The Rocks Off 100: Alexis Hoillada, Doomstress of Project Armageddon
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
Who? Better known as Doomstress Alexis, Hoillada plays bass and sings in the excellent doom-metal act Project Armageddon. Tides of Doom was a stripped-down, droning masterpiece that was capable of scorched-Earthing the soul of a listener into a personal wasteland.
Though her voice is unforgettable, it was the weird, Philip Glassian repetitive instrumentals that reveal the deeper art, and it's still one of my favorite albums of 2012.
The openly transgendered Hoillada has received a small amount of bigotry and hate from the metal scene's more meatheaded members, but has found much more support from fans and fellow doomsters who admire her skill and surprisingly soft personality -- for one so keen on singing about the end of the world.
Home Base: Project Armageddon moves around a lot for rehearsals depending on what is required for the moment. Hoillada has a lot of affinity for playing Super Happy Fun Land after opening for Austin's Bay of Pigs. North Houston's Arcadia is where you'll most likely catch them.
Good War Story: "Ha! Probably have to be coming back from playing Dallas Doom Daze 2," says Hoillada. "We lost the left rear wheel on the truck, jackknifed and spun and flipped the trailer with all our gear! It was about 3 a.m. just outside Corsicana.
"If that wasn't horrific enough, we had to contend with sleepy drivers almost plowing into the truck that was now facing traffic hooked to a trailer by chains," she continues. "You'd think they'd see a truck facing them flashing its brights to say wake the fuck up and brake!!! Crazy, long, stressful night."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? In addition to the ties all the Project Armageddon members have to family and friends in Houston, Hoillada also appreciates the extensive transgender support systems available in the city.
"It helped me out, and I hope that my example might help someone else who is struggling out there," she says.