Him Horrison took over the Thirsty Hippo on Tuesday March 12, with Bloomington, Ind. band Heaven Honey for an album release party.
Him Horrison is the brainchild of Dylan “Dee Dee” Kern, who said the name is inspired by bands that took the name recognition of music to spark popularity in their music, recorded the “Port Modern Pastiche of Everything,” album in short bursts over a month.
“I’m happier than I’ve been in years despite burning every bridge I link to my past,” Kern said in the description of the album on Bandcamp. “It’s angelesque and trite, but [expletive] this is a lot of content that I put my entire heart into in spite of myself.”
Kern said that he does all of the songwriting, recording, booking and merchandise work but has five or six musician friends play with him on live shows.
“[I do] all of the annoying stuff that no one really likes but everyone does,” Kern said. “There is no reason for anyone else to do it in Him Horrison.”
Kern is well-known in the music scene for the multiple bands that have gained recognition in Hattiesburg, but Him Horrison is unlike the other sounds. Where Dee Dee Catpiss and the Fuzz Coffins is a hardcore punk band that is energetic and loud, Him Horrison is more subdued, utilizing spacey sounds and psychedelic riffs for an introspective sound.
“I wanted to make sad music because I was sad,” Kern said.
Many of the songs on the album came from when Kern was a teenager writing music with an acoustic guitar that he brought back and built onto.
Bandmate and friend of Kern, Randy Riley said Him Horrison is not what people usually expect. Every band member dons all-black clothes but is allowed to accentuate the costume with jewelry, and Kern himself wears black from head to toe, including black lipstick.
Riley also said the band likes to portray itself as a cult. He said he is a follower of Him, Kern’s character, and cannot speak unless okayed by Kern.
Members of the band all develop their own personalities besides themselves, according to Kern. Kern and his bandmates build these characters to embody things they often cannot do by themselves.
“[Him Horrison] has always been something I’ve used to act certain ways and do certain things I wouldn’t necessarily be confident doing as myself,” Kern said. “I’m doing it to say some stuff that I wouldn’t say.”
Kern said he would personally rather play solo live as well but needs the assisting musicians to keep the live show as close to the recorded versions as possible.
Audio technician at the Thirsty Hippo Zach Ross said he has heard Kern play many times and liked Him Horrison for the darker atmosphere it provides.
“Dee Dee himself is one of the most talented artists we have in Hattiesburg right now,” Ross said. “Him Horrison itself is an interesting thing. I was going through a lot of stuff at the time [when he moved to Hattiesburg], and I really connected with the music.”
Ross said that Him Horrison was one of the first live shows he saw after moving from Texas to Hattiesburg and fell in love with the band pretty quickly.
“It’s kind of reductive sometimes,” Kern said. “Any kind of negative fringe toward people, that’s where I usually try to vent that out and come to terms with that it is fine.”
Him Horrison’s new album and the rest of its discography can be found on Bandcamp for free streaming.