By Erika Kellerman, Senior Communication and Media major.
Rex Larkman, 21, (drums, vocals) and Drew Burns, 26, (lead vocals, guitar) started Who Hit Me in 2015. They later added Steve Wright, 20, and Jon Gonzales, 21, to complete their band. The four reside in Cleveland, Ohio.
Who Hit Me is described as “Guitar Hero Rock.” “If that’s not a reason to check us out, I don’t know what is.” Burns said.
Larkman and Burns met on Craigslist. “I’ve known Drew for 4 years now,” said Larkman. “Craigslist works sometimes, I guess. I was in a few other projects with Steve around the same time period. I met Jon in college. He’s still an intern in the band.”
The name “Who Hit Me” came from Monsoon Lagoon near Cedar Point. “All I have to say is we got our name from the back 9 of their putt-putt course.” Larkman said.
At a young age, the guys of Who Hit Me knew that they wanted to play music for a living. For two of the members, it was video games that gave the guys their inspiration to get into music. For Wright, it was the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 soundtrack.“[It’s a] sick soundtrack.” Larkman agreed, “Guitar Hero was my big inspiration.”
For Gonzales, it was different. “My brother introduced me to Blink 182’s ‘Enema of the State’ and I’ve loved music ever since.” Burns took piano lessons when he was six and then began to play guitar at 12.
Gonzales also remembered a time that truly made him want to play music, “I remember watching Green Day’s ‘Bullet In a Bible’ live album and knowing that music was something I wanted to do with my life.”
Who Hit Me collectively like The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, OKGO, and Fetty Wap. They inspire the guys. They all would like to tour with Fetty Wap, Queens of the Stone Age, Pup, and Sweepyheads.
As indie, unsigned artists, Larkman wished that someone would have lied and told them that it was easy to get into the industry. Larkman’s advice to newbies to the music scene is, “Honestly get good at your instrument first. It makes playing with people more fun and less stressful. It’s not an easy industry and there’s competition everywhere. Lucky for us, we’ve been a part of a very supportive community in Cleveland.”
“Music always comes first for me before the lyrics,” Burns said. “I’ve always written lyrics more with the idea of creating a feeling over sending a straight message.”
Whenever the group has a conflicting opinion about writing a song, Gonzales said, “We will play both ideas and then put it to a vote of which idea we like better. It is a very democratic process.”
Gonzales loves to play “Plethora” and “Miniscule” “because the crowds’ response to those songs is always incredible.”
Burns likes to play “whatever one we just got done writing. I’m always excited to play out new songs and see what people think.”
All I Wanna Be
Who Hit Me’s latest single, “All I Wanna be” was released on July 21. The music video for the single was released on the same day.
“Recording our new music video was super fun,” Larkman said. We just had a great time making it and I don’t know if you can tell in the footage but it was steamy outside. We were dying out there but our friend Rachel brought us corn to keep us nourished.”
“All I Wanna Be” is the first song released off of Who Hit Me’s newest batch of music. Burns explained, “Rex and I were in a band before WHM called Mobley Hits Back and I had wrote the song sometime before Rex even joined that band. I had about 75% of it done for a couple of years. When it finally clicked, we broke up and didn’t get a chance to play it. It didn’t really fit along with the first WHM record so we shelved it. The second record was pretty eclectic as it is and we still wanted to make some other changes to the song, so we sat on it. With some other things we’ve written recently it feels more in line with where we’re headed as a band.”
The hardest part of putting out a single/album as an unsigned artist is “all the legwork.” Burns said. “And things you wouldn’t even think of needing. Rex has always been our rock of getting the hard stuff done.”
Larkman adds, “It’s a lot of work keeping the people updated and focused on what you are doing. [It’s] constantly dishing out content and playing gigs is what’s difficult, but fun and inspiring at the same time.”
When the possibility of Who Hit Me releasing anything new in the future came up in the conversation, Burns commented “We’re working on some more songs and we may or may not release something cool within the next 3 seasons of earth.”