We’ve been fans of alt rockers House & Home since first hearing their stand-out track ‘Shrunken Head’ back in 2020. Any song with a breakdown is good in our book, and this one delivers.
Coupled with the half-time shuffle groove in the intro, reminiscent of John Bonham, the track serves to highlight House & Home’s special blend of modern and classic rock.
Calling to mind bands like Superheaven and Soul Blind, the House & Home sound melds infectious melodies with powerful vocals and tight instrumentation. And who doesn’t love huge riffs backed with dissonant feedback? Always a killer combo.
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, USA, the band, signed to Open Your Ears Records, is comprised of vocalist and guitarist Pat Williams, drummer Matt Stumpf, guitarist and vocalist Joey Grammer, and bassist Collin Lassiter.
The boys got together in 2017. After honing their sound, playing every local show they could get, they released their debut EP ‘Fully Grown’ in 2018.
The critically-lauded album ‘Find Sense. Feel Love. Make Light.’ followed in 2020. If you haven't heard it, we strongly urge you to check it out.
Our favourite tracks are ‘Burn’ with its captivating melody lines, and final track ‘Make Light.’ with its beautiful, melancholic guitar riffs and power outro.
No less impressive is latest release ‘Everything is Sacred’. Showcasing the band’s growth and progression, the EP ventures into new sonic territory, but still features the guitar-driven melodies, intricate rhythms and introspective lyrics we’ve come to expect from House & Home.
We reached out to the band for an interview and were more than stoked when they said yes. We got to speak with drummer Matt, on the blower from Virginia, to chat about the band, the EP, his bandmates and all things House & Home. Read on for much goodness.
Hey, Matt. Thanks for making time to speak with us today, whatever time it is there. You’re the first American band we’ve got to interview, and also the first we've asked.
Please describe House & Home for anyone who hasn’t heard you before.
We’re a rock band. We write riffy, aggressive songs with honest lyrics that are meant to get a reaction out of people in a live setting. Crazy shows have always been the goal.
Coming from Richmond, Virginia, we came up in a really strong local music scene. People come out and support local bands, whether it’s hardcore, punk, alt, indie, or whatever.
We learned early on what we value about being a band and that’s writing songs that can connect with the people we’re playing for as heavily as they do for us, and being part of a community of people that do the same. The grass roots, DIY mindset translates to an awesome live set.
How did the band start?
I knew Pat from high school and we’d ended up living together. Joey was working at a local music store and would often be at the same shows as us. We eventually got together just to jam for fun.
In 2017, I think on my 21st birthday, me, Pat and Joey were chilling and decided we really wanted to do House & Home. And then we drunkenly played Battlefront all night.
Collin played in another band we played shows with pretty frequently. We knew we all got along; so, when we needed a bass player, he was the first person we called.
Who chose the name?
Joey pulled House & Home from a lyric of a song a friend of ours wrote. I think it was one of the first we came up with. We actually had our first show booked and our first single done before we had a name.
Describe your bandmates for us, to help us get a better sense of the band. Who’s the diva?
Well, Pat is definitely a control freak. He keeps the ball rolling and is really motivated but tends to be neurotic and obsessive about band stuff.
Collin is a clown in the best way. He can make a joke out of anything, whether you want him to or not.
Joey is an old soul. Needs his sleep. A man of simple pleasures. But when something comes up and nobody else knows what to do, 99% of the time Joey has it covered.
I’m for sure the most laid back and personable.
Tell us something unusual or surprising about each of your bandmates.
Collin has probably the biggest sneaker collection of anyone we know. It’s really impressive actually. He always lands the latest drops on the Nike SNKRS app.
Joey has a knack for anything mechanical. It could be cars or computers or gaming consoles. He can take something apart, figure out what’s wrong, and put it back together no problem.
Pat is pretty straightforward. The weirdest thing about him is he’s really into stupid reality TV.
Each to their own. Let's talk about your latest EP: ‘Everything is Sacred’. What's the response to it been like?
It’s been awesome. It feels like people are connecting to it just as much as the LP. And because it’s stylistically a little different, it seems like it’s also connecting with a different audience too.
We had a few song ideas that we were really eager to work on, but we could tell they were headed in a slightly different direction than our previous record. We wanted to do a shorter release so we could really explore where the songs were headed.
We just wanted to throw ourselves into the creative process. We recorded it with Will Beasley in early 2022. He’s always been our go-to producer.
What does your creative process look like? Who takes the lead when it comes to writing new material?
We’ve always taken pride in the fact that our songwriting is pretty much start to finish collaborative between the four of us. We get in a room together and start tossing ideas around until someone plays something everyone likes.
Once we have an idea or a riff we want to build off of, we’ll just start demoing everyone’s parts until we’ve got the general idea of the song laid out. Then Pat and Joey will start working on melody and lyrics.
Have you got a favourite track on the EP?
‘A Familiar Direction’ has done a lot for us as a band. It was the lead single off the EP and the reach it’s gotten has really blown us away. Not to mention the music video was really fun to make and turned out amazing. Shout out Aaron Palmer.
What effect did Covid have on the band?
To put it bluntly, it sucked. We put out our first album, ‘Find Sense. Feel Love. Make Light.’, in April of 2020, right as everything was shutting down in the States. We had tours get cancelled, which meant we couldn’t play the songs we’d just released. We were feeling really defeated.
We just did what we could to stay active and motivated. We recorded live streams, designed merch to keep for later, and kept our eyes open to see when we could start booking shows again. It was kind of all we could do.
We played our first hometown show since Covid in October of 2021. It was a belated release show for our debut LP. We didn’t know what to expect.
The show packed out. The energy in the room was through the roof the entire time. It was just super validating after we’d been so unsure about the future of the band.
That must have been a great feeling. On a similar note, what’s the best thing about being in a band?
The traveling and community around it. It’s kind of wild to think that I’ve experienced more of the country than most people that aren’t involved in music, and everywhere we go there are always people who are down to support in any way possible.
It’s just cool to see how different communities are so down to help each other out and watch music scenes grow because of it.
Our dream has always just been to be able to make a living writing and playing music. We’re not an overnight success. It’s been a slow burn and we’ve had to grind to make the progress we have. How far we’ve come is really astonishing to us and we are really grateful.
You boys deserve your success; you’ve worked bloody hard for it. Can you remember much about your early shows?
We played one in Savannah, Georgia, in someone’s kitchen! The people that lived in the house were in the other room watching Top Gear or something the whole time. Very weird vibes.
It was our first tour ever. Pretty much no one came. There have been a few poorly attended shows over the years, but every band has those starting out.
They surely do. On the subject of starting out, how did you get started in music?
I owe a lot to my uncle. He plays blues harmonica and the first time I ever played drums was with his band at his wedding when I was 3 or 4. My feet couldn’t even reach the pedals.
Growing up he would send me CDs and tell me to listen to the drummer. It definitely lit a fire in me at an early age.
I started playing in church band in middle school. Then my friends and I started a Christian rock cover band. I was 15 when I joined my second band. It was another cover band, but it was all Blink 182, Green Day, AC/DC, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, The Strokes, etc.
A couple of years later, one of my friends asked me to join his new band. I did that for a couple years while I dabbled in some session drumming stuff on the side. I tried a couple bands after that that didn’t really work. And then came House & Home.
Who are your musical heroes?
You can’t be a drummer and not love the Foo Fighters: Dave Grohl and the undisputed absolute goat Taylor Hawkins. RIP.
I feel like The Beatles are the new Nickelback, where people shit on them for no reason, but Ringo Starr was a pretty big inspiration to me at a young age.
As far as other favourite bands go, I’d have to say Balance and Composure, Superheaven, Fall Out Boy. My music taste is always expanding, but those are some guaranteed go-tos if I’m pulling a long drive or something.
If we were pulling a long drive now, what three albums should we take with us?
There’s too much music for this, but, if I were to give you three albums right now, it would be ‘Jar’ by Superheaven or Daylight - whatever you want to call them when talking about that album. Some people get real picky about that one.
Also, ‘The Things We Think We’re Missing' by Balance and Composure. And then probably my album of the year so far: ‘Madison & Floral’ by Sign Language.
Good choices. Given what you know now about the music industry, what advice do you wish you’d been given when you started out?
That, unfortunately, not everybody does it for the love of music or because they want to see you succeed. Some people just want to see the money. We sort of learned that the hard way starting out.
Knowing who’s who and who to trust is crucial to a growing band. There’s a lot that goes into being an artist that people don’t realise, so be smart and DIY until somebody takes notice and truly offers something beneficial.
Great advice. What’s next for House & Home?
We’re working on writing as much new music as we can. We have some studio time booked really soon and we have some plans for the fall. We’re tossing around new tour dates as well.
Until then, we’re just focussed on making sure we push the new songs as far as possible. We’re trying our hardest to make it to the UK as soon as possible so stay on the lookout.
We certainly hope you’ll come and play here in Blighty. We’ll be there when you do.
Thanks, TEN OF CLUBS. It’s just really cool y’all asked us to do this. And we all really like your Kong Long Sleeve, probably because it’s reminiscent of the old school skate brand styles we’re really into.
Thank you too. We’ll get some Kongs shipped out to you. Where should people go to support you?
We’re everywhere on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Our songs are streaming anywhere you can find music - Spotify, Apple Music and the rest - and all our merch, tour dates, etc., are on our website.
We also have our records on Open Your Ears Records.
Any final words or a message for your fans?
Just a massive thank you. Bands say it all the time, but we hope everyone knows how genuinely we mean it.
The fact that people care about this thing we’re doing in any capacity is so awesome and we want nothing more than to keep doing it.
📸 Band photography by Elyza Reinhart
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