In 3rd grade I joined the school band on snare drum. I had to wake up an hour earlier to get on the middle schoolers’ bus with a drum I could barely lift. I also sometimes had to miss dodgeball. I took my first hiatus from music two weeks later.
I asked for a bass guitar for my 8th grade graduation. I took some music lessons my freshman year from the guitar shop, played in a few groups, and took some keyboard lessons in my high school senior year.
I played and toured with Catfish Jenkins for 15 years while getting a music minor at UIC. I played in a couple of Aras Volodka bands and played a few other random gigs.
I started playing with these guys in high school. There were various lineups, but it was mostly the same group of good friends. We started as a blues band, drifted into being a jam band, then moved into alt/indie rock. Then we changed our name to Empire Lines. Babies were birthed, a thesis needed to get written, and distant homes were bought…
Aras Volodka writes great songs and likes to record lush arrangements of them. Live shows provided more stripped-down, raucous arrangements. A friend, classmate, and the local guitar tech suggested I play guitar in this band; The Specs. We had a guitarist on drums, a keyboard player on bass, and a bassist on guitar and it sounded like it. A few years later I joined Aras’s band again, this time on bass.
2005 – present: Troy Hernandez (solo)
I started writing and recording my own music in the mid-aughts. I prefer minimalist or maximalist instrumentation and very traditional or experimental song structures. I’m a firm believer in self-editing so I’ve only released a handful of songs. The EP is a compilation of singles released in the mid-aughts. There is also a mathematical/experimental Bach arrangement and an MLK speech I set to some music.