He was born in the back seat of a 1967 Volkswagen Bug in the parking lot of the Berryessa Flea Market, the world’s largest flea market at the time. It was 98 degrees outside 120 degrees inside the car (give or take). Not having anything sharper, his father had to cut his umbilical cord with a nail clipper. The process took close to an hour and his father ultimately passed out from exhaustion and dehydration before leaving his mother to finish the job.
At the age of three, ‘Hero’s father moved them from the rising population of Easy San Jose and moved them to the hills of Morgan Hill, a small-town nestled between San Jose and Gilroy, a neighboring town that at that time was the country’s largest garlic producer. Moving to hills of Morgan Hill at a young age the Five1Hero had no neighbors and therefore no friends., It was at this young age he made friends with deer, squirrels, rabbits, quail, and even, coyote, hawks, rattlesnakes, and bats. At this time his top music favorites are the J Geils Band and The Beatles.
Morgan Hill, at the time was barely a town. It was a Freeway exit with a Carl’s Jr and a Cindy’s 24 hour diner off the 101, and a small downtown area off the original 101 known as Monterey road today. The one thing it did have was a Music Store, the Music Tree, where The Five1Hero got his first drum set.
Fast forward a few years into high school and The Five1Hero’s music influences range from Agent Orange, TSOL, and 7 Seconds to The Cult, New Order, and Depeche Mode. He starts his first band, Supernatural Decay, or SND (because everyone had to abbreviate their band name then) and it was a complete disaster of three young under achieving “musicians”. A couple years later “Just For Today” was formed. A four-person band with the Five1Hero on drums. Just For Today had a few songs and played a few parties, and had some fans, but the band ultimately fell apart with the rise of Hip Hop and the Bay Area Thrash Funk Scene of the 90’s. Hero got bored with the sounds of Just For Today and tried to mix it up adding percussions and another guitarist. “In hindsight it was stupid,” says Hero “and that band was actually pretty cool and we could have been something possibly but I got bored I guess. I was going to see bands like Primus, Fungo Mungo, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, The Limbomaniacs, all this great music in this thrash funk scene in Oakland and San Francisco that wasn’t Morgan Hill or San Jose. It was like the beginning of my life. Not to mention I had just discovered Public Enemy, Kool G Rap, 7A3, Too Short, Boogie Down Productions, all those guys were coming up. THEN there was the whole Black thrash funk scene like Living Colour, Urban Dance Squad, and 24/7 Spyz, and all that stuff was pretty awesome as well, and they all had some sort of rapping going on, some sort of funk. It was hard to go back to Morgan Hill and sing about Flesh and Death (one of the Just For Today songs).”
Once the band disbanded, Hero went to work on putting together a band with bass player from, Just for Today, Hero on drums, a guitarist, the second, funkier guitarist from JOT, and a DJ, “This project was a disaster but we had some good people – we just didn’t know how to bring the DJ in and vice versa. The DJ was DJ Pasta, who was a buddy and amazing DJ who ultimately brought the San Jose breakbeat house sound to Portland Or. and had quite a following. The bass player ultimately went on to join “i”, a progressive rock band that did pretty good playing gigs around Northern California.
From here, Hero took a break form playing music and started a clothing line and hanging out in the house music scene. It would even be his full-time job while studying getting basic credits and studying Philosophy at Junior College. “For the hell of it, and because it sounded easy, I took a music programming class. I remember my studio time would be an hour and it would feel like 5 minutes, and I was just getting going. While it took awhile to come out, this was definitely the start of my production career. Making cheesy house beats.” It was around this time Hero and 2 friends moved into an apartment right next to all the clubs in Downtown San Jose and became one of the hot spots in downtown. “You may find a guy dressed in tinfoil playing the didgeridoo at 3am on our front porch, and then the house filled with Swedish foreign exchange students the next night, those were some wild days.”
Those wild days became a little too wild and soon the three roommates packed up and moved to Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Here, Hero started learning Conga’s and hung out with the keyboardists from a popular San Jose reggae band, Inka Inka. He then travelled solo on the road, just him, his ‘75 Malibu, congas, and a pet turtle he picked up named Yoda. On the road mainly found himself in the middle of no where shooting guns and gambling. The Five1Hero’s ‘75 Malibu ate a lot of tapes. Bands like Alice in Chains, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Lee Hooker, Stan Getz, and Leonard Cohen, among others, even Tribal Native American tapes were in his car. He had learned a lot about music on the road.
The Five1Hero returned to San Jose some months later. Having collected records, off and on all his life, The Five1Hero bought a used turntable set of a friend who was broke. At this time bands like the Fugees, Blackalicious, Spearhead, Urban Species, Arrested Development had a new conscious vibe and crew like Living Legends, Quannum, and Hieroglyphics, were defining Bay Area and West Coast Underground Hip Hop. Hero’s friends were a local Hip Hop group Q&A, or Questions and Answers, or Q-Vo and Anu (the names of the emcees), and Hero collaborated worked with them onstage and off as far as DJing is concerned. “That was fun, but we weren’t wiling to work hard enough to do anything more than just playing little gigs in tiny bars. Practices were a nightmare…a lot of ‘tude sometimes” Hero remembers.
It was around this time Hero realized he wasn’t going to far hanging out in the music scene all the time and started to look into Culinary School and moved from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa to San Francisco to pursue the Culinary Arts. He then fell in love, moved to the East Bay and started a Family and his own business but not before producing his first downtempo album, “My Trailer Weighs a Ton”.
During Covid, Hero was looking for his own music for YouTube advertising etc. and found Maxbeatbox online through a gig website. He and Max hit it off immediately and Hero purchased the beat now known as “Theme Song”. He was also looking to contact some local rappers from the underground scene to explore a TV commercial. He was quoted some pretty high prices for the project and then found a whole world of gig emcees online through various websites and was blown away. During the height of Covid, Hero as in Pismo Beach and couldn’t sleep and ended up watching a documentary on the Wu Tang and was inspired by these 9 unknown artists that had a white label record that had all these rappers and was too long, yet they soon dominated the world. The first rappers to have a clothing line as well. “I thought, I can make a record for less than these guys quoted me and a dope crew that the world needs. Bringing back good ol fashion rhymes and beats with a dope hip hop collaboration, except we aren’t going to swear, and we are going to have females.” It became Fresh Cut Wax, and Renegades Worldwide. “It may sound cheesy, but I wanted to make a dope album to give back to hip hop, so I hope if you are reading this you BUY IT (so I can do another one) and listen to it a couple times because it is pretty solid. It may not be perfect, but I wanted it to be as close as possible.” says The Five1Hero.