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, distant homes were bought, and that was the end.
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.