Hamell on Trial is the musical alias of New York-based anti-folk bloke Ed Hamell, Hamell on Trial is a one-man punk band that tends to plays loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence.
Far Out Magazines Track of the Day comes from His ninth album, The Happiest Man In The World set to be released on May 26th sees Hamell still as uncompromising, fearless, insightful, absurd, hysterical and as poignant as he was when he descended upon the music world with his debut 25 years ago
Hamell on Trial calls himself “The Happiest Man In The World” as evidenced by the title of his new album but forever the agitator we present to you: “5 Things That Piss Hamell On Trial Off:”
1. Overly Happy Bands – I want to start by saying I’m a pretty happy guy. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say I’m a very happy guy. I mean if you go see my show you’ll pretty much see that I’m happy, because I love to play. That having been said I think it’s important and essential that within the 90 minutes of my show we might visit a whole range of emotions, because unquestionably ‘challenging’ is one important variable in my definition of ‘Art’ or ‘Rock and Roll.’ So if I get angry for a bit, or confrontational for a bit, or stretch the boundaries of what is considered decent for a bit, it’s not because I’m pissy, it’s because I’m desperate to not let myself down and consequently disappoint the audience. Those artists that are happy all the time on stage, or histrionically pretending that some emotion of joy is taking them over for the entire show every night of a six month tour, if they won’t give me some insight to their genuine character, let’s say, I don’t know, maybe Mumford and Sons and that ilk, I feel insulted and that pisses me off.
2. People That Look At Their Phones (All The Time) – The other morning I was at the library and the guy checking out my books was actually listening to Mumford and Sons on his phone. He never looked up from his phone. I find that incredibly rude and offensive. I see couples sitting at the table in a restaurant dining and BOTH LOOKING AT THEIR PHONES! FOR THE ENTIRE MEAL! Isn’t that like saying, “I don’t find you interesting enough to engage with. I’ll look at Facebook and Miley Cyrus videos on my phone instead”
3. People Upset About Miley Cyrus – Miley pissed off more people than the fucking Sex Pistols at the VMA ‘s and that was pretty cool, although I don’t know anything about her music. But I can tell you this: Nick Cave is DYING to do a duet with her to which I say: Wait in line!
4. Bill Hicks Never Getting His Due & Ignorant Assholes – I wonder what the great comedian, now dead and gone God rest his soul, Bill Hicks would have said about both ‘Mumford and Sons’ and ‘People that look at their phones (all the time).’ He would have ripped them a new asshole I bet. It pisses me off that when Bill Hicks was alive he never achieved the recognition he so richly deserved in this country. And frankly, even posthumously, too few people know about him. I don’t mind those that have never been exposed to him, that’s okay, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a movie, not unlike what Dustin Hoffman did for Lenny Bruce, that will expose Bill to a greater audience. It’s the people that ‘Don’t get him” because he told the truth and that offended them. About politics. About religion. About art. I think those that were offended were kind of ignorant assholes so I’ve got to add that to the list. Ignorant assholes.
5. Throwing Away My Cassettes – When I got divorced I threw out all my cassettes. I had a lot of really cool shit. Don’t throw away your cassettes.