lunedì 13 dicembre 2010

HOOKA THE FUZZ (english version)

Author: Mourning

Line Up
Si Jefferies - Vocals / Rhythm Guitar
Alexander Louis - Lead Guitar
Roger Ash - Bass
Ross Hawkins - Drums
Harwood Shing - Synth

They are english and young hopeful. Today Hookah the Fuzz keep us company, they are an interesting prog band which released its debut this year. Welcome on Aristocrazia guys, how are you?

Hi Gabriele! We are very good, things are really positive for us at this moment and its nice for you to take the time to speak to us.

We are persons of habit, usually we like to begin talking about the history of the band, so let's give some infos about you: how were you born, what does your name mean, and anything you want to tell us.

Well the name doesn't 'mean' anything really, we just liked the sound of it. It grows on you. As far as history goes we began as a thrash metal band before numerous line up changes over the years. We were gradually getting more proggy and developing our style before we had the settled lineup we have now and becoming Hookah The Fuzz.

When I read the presentation attached to your work which introduced you as a mix of Dream Theater, Metallica and Devin Townsend I was a bit sceptic. Listening to "Hookah The Fuzz" (you will find the review on the website) I changed my mind and also I appreciated it very much. I noticed hard/rock, fusion/jazz, blues parts and also a little rocksteady passage in "Hang The Hooker", which are your listenings and which are the fundamental bands for your musical background (metal and not)?

Yeh, well between us we definitely have a big mix of influences, a lot of them from outside the metal domain but fortunately we have a bunch of common influences which tie everything together. The three bands you mention would be big influences for us growing up. The thrash movement in general would be really important as well as bands like Faith No More, System of a Down, Mastodon, Ozzy, G'n'R... the usual stuff! I think one of the key influences for the more out there stuff would be Frank Zappa. We cant forget frank! We have a mellower side to so bands like Bjork, Bob Marley would influence us in that respect.

How was the work in the studios? The arrangements are well made, the soloist and rhythmic parts are perfect, how much time have you spent on it and which was the hardest moment?

The Studio was great, we recorded at Foel Studio with Chris Fielding who was brilliant. The songs were mostly written in the practice room before we started recording but most of the lead parts, especially solos were written as we about recorded them. Lyrics were mostly finished off during the recording process to, usually while one of us was recording some other parts. We like to work under pressure! Overall we finished all the recording in about 2 and a half weeks. It was definitely intense. It was our first experience in a proper recording studio! We would definitely like to work with Chris again for future albums.

How did you feel when you finished to record the album? Did you know that you made a neat little number?

We were very pleased, it was great to hear our stuff on CD and outside the practise room and be in a position to show other people and get their opinions. Its hard to gauge how 'good' it is as we have been so close to it during the recording process. We were definitely really happy with it but you just don't know how its going to be received. Thankfully the response we have had has been great, we have had some fantastic reviews and comments.

Like in early Dream Theater, your skills are in the service of the album. Are you self-taught musicians? Which was your first contact with your instrument/voice?

Thanks! Obviously we all have taken slightly different paths but all of us are pretty much self-taught. Most of us picked up our instruments around 14 and within a couple of years were really taking it seriously. Alex picked up abit of music theory at school and Ross had some drum lessons in his early days but most of what we do is as a result of listening to our idols and trying to be creative with anything we pickup from them. We just try to follow our ears rather than textbooks.

Maybe I'm wrong, but after the first two tracks "(D)illusion" and "The Girl Do Voodoo" it's like you gave me the key to came in contact in a better way with the album, they have all the features that we will find in the rest of the disc and that will be continuously modified to characterize each song. How do you write a song? Are there any defined roles or do you let your instinct guide you?

Nothing is really defined in terms of idea's or structures. Everything is written in the practise room and usually one of us will come up with an idea that everyone likes and we will build upon that until it feels like its finished. Within the first few ideas we will usually have a feel for the song and will just develop it naturally and see what comes out.

How were the lyrics of the insane "Preachers Suck More" born? Which are the themes that you like to talk about and why?

Well, we like to write about every day issues, but things that can also be interpreted on a larger scale, this song is about the affect that religion has on everyone, whether you are religious or not, and how the affect can be from being part of an imaginary war that funds the (already) rich to being discriminated against for simply believing something different to someonelse. We are all pretty peaceful guys, but there are so many angry people who cause others stress unnecessarily, pretty hippy I guess haha.

You come from Birmingham, is it a miracle city? It's impossible to avoid the electric ambience in a city which gave life to bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. In your opinion, what made England the metal (and other alternative music) country? Maybe the will of experiment and stand out?

Well historically its had its fair share of rock gods like you say. Even Robert Plant and Slash were from the surrounding areas but i don't think its like that anymore which is a shame. There doesn't seem to be a thriving music culture here, actually its quite the opposite so perhaps thats part of the drive for us to be creative. Recently a couple of us took a trip to LA to check out the music scene and its on a whole new level... hopefully we can be part of it at some point.

Are you travelling and making gigs? How is the situation on stage? Will you make any live shows?

We are definitely a live band and we really want to tour and play to as many people as possible. Stage set-up is usually the same, its pretty tight at times, not much space for us all and our gear! Haha We really enjoy the live experience especially when it's at a cool venue. We will be touring next year across the UK with plans to hit the USA, particularly around California and Texas, later on in the year.

The album is self produced, so no labels contacted you? The positive reviews should give you a hand (at least I hope it).

Thank you! we do to. Yes it would be great to get some label support to promote the band and get us on a good tour where we can build our fanbase and grow further. There is only so much you can accomplish of your own backs, unfortunately we cant afford world tours! We all work and all our money goes back into the band but there are so many things we want to do in future. Hopefully we can find a label who understands what we are about, what we want to do and helps accomplish these ambitions. We have had lots of positive reviews so hopefully they can bring us some attention.

What do your fans think about your album? Are there any comments which you appreciated particularly?

Feedback has been awesome. Its quite flattering actually. Its particularly appreciated when people comment on the diversity and originality of the music but its also great when we hear from people directly. Its cool for them to take the time out to tell us what they think.

Do you have a live show of yours which you'd like to repeat? And another one which you'd prefer to forget?

We would love to play bloodstock again. When we played a couple of years ago we were had the current line-up but we played some pre-album material so it would be great to play the new stuff and tell everyone about the CD. That said, the response we had was really good. Hopefully we can hit lots of festivals in 2011! As far as forgettable gigs….well we managed to forget them but there were a few. Every band has played to one man and his dog in some dodgy venue in a strange city, were no different but it was still worth it.

What do you think about social networks and other medias? Is internet an advantage? How should we use it at its best?

There are many pro's and cons to the internets impact on the music industry but nowadays if you just have to accept it and try to use it to your advantage. Its a great medium to be able to connect and maintain a relationship with fans all over the world. You can also market yourself to a certain extent but compared to the capabilities of a record label its still difficult to get yourself heard by the masses. Building a fanbase up via twitter and facebook still takes time and you need other things to actually attract people to actually listen to you.

Which are your not-musical passions ? How do you live outside the musical contest?

The usual stuff really. Movies, comedy, football (Aston Villa!), many friendships are broken over a game of Fifa but fixed up over a pint of beer! We are all pretty normal guys, we work normal jobs but our whole lives revolve around music so it is always the first priority.

Will we see you in Italy?

We hope so. We have some good friends in Italy who came over to England to tour a couple of times so it would be great to hang out with them and drink your coffee (and beer...).

Thanks for the time spent with us, the last message is up to you.

Just to say thanks to everyone who checks us out and we hope you like what you hear. Please follow us on twitter/facebook, keep in touch with us and let us know what you think. Its all very much appreciated and enjoyed and vital to us succeeding in a really tough industry. When we do come to Italy come and see us, lets hang out over a beer! Thanks.

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