The Life of Hazer
[2007 - present]
When the idea of starting a band first came up, neither of us knew how to make it happen, but we knew we loved rock music. Both Ryan and I (Wes) were inspired to start playing music by a lot of the music we were listening to at that time of our lives. We were listening to a lot of straight forward, in-your-face, alternative rock music that was real, and had a lot of passion behind it. We often had the discussion of “what the hell has happened to music?” So I guess looking back on it now, we started things off with an underlying mission… to make real music for real people.
In 2008, Hazer finally became a reality when we became a four piece band, adding Kyle Kilburg as the band’s first drummer, and Bryan Hendrickson as its first bassist. Later on that year we had decided to hook up with a local recording engineer to record some of the songs we had been playing live. We hit the studio to lay down our first EP titled “Peach Fuzz.” The recording of this EP was a great experience as it was our first time ever recording anything. However, after the record was finished and we had time to reflect, Ryan and I felt that the band’s sound was not where we wanted it to be. We knew what we wanted and we had to make a decision… if this band was going to survive, we had to get things figured out.
In 2009, Ryan and I decided to move in a different direction with the band’s lineup and bring in a new rhythm section. It was a tough time. We had to part ways with two friends and band mates. I remember not knowing what was going to happen to the band. There were doubts and uncertainties, but we did what we felt we had to do...
The transition of drummers couldn’t have been any smoother. I remember the first time Brian Anderson came over to our place to jam with us. He came in the room and took one listen to our EP and was like “alright I think I got it.” We plugged in, cranked things up, and it was the best and most solid we had ever sounded! Brian was it. He was what we were missing. We asked him to join the band and he became Hazer’s permanent drummer from that point on.
Soon after Brian joined the band we began playing shows and writing new material. A good friend of ours, Jon Schlachter, joined the band for a brief time to play bass. We played a handful of shows and then took a break to focus on writing new material. The shows we were playing were fun, and we were playing great, but we really wanted to step away and focus on our next batch of songs.
During this period, Dana Dzick joined the band on bass guitar. We met Dana while she was working at a rock club in Waterloo called Spicoli's. I remember being at a show in which she was asked to jump up on stage and sing a song with one of the bands. I loved her voice.
In 2013 we relocated the band to Des Moines, IA. Over the course of that year we recorded and released our first full-length album, Something Rational. We spent 4 separate recording sessions at Million Yen Studios in Chicago, IL with Andy Gerber. We feel we hit our stride on this record and really found ourselves as a band. We were very excited to get this record out and into people's hands. As musicians it’s a great feeling to be proud enough of your work to want to share it with others. We are proud of that record.
Over the next couple years we played tons of shows around Iowa in support of the album. At the beginning of 2016 Dana and Hazer decided to part ways. With nothing but love between the two they went separate ways. We had Andrew Pierson (Pets With Human Names) fill in for us for a couple months, followed by Dominick Florer (Fertile) for the next couple months... and then we landed upon a young gentleman by the name of Robert Zortman. He was just as weird as us, and had the same drive and thirst to make good original rock music. We asked Robert to be our permanent bass player after a week-long tour of the midwest. Since then the band's chemistry has been better than ever, with new riffs constantly flowing.
In 2017 we released our 2nd full-length album titled, "There's No Going Back". This album captures the essence of a band that has been through a lot of adversity and has had to make some decisions that most probably wouldn't have done. A lot of hard work went into it, and hopefully it shows.
Here we are now, summer of 2018, and we've just finished recording a 6-song e.p. with a 3-track single to go along with it. Stay tuned, as these are set to drop this FALL.
Until we see you again,
Love, Peace, and Hazer Grease.
-Ryan, Brian, Wes, Robert