The Herms

The Herms

BandAlternativeRock

San Francisco-based The Herms create a deliriously infective brew of post-punk, art rock and garage, sounding occasionally like Swell Maps, the Fall, and the Doors, sometimes all at the same time.

Biography

San Francisco-based The Herms create a deliriously infective brew of post-punk, art rock and garage, sounding occasionally like Swell Maps, the Fall, and the Doors, sometimes all at the same time. They've already captured local radio, with airplay on SF's Live 105, as well as the covers of local music press, including the SF Weekly and Mesh Magazine. This is their debut full-length. Lead singer/songwriter Matt Lutz and bassist Alex Tuzin form the core of the group, with bay area journeyman drummer Chris Sipe and Oranger's Patrick Main joining the current live lineup. John Hofer (Mother Hips, Downy Mildew) guests on drums on the record.

The Herms started in 2003 when Alex Tuzin and Matt Lutz were 23 years old. The inspiration gained from the loan of a college classmate's Tascam 388 blossomed into a full obsession for Lutz in the short period that it took him to write and record the songs that appear on their first Jackpine Social Club full length release Record Machine. The rough-hewn quality of these early recordings remains a constant in their presentation, as well as the thrift-store instrumentation (ancient upright pianos, harmoniums, and cardboard box drums) which underlies The Herms' natural knack for songwriting. And, yes, the Tascam 388 is still in the picture, as essential a part of the sound as anything.
Lutz cites influences as varied as they come -- Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady; San Francisco pop auteur Kelley Stoltz; and even the Muppets. Reviews of their first EP (self released on CD with a xeroxed cover, then re-issued by Jackpine Social Club) drew comparisons to Pulp, The Red Krayola, and even the more Brechtian Doors.
Lyrically, Lutz offers soundbites from the socially comic ("And if you give me all your money, I'll buy you a brand new car") to the overtly political, if psychedelically inspired ("Oh the organization, they intended it to be this way, they intended the generation in the early 50s, along with the emerging middle class, because it was easier to keep tabs on them").
Also an aspiring novelist, who has written "Hollywoody," about the porn biz and puppets, Lutz has been known to record spoken word parts over some tracks that are taken from his psychedelically informed writings.
The Herms have shared bills with the likes of The Fiery Furnaces, Kelley Stoltz, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Noisettes, Rogue Wave and The Lovemakers. They've appeared at all the major San Francisco venues: Great American Music Hall, Slim's, Bottom of the Hill, and Café Du Nord, as well as the city's annual Noise Pop Festival (twice). Record Machine is the sum total of these experiences, but it's also the product of fevered imaginations and a relentless drive. The Herms are here.
Contact:
Nick Tangborn
Jackpine Social Club
138 Richland Avenue
San Francisco CA 94110
(415) 215-9579
nick@jackpinesocialclub.com

Discography

The Herms Get Firm EP (2005)
The Herms Record Machine (2006)