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The Hero Factor - JPop.com
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The Hero Factor

The Hero Factor

The Hero Factor


In Greek mythology, the Chimaera (pronounced ki-mera-ah) was an evil amalgamation of a dragon, lion and goat, a fearsome beast that sprouted fire from its mouth—not exactly the type of creature you want to spar with. What does that have to do with the white-hot Tulsa, Oklahoma band The Hero Factor? Why would the band dub its first major release the Battling Chimaera EP? Well, because keeping the band together over some six years—fighting societal Read more on Last.fm
In Greek mythology, the Chimaera (pronounced ki-mera-ah) was an evil amalgamation of a dragon, lion and goat, a fearsome beast that sprouted fire from its mouth—not exactly the type of creature you want to spar with. What does that have to do with the white-hot Tulsa, Oklahoma band The Hero Factor? Why would the band dub its first major release the Battling Chimaera EP? Well, because keeping the band together over some six years—fighting societal pressures and major line-up changes—has felt a little like going toe to toe with the mighty serpent-beast, says founding member and bassist Eric Arndt. The disc finds the band not only unified after shaking off those personnel changes, but also emerging as one of the most promising pop-weaned indie rock outfits in the Midwest. Awash in keyboards and layers of sound and driven by the big-lunged pipes of thoughtful vocalist/writer Ben Kilgore, Battling Chimaera certainly suggests that The Hero Factor is winning any battle with any would-be or mythological demons. It finds the band drawing on everything from the hard-driving, avant pop of Muse to the passion-soaked vocals of Adam Duritz in songs touching on everything from heartbreak to the value of self-empowerment and self-love—songs tastefully informed by everything from Sigur Ros to Southern gospel.com It’s a sound that is miles beyond the southern rock, Black Crowes-inflected style of the original band, which was overhauled completely in early 2002, when bassist/vocalist/songwriter Arndt and fellow founder/guitarist Matt Fisher welcomed drummer Nathan Price, keyboardist Chad Copelin and celebrated local singer/songwriter Ben Kilgore into the fold. “It was just natural,” Kilgore says, noting that the new band’s chemistry was immediate. “I felt like the thing that they were missing was what I had, and what they had was what I was missing.” Rock fans in and around Tulsa agreed, as both fans of the earlier version of The Hero Factor and Kilgore’s own group of followed approved, bolstering buzz on the band that would eventually help it get to where it is now, selling out more than 1,500-seat rooms. The current band made its recorded debut with Tulsa City Limits, a live set sharing the title of the club where it was captured in the fall of 2003. Issued the falling winter, the disc was recorded almost unbeknownst to the band and released on a whim, simply to offers fans some music at shows.

In February 2005, the band issued its proper follow-up, Interactions, The Hero Factor’s first studio effort. Recycling and refurbishing three tracks from the live debut, Interactions was bookended by another stage release, Live at Suede, an ultra-limited release also recorded in Tulsa. Yet if their previous releases found the band sort of feeling around in the dark, experimenting in the studio, and capturing the five guys really coming together as a band, the Battling Chimaera EP finds the band truly connecting and rising to another level. Built atop pounding but rubbery basslines, smart, soulful and whirling keyboard riffing and atmospheric guitars, it’s the sound of The Hero Factor grasping its ample promise while coalescing as five musicians brimming with confidence—who are enjoying what they feel put on the Earth to do. The music was written by the band and the lyrics split between Arndt and Kilgore. In “Landings,” the former explores the mysterious directions life can take, while Kilgore reflects on his failing of a loved one in “Come Down.” Kilgore’s “Run” preaches self-confidence and fearlessness, while Arndt’s “Paper Doll” studies self-loathing, and “Learning to Steal” borrows passages from drummer Nathan Price’s journal. Now working on their proper studio debut, Arndt says it’s taken the band a long time to get comfortable with itself, to recognize that all five of them are no better than when playing their respective instrument. “This is just kind of what happens and is the result of all five of us acknowledging that this is what we were meant to do,” he says. “I think if we can make ourselves available, who knows what can happen.” Says Kilgore, “I think we’re realizing the voice that we have and that we don’t want to waste it on trivial things.

We want it to be beautiful so that it stops people in their tracks. I want the music to have the power to do something in people’s lives, whether it’s to make ‘em smile, or make them cry, but just to do something that initiates change in peoples lives.” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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