Hourglass: Buffalo Hardcore Quintet Discusses Discography LP, Future Plans + More

Photo: JP Pierre

Hourglass are about to release their discography on Immigrant Sun Records. Pre-orders for the vinyl are up now and they include an instant digital download.

I have all of these recordings the first time around so believe me when I tell you that this discography sounds amazing. Every time I listen to it I am blown away by how good they got these old recordings to sound. A lot of time and effort went into making this happen.

I recently caught up with guitarist Gerald Thomas and vocalist Michael Zebrowskito talk about the discography and what the future holds for Hourglass.

So pre-orders have been up for the discography for a little while now. All orders included an instant download. The demo sounds exceptionally good. How did that all go with tracking down and remastering the old tracks?  

Gerald Thomas: It was a bit of a struggle to track everything down. We unfortunately didn’t have the master tapes/DATs for any of the material. The split LP we had the CD to fall back on, the 7-inch was ripped from the test press, and the demo was the most difficult to track down. 

We had multiple tape copies of the 4-song demo, but couldn’t locate a 5-song demo. A fan reached out who made a digital rip of it years ago, but that ended up being the best source. Justin Ryan, look up his resume, mastered it in Nashville and we couldn’t be happier. I always had a thing for how the kick drum sounded on the 7-inch and he made it sound so much better to my ears.

Besides the remastered LP, will anything else be available along with the Discography?

Gerald: The discography will be available on 3 different splattered vinyl variants, there is a brand new t-shirt design, poster, and hand made vinyl LP holders with the Hourglass logo actually burnt into them. Sean has come up with some really cool items and designs. There are a variety or pre-order packages available. Unfortunately, all of the test presses are already sold out. 
What was the inspiration behind the cover art for the discography?  

Gerald: Sean from Immigrant Sun had the idea/concept pretty early on in the planning stages for the LP. I think it’s a bit of a nod to our old t-shirt design, as well, to me at least, represents the closing of a chapter of the band.   

You recently played your first back. Were you happy about how it went?  

Michael Zebrowskito: It was such a fantastic group of people and location to kickstart our resurgence. Amazing that it was only the second time we were all in the room together. Playing live with these guys is just as easy as writing music with them. We all came together and put out the energy you would expect from Hourglass.  

Gerald: I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. Especially given the apprehension of COVID given the show was in November of last year. It was a small family reunion of sorts.

We had our friends Science Man open. They were incredible. Please check them out. They have a new album about to drop. There was just a good vibe throughout the whole night.

I felt we played well, we didn’t get to rehearse as a full band for quite some time leading up to the show.  I couldn’t have asked for a better return

Photo: Billie Page

Besides the discography you recorded a new album for Hellminded Records. How did that come about?  

Gerald: Joe/Hellminded reached out to us shortly after the last No Echo piece ran. It really seemed like a great fit for us and we couldn’t be more excited. Joe is working with some other bands featuring '90s folks like No Escape, Autumn, and Shades Apart.

He’s also working with newer bands as well like Honey, Crossed Keys, and Easy Prey. I’ve already been chatting with some of our new labelmates and we’ll be hopefully trading shows and sharing stages in the not so distant future. 
 I heard some rough mixes of a couple of new songs and I’m really digging it. How has the creative process been going with the new members?  

Michael: The creative process has been the reason for doing all of this. This team is so fantastic to work with. I’m in Vermont, so you would think that it would be difficult to collaborate, but it isn't at all. Gerald sends me voice memo records of writing/rehearsing sessions with Billy and Aaron. I work off of those and use basic recording apps. I do all of this in my truck as I drive around Vermont for work.

It’s a great set of working demos we have compiled. We also have an ongoing group text where we share our ideas and desires for the music. The best part is we all get the fundamentals of this band, we buy into it with passion and we let the rubber hit the road with some hard work. It’s fun and rewarding.  

Gerald: We technically only have one “new” member, being Aaron Ratajczak on bass, formerly of Every Time I Die, and currently with Pissing Match as well. Marcus, who is on guitar with me, was in the band Next to Nothing which was the precursor to Hourglass. But to get back to your question, it’s been great.

We’re split between Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Vermont. So we only all get together to rehearse on occasion. Technology has made it quite easy for us to operate given the distance.  We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of one another via text messages and wav. files. And the core drums, bass and guitar are in Buffalo so the three of us practice regularly

Photo: MArk X Miller

When can we expect the new album to be released? Also, do you have a title for it yet?  

Gerald: We are working on the final mixes as I type this and then off for mastering. The actual album most likely won’t be available until fall due to the current backup at most vinyl pressing plants. We’re hoping to release a few songs digitally prior to the physical release. More details soon.  

In regards to the title, we’ve kicked a couple things around. Not 100% and I’ll also defer to Michael on this one.  

Michael: The album title and title track came extremely early in this reform. Gerald and I were the only two back in. It's Atomic Clock. I loved the concept of comparing the simplicity and beauty of an hourglass and the complexity and beauty of the atomic clock.

I have always likened the pair to '90s Hourglass and '20s Hourglass. It's an evolution, but a search for the same fundamental truth. All in time. For me this has become a concept album through and through. A hardcore opera of sorts. Can't wait to have it to share. 

Photo: MArk X Miller

Is there anything you would like to add?  

Gerald: Thanks for taking the time to follow up with us. We’re excited to be back creating new music. We’re really proud of the album we’re putting together. It still sounds like Hourglass. Even all these years later.

I’m excited to get it out into the world and hope people enjoy it. In the meantime please check out the Discography. It will be hitting streaming services shortly and the physical copies should be out April/May. 


Discography is available in several vinyl variants at Immigrant Sun Records


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