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by Alicia Crowder

The throbbing pulse of the hard rock music that Hollister Fracus was playing exhilarated anyone entering the Jones Rd. club, Forgetta'Bout It, on the last hot Saturday night of July, exciting those who crowded the stage, heads banging, feet jumping and hands waving in the air.
Lights flashed on the stage and radiated out over the fans to reveal eyes glued to these heavy rock musicians, a band who definitely knew how to entertain their audience. With an intense set of original songs and only a couple of cover songs thrown in for good measure, the band successfully pulled off what is often difficult in the Houston music scene: getting an equal amount of audience approval for the originals that the covers seem naturally to bring.
Interviewing these guys after the show felt like hanging out with old friends. The band members' comfortable nature made it more like a party than an interview, and the positive energy at Forgetta'Bout It that night was enough to make me want to come back for more.

SCR: Please state your names and what role you play.
Jim Finley: Jim Finley, lead vocals.
Aaron Lakner: Aaron Lakner, drums.
Mike Pruneda: Mike Pruneda, guitar.
Jerry Lanza: Jerry Lanza, bass.
Aerik Bass: Aerik Bass, promotion, and management.
Gary Lanza: Gary Lanza [twin brother to Jerry], stage management and security.

How did you choose the name Hollister Fracus?
Jerry: In Hollister, CA, back in 1941 when the WWII bomber pilots came back to the states, they wanted to release some energy and get on their Harleys, put their bomber jackets on and go cause a big ruckus in Hollister, CA. That's the short version. That's how it came about to be called The Hollister Fracus. It's pretty much the equivalent of a Sturgis bike rally. They still have a bike rally there every year in Hollister, CA, but one of the first ones they had turned into a riot and they called it The Hollister Fracus. Rent The Wild One, with Marlon Brando; that will tell you everything.

When starting out, what did you try to style yourselves after? How did you choose your style of music?

-- Hollister Fracus pic #1


Hollister Fracus -- http://www.hollisterfracus.com/

Forgetta'Bout It -- http://www.forgettaboutit.com/

Mike: We didn't -- it kinda chose us. I was in a bunch of cover bands before where we traveled all over the U.S. and Canada. When I got back I was bummed out on doing all that kind of stuff, I just wanted to start something original. We started out, got the people we got, and came to be what we are. We didn't try to pick any style, we just started writing stuff and that's the way it came out.

How long has your band been together with the current members?
Mike: Two and a half to three years.

Have all the current members been with the band since its birth?
Mike: No. We had some different people in the past. We had a couple of drummers before Aaron that hung with us for a while, but now that Aaron is here, it is definitely what we needed.
Aaron: With each new member the band went through, not so much a style change but a sound change. When they had the drummer before me it was very solid and straight-ahead. When I joined the band the sound changed, but it was still heavy. Then when we got Jim he added melody and so we just added a whole new dimension to the band. With each new member it kind of grows.

Are you guys tired of being compared with damn Britney Spears?
Jerry: Hell, no! We'd like for her to come on board. She was going to come on board as a backup singer, but it didn't work out. She got really famous and we didn't.

VH-1 Behind the Scenes, Britney Spears, and Hollister Fracus.
Aaron: She doesn't talk much to us anymore. We don't think she likes us much anymore.

Hollister Fracus pic #2 Who are your musical idols? Whose achievement status would you love to reach?
Jim: Sevendust is collectively our favorite band. Anybody that is out right now that is really influential, is doing a good job, and that can actually come out with a great second album and still keep above the water is doing great nowadays. I have respect for that.

What are your goals for the band?
Mike: We would just like to be professional musicians and this would be our living. We love to write music and perform for people.

What are you doing now other than playing music?
Jim: Phone company.
Aaron: Music store.
Mike: Cable company.
Jerry: Sleep all day.

What will your plans be once you make it big? How would you live and continue as a band at that point?
Jerry: We'd be doing the same thing we're doing right now.
Aaron: We'd still be making fun of each other.

How much do you guys practice?
Mike: We try to practice three to four times a week. We try to work hard to basically come out with something that is unique and get someone to pay us to do an album. Whenever we are writing and we come up with ideas, we try to record it right there on the spot, so that we know right away if it is any good. By the time we get to the studio to record, we pretty much have it all mapped out. We fuck around sometimes and have a good time, but when it comes down to just getting in there, writing songs, and doing the work, we do the work.

So, you're just living life and trying to be rock stars?
All: No. We aren't trying to be rock stars.
Aaron: Later.

You guys do not call yourselves rock stars right now?
All: No.

What about playing in the Buzzfest and at the Woodlands Pavilion last year with Staind?
Mike: Those are accomplishments, and they're great, but if you're working a day job -- you ain't a rock star.
Jerry: You are a rock star when your money exceeds your play time...
Aaron: Or when your monthly or weekly paycheck says "Universal Records" on it and is made out for about 10 million dollars.

How many members of the group are actually writing?
Aaron: We all write, but Jim does mainly all the lyrics and melodies and the hooks; everyone contributes to every song.
Jim: We all write all the material. Everybody writes everybody's parts, if you get down to it, because everyone comes up with their part, but once we put it on tape and someone says some part isn't working, then we change it and we go from there. We all just work together.

Hollister Fracus pic #3 What would be said in the perfect article that was written about you and the band?
Jim: Just that we are a great band with great songs.
Mike: It would say that we really have good chemistry together, that we write well together, that we are good on stage, we try to be as tight as we can with everything that we do. The songs are really well-written. We try to be as energetic as we can be for the stage show. We try to elevate ourselves to a different height, that we go balls-out and do everything we can do.
Aaron: That the parts that I write are appropriate for the songs. That no matter what kind of day I'm having, I still go balls-out at a show, and that I am just a good, talented drummer. The band's songs flow well and are well-written. When we are onstage, we command the stage.
Jerry: It would say that we are a very powerful band to be reckoned with onstage. We take care of business when recording and on stage. We command the stage and have a good time onstage.
Gary: All the guys here are like brothers to me. From what I hear and see, these guys are fuckin' serious. They put their 110% of heart into it.
Aerik: Houston is a tough town for live, original music. We work very hard at getting a following and trying to do something. Hollister Fracus is a premier hard rock act in Houston and in the region. The songs and the power of the stage show are a step above the rest.

Tonight you played how many original vs. how many covers?
Mike: Tonight we played eight originals and two covers.

Anything to add?
Aerik: Just that we have been hoping to get some attention from the Space City Rock magazine and are very happy now to have been able to do this interview. END


All contents © 2005 Space City Rock, unless otherwise credited.