Feature by Ziv Biton
Mary Timony of Ex Hex has no first gear. Or, if she did, she revved up to 4th (and probably 5th) a while ago and has since busted the clutch. Listing off her prolific career arc is daunting; even if you started right now you would be hard pressed to accomplish the things she has done.
In the early 90s there was Autoclave. The mid-90s saw the creation of her band Helium and subsequent release of two albums and three EPs with the group. From 2000 to 2002, Timony struck out on her own with albums Mountains and The Golden Dove. And then, of course, there is her involvement with Wild Flag from 2010-2013. On her off time she even gives guitar lessons at the Girl Rock Camps.
In typical Timony fashion, just as Wild Flag was ending she started a new project. Ex Hex (named after her 2005 album) is a group including Laura Harris and Betsy Wright. Considering the enormous catalog that Timony has, it is refreshing that Ex Hex doesn’t carry itself with any pretention. The band’s upcoming debut full-length, Rips (out October 7th on Merge) is straightforward rock songs saturated with hooks and catchy riffs, dabbling in both sweet and sour tones.
Why We Dig Them:
Ex Hex are nothing if not a power trio of like-minded musical obsessives. Timony isn’t the only one with extensive output; Laura Harris had been involved with Aquarium for over a decade before Ex Hex and Betsy Wright cut her teeth in the Fire Tapes. The nicest thing though, is the laidback vibe of their process and lifestyle. Most of Rips was written and recorded in Timony’s basement in D.C over a few days. And, while at times the record shows it’s punk ferocity, most of the tracks are hookworm affairs that are just as easy to like as they were to record.
The band told us about their inspirations, what sort of hex they would wield, and the different food from their decadent “Hot and Cold” video.
What is your earliest musical memory?
Mary: singing Country Roads by John Denver in nursery school.
Betsy: listening to the Beatles with my Dad
Laura: Disney songs-just cartoon songs.
What inspires you?
Mary: BJ Snowden, Can, the MC5, singing karaoke
Betsy: Playing music with Mary and Laura, going to an Art Museum
Laura: Old things. Loud music. Rock and roll. Nice days.
If you had a magic wand, what would be your ideal Hex?
Mary: well, we are “ex hex”, so we have no hexes – just good vibes. If I had a magic wand I would take away peoples hexes. Maybe we could put happy fun time hexes on people.
Betsy: Yeah like a love Hex so everyone would just feel good and be nice to each other
What was the best tasting thing in the “Hot and Cold” video (watch it below)?
Mary: Cake. I kept eating it in between the takes even though it was making me feel weird. My favorite savory dish was the tower of meatballs.
Betsy: Those cookies Laura was feeding me.
Laura: Yeah. The sweets were good. That cookie was pretty good. All the savory stuff we weren’t really supposed to eat too much of cos we had to do multiple takes.
In the “Hot and Cold” video it seems like a couple is on a first date. What is your most awkward first date memory?
Mary: Once, a guy took me out for a really expensive dinner in NYC and I threw up right after we left the restaurant.
Betsy: Ugh all dates are awkward.
Laura: I’ve never really gone on dates. I have done plenty of awkward things though.
Ex Hex have a Los Angeles show date coming up at The Echo on Oct. 12. Grab tickets because it will sell out. Their debut album, Rips will hit the streets Oct. 7, but until then you can grab their limited-edition debut 7-inch which features “Hot and Cold” b/w “Waterfall” and “Everywhere”.
Ex Hex – “Hot and Cold” (official video)
EX HEX 2014 TOUR DATES
Sep 27 Midpoint Music Fest Cincinnati, OH
Sep 28 Pygmalion Music Festival Urbana, IL
Oct 04 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC
Oct 05 Black Cat, Washington, DC
Oct 07 Zanzabar, Louisville, KY
Oct 08 The Riot Room Kansas City, MO
Oct 09 Hi-Dive, Denver, CO
Oct 11 Yucca Tap Room, Tempe, AZ
Oct 12 The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
Oct 14 Rickshaw Stop San Francisco, CA
Oct 16 Mississippi Studios Portland, OR
Oct 18 Barboza, Seattle, WA
Oct 25 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Oct 26 PJ’s Lager House, Detroit, MI
Oct 27 The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Canada
Oct 29 The Monkey House, Winooski, VT
Oct 30 Great Scott, Allston, MA
Oct 31 The Space, Hamden, CT
Nov 01 Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Nov 02 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY