"The Hamiltons are a musical project put together by Robert Hamilton as an outlet to feature original songs that were written by, and with the late great Cranford Hamilton Nix. The music takes us back to a time when music was fun, exciting, raw & straightforward; no gimmicks, no costumes, no clowns, no bullshit. Electric and acoustic songs about real life, real heart-brake and real emotions wrapped up in sing-a-long melodies that harken back to when music was magical and authentic."
How would you describe your music?
Straight forward Old-School Retro Rock... Rock n Roll the Way It Was Meant To Be!
Your story is unique; tell us about your early years with your best friend Cranford:
Cranford came to me out of the blue one day and told me that I was a born rock star, and that he was going to teach me music because he needed a singer/front man like Mick Jagger for his band, he was putting together to become the next Rolling Stones. He was very patient with me and showed me how simple chords and good melodies along with clever lyrics (that actually had some meaning) could become great songs that would stand the test of time.
What was the turning point in your life that made you pick up music where you left off years ago with Cranford?
After he passed, I had lunch with his father, Ford Sr., and he asked me to record his son’s music; he wanted to play on the songs (He was a famous banjo player in his own right. He’s in the Rockabilly Hall Of fame.) I promised him that I would do it, but only when the timing was right; it took me a few years after that. His father died in October of 2012 and I felt a terrible sense of guilt but still wasn’t ready. In 2013, my old band LIXX opened for Grand Funk Railroad in front of over 10,000 people on the Detroit Riverfront, that is when I realized that I owed it to my best friend, mentor and long-lost brother to bring his music back to life in a way that would make him not only proud, but also give him his place in American music history along side of the greats like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Rick Ocasek and Tom Petty. The time was now right to bring his music back to where it came from, the source of light creation.
It was at this almost EXACT same time my other best friend Shane approached me about going to our mutual friend Jesse’s studio and recording a couple of Cranford’s songs so I would have them before I quit music. Shane somehow had the consciousness to know that I needed to record some of the songs that made me the person for whom I truly am, a true musician. It was then that Shane reminded me of Bobby Black for whom played with Cranford and had the same kind of style only Bobby was more refined as a player. The band was initially supposed to be just an EP to help me realize a long-time goal as I was finally going to quit music. Well, a power greater than us all had other ideas, and a killer rock n roll band was born. We recorded our debut CD; In Cranford We Trust, in the period of just two weeks, having learned the songs on the spot while recording them! Jesse then decided that he was going to play drums. He was having so much fun with the songs and we have since added Paul on bass, we have a musical force to be reckoned with called: The Hamiltons.
How have you evolved personally and musically since you began your journey?
Musically I have “come home” or back to where I started after playing other people’s music for so many years but only now I am mature, and I have the knowledge to use my strengths weaknesses to my advantage and I’m also keen to the many liars and thieves that permeate not only the music business but in all walks of life on this earth. I am now ready for the challenge as well as with the right players to make this dream a reality.
Personally, I have become a very spiritual person, understanding the true meaning of life, love and the greater good of all thru my studious reading of The Bible, Daily Prayers Meditations, as well as participating in Ancient Shamanic Ceremonies Rituals in Peru. Now I even have an actual Tipi in my backyard that I use regularly three out of four seasons a year, to hold drum circles, meditations and of course prayer sessions. If you fear God, TRULY follow the Ten Commandments, eat right, pray, meditate and daily spend time in nature… you will live a better life. So that is why NOW is the time for The Hamiltons as opposed to saying ten years ago when I bought into the fallacy that happiness was materially gained. Its NOT, happiness is internal and less is always more. Most Americans think it's the other way around which is why we are a very sick and diseased culture physically, mentally spiritually.
How do you measure success?
Success to me means being capable to do what you love in life while bringing no harm to others. Being able to help out other people and bring some joy to their lives has a longer-lasting effect in your heart and soul than counting some bank statement worrying about how many zeros are attached at the end. Try a random act of kindness and see how that makes you feel inside!
What has being an independent artist taught you?
It has reinforced to me what I already know thanks to my dearly departed mother and what she instilled in me, to always follow your dream but to also have a plan B as it will help get you to your dream and to NEVER EVER GIVE UP. Being an independent artist has helped me stay true to my real goals as a musician and stay the artist whom I want to be with NO compromise. (I don't have to make some phony music to “please some dude in a 3 piece suit” who only loves money.) The Harder you work towards your goal, the more likely that you will succeed on some level and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way for this life is short. Enjoy The Ride people… we are only here once.
What is the best advice you can give to another Indie Artist?
Make sure that you are going to be happy with your music 5, 10 20 years hereafter. DO NOT cut corners, even if it means having to delay what you love to do. Do everything above board, be honest, have class and stay persistent to your dream. Please, also research everyone that comes knocking on your door saying they “can help you” before shelling out your hard earned money. I have lost THOUSANDS of dollars blindly trusting people that supposedly had stellar reputations in the business.
Are you currently performing and touring?
We have been performing around the southeast Michigan as we are from Detroit. We have some east coast shows lined up as well as a couple in Los Angeles later this spring, but are actively seeking a reputable booking agent management team to get us on the road to coincide with the release of our second CD, Angels In Love.
How is the music industry in your area?
It's very fractured and to be honest its dog eats dog. Not much loyalty and everyone's out for themselves really. There is no sense of community as there are seeds of different clicks around the city. There are very few decent shows to get on and the ones that do exist are mostly given to the same tired bands for whom don’t promote or even draw very well but they know this guy or that guy etc.
What is in store for 2014?
This is the year that CHANGES EVERYTHING as far as myself goes personally. Many people for whom have never taken me seriously as an artist because I’m a successful business man and a responsible father are going to stand up and take notice as The Hamiltons are not only going to be the BIGGEST AND THE BEST in Detroit, we then are going to become a national and global. We have the best musicians; this band is FUN live; we appeal to almost all the demographic of music fans. Our songs are catchy; most of all we are one band that will NEVER take anything or anyone for granted as we have come for the correct reasons at the correct time, playing the kind of music that people will love for years to come. As one of our songs states: We’re in love with rock n roll!
Spoton Magazine Feature:
Connect With The Hamiltons:
Visit The Hamiltons on Facebook!