Hotline to the Underground by Joe Viglione interviews Jesse Braintree 

We are talking to Jesse Braintree of the group Jesse and the Hogg Brothers about the upcoming year in Hoggville.

Q:Jesse, the Herman’s Hermits have fanatical fans that Peter Noone, lead singer, calls “Noonatics” – a sly nod to Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his lunatics. What is the I.Q. of the average Hoggaholic and what makes a Hoggaholic?

A: I guess any performer could claim how smart their fan base is but who can prove it is another thing. I contend our fans love to laugh and have fun how that equates to IQ I leave that to others to debate or decide. Hoggaholic is a term reserved for fans that just can’t get enough of our performances and our music.

Q:You have a new vinyl album…what’s the title and why vinyl?

A: It’s called GET HAMMERED and yes it is a vinyl release and actually our 1st time on vinyl. The title is a a bit of a play on words as you know getting hammered is a way to say getting really drunk and we have cousin Kenny Hogg on the back cover polishing off a pitcher of beer However the album title is based on the opening song on each side of the LP. The Hammer and The Texas Hammer which are songs about lawyers who call themselves The Hammer and of course The Texas Hammer.

Q:Where did you record the album?
A:We recorded most of the album in Cambridge MA at The Bridge Sound And Stage but we did record parts of it at Dimension in Jamaica Plain and in Texas at Kenny Hogg’s recording studio. The mixing and mastering done by the incredible Alex Allinson at The Bridge. We began some of the recordings in 2014 and over 21 band/family members contributing as well as multiple guest performers.

Q:What is the group planning during the pandemic? A virtual tour or live dates in 2021?

A: We are performing where we can live and just did a Christmas Online performance in December. It is NOT up to the band it is up to people in positions of power that decide if there will ever be live music with so many venues closed permanently. The band is APOLITICAL so I find even answering this question uncomfortable as many read politics into everything. Our goal is to perform and we hope we will be allowed to tour in 2021 but if we can’t we will do virtual shows.

Q:You have band members stashed around the U.S.A. from Boston to Vegas to the mid-west. Do people send in an application form to join or do they have to be a relative of yours?

A: Non relatives can marry into the family as done by Jolene Hogg who played fiddle on the album and many a live show before her untimely death in 2019. We miss you and know you are in heaven looking down on us with as much love.

Q: When Jay Black of Jay and the Americans lost the band name, the original bandmembers got it at auction. They may have found the new “Jay” (#3 or #4) …who is phenomenal…off of a YouTube video. YouTube as an audition tape. Can you find lost Hogg Bros family members on YouTube and have them on standby to join the group?

A: Kenny and Neil Hogg have a YouTube channel and who knows perhaps others will follow. Kenny recently joined us for the 2020 Christmas Special online.

Q:How many copies of the CD have been pressed and how many vinyl albums? Do fans buy autographed copies online since we are in lockdown?

A: The new album is Vinyl or digital and we limited the pressing to 1000 copies a CD of Get Hammered is probably going to happen once we can tour to support it. So stay tuned on that.

Q: There was talk of a Jesse and the Hogg Brothers TV show. I still think this is a great idea. What does Kitty and the bandmates think about it and…what do YOU think about the idea?

A:This is in the works however there is some debate on the format of the show that needs to be resolved before we start putting it out in the summer of 2021.

Q:Anything else you’d like to tell our readers at the Somerville News Weekly, Medford News Weekly and Club Bohemia news sites?

A: We have recorded our 1st release in Spanish so look for that upcoming release later this year as well as a bunch of new videos a new live CD and lots more.

JV Thank you, Jesse

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