(hed) p.e. has been sending their Southern California style rock/punk rock/funk infused reggae music to a worldwide audience for more than 20 years. With millions of views on YouTube, digital streams and CD’s, the band continues to grace the internet and stages with their punching and melodic jams to fans across several genres. As with most bands that were caged up and restricted from touring ending in 2021, the band arranged a healthy tour calendar for 2022, which just started in Europe. Prior to the show in Spokane, Washington, Joe Gamez had dinner with Nathan Javier, who joined the band last year as lead guitarist and backup vocals. Below is a recap of their conversartion
Gamez: What is your background and music interests growing up?
Javier: I was born and raised in the Northern California area and made the move down south to SoCal to pursue a professional music career attending the Musicians Institute (MI) in Los Angeles. My playlist varies by day and is very broad from Heavy Metal to Reggae, Punk Rock, and Hip-Hop.
Gamez: So how did it come about that you joined the band?
Javier: I was jamming and playing live with several bands leading up to COVID including punk legends Angry Samoan. Kurt Blankenship who I met at MI and plays bass for Hed, had approached me on occasion about possibly joining the band. I was super stoked about the opportunity. For many reasons when the idea was initially presented, the timing simply wasn’t a fit. As time went on, the band’s interest in me and my desire to join the band held strong. In 2021 I officially joined the and had been rehearsing songs to be ready for the first tour the band would go out on post pandemic in July of 2021. After touring in 2021, I prepared for our 2022 schedule which had been described as being “An all-year deal with several different tours”.
Gamez: Now that your stateside dates have wrapped up, can you provide a summary of the tours?
Javier: Whew, what a time and grind the year has been so far. We started our year out on THE BROTHERS IN ARMS tour with DROWNING POOL AND IL NINO, playing all over the states, coast to coast. We then linked up with Seth Binzer’s CRAZYTOWN, ADEMA, and FLAW for the NU-METAL MADNESS run, hitting the midwest and west coast. Our final dates in the states was the LAST CHANCE 2022 run where we again ran coast to coast and everywhere in between, playing with a mix of supporting acts including PIGWEED, KING BABY, and DRAEMORA.
Gamez: What city and crowd comes to mind as the most energetic out of all?
Javier: Each stop was a great memory, and I am blessed and thankful that people continue to show up to support this band after all these years, both new fans, as well as veterans that have been along for the entire ride.
Gamez: Hmmm. What was the best?
The Blue Ridge Festival in Virginia was mind-boggling. I periodically reminisce about the event as it was one of the most fulfilling, yet challenging experiences of my entire life. On rare occasions my girl would fly out to join me at various tour stops. The Blue Ridge Music Festival in Virginia was one of those cherished moments. So, we wake up to head to the venue from Virginia Beach which was GPS’d to be about a 3-hour drive.
As we were about 2 hours into the drive, I get a text from a friend who was already at the venue and a pin drop of his location. It turns out there were two exact addresses in Virginia, one of where Blue Ridge was located, and another about five (5) hours away. We quickly shifted course and I made the set literally walking from the car right up on to the stage area as the set was about to start. This was by far the most memorable part of the year thus far.
We played alongside so many bands it’s impossible to remember, however, the list included Ice Cube, Pennywise, Mudvayne, Thrice, Queensryche, Disturbed, Lamb of God, New Found Glory, Saliva, Silverstein, Powerman 5000, Suicide Silence, ICP, and Mushroomhead. The Scout Bar in Houston Texas also brought it very strong. The venue gave the vibe of The Whiskey and The Roxy in Hollywood. I look very forward to playing that venue again.
Gamez: What is in store for the remainder of the year?
Javier: We have a brief break to reset with our families for a couple weeks, then we fly to Europe to play from the end of October, through the beginning of December. We’ll have Psycho Village along during our Europe run. I’m super pumped to be touring Europe for the first time.
Gamez: Is there anything else you want to mention about your 2022 tour adventures to date?
Javier: Thank you, thank you, thank you to my bandmates, our tour manager Jared, our Tech Brandon, our driver, and all the fans and supporters that have made this experience possible for me. It’s an inspiration to work with Jahred, a person that has been through many generations of rock and roll music; and is still rocking stages like a 25-year-old. I look forward to Europe and what is in store for 2023. I would also like to thank PLANET FITNESS for giving us a place to work out and clean up.
Check out (hed) p.e. upcoming tour dates below.
11/02 Stoke, UK – Underground
11/03 Bournemouth, UK – Bear Cave
11/04 Plymouth, UK – Junction
11/06 Milton Keynes, UK – Craufurd Arms
11/07 Bridgewater, UK – Cobblestones
11/08 Stasbourg, FRA – La Maison Bleue
11/09 Paris, FRA – Le Forum
11/11 Lyss, SWI – KUFA
11/12 Milano, ITA – Legend
11/13 Bologna, ITA – Freakout
11/16 Budapest, HUN – Robot
11/18 Plovdiv, BUL – Download Bar
11/19 Sofia, BUL – Singles
11/20 Belgrade, SER – Zappa Barka
11/22 Vienna, AUT – Replugged
11/23 Prague, CZE – Rock Cafe
11/24 Warsaw, POL – Hydrozagdka
11/26 Reichenbach, GER – Die Halle
11/27 Augsburg, GER – Soho Stage
11/28 Bochum, GER – Die Trompete
11/29 Hamburg, GER – Headcrash
11/30 Groningen, NET – Sumplov
12/01 Ittre, BEL – Zikzak
12/02 London, UK – O2 Academy Islington
12/03 Southampton, UK – Suburbia
12/04 Birmingham, UK – The Flapper
Interview by Joe Gamez