Hobosexual: For the good of the world

story by Caitlin Cohen

photo by Jason Tang

Hobosexual have a lot more to offer in addition to their double take name—they are a band with a message. Together, Ben Harvwood (guitars/vocals) and Jeff Silva (drums/the band’s official Spirit Guide) make up the foundation to a flannel, ripped jeans, facial scruff, greasy hair, iron lungs, and an open-heart kind of band. Their mission is to make music that pleases whoever’s listening enough to forget what they’re struggling with.

Hobosexual will release their newest album Monolith on Nov. 3. Listeners are in for a treat because Ben claims this album is his favorite album they’ve produced so far. We can expect a sound that’s closer to feeling more like “big time” 70s arena rock—a goal the band has always wanted to achieve.

Ben and Jeff learned some new tricks and took more time crafting the music together. Monolith is more produced compared to their lo-fi approach used in past works. Seeing this kind of progression in their musical project means a lot to the duo.

A major influence to their music is from their upbringing. Both Ben and Jeff grew up having to live off of welfare. It was creativity that got them through this and other childhood challenges.

“When I went to private school, my mom worked there as the janitor. So, I was the poor kid at my school. I got bullied pushed around for that from 2nd to 6th grade…. There was no good advice that anyone gave me to handle that… there is no way to win when you’re being set up to fail by a group of people. They’re always going to win no matter how great your comeback is, no matter how funny you are, no matter how many things you’re great at; they will always win,” Ben said. “In my experience, they’ve tried to tell me that I’m going to grow up and it will all go away. However, it didn’t because it never resolved itself. I never had a resolution as a kid; I just sort of lived through it. The best thing I did to cope was living my own world. I think that is the best thing anyone could do is create your own little healthy bubble with anything that works for you. It fosters creativity and it happens in a bubble that is an affected preset for that creativity. You’re infecting through it and when you come out to the other side, your idea tends to be pretty on the outskirts and interesting to other people because it was invented in a certain mindset rather than from an outside source.”

Since then, Ben and Jeff make music to reach out to those who are also going through hardships. They want to make something loud that causes their audience to let go and become completely immersed into the energy in their sound.

As the band values having a safe and healthy bubble for themselves, they hope to be able to give listeners that same opportunity through their music.

“What I ultimately want—and this is coming from that living in your own world mentality—we want people to be able to listen to that and let go. We want everyone to feel the same way and feel included. It just doesn’t matter who you are. Personally when it comes to race, sexuality, or politics; something to be said for online banter that it’s just so small minded compared to being with a group of people and having face to face conversations and experiences. For us, playing live music is the one real thing we have left to give to people and to hopefully unite people. I just want to see people smile… if you love this then I love you. It just comes down to pure output and hoping people enjoy it,”Ben said.

Hobosexual releases Monolith on Nov. 3. See their release show Nov. 9 at the Shakedown.