The Hoosiers Interview
WORDS: Tom Williams (Youth Editorial Group)
Tom Williams caught up with bass player Martin of the Hoosiers, ahead of the group's CIA show on Wed 22 Oct.
o What is the idea behind the name The Hoosiers?
The name is from Indiana in America, where Irwin and Alan spent a year in university. It's the name of the state, called the Hoosier state. They smuggled the name back into England, and it was kind of a turning point for them as a band.
o What are the ideas behind Goodbye Mr A, and who is Mr A?
Goodbye Mr A came from a discussion we had about a fictional character Mr A, who figured out the world and questions and numbers, and tried to tell the population of the country the way they should live their lives. The People weren’t happy, and they told him to sod off. It can also be a metaphor for a person who is a know it all.
o Would you say there is strong moral meaning behind the band?
All our songs come from ideas that we have discussed. It is always the idea behind the song we discuss, and we make sure it is a theme we are happy to sing about every single night; something we really believe in, and it is a good message to get across.
o Have you always known you were going to be in the music industry?
No, I haven’t. You have to have a very, very blind faith and big confidence if you are going to think you are going to make it big, because there is a very small chance you are going to sustain yourself in the music industry.
o Have you ever wanted to do anything else?
I guess it was my thing to play music, but I also would have liked to be an accountant.
o How did the group get together?
Irwin and Alan have been together in bands since school days and I met them in London about five years ago, when I was assistant engineering in recording one of their demos, and their bass player didn’t show up, and they needed a bass player for the gig two weeks later. We got along and had a lot of things in common in musical taste and people.
o Is this the first band you have all been in?
Irwin and Alan have been in a lot of different bands since their school days, and I’ve been in bands in Sweden, as well, before, so no, this is not our first band.
o Who are your icons and influences?
I am influenced not by specific people but more so particular songs, I mean, lots of bands and acts have songs they really like and songs they don’t like. Sometimes I'm really in touch with songs someone has made where everything really works, and sometimes it is really tough to make something exciting, not just a rehash of something someone else has made.
o Is there a new album in the pipeline, and when do you plan on releasing it?
Yes, we have started to write a second album, but I don’t know when it is going to be released, it is impossible to know when it will be ready, but it will be some time next year.
o What’s the longest you have ever spent on tour, and what was it like?
The longest we have spent on tour is eight weeks, I think. We’ve done that twice. The first one was quite hard work because we played about 57 shows in two and a half months. The second one was a bit better because we had a few more days off in the middle of it, but it was fun, because that’s what you’re inspired to do: play your own songs and sell out venues, which we were lucky to do for two tours.
o What would be your message or advice to up and coming artists?
I think absolutely the two most important things are: before you do anything else you have to get the song writing; you need good songs before you start even rehearsing or playing things live, because there is no point if you don’t have the songs.
Secondly, listen to advice, and don’t think your music is the best in the world because most likely it won’t be when you start out. One of the main things that we did was really listen to people we trust and listen to their advice on the songs, and if a lot of people said a song was crap then we would abandon it. And we realised after a while, that after the excitement of a new song, see if it lasts.
o What can you see yourself doing in 20 or 30 years time?
I might be an Astronaut.
o Is that an ambition of yours for the future then?
o Would you like to continue in the music industry for a little while longer?
Yeah, until I can get my astronaut exams done and go into space.