When you go out to listen to live music, if it’s a band, it’s easy to focus your attention on the front man. That’s just natural. Yet, when the band is a trio, especially a rock band, whatever the front guy does, is dependent on his rhythm section. Without a solid base, your front guys walk a tightrope. The drummer and bassist are paramount. They determine whether the music walks or runs or if it collapses in a heap. Their contribution is what inspires the willing to dance, tap their feet and generally, groove.
T.J. Hahs is a prime example of the best a bassist can bring, and in his case, to the musical stew that is KDH’s SoulOne.
Here’s our conversation:
Q: What brought you to the Outer Banks?
A: My sister lived here. I moved here with my mother in 2015.
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: Heavy rock, but I like playing all sorts of music.
Q: Who is your greatest musical influence?
A: Without a doubt, Peal Jam. I love everything about that band.
Q: What is it about music that touches you?
A: That feeling you get when you hear a song and your hair stands up. There is nothing like it. It's also a different way to express myself.
Q: What was the first concert you attended?
A: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. That concert highly influenced my desire to learn more about music. I remember turning to my mom and saying, “That's what I want to do."
Q: Are you self-taught?
A: No. Over the years I have taken many bass lessons and participated in the school band. I attribute most of my musical knowledge to my middle school band teacher, Bob S. He took me under his wing and helped me learn more about music and playing the bass.
Q: Do you play other instruments?
A: I also play guitar, piano, and I sing.
Q: What musical projects are you involved in?
A: Right now, I’m only in one, SoulOne. We play a lot of weddings, private parties, and bar gigs.
Q: Musicians usually play for those “moments” when everything clicks. Do you have a favorite moment?
A: Yeah. I’ve had many. Probably my favorite was when my old band, Fluid Impulse, played a music festival in front of 1,500 people. I've found that playing in front of more people, the energy is better. But, I’ve also played gigs with only two people in the crowd and we absolutely crush it.
Q: What do you do in the off-season?
A: I work at OBX Shipping Center. It's a family run business that my sister bought 10 years ago, but I’ve only been working there for three years.
Q: Was there a person in your life that motivated you to pursue music?
A: My mom has always pushed me to continue with my musical career. She even managed one of my bands many years back. My best friend, Steven, (the drummer in SoulOne), has also been a huge motivator. We’ve been jamming together for 15-plus years.
Q: If you could perform with anyone, who would it be?
A: Definitely, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. He is such a talented and humble individual.
Q: What one song have you heard that you wish you'd written?
A: “Outshined” by Soundgarden
Q: If you could choose any era to perform music, when would it be and why?
A: Probably the ’90s. Most of the music I listen to is from that time period.
Q: Do you listen to new music?
A: I’ve been listening to this Indie band named Pinegrove. They are amazing.
Q: Did you ever consider quitting music?
A: Yes, multiple times. I’ve realized that I might not make it in the music business, but I'll always play and write music. It's all about having fun.
Q: McCartney or Lennon?
Q: Where was your first performance?
A: That was with my middle school band. I was probably around 10 years old.
Q: When you write a song, is it positive or negative inspiration that drives you?
A: It could be both, but I've found that some of the best songs come from negative inspiration.
Q: Do you have any hobbies that aren’t music-related?
A: I love to film and edit videos. Steven and I have a production company called “Vibe Squad Production. We make a lot of skit comedy and parodies. Our videos can be found on YouTube.
Q: Your favorite album?
A: 311's self-titled album. It's such an amazing album. It was all I listened to in high school.
Q: Your favorite song?
A: I really can’t narrow down a favorite song. That's too hard.
Q: How do folks find out where can you be heard this off-season?
A: Our info can be found on SoulOne's Facebook page and ReverbNation.
Q: If you were me, what question should I be asking you?
A: When are we gonna jam, man?