Photos and words by John Carlow
Hedks is a two piece stoner thrash band comprised of myself and Twitchy Twitch in Vancouver, BC. We like playing fast and heavy and are heavily influenced by PARTY. Most of our songs are about booze, sex, substances and riffs, and the life that comes with those particular things.
Name Taya Fraser (Co-founder Art Signified/ Studio Vostok– Vancouver BC Canada)
Hometown East Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Nickname(s) Taser Fraser
HEDKS and Sexy Decoy, although the latter is calling it quits in the very near future.
Favorite place for takeout
I’ll pretty much eat anything I don’t have to cook as long as it’s not peppers or spicy.
Tom Tom : When/ how did your interest in drums begin?
Taya Fraser: A coworker mentioned his band (Sexy Decoy) was looking for a drummer. I jokingly said that I would do it and ended up following through with it; because why the hell not? The next weekend they’d asked me to join. Music has always been a huge part of my life so the interest has always been there; but this all went down about 3 years ago.
TT : Ever take lessons?
No, but I’ve been thinking about it. I go to a lot of shows and watch local drummers and I watch a lot of YouTube videos in slow motion.
TT : Tell me about your set/ gear
Right now I have the kit I started out with, a cherry red Pearl Forum series. When I’m a little richer I’d really like to get a nice Mapex kit.
TT : What’s in your record collection?
A lot of Hair Metal and classic rock/heavy metal. A bit of classical too. I don’t have a huge record collection cuz I used to move around a lot, but I like a pretty wide variety of stuff and my laptop is stupid slow because of it. My Eagles greatest hits and Pink Floyd “The Wall’ are pretty much melted into the record player. My favorite tunes are really heavy progressive, stoner, thrash and groovy. Pretty much all the things Twitch and I are trying to embody with HEDKS. Kyuss, ISIS, Black Breath… shit like that. Tom Waits is another favorite. Old crusty punk like Subhumans (UK), Exploited, Aus Rotten etc. Basically I like pretty much anything that isn’t overly electronic or top 40 .
TT : What do you love most about playing a live show?
GETTING WASTED. Just kidding… kind of. I really just love jamming out and letting people have a good time. It’s the same feeling you get when you’ve given someone a gift and they really truly love it; except this gift makes people thrash and throw beer cans and its coming directly out of your soul and being smashed into their faces. That’s cheesy as fuck, but whatever.
TT : Why is a magazine like Tom Tom important?
There has always been this stigma that ‘girls in music are singers’ or soft barefoot acoustic guitar players or whatever, which of course there is nothing wrong with. Magazines like Tom Tom bring to light the fact that there are a plethora of women drummers out there that are, and they’re killing it. It’s is nice to be able to read about other female drummers. I know when I watch other female drummers play and they really put their all into it, I instantly feel a sort of kindred spirit type connection- like we’ve gone through the same steps to becoming what we wanna be despite the “Oh that’s cute, you wanna be a drummer” attitude from a lot of people. Getting past that stage is one of the more fulfilling things about playing music, other than the actual playing of the music. Magazines like this make it real; they make it be taken seriously.
TT : How do you prep for a show?
Smuggle beers and cigarettes. If there’s time we do a little warm up at the jam space, but I’m usually late for everything I do ever so really, I’m never completely prepared.
TT : Most unusual thing to ever happen at a gig?
The very first real show HEDKS ever played a whole bunch of friends literally littered me with empty beer cans. I think I counted over 15 behind and on the kit after the set, most launched in the span of one song. My bass player in Decoy punched our bud from the band BRASS in the face during one set, we were dueling with them song for song in this rowdy punk battle series some friends and I put on. Guitarist got panted and played the rest of the set with his wang out. In a past band I was in called Daddy Issues, I can’t remember who did it but they dumped a zip lock baggy of icing sugar (joke coke) on my kit. Oh and we hired on some girls to pelt us with hot dog wieners. Actually pretty much every set with Daddy Issues was fucked up (intentionally), but I guess that’s to be expected when you have Bloody Betty for a frontwoman.
TT : Play any other instruments?
I really want to play everything. I’ve got a bunch of random instruments that I play pretty shitty. I play acoustic guitar too (socks on), mostly to myself when no one’s around or when I’m very drunk and I find one lying around. Right now I’m really taking a liking to piano.
TT : Drumming idols?
I do really dig Aaron Harris from ISIS/Zozobra, Nick Mason, Jon Bonham obviously, Don Henley, Ian Paice. I also really dig the drumming in The Dead Weather, not sure who plays what when cuz I guess they switch it up between members or something. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I idolize any of these people though. They’re just a bunch of dinky humans that just so happen to be really good at drumming.
TT : Future plans musically?
Twitch and I really want to tour as much as possible. We both love being on the road. If we had it our way we’d live in a camper and tour forever. One day. For now its jam, write and play as much as possible. We plan to put out a record by the end of the year.
Contributor : John Carlow for Tom Tom Magazine
Photography : John Carlow ( Finding Charlotte Photography )