WATERVLIET – Sea monsters in the Capital District sounds like an old Croft sitcom, but one is showing his talents today.
For as long as he can remember, TJH as he likes to be called, has always been creative in some shape or form, whether it is being involved in wrestling federations, providing background vocals or creating a synth riff in a music studio, or creating his own music either solo or with his projects, Rawring Gyarados and Straight Edge Punks.
His musical start…
The music genes flow through TJH’s veins. His father, Thomas Hogan (also known as Brother T) is a guitarist and singer, and other members of the Hogan family have toyed around with playing music at one point in time.
Once TJH began playing around with a synthesizer at Guitar Center and made unique sounds come out of the instrument, he became hooked on music.
He primarily plays a synthesizer called the keytar and in fact, he owns five of these special instruments including a Roland AX-Edge, a Yamaha VKB-100 and a Korg Poly800, as well as his two midi controllers, an Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 and a MadCatz RockBand Keyboard Controller.
The inspiration behind TJH’s stage names, TJH the Emo Sea Monster and Rawring Gyarados came about during his early part of his musical career and his involvement in backyard wrestling and being involved in the video community on the internet. At that time, he was just known as TJH until his Grampa Hen (musician Henry Mcferran of the band China White) died. When McFerran passed away, TJH showed his rage over the loss and decided to evolve into the Rawring Gyarados.
In addition to Rawring Gyarados, TJH decided to brand himself with the name, TJH the Emo Sea Monster. According to TJH, the name was inspired by a character in the Nintendo video game, Pokemon Gyarados, a sea monster that evolves from a weak fish, Magikarp. TJH, a Pisces, envisions himself to being the sea creature that is emotionally expressive, protective of loved ones, but also unafraid, powerful, and ready to fight whenever required, he said.
Straight Edge Punks
In addition to performing his solo music, TJH the Emo Sea Monster has been involved in the band Straight Edge Punks. The band, formed in 2011, originally started out as a backyard wrestling team and slowly over time, was turned into a band.
From 2018-2023, Straight Edge Punks made their own original songs and performed at their own music festival, Underrated Fest. And in 2021, Straight Edge Punks opened for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at the Brooklyn Monarch.
After Straight Edge Punks opened for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus sometime last year, the band reverted back into a comedy sketch group.
TJH The Emo Sea Monster’s Music
TJH considers himself a pop-rock, emo synth rock, electronic, alternative musician and he enjoys creating his Synth Rock and Emo EDM original songs. Although he doesn’t consider himself a metal or punk rock artist and doesn’t fit into that musical genre, TJH the Emo Sea Monster is fine with who he is in both the Synth-rock and Emo EDM world.
The majority of TJH’s songs that he has composed are primarily based on his real-life experiences, including his failures in romance and other concerns that he holds dearly in his heart. And although he hasn’t had many opportunities to perform his original songs, apart from an appearance at an open mic at Putnam Place, he plans to release several music singles in the meantime.
TJH the Emo Sea Monster collectively creates his music in house by his own production business, Straight Edge Punks Cooperative Entertainment. He records and arranges his songs using software and he enjoys composing his songs.
“The interesting and beautiful sound combinations I can generate.” TJH said. “When I do get to play, it’s not always something I like per say because the crowd goes dead silent either because they don’t know how to react to it or they don’t like it, which makes me feel conflicted as some of my songs are complex, fine-tuned multi-terminal compositions.”
Regardless of what others might think of TJH the Emo Sea Monster’s unique, and at times, off-kilter compositions, he is devoted to creating music from his heart and is working on getting his music on all platforms for people to hear his music.
This story was featured on page 6 of the January 17, 2024, print edition of the TheSpot518.