There’s not enough violin in hard rock. Hurt, performing Monday at the Lazer Rock Girl Pageant, is looking to change that.
Frontman J. Loren Wince grew up listening to gospel and classical music, as rock was banned from the household. He was studying to be a classical violinist before rock came along and derailed that dream by giving him a new one.
“I had heard it in department stores, what my parents called ‘secular music,’ ” Wince said during a phone interview. “It seemed pretty lame, just the same four chords over and over. I didn’t realize there was rock out there that had a lot of emotion.”
The song that changed Wince’s tune was “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam. Suddenly the violinist heard the possibilities in rock. The style also offered a more immediate satisfaction to Wince. Composers of classical music aren’t always appreciated within their lifetime. Rock offered Wince a chance to not only be heard, but to perform in front of excited crowds on a nightly basis.
Performing violin in the band wasn’t even Wince’s idea. His bandmates found out and suggested he give it a try. Wince plays a number of other instruments, but playing guitar while singing is something that everyone does. Singing while playing violin is much more rare.
“I told them ‘No one can sing while playing,’ but they told me to give it a try,” Wince said. “It took a little work, but singing while playing is still very difficult today. As soon as I start performing, you’ll see beads of sweat forming on my forehead. It’s like having two voices in your head at the same time. Since there are no frets on a violin, the margin of error is miniscule. It’s very difficult. I’ll never master it.”
Hurt has had an up- and-down relationship with record labels . The band released its first two albums through Capitol, then released 2009’s “Goodbye to the Machine” on its own. With “The Crux,” which came out in May, the band went with the independent label Carved Records. Wince said the band and label have already parted ways.
The band released the first single for “The Crux,” “Numbers,” back in 2010, but then ended up having to rerecord much of the material when guitarist Paul Spatola left. Wince said the band felt rushed in making “Goodbye to the Machine,” and decided to make sure they got things right with “The Crux,” even if it took a long time.
“We promised ourselves and our fans that we would do this right no matter how long it took,” Wince said. “We didn’t want to cheat. We wanted to get ‘Numbers’ out there as a thank you to our fans, and I thought it would be clever to have a song on the radio in 5/4 time. I’m not the most fastidious person about doing blogs and things like that, so it seemed like the best way to tell the fans ‘thank you’ was in musical form.”
Since this is the Lazer Rock Girl Pageant, what makes for the ideal rock girl in his eyes?
“I don’t know. I value a woman’s intelligence and work ethic more than physical beauty. Someone who is attractive can be attractive for different reasons. There’s no one answer, it’s all about your personality to me.
“Even though this is my lifestyle, I don’t really embrace it.”
Lazer Rock Girl Pageant with Hurt
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St.
Cost: $15 in advance, $17 day of show.