Doc Hayward is a new band formed by a group of old friends in Chicago who got together recently to make a record. The fact that they’ve undertaken this project in 2020 means they have not yet been able to perform live at all. Undaunted, they hit the studio for a few months, tracking and mixing. On November 17, 2020 Doc Hayward released their debut EP, simply titled “EP.”
The record opens with an ambient guitar and synth intro. As the music swells in the background, samples of Alec Baldwin and Jack Lemmon in “Glengarry Glen Ross” are mixed with audio from the viral “Good mawning Julia” creep meme. In that video a guy named “Joe” sends a creepy good morning video and professes his love to a woman he hardly knows. The band continues the theme with the track “My Flower!” which is a reference to a subsequent video from the creep in question. However, from that point forward the record takes off musically with an uptempo Punk Rock assault.
Over the course of four tracks, Doc Hayward summons the Emo Pop/Punk sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Triple time rhythms meet staccato power chord crunch. It’s loud, fast and powerful. However, the band also includes plenty of nuance into their compositions. “Plastered” opens with an acoustic intro, and although the track clocks in at just under two minutes, they pack some great dynamics shifts into the arrangement.
Similarly, “Can’t Hang” features complex melodic movement and some cool tempo changes. The record ends on “Gloria Kills,” a track written for (guitarist and primary songwriter) Will T’s dog. The band kicks a little metal into their mix for this melodic head banger.
You can hear “Can’t Hang” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Check out our 7 questions with Will T, below. And follow the subsequent links to connect with Doc Hayward. Get in the loop on all of the band’s current and future projects.
7 Questions with Will T of Doc Hayward
The Static Dive: Where are you from?
Will T: Chicagoland
SD: How long have you been making music?
WT: I’ve been making music for 18 years, this band started in 2018
SD: Who are the musicians involved in your project?
WT: I am involved with this project with Max Tang from a band called Sloshed and Max Steger, who is quickly rising as a major producer. He was previously in a band called Empires that was on an Island Records subsidiary. Our drummer James “JD” Doyle is a professional drummer who also plays in the metal bands The Oblivion Archetype and Âstillian.
SD: Who are your biggest musical influences?
WT: Our biggest musical influences are bands like Lagwagon, Blink-182, Saves The Day, Rise Against
SD: What is your greatest non-musical influence?
WT: Our biggest non-musical influence is probably the current state of comedy. We are equally trying to provide a fun escape for people without necessarily writing it up as too serious.
SD: What inspired you to create this project?
WT: I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12 years old (I’m the principal songwriter/rhythm guitar player of this band) and after a couple years of producing records for bands such as Young Jesus (now on Saddle Creek Records), I wanted to see what I could make of 5-7 years worth of rough voice memo riffs. It’s convenient when one of your best friends is a world-class producer, so I reached out to Max.
SD: What are your plans for the future (musically)?
WT: We’re currently writing and recording our second EP to (hopefully) be released Summer of 2021. The EP that just came out is something I really wanted to have come out this past summer, but COVID-19 sabotaged those plans. Whenever possible, I just want us to play a couple shows and continue to write. I think we are heading in a great direction.