Wailing City Spotlight: Interview With Jordan Harrelson of The Hempsteadys

Published October 12, 2023
Interview by Jeff Thunders

Hey Jordan how are ya man.....The Hempsteadys have a very retro kind of ska feel with an infusion of punk. Makes me feel like at times I'm listening to old Trojan Records or Two Tone records. What do you think sets the band apart from the rest of the ska/punk bands in the state?
We’ve got an eclectic mix of different musical backgrounds and we’re pretty open about trying different things out. I think everyone brings something that’s unique to the table...

The Hempsteadys just released another full length 'On The Undercard'. Where did you go to record it and how does that process work with a dozen, (give or take), band members?
We recorded 'On The Undercard' at Big Nice Studios in Rhode Island. We also recorded our last record 'Seance Seance' there. We love it there. Brad and Chaimes are amazing. It’s definitely a pain getting everyone lined up and getting it all mixed but it’s always worth it when we hear the final product.

You've been rummaging around in the New London music scene for quite a few years at this point. If you could join a New London band past or present for one show what band would it be?
Without a doubt it would be Brava Spectre. I miss that band. Those were some of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. It was loud, beautiful chaos.

What band are you currently obsessing over?
I jump around a lot but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Botch, 'We are the Romans' is a perfect album and when they announced they were doing a reunion tour I got tickets and I’ve been revisiting their catalog. I’ve also really been into this Japanese band, Otoboke Beaver. They’re a four piece and they all wear colorful cocktail dresses and just go ham. It’s super spastic, frenetic punk/noise...

What are you your top 5 all time favorite records?
Top 5 records at this moment:
1) 'Calculating Infinity' by The Dillinger Escape Plan
2) 'Plastic Surgery Disasters' by Dead Kennedys
3) '1989' by Taylor Swift
4) 'Evil Empire' by Rage Against The Machine
5) 'Blood Mountain' by Mastodon

Outside of New London where are some of your favorite places to play?
Scottish Dave’s in Clinton is amazing. He’s a great guy and he does so much for the bands. The Space Ballroom in Hamden is always a good time.

It's the weekend. You have zero shows. What are you doing?
I’m playing Overwatch and arguing with children on the internet.

Saturday night is a special night in New London as The Hempsteadys, (as well as Fatal Film and Mitch Kramer), help The Telegraph celebrate 13 years as a record store. How much is the band looking forward to the celebration and what do The Hempsteadys have coming up on the future?
We’ve always loved The Telegraph and everything Rich Martin has done for the community. We’re super stoked to be a part of the celebration and we look forward to playing with our buds. It’s going to be a great night. Hempsteadys have our yearly Hempsteady Halloween bash at 33 Golden on 10/28. We’re going as Thin Lizzy, The Agonizers are going as Rancid and Productive Member as themselves. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

If you were a Subway sandwich what would you be?
If I were a subway sandwich I’d be a Genoa with oil and vinegar.  

Wailing City Archive: Jordan playing with Chasing Trinity @ El-N-Gee Jan 2007

Okay okay, seriously though. Main question that everyone is wondering. Will the world ever see another Chasing Trinity show?
Lol. I’d be willing to do a Chasing Trinity reunion if everyone else was on board. We’d just have to relearn everything.


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CATCH THE SHOW
  • Sat 10/14 @ The Telegraph, New London - The Hempsteadys, Fatal Film, Mitch Kramer Facebook Event Page

  • Sat 10/28 @ 33 Golden, New London - Halloween Show! The Hempsteadys, The Agonizers, Productive Member Facebook Event Page

  • Sat 11/3 @ Starlite, Southbridge, MA - The Hempsteadys, Spring Heeled Jack & more! Facebook Event Page


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