Six Questions With Stand Proud's Adam Huss

Adam Huss is no stranger to the local music scene, having tenured in the wildly popular Dreams You Die In. He's also known to hardcore kids across the US as a solid booker from The Alley days.

After a lengthy absence from local music, he's back with a new outfit, Stand Proud, ready to return some solid hardcore flavor to South Florida.

Crossfade recently had a chance to chat with him about SFxHC past and present and his new band.

What's your name? Where do you come from? What do you do? And do you see any potential for kickball to become an Olympic sport?

Adam Huss: My name is Adam Huss, or Adam Hussler as I've been dubbed over the years. I am a Miami native, born and raised. And I'm a white boy. Shocking I know ... I'm a suit and tie during the day, and t-shirt and Dickies shorts by night.

As far as kickball, it could happen if the Olympic committee changes some rules and allows everyone to get smashed on beer, hunch punch, and Jameson. Also shout-out to my team mates in The Woof Pack. (Wolf pack, but ya know we gotta say it like we are from Westchester or Wechete.)

Please describe for us your tenure in Dreams You Die In. How would you compare the South Florida hardcore scene before that band and after? 

Wow, that's something rarely brought up these days. Well, I was one of the two founding members and was half of the final dismantling of the band along with Vladimir Garcia. (Everyone check out Vlad's new band Knock 'Em Dead. Great, heavy hardcore band.) Dreams You Die In lasted roughly four years in which three of them were spent on Significant Records out of Tampa. (Old man Tom's an awesome dude.) 

This was during the time that The Alley was in full force and shows could be found two to three times a week, every week. We started playing there and after roughly a year of sticking primarily local with shows, we said, "Fuck it," and hit the road. (Thanks to Miami-Dade for the Jitney bus we used on tour.) We were very fortunate and lucky to be able to tour with 100 Demons, Now Soldiers/Take These Eyes, Palehorse, and hardcore legends Underdog, just to name a few.

As far as comparison, I definitely side with the before, rather than the after. I was lucky enough to go to shows when there was more of a sense of unity and unconditional support for bands. In the time frame when I had booked shows at The Alley, a decent crowd at a show was 100 to 150 kids. I know one of the best shows there that I booked was Comeback Kid and Evergreen Terrace on a Wednesday night. We had 320 kids.

From what I'm told now, since I don't get to attend as many shows as I did when my responsibilities were considerably less, a decent show is 30 to 50 kids. That kind of disappoints me because that means the younger generation coming out of high school [or hitting] the early college years, has no ambition to keep local music and the hardcore/punk scene going.

Luckily, thanks to people like John McHale of Breakeven Booking and Nayra Serrano, local hardcore/punk bands still have shows and are trying to return to the former glory.

What's this new outfit all about? Who's in it and how did it come together?

I'm in a new band called Stand Proud, and having a blast after a six-year hiatus from playing music. We're a four piece consisting of Nicole on drums, Jared on guitar/vocals, Albert on bass, and myself on vocals.

My bandmates had actually been playing together for a while and looking for a vocalist. By coincidence, I had uploaded some old tour photos that co-workers were asking to see, and Nicole had seen them and asked if I was interested in singing. So I went to the practice, liked what I heard, they liked what they heard, and that was that.

This band is just about having fun. We are all big fans of the pioneer hardcore bands and take the majority of our influence from the '80s and early '90s hardcore punk bands. I know the most common comparison is we sound like the Cro-Mags and Warzone had a kid and we're it.

What are the band's immediate goals? You have a couple of gigs under your belt. So far, what are the recording plans?

Right now, our primary focus is just playing more shows and recording. We are thankful to Fox's Lounge and Casa Quesogo, which is the famous residence of Kris Huseby of Bulletproof Tiger fame, for letting us play.

Our next move is a demo we will be recording in the next few weeks after our drummer Nicole's wedding. We have a few shows in the works in late July and August. I know our next confirmed show will be at Fox's on September 17 with Furious Dudes and Bulletproof Tiger.

How would you gauge the hardcore lifestyle nowadays? I'm old school in the sense that I always retreat to the Dischord/SST, mid-'80s and early-'90s eras. What current bands out there pique your interest?

Yikes, I might be the wrong person for this question. My taste is similar to yours. I retreat to bands that no longer exist for the most part. Personally, when I listen to hardcore now, I jam to Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Blood for Blood, Sick of It All, Stretch Arm Strong, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, etc.

As far as current bands that I back, I'd say Knock "Em Dead, Hardware Youth, Furious Dudes, Bulletproof Tiger, and Homestretch are local bands in the hardcore/punk genre that I can say are fun, enjoyable, and rocking out hard and heavy.

You recently attended a punk rock gathering in Las Vegas, can you describe that experience? How awesome is Cock Sparrer live?

I personally didn't go. However, my alter party ego Silky Rodriguez and my good friend El Guapo Jimenez were in attendance for the 13th Annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival this past Memorial Day. We arrived a few days early to begin the drinking festivities and did not stop until our return home. Our hotel had a pool with a shark tank in the middle. A clear waterslide ran through the shark tank (fucking awesome), and we saw tons of amazing bands.

Personally the fest highlights were the Descendents (an 80-minute set of pure awesome), Dropkick Murphys' great set, Larry and His Flask (who played at least 20 sets over the course of three days including an impromptu acoustic show on Freemont Street), the punk rock pool party, and of course Cock Sparrer, which I was lucky enough to see twice in 24 hours. Words cannot describe the amazing-ness of watching them play 90 minutes for two nights in a row.

The afterparties were also amazing, which Fishbone and Guttermouth played. And there was Insert Coins "bar-cade," a fully functional old school arcade with a bar, old and new games, dance floor, and DJ. Someone in Miami needs to make this idea happen out here.

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Abel Folgar