HourHouse Talk Anime and Genre-Bending For Their Newest Single

HourHouse has been dropping genre-bending song after genre-bending song this year, all of which can be found on their new album GOLD TOOTH GURU . The latest of these singles, “6FLOW,” just premiered with a new music video today. As you can tell, their music does not follow any specific genre guidelines. But what you may not know is that this is all thanks to anime. I had the opportunity to talk with Milly, the HourHouse frontman, to learn more about how the doors anime opened led to the unique sound that defines the band today. Can you tell me a little about your anime journey? How it started and where you are now? Milly : The first anime I ever stumbled across was Inuyasha. I used to stay up late to catch the Toonami section of Cartoon Network and turn my TV down low so my parents wouldn't know I was still awake. It was real average stuff at first like Fullmetal Alchemist , Cyborg 009 , and Paranoia Agent . Those were my favorite shows growing up. Over the years up until now I've started to lean more towards the less "joyful" side of anime. Anything surrounding darker subject matter or mysteries tends to be my go-to right now. I still enjoy Hunter x Hunter , and Cowboy Bebop on the regular though! Did you get into music around the same time as you got into anime? Were they a separate interest for you or does one inform the other? Do you find that things you see/hear from anime find their way into your music? Milly : I was interested in Asian pop culture at a very young age. Even at like six years old I had Godzilla figures, Transformers toys, Beyblades, and stacks of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. I'm not sure what it was that intrigued me so much. The messages of hope and perseverance are common in a lot of anime, so maybe it helped me through my own difficult situations in a weird way. I began to get heavier into music when I came across Linkin Park. As stereotypical as it is, that band made me feel like my two favorite genres could coexist. As a young Black kid in a rough part of the US, I felt I had to hide a lot of my interests out of the fear of being judged. Not fitting in is one of the hardest things to go through as a young person trying to still figure yourself out. Heavy music has this unity to it that makes me feel accepted, and to me it bleeds the same messages as anime culture. HourHouse's messages throughout all the chaos are the exact same themes. That's why we call our fanbase the mafia, because even if you feel like you're all alone going through the motions as life throws things at you, you still have a family of like-minded individuals right there with you. Who are some of your musical inspirations? Did any anime openings or endings have a lasting impact on you or change your approach to songwriting? Milly : My biggest influences would have to be Linkin Park, $uicideBoy$, and Limp Bizkit. I will say though, I take influence from so many different artists, and just life in general. It keeps me from getting tunnel vision or too boxed into a certain sound. Our album GOLD TOOTH GURU is a testament to this as we weave in and out of so many genres. My favorite anime opening has to be either Big O (honorable mention is the theme music they play during the show itself), or the Death Note opening. The one take away from the songs that tend to make it to anime is that they are usually very genre fluid, and jarring. wink wink You have a lot of anime tattoos! Is that a way for you to track what you’ve watched? As such a big anime fan what is the determining factor in which characters make it onto your body? Milly : Hahaha, yeah at this point I look like the Crunchyroll homepage on my streaming app. Honestly, though I love the culture so much I felt it's a very defining aspect to myself. I pick the characters I resonate with personally, or if there's a moment of my life where an anime was very important to me during it, I'll tattoo that as well! I have Takizawa from Tokyo Ghoul on my forearm. The transition from who he was to what he became is almost a metaphor for life. With enough trauma and abuse anyone can lose sight of who they are to the point where you're unrecognizable. Aside from him, I've got Re-l on my hand, Alucard, and Ryuk slightly above her. My shoulder cap is an entire Big O piece with Roger, Dorothy, Norman, and the Megadeus itself! No-Face is hiding right below on my elbow. There's a kawaii style Jason on my inner arm and a bunch of cherry blossoms filling up the extra space! As a fellow southerner myself, I’ve seen firsthand that being an anime fan and/or a heavy music fan can be seen as a bit weird. What was the experience like for you and how has it shaped your appreciation of both art forms today? Milly: Well, what's up neighbor! You already know how it is. People down here always look at it like "Wait, you're over the age of 12 still watching cartoons?" hahaha. Luckily, the era I grew up in, most of my friends were indirect fans of anime. Shows like Dragonball Z , Naruto and Samurai Jack are accepted in the hood. It's when you start pulling out the Howl's Moving Castle when the eyebrows start to do pull ups. I for sure had a small sense of embarrassment but realized that it's stupid to let society tell me what I should be comfortable watching. Especially people who don't even understand the culture behind it. Louisiana is really open when it comes to heavy music. Any given day you can take a ride and SOMEONE is going to have some Godsmack on 100 in the big F-250. The blend of culture here is insane. It's not out of the ordinary from someone's playlist to have Youngboy one minute and then Chevelle the next. Are there genres you gravitate toward in your viewing habits? Or much like your music do you mix the genres up a lot? Milly : Yes indeed! I listen to everything. Some days I lean to more rap, but I still always throw another genre in there. Like for instance one of my favorite artists is Sade. I've got Michael Bolton vinyls for the crib and my playlists would honestly give genre gatekeepers a heart attack. I feel like you can't be a truly expansive artist if you only listen to one thing. At that point all you're doing is recycling the same sound over and over until it's just a generic version of the first people that did it. Do you see a lot of anime fans at your shows? Has it led to any fun fan interactions? Milly : Yes of course! I feel like at every show we've played so far someone from the crowd always points out my anime sleeve. Most people are shocked how much I rock with anime and Asian culture. Is there anything you’d like to plug or say to the Crunchyroll audience out there who may not be familiar with your music? Milly: If you're new to the wave, check us out. We're taking nu metal and heavy music to places it's never been able to reach in this way. Whether you need some new music for the gym or something to toss on for the homies in the whip, we got you covered. Check out our new album GOLD TOOTH GURU out now across all platforms and all the videos we've dropped for it! It's an experience front to back. Follow us on socials at @hourhouseband. It's been real Crunchyroll, thanks for making a weeb's dream come true with this interview! Check out the album GOLD TOOTH GURU here . Check out the videos for BODYBAG MUZIK (feat. SHAOLIN G from UNITY TX) and DO IT LIKE .

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