Smoke AxD: Hoya Roc (ex-Madball, Dmize) Discusses His New Band, Debut EP

Last week, the debut EP from Smoke AxD hit music outlets. If you aren't familiar with the band yet, the group is comprised of Hoya Roc (ex-Madball, Dmize), guitarist Sean Martin (ex-Hatebreed, Twitching Tongues), and vocalist Danny Diablo (Crown of Thornz, Skarhead).

Though the band's members have a long and impressive hardcore music resume, Smoke AxD finds the musicians collaborating with drummers Riggs Ross (Hatebreed, Madball) and Dimi Douvas (Crown of Thonrz, Stillsuit) on a 5-song collection that also incorporates elements of industrial metal on its title track.

A staple of the NYHC scene, Hoya now lives in Florida where he's kept busy hosting the Smokin Word TV podcast, running a record label and merch company, and more (check this link out to see what I mean). I hit him up to get some quick thoughts about Smoke AxD and working with his old friends on the project.

You grew up with Danny, but do you remember how and when you first met Sean? 

I don’t remember the exact day, but I played in Connecticut a lot with a band he used to play with so maybe he was in 100 Demons. But I remember us really breaking bread during the 'Breed days. I wanted to keep the recording fam and killas, so better to jump on these tracks!

When you first started talking with Danny and Sean, how did you pitch the Smoke AxD concept to them? In other words, did you have everything worked out in your mind before you even approached them about starting it?

I had the whole concept and a lot of the music already written. Ezec [Danny Diablo] always wanted to do a band so that was easy. I basically hit up Sean and it wasn’t even a question, he was in. The one thing you can’t force is music when it’s organic, and that’s when the magic happenes

READ MORE: Danny Diablo (Crown of Thornz, Skarhead) on the Unlikely Record He Turned to After His Brother's Suicide

What has been your relationship with weed throughout the years? When did you start smoking, and would you say that you’ve gotten more into the craft and different strains side of it as you gotten older over just smoking to get high?

I first tried weed when I was 12, but it didn’t do much. I was a late bloomer. I basically started again around 19 and never looked back. Then I took what I could get. But nowadays, I only want the best sativa all day and indica at night. Very simple. I never wrote a song without it and don’t plan to. 

The title track of the record finds the band going into an industrial direction. You clearly never did anything like that in Madball. Was Smoke AxD a chance for you to try things you felt you couldn’t in Madball due to the expectations of being a NYHC band?

Exactly. I’m the guy who brought the metal side to the music and now that I got something new, I don’t want any boundaries. It’s an influence to everybody in the band. So if I feel like I wanna do it, we do it. Very simply, if it feels good, it’s gonna sound good. This is a little something for everybody. 

As a fellow native who hasn't lived there in many years, what do you miss most about Queens?

Chinese food.


Vaya Con Dios is out now across all digital music outlets. You can get the EP on vinyl via Casa De Roc, Blackout! Records, and CoreTex (Europe).

Tagged: dmize, madball, smoke axd