SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Minster native Joshwa Moon turned his pastime of singing in a band into a potential music career after his hardcore rock band Hostile recently signed with a record label.
On Jan. 24, the South Bend, Indiana-based band signed with the record label Chorus of One Records.
Moon is the band’s lead vocalist; the other three members of the band include, Joseph Largent (drums), Justin Rakowski (guitar) and Cory Stump (bass).
What started out as fun on the weekends has turned into a serious gig for Moon and other members of the band. All members still have their day jobs, but are planning an eastcoast tour this year.
“I really got into the band for fun; let’s do something on the weekends. And a lot of it was to meet people after my wife and I relocated up (to South Bend, Indiana). Well, it’s grown beyond that to the point where we are playing weekday shows and in a lot more places, like Cincinnati, and Chicago this weekend. We are kind of going all over the place now,” Moon said, who previously played in a Sidney band with serious music career aspirations.
Hostile is rising quickly since the band’s conception about a year ago. Moon joined about seven months ago after the band’s original vocalist left. In the last seven months, the band wrote, recorded and released a seven-track, self-titled EP/album in October 2018. Moon wrote all of the lyrics, and Rakowski wrote the music. Then in January 2019 they were signed to a Chorus of One.
Hostile only plays original music at their shows and has developed quite a following for a such a young band.
Moon said within two full months of releasing their album they had over 35,000 stream downloads, which were purchases. He said the album also had over 90,000 plays on Spotify.
“By the time you start adding in all of the other platforms that we had our music out on, whether it be iTunes, or Google Play; our CD is up on CD Baby, we were looking at well over 100,000 plays, and close to 50,000 full album downloads as well,” Moon said.
He explained their fan base grew after Hostile was picked up by an online marketing company called Slam Worldwide, which featured Hostile’s music online.
The band’s sound is similar to the metal core band Hatebreed. Hostile also derives its influence from the 80s thrash metal band Slayer and heavy metal band Pantera, among others.
“I just really fell in love with heavier music at a younger age and just started wanting to do what those guys were doing. Because when I would watch videos of live shows, that was when YouTube was starting to get big, I was able to watch these live shows of bands like Pantera playing in front of all of these people and see the excitement of the crowd and seeing the way the guys moved on stage. Not only was it music that I related to, not only from a lyrical standpoint, but also from a composition standpoint. … I thought, ‘yeah, I really like this. This is what I want to do,’” Moon said.
Personally, Moon listens to all types of music based on the week you ask, he said. And previously he played in a Sidney heavy metal Christian band called Behold the Kingdom.
“I listen to a lot of stuff. Pantera is one of my favorite bands, but I also listen to a more ambient sounding band called Between the Buried and Me. And then getting out of metal completely, I really like listening to bands like Highly Suspect, or Greta Van Fleet, or some of those classic rock bands, like Led Zeppelin,” he said.
Although Hostile’s genre’s sound may perceived as aggressive, dark or angry, Moon said the band’s message is positive and about acceptance.
Midwest talent buyer Curtis Sexton, who signed the band, said, “Hostile is a heavy, hardcore band that focuses on inclusion and positive energy.”
Even though Moon said they were not necessarily seeking a record deal, making an album just felt like the next logical step in the creative process.
“A lot of people were asking for copies of our music. A lot of people were asking how they could listen to our music. So it just seemed to be the next logical step outside of playing local shows or even regional shows,” Moon said.
The band is currently looking to bring on a management team to help with their tour this year. Moon said there is a lot of planning and money that goes into touring and they want to be careful not to loose money.
The next steps for the band include planning and executing an east coast tour and writing the next album, Moon said. The band hopes to play shows in Dayton and Toledo soon.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.