Below, you can read our interview with Ivan Hruska of Hollywood Apocalypse. Check out our full music review of Bonus Dias from Skid Row here.
Q: Great to be speaking with you, Ivan! Can you tell us what brought the current members of Hollywood Apocalypse together?
A: It‘s funny cuz everyone has their own individual story. Tape came along cuz we were both playing and hanging out a lot in the viper room constantly. We became best friends and suddenly he was in the band. Lisa, I met at a bunch of film premieres and in the end, we started partying together and somehow she ended up in the band. Roland and Proto were just supposed to play in the studio for a couple of songs, but we got along so well on both a musical and personal level, that they became main members. Sky was just supposed to fill in for Roland, while he was on tour with fever333 and he also ended up in the band. Our newest edition, Celinda, was also originally just supposed to fill in for Proto while he was in Europe and she ended up fitting in the band perfectly.
It’s a real blessing to work with 6 people who all play multiple instruments. It opens up so many possibilities. It’s fantastic. And we are also able to play more live. If 4 of the 7 of us are free… you got yourself a show. If all 7 of us are available… you got yourself a party on stage!!! ☺️
Q: The band is aptly based in Hollywood, CA. How has living in one of the country’s most musical cities influenced your music career so far?
A: I’ve been listening to California punk and generally bands from this area all my life. Even when I lived in Germany about 6 years ago. It’s always been bands like Guns n Roses, Green Day, the Offspring, NOFX – hell! even The Doors that were blasting through my speakers. So! Technically my heart was always in Hollywood. Actually being here only amplifies what I’ve been doing my entire life.
The fact that we’re so musical in Hollywood does make it a bit more challenging. There‘s tens of thousands of bands alone in LA. So getting noticed may be a bit more challenging here… but that kind of just made us work harder and play better.
What else would you expect from someone who has the Hollywood sign tattooed on their left shoulder?
Q: Hollywood Apocalypse currently has seven members – almost unheard of for a punk band. What made you decide to grow the band to this size, and do you enjoy working and performing with such a large group?
A: I never planned on this band becoming so gigantic. It just came together cuz we all got along so well and it all fit so well musically. Also… if we’d call ourselves a pure punk band we’d probably anger a bunch of old-school punks. I think punk is just the basis of what we do. We have a bunch of hard rock, new wave, psychedelic, and electronic pop influences in our music
Generally, I also think today’s diverse musical landscape has allowed punk to expand lately. Of course we still have our 3 piece punk rock bands but I’m loving the gigantic proportions and mash-ups punk has taken on lately. Green Day has like 6 people on stage at times. Smaller bands like the Interrupters also end up with 6 or 7 members when they add horns to the music. It‘s a much more diverse and beautiful punk rock we have in the 2020s compared to the 1970s.
Q: How long did “Bonus Dias from Skid Row” take to record? What was the process like?
A: The official recording process was 14 days literally right in the middle of skid row. Half the songs were written right before recording and the other half were in my archives waiting for their opportunity to be shared with the world. Some songs are over 20 years old. There‘s a reason a song like Tomorrow’s Only Make Believe sounds like 2005 emo pop punk. That’s because it was literally written back in 2005. I still have a bunch of gems in the archives waiting to see the light of day.
The mixing process was more exhausting. Our producer, who suffers from BPD, stopped taking his meds and kind of lost his mind… he started threatening and trying to extort money from people. It was real real ugly at some point. We fired him and he went off to New York – where I hope he gets the help he so desperately needs. I was also going through maybe the most painful breakup of my life in 2022. Also had some trouble with my visa and getting back into the USA. 2022 was a pain in the ass. Getting back up in 2023 was a real triumph. It’s kind of a miracle these recordings saw the light of day. I think everyone involved almost died at some point.
Q: What was your first instrument? Do you still have/play it?
A: I’m not gonna count the piano… which I play like a 4-year-old trying to read.
I still have my first acoustic guitar with its nylon strings and all its stickers on it. It‘s in Germany.
Q: Perhaps in some unspecified amount of time, your musical career explodes in the best of ways. What does that look like for you?
A: I generally like impacting other people‘s lives with music. Seeing a stranger sing your lyrics on stage might be one of the single greatest feelings in the world. The idea of making the world a better place one song at a time feels like the right way to go about things. Sharing love and overcoming painful moments in life with music is like getting a tattoo on your soul.
Q: You get to collaborate with anyone of your choosing. Who is it?
A: Although I’d love to see Slash from GNR lay down a solo on one of our tracks I do believe we have the greatest of all guitarists in the band already and that would be tape legacy.
Q: Your favorite album of all time? (Yup, you gotta choose one.)
A: Green Day‘s criminally underrated Revolution Radio from 2016. there! I said what I said! You can shoot me now.
Q: Your favorite song of all time? (Again, only one!)
A: Like a Friend by the amazing British band PULP. It defines love.
Q: What would you like fans to know about you that they’re most likely unaware of?
A: A lot of people don’t know I already have a career as a singer-songwriter in Germany behind me. I was also in a boy band called Brad Heart and rapped for them at some point. A lot of people also don’t know I’m Croatian-Canadian and speak 4 languages. People always assume I’m originally from Hollywood. It took A LOT of work to get here.
I also write and produce horror movies… Lisa and Tape are also deeply rooted in the film industry.
Our drummer and bass player used to play for Crazy Town. Yes “Butterfly”-Crazy Town. Come, my lady. Come come my lady. You’re my butterfly sugar baby Crazy Town.
Sky is a music school teacher and lives in a haunted house.
3 of the 7 of us are completely sober while the other 4 are absolute party animals.
There are really A LOT of things people aren’t aware of. Hell! I’m not even aware of EVERYTHING! We’re so diverse and full of surprises! It’s crazy.
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: Everyone who has been supportive and has booked us. The great people of the viper room, the rainbow bar and grill. Nick Fuoco’s metal mayhem, Kelly McGarry presents shows, Donovan from Hollow Body, and Jaclyn Passaro from Comedy on Sunset. Our off-stage crew like my sister, our friend Amanda, Grant who shoots our videos, Alex from the Nobodies, Daniel who always helps us out, Mojo from Lost Anarchy and everyday straight for the press, my homies back in Germany, and one of the most important people in my life: DEAREST EMILY LOPEZ I also play with in another project called Death of a Nightingale. I could go on for days. We have like an army of people we couldn’t get our shit together without.
(Want to be interviewed by The Ark of Music? Click HERE.)