The Hunger is a name many all over the world know. The hugely successful industrial rock band from Clear Lake, founded by brothers Thomas and Jeff Wilson along with Brian Albritton, rose to fame in the early 90s with hit songs such as “Shock,” “Shoot to Kill,” and “Never Again,” and has continued to tour in recent years with bands such as Ministry, Bush, Chevelle, Three Days Grace, and POD.
Scout Bar is also a name many recognize in Clear Lake and beyond. Over the past 12 years, it has evolved into a premiere rock performance venue and even has become a location that many bands have utilized for their music videos. True to the name, Scout Bar has sought out several up-and-coming bands of all genres. This has included an extension to the even the biggest Latin acts in the industry in recent years, drawing the likes of Molotov, Jarabe de Palo, Natalia LaFourcade, and even Cuban legendary band Los Van Van, to name a few.
What many may not know, however, is the connection between both The Hunger and Scout Bar, and the story of a rock star-turned-club owner who acquired a new space that wasn’t even originally intended to be a concert venue.
Thomas Wilson along with his wife Aline, established Scout Bar in 2004, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I did it because I wanted to have a place where my band [The Hunger] could play, and I could feel comfortable and proud of. And from there, it kind of evolved into what it is now. It was supposed to be a night club where you got to see really cool bands on the weekends,” Wilson recalled.
However, Wilson was on the brink of something that performance-wise would elevate Scout to become the respected music venue it is now.
“I remember all of the other venues around town that did something similar [to Scout], they didn’t have production standards or lighting…The bands were responsible for bringing that in. I was like, wait a minute, let’s raise the bar and get the really good production, the really good lights, let’s hire people that are good at running it, and see if people respond to the level of quality that we want to present. And that’s really what did it for us,” Wilson said.
In coming years, Scout would see the careers of then-unknown bands as Papa Roach and Hinder rise to fame and huge success in the music industry, dispelling the myth that everything cool was “inside the loop” in Houston.
“I think that very slowly over the last 12 years we’ve broken down a lot of pre-conceived notions and a lot of walls that used to exist between us and the inner loop crowd. It just doesn’t make any sense to think that nothing cool exists outside of the 610 Loop, because it’s not true.
“It was the same way when The Hunger started. We were ‘not cool’ because we didn’t live in the Montrose area. We were ridiculed by other bands all the time, then we just exploded right past those other bands,” Wilson recalled. Another interesting aspect that truly sets Scout Bar apart from the rest: Wilson emphasizes that he is always thinking of the venue from a female point of view. “I always, always try to consider the woman’s perspective,” from the music down to other important things like the bathrooms, where many bars and clubs, Wilson noted, often come up very short.
“We try to deliver those things that women will appreciate so they will come back, because the club business – like anything else – doesn’t work without women. [The point is] to make everyone happy, especially women.”
As Scout Bar carries its musical legacy of over a decade now, and is still bringing some of the biggest acts in the music industry to the area, it’s safe to say that Wilson’s vision continues to work for what has become a staple for both new and established bands, and consistently provides high-energy, high-quality performances in the rock genre and beyond.
The Hunger also continues to tour with a success and relevance that is always difficult to maintain in the music industry. They will headline Scout Bar’s annual Pre-Labor Day Party Sunday, September 4 along with Lies of an Alibi, Tode and Saturate. This event promises a little bit of something for everyone: an outdoor stage with acoustic acts, bands both inside and outside, as well as a DJ with dance music and more between bands. Scout’s Pre-Labor Day Party begins this Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. It is FREE for 21 and up and $10 for 18 and up.For more Scout Bar events, visit their Facebook page or www.scoutbar.com.