The Waterloo band Hex Girls had big plans for 2020, as all of us did, before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Still, we are getting new music from the band this year, starting Friday with the single “Cats With No Teeth (Catch No Mice).”
Hex Girls are led by guitarist John Fisher and bassist Nick Fisher, who are also brothers. Nick wrote the lyrics for the new song, following what he describes as “a moment of intense adrenaline and borderline hysteria.”
“A couple of years ago, I had ducked out of a local show early and was walking home, when a group of 3-4 guys approached me,” said Nick. “They said some disparaging things about how I was dressed, and fueled by some liquid courage, I gave it right back to them. Long story short, they accosted me and things got pushy, but luckily it didn’t get too serious. Looking back on it, it could have been much worse.”
“I walked home feeling angry, embarrassed and wired,” Nick adds. “I wrote some lines down and developed it to what you hear now, which is a song about wanting to make those guys feel as scared as they made me feel at the time. And that’s the place where the strange lyrics come from, that place of wild adrenaline."
“Cats With No Teeth” is the first new Hex Girls music to be released since Christian Ebetino joined the band on drums. Ross Klemz, the band’s original drummer, has moved to keyboards while remaining the band’s producer.
“Our songwriting has evolved since the last record in 2018, so we really needed someone driven to jump in without a hitch. And Christian has been amazing,” said Klemz. ”It’s the most natural move for me to fill out parts of the new and older tunes. It not only brings keyboards but other vocals, percussion and fun stuff of our recording to life that we just couldn’t accomplish without adding more people.”
Those sounds are evident right away on the new single, which features a horn section and kazoos. The song itself is different, too. It’s much groovier than much of Hex Girls’ past music which they described as “fast indie.”
“We came at the song wanting to create an infectious T-Rex groove," John explains. “Every song is very different on the (new) album, but it all sounds like Hex Girls. I hope it makes for a fun listen, even if our lyrical content continues to be rather dark in an almost comical way.”
Hex Girls finished recording the songs for their second record the first week of March. Their plans included a summer release date and a performance at the Hinterland Music Festival, which was cancelled Thursday due to concerns over COVID-19, followed by a three-week tour.
“As is the case with all other artists, those plans look different now. We are still hopeful for what we can accomplish this year, but we are learning to be comfortable with being flexible and taking the news as it comes,” said Nick. “It was in that spirit that we decided to release this first single digitally as planned. While we have no confirmed release date for our record, I can say you’ll be hearing more new material from us this summer and in the coming year.”