Well, it is probably no exaggeration to say that without a certain band called Kyuss there would have been no subgenre called Stoner Rock! Just take a look at the sheer number of Kyuss spin-off projects and proper bands ... Guitarist/singer Brant Bjork has just released his ninth (!) solo album called "Gods & Goddesses" (go check it out – a real killer album). And there was Unida ... And now there is House Of Broken Promises. See, I told you Kyuss was a very influential band. Talking about House Of Broken Promises, the brainchild of Eddie Plasciencia (bass, vocals), Arthur Seay (guitar, vocals) and Mike Cancino (drums, vocals). The history of all three band members goes back to Unida, so would it be fair to describe House Of Broken Promises as Unida minus mainman John Garcia? Guitarist Arthur Seay does not see it like this: "House Of Broken Promises is a new positive, musical, melodic beast. It is its on entiy. It has the 'Stoner Rock' roots and it has its more Metal roots also. House Of Broken Promises is its own special rock machine that is something different from Unida, not just missing John Garcia." So there you have it ...
Unida split up in 2003, some seven years ago. So why did the band split up (which led to the formation of House Of Broken Promises)? Arthur explains: "We never really broke up. Well, Unida was not really doing shit, John was getting more and more part time singer. He got married and had a child which of course makes things a little harder but not impossible. But he focussed more on his vet work than the music side. And I'm all music and art 24/7. All I want to do is write, record, tour, record, tour, produce, tour, ha, ha!" However, there are really no bad feelings between the guys in House Of Broken Promises and John Garcia as Arthur confims: "No, I talk to John. He's my brother in arms. We've been talking about doing some shows but we've been completely swamped with House Of Broken Promises and are focussing on supporting this release as hard as we can. It was great playing with him, we created some special music together and had some amazing times. John will be at 'Roadburn' which we are playing too and he's doing a whole set of Kyuss songs with a backup band. Who know's, maybe there will be a Unida jam? Unida never really broke up per se but House Of Broken Promises is our main focus. I talk to John still and at some point when we all have time we will record some new shit. That is for sure."
In 2007, there was an EP called "Death In Pretty Wrapping". This was supposed to be a taster for a new studio album. Now, however, the four songs are not on "Using The Useless". Isn’t that strange? Arthur explains: "Well, when Unida was not doing much we set out to start something new and positive and found a young guy to record 'Death In Pretty Wrapping'. But that didn't really work out with that singer. He was good but just not the right fit. I really dig those songs musically but not lyrically and his style wasn't vibing. Plus he didn't have the drive to succeed. We had a whole European tour being booked yada yada and the dude didn't want to leave his waiter job to tour in Europe for a month. Really? Are you fucking kidding me? We were definitely over the whole ‘singer syndrome’! Anyway, that's pretty much when we said: 'Let's just do it ourselves'. And Eddie stepped up, and myself and Mike. And we all started singing and doing our thing! There are eight tracks off the recording and we're going to put those all out at some point in time." So is there any more unreleased stuff in the archives? Maybe a "lost album"? Arthur confirms: "I have all sorts of tastey treats hidden away. I have my own studio called 'Bitter Sand Studios' where we recorded 'Using The Useless'. So I'm in there going nuts all the time like a mad scientist! I love to produce, so been doing a lot of that. I produced 'Using The Useless' and am also working with a female singer and writing her some Pop hits. LOL! Going to be recording a Death Metal band also and producing that as well. So that's why I built my studio to shit out as much music and art as possible. I need to create and release what's inside of me or I'll go completely insane!" Okay, calm down, dude ... What is the title of the record "Using The Useless" supposed to mean then? Do House Of Broken Promises feel like musical outlaws? Arthur is back on track: "In life there are people that are useful and those that are useless and most of the time you have to use the useless ones. Musical outlaws? Sure, in a way ... We have never followed trends, we play what we like to play. The riff gods send me the riff and we lay 'em down with heart, soul and passion."
As House Of Broken Promises does feature three musicians who all sing, sometimes it is hard to tell who is handling the lead vocals. So who sings on "Using The Useless"? Arthur reveals: "Eddie takes the lead vox on the new record and myself and Mike do the back up. Me and Eddie do a lot of call/answer type stuff on the new record. It's definitely part of our sound, our sound changed from having a singer to all three of us singing our asses off!"
House Of Broken Promises are describing their style as "classic Hardrock". I take it they don't like the term Stoner Rock then ... Are their influences classic Hardrock bands from the '70's and maybe even the '60's? Sabbath, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Öyster Cult, Aerosmith ... or more obscure stuff? Arthur knows: "The term Stoner Rock doesn't bother me at all. If you want to get stoned and listen to House Of Broken Promises and rock the fuck out, by all means do it! We all listen to a wide variety of music. From Metal to Country to Pop and everything inbetween, and from all eras. We all love the classics like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, AC/DC etc to Metallica, Pantera and Down. I love listening to Micheal Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Mozart. I'm an activist for medicinal marijuana. House Of Broken Promises is being sponsored by a dispensary out here in the Palm Springs area called CANAhelp. They help a lot of people with debilitating conditions that medical marijuana gives them relief and is a natural, healthier alternative to other pharmaceuticals. The owner lost his whole lower intestine when he was 16 and has been in constant pain ever since. Medical marijuana is his only relief. He seriously has to relieve his bowels two minures after he eats every time. Imagine dealing with that? And imagine how bad it would be for his body to take something like vicaden or any other manufactured pain reliever. Those just fuck your body up worse. "
To pay the bills Arthur needs to rely on day jobs. Very interesting day jobs: "Yes, I tech for Slipknot. I met them when Unida was recording our American Records/Sony album at Sound City in Los Angeles. We were in there recording for about a month and then they came in to start recording 'Iowa'. The studio manager told us Slipknot was coming in and I was like: 'Well, they better be cool, damn it.' Ha, ha! And ya know what, they were cool as hell and it was an amazing time. They were actually big Unida fans which blew me away! I became life long close friends with Paul (bassist) and we would hang out every night after we were done tracking and haul ass over to the Rainbow to catch last call! So when Unida hit the bullshit with the whole label merger crap and Slipknot was heading to tour 'Iowa', Paul hit me up to tech for him and I said: 'Fuck yeah'. He is one of the nicest people in this fucked up industry and I love him like a brother. So why not get paid to hang out with one of my best friends and see the world? He got sick at one point and I acutally filled in on bass for him. He also came and toured playing bass with us in Unida. Too funny we both played bass in each other's band!"