By ELIZABETH SCHAFER, Associate Editor
And the Sky Went Red. Excellent band name and excellent choice for this month’s Professors who Rock, or in this case, Faculty who Rock.
This is the first musician in this series whose genre of music is metal. Some students may relate more to Hoover, and may have heard of his nationally touring band, And The Sky Went Red. His most current band is called Solar Collapse.
Starting in Midland, Michigan, Hoover says he mainly was influenced in his music by the now iconic metal band Metallica. He is most likely well known for his role in And The Sky Went Red, which released two albums on a label out of Detroit called Saw Her Ghost Records. And The Sky Went Red also has toured nationally twice.
“It’s really not as exciting as people would think,” Hoover recalls of the long hours spent in a van with a bunch of men and band equipment. Playing throughout the state while not on tour gave And The Sky Went Red a large following. Opening for bands like Avenged Sevenfold and being nationally known, they broke up for personal reasons.
Hoover has been playing for 15 years, mostly focusing on the guitar and lead vocals. “Singing just came about; I was really the only one there to do it,” he says. As the lead singer, Hoover does not come off as the front man type, except metal is a different kind of music. It’s filled with lots of energy and noise, sometimes rage.
On the surface Hoover is an adorable man with dimples and great hair. But to see another side of Hoover, it could be worth checking out his new band that plays mostly at the Machine Shop in Saginaw. After breaking with And The Sky Went Red and starting his career at MMCC, his current band, Solar Collapse, is making its mark on the music scene.
Still finding the free time and getting the satisfaction out of playing, Hoover says the biggest problem the band faces is finding and keeping a drummer. “The one I found for Solar Collapse I found on Craig’s List.” The drums can be one of the main parts of the alternative metal genre; it’s a workout all in itself. Hoover described his new band as being 80% singing and 20% screaming.
Hoover also says that he finds himself not really being able to listen to aggressive metal at work. “You hear it so much when you play show and practice, it’s nice to have a change,” he says.
Hoover is respectful of listening to multiple genres. Mainly he says he listens to ambient music or blues. Right now he is listening to Icius, Envys, and Cult of Luna.
As far as work goes, you could describe Hoover as a techie. He manages the website for the college and deals primarily with issues regarding Moodle and the Portal.
In my head, it’s easy to relate metal music and technology all in one. Hoover is proof of that, both through his character and his intelligence and professionalism.
Solar Collapse, Hoover’s current two-piece band, is the perfect example of technology and music intertwining. “Playing metal music with two musicians is virtually impossible without technology,” Hoover explains, describing the way he uses technology via petals and sound boards to have the appearance of more musicians than there are.
In fact, Hoover uses technology in every aspect of his music. “To play lead guitar and bass at the same time with technology progression, that’s what is possible for a two-piece to accomplish with technology,” he says.
Hoover got into technology and web design after he attempted to make his own website many years ago. “My first site was horrible, which made me want to learn to design the right way,” he explains. After graduating from Delta College, he now creates apps and web design for MMCC.
“I use creativity in web app, as I do while creating and writing songs. It’s all connected.”
(“Professors who Rock” is an ongoing series about MMCC professors, adjunct faculty, administrators and staff who spend their free time as a part of the local music scene.)