Never let it be said Thomas Wilson and his bandmates don’t have an appetite for music.
Wilson and his bandmates in the Houston-based rock band The Hunger return to Southeast Texas this Saturday, July 21, with a concert at The Gig on Crockett Street in downtown Beaumont. Admission is $7-$10 at the door for ages 18 and older. Special guests include Forever Falls, Hear-N-Ade and Japanese Carcrash.
The Hunger has been performing together for more than 20 years and these regional rockers show no signs of stopping anytime soon. The group is well known to local rock fans and has a strong following, which often results in high energy, standing room only concerts at the Crockett Street complex.
The Hunger started off as more of a “techno” band in the early ’90s as a four-piece which often performed music in dance clubs across the region, including many appearances in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. However, Wilson knew change was inevitable.
“I started off playing drums and my brother, Jeff, was on the bass,” Wilson said. “But we woke up one day and decided to make some changes.”
The changes Wilson and the band made was a total new direction in sound as the band moved from “techno” to more of an “industrial” rock sound with loud guitars, pounding bass and drums, and monstrous keyboard sounds combined with an energetic stage show that has become The Hunger’s trademark.
“There’s a reason it’s a show,” Wilson added. “I don’t let the audience get bored. I crave being on stage. Once we made those changes to the band, we never looked back.”
With six albums to their credit, thousands of albums sold, and well known songs such as “Vanishing Cream” which climbed to number 4 on the rock charts in the mid-1990s, the band gained exposure by serving as the opening act for artists such as the Foo Fighters, the Deftones and even Kiss on its 1996 reunion tour.
“You do whatever you have to do to make the audience pay attention, especially when you are the opening act,” Wilson explained. “Whether that means setting yourself on fire or having an energetic stage show.”
Although The Hunger has not released an album of new material since its 2005 CD, “Finding Who We Are,” fans could be in for a real treat later this year.
“We’re focused on writing new material and, hopefully, we’ll record a new EP in the fall,” Wilson said.
Wilson said The Hunger just had a new experience recently unlike any one before in the band’s career. All four members wrote a song together.
“In our 20-plus year career as a band, we’ve just written our first song together, and it was pretty exciting,” Wilson added. “Jeff and I were late to practice, and the other guys had already come up with the basic structure of the song. We walked in and thought it sounded good, and it just went from there.
“Since we come from a techno background, we had always written material individually and then presented it to the band,” Wilson continued. “We’d go back home, use our computers, make changes or re-write it, and come back again. This was really different for me, but in a good way. We told them we were going to be late next practice too, just to see what happens next time.”
The Hunger perform in Southeast Texas at least two or three times each year, but the band’s last performance in Beaumont was over eight months ago. Wilson does not expect that to pose any problems.
“The time frame for us being away was longer than we had wanted, but the break may benefit us actually,” Wilson said with a laugh. “It might be packed, or, then again, maybe no one will come.”
One reason long-time fans of The Hunger may want to attend the show is to get their hands on some of the band’s formerly out-of-print material.
“We were finally able to retain the rights to our old songs, and we are now able to sale the back catalog which has been out of print for years,” Wilson said. “People are always asking us if we have those CD’s, but now people can get the songs they want from us right at the show.”
Wilson said the band will perform material from each of the band’s six albums at Saturday’s show, which guarantees fans will hear many of the songs that made them fall in love with The Hunger so many years ago.
“We try to play stuff from every record because the fans want that,” Wilson stated. “The next time we come back to Beaumont, it will be for an EP release party. We love playing for the people in Southeast Texas because they have always been there for us and treated us great.”