jane’s Last Dance - Tom Petty
Do it Again - Steely Dan
Black Magic Woman - Santana
Come Together - The Beatles