THE HIGH SPEED SCENE Pharrell likes ‘em, so will you.
by Chazz Madrigal

The High Speed Scene

Fri Oct 24


The HSS consists of singer/guitarist/ wordsmith Max Hart, drummer Adam Aaronson, and bassist Domen Vajevec and have been producing the power punk for about two years now. As Max puts it, "We're just a punk band basically, it's all about riding bikes and smoking weed." This description is modest at best. Hart's rasp starts and fits over the smooth, pop-like sound of the band. Picture Jawbreaker and Weezer jamming on stage while Mick Jagger and Angus Young hype up the crowd.

It's easy to see why the bands involvement with Pharrell Williams' Star Trak Label would leave people scratching their heads. The HSS appears on The Neptunes Present: Clones, and probably makes for one of the oddest inclusion on a hiphop compilation ever. When asked how this came to pass Max explains, "I was doing some session work at the time it happened for one of the artists on Star Trak, and he asked for a demo. He gave it to Pharrell and I got a phone call that night from Pharrell saying he wanted to sign us."

Hart was still in disbelief a couple days later when the lawyers showed up with paperwork in hand. After that they went into the studio. "When it came time for us to select a producer, we were really nervous that they would stick us with Bob Rock or something. Pharrell and Chad just told us they liked the sound of the demo and to use whoever we did for that. So we were able to use Dana (Gumbiner) and just do our own thing."

Major labels haven't really been a good thing for punk bands, especially since the early '90s boom of punk and indie bands that were signed, rose fast, and then were dropped only to break up. Hart is conscious of this fact, preferring to stick to the method of building a buzz by playing your ass off and not relying so heavily on the label PR. "It's not like you get signed one day and you play the Roseland (NYC) the next, that's bullshit. You've got to work your ass off, it's still the same."