‘The sun also rises’ on Hemingway

Gabe Gott

After an eight-month hiatus, Hemingway’s Shotgun, a group of Kent State students, is back.

“We started playing shows regularly a month ago,” said Trevor Wozniak, guitarist of Hemingway’s Shotgun. “We’re kind of reborn into the local scene.”

Hemingway’s Shotgun stopped playing in August after the band’s previous drummer left. Wozniak, along with bassist/vocalist Eric Woodruff, found the band’s current drummer, Jared Himes, in February. Woodruff knows Himes from high school.

Hemingway’s Shotgun

Playing with Coinslot and Crowded Mind

Where? Club Khameleon

When? Thursday, May 11, 9 p.m.

How much? $5

The members of Hemingway’s Shotgun find the time to practice at Himes’ house every Friday and describe the band’s sound as progressive rock with influences pulled from different styles, such as jazz and the blues.

Influenced by Tool, Rush and Rage Against the Machine, Woodruff contributes as equally to the band’s sound as Wozniak, who is influenced by Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers and Miles Davis. Woodruff writes the vocals and comes up with the song structures, and Wozniak is responsible for the improvisation.

Hemingway’s Shotgun shows are energetic, and the band is generally well-received by the audiences, though everything doesn’t always go according to plan, Wozniak said.

At one show in Akron, the band got lost on the way to the venue and during the performance Woodruff’s bass stopped working.

“I just told everyone we were changing our name to the Atheists,” Woodruff said. “That was probably the worst show we’ve played.”

Before performing, each Hemingway’s Shotgun member has his own ritual.

“I’m always worried about how I can reach people through what I’m playing,” Wozniak said. “I just try to relax and project my soul through my guitar.”

There’s one part in one of the band’s songs that Woodruff frequently messes up. Before performing he always tests himself to see if he can remember it.

“If I can pass that, it’s going to be a good night,” Woodruff said.

Hemingway’s Shotgun, since it came out of hiatus, has played a show every weekend, though they don’t have any official releases.

The band members have demos that they pass around, and they have MP3’s available to download on their MySpace and purevolume Web sites.

“We’re pretty much low budget,” Woodruff said.

When away from the band, Wozniak tries to get the band shows and get the band’s name out.

Hemingway’s Shotgun’s name comes from the name of a poetry group that was on campus.

Plus, Woodruff added, it is how Ernest Hemingway, the writer, died.

“I guess you could use it as a metaphor to the way the music was delivered,” Wozniak said.

The members of Hemingway’s Shotgun want to appeal to people who like musicianship built into the music.

“Basically, I want people to remember that the band tried to progress music to something not so image-based, not so watered-down,” Wozniak said.

Contact ALL reporter Gabe Gott at [email protected].