Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Sunday Conversation with Hurt

Taking the Ripple office by surprise with their devastating new album of mature and passionate, alt-metal with some tasty prog flourishes, we couldn't wait to get the gentlemen of Hurt over to the Ripple office to spend some time on our red leather interview couch. Now, squeezing all four of them onto that little couch took a bit of maneuvering, but I'm sure all you Hurt fans will agree, it was worth the effort. And one thing I've learned about Hurt fans recently, is that they're as passionate about the band as the band is about their music. So, without further ado, I turn the Ripple over to the talented men of Hurt.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears. What have been your musical epiphany moments?

LOUIE: I stole Prince - Purple Rain when I was 8, it blew me away.

JAY: Britney Spears: hit me one more time.

PAUL: all grunge bands, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains.

RICK: Stone Temple Pilots, Core


Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Paul: All of the above, no specificity in writing a song from my experience.

Jay: Sometimes it comes all at once, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, we could finish a song within the hour, sometimes the whole process takes a month.



Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

PAUL: We don’t look for inspiration, it shows up.

JAY: I don’t look at all. I don’t listen to any new music and I have so much music to write. We have plenty of material, anything, any phrase, emotions inspire me.



Genres are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

Rick: diverse

Paul: honest

Jay: Post-grunge-pop-mudart-prog-alternative-grindcore-altcore-acoustica-postmodern-christian-seculat-rockpera (laughs)



What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

RICK: the biggest portion of our music is about honesty. We just try to evoke true emotion; we want our fans to be able to relate to us. We want to make the best songs in the universe, but we want it to come from the heart.



In songwriting, how do you bring the song together? What do you look for in terms of complexity? Simplicity? Time changes?

Jay: On this particular album, the entire band wrote songs. Some songs were written in integrity all together. We also work independent of each other to put the songs together. Yes we know each other that well… Complexity or simplicity was not even a consideration, we just made the best damn songs that we could.

The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

Jay: It’s a constant uphill battle to try to make music that has integrity and yet will be accepted at radio, and by the masses. Masses have been so brainwashed by stupid music, formulated pop and bling bling, that music with honesty and integrity is much harder to find. And I believe this has led to just simply steal music and not pay for it because music is just garbage, this sums up why it’s much harder to make a living out of music.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Jay: I put my foot on the monitor that said “no feet”, fell off the stage (8 feet), broke both of my ankles. Yes I am literate. It was at Pierre’s in Four Point, Indiana.

I walked into the crowd and a gentleman was so excited that I was there with him, right besides him that he punched me with all his strength in my right lam as I was singing ten ton brick. Thanks for the wake up man!

Paul: I got locked out of a festival in Idaho; I had to jump over the fence to get back in.

Jay: We sat in a hallway during the whole day in a venue, not knowing that we had a fully stocked dressing room with sodas and food (Chicago) we only realized it when we left.

I ripped my pants with no underwear in front on 30000 people. A third hand would have been convenient since I was playing the violin.

Where do you see you and your music going in ten years?

Paul: Hopefully not down the toilet. I would love to still do this, and be more successful as time goes by.

Jay: I hope that we get to do things that allow even more liberty. No we are not going to India. I just want to make new things, that’s all.


What makes a great song?

Jay: Putties tuib the eyes of the older.


Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Paul: It was terrible.

Jay: It was called "Stairway to Heaven" but somebody wrote one just like it.


What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Jay: The ideals that we are trying to convey. Otherwise we wouldn’t be doing an album.



Who today, writes great songs? Why?

Jay: Sammy Kershaw, and numerous country writers who don’t write the obvious chorus. I endeavor to use this technique frequently.

Rick: I personally like the way Radiohead write now, and the band Doves

Paul: Greg Dully

Jay: Chris Cornell


Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Rick: digital, just because we are on tour so much

Jay: the ipod is so much more practical.

Paul: Live music is what I listen to the most.


What's the best record store in your town?

Jay: I don’t live anywhere

Paul: iTunes

Jay: Is there even a record store in your town guys?

Yes, Jay, we have some great stores, Rasputin and Amoeba in the SF Area, Record City, Lou's Records, and M Theory in San Diego. But tell you what, rather than talk about it, come on by and we'll take you on a record buying frenzy with the Pope and me. Cheap burittos included. Great work on the album, guys. Thanks for stopping by gents. Can't wait to see you live.

www.hurtband.com

2 comments:

Smoke and Mirrors said...

Anyone who wants to learn more or check out the band should head over to www.myspace.com/hurt or www.hurtband.com

The RIpple Effect said...

Yes. They have an active Hurt forum there also.

And for anyone who notices, the spelling of the band member names in this interview was suggested by the band members themselves.

Stay tuned for a big Hurt Contest Giveaway coming soon

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