Immediately after smashing the Main Stage to pieces on the first night of the inaugural Rovin’ Fest, The Hoosiers sat down with AMBY to discuss vinyl records, dream festivals, and their new album and accompanying EP’s – check out the interview below!
AMBY: You guys just laid waste to the main stage here at Rovin’ Fest and you’ve been here all day, what did you think about the vibe around the arena? This is Cheltenham’s first festival, they’re not used to it!
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Well Cheltenham should get used to this, it’s good, they deserve a good festival here.
The Hoosiers (Irwin): They deserved us? I think we certainly laid waste to some of our own songs – they may never recover.
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): It’s hard to start up a little festival, and they’ve done a really great job, well done!
AMBY: Well they certainly chose a good band to do it wi-
The Hoosiers (Irwin): The Hoosiers, what a scoop!
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Next year, Taylor Swift?
AMBY: Today, as well as headlining the festival, you guys announced two new EPs and a new album – and one of the EPs is out now! What can you tell me about The Secret Service and it’s accompanying EPs?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): It’s done, it’s ready and it’s sounding good, it’s out on October ninth and if you pre-order it now from thehoosiers.com you get the first two EPs. Why wouldn’t you do that? You’ve have to be some sort of idiot not to!
The Hoosiers (Sam): We actually previewed the title track from the first EP here tonight – with no rehersal, and it was alright.
AMBY: You guys ha-
AMBY and The Hoosiers: [laughs]
The Hoosiers (Irwin): For the benefit of the readers, all of the lights have just gone off and we’re in darkness.
AMBY: The band has been in the limelight for a solid ten years now, has there been any noticeable change in the industry in that short time?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): I’d say the brightness of the light, it’s certainly dimmed somewhat.
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Well in the beginning we were with a major record label and now we’ve gone down this independent route, so that’s the biggest change I think, we’re having to learn to interact with our fans a bit more directly so that’s what we’re doing with this next album is trying to go direct to the fans, and it makes up appreciate it more when someone parts with their good hard-earned money. *Someone interrupts to offer crepes so the band*
AMBY: You mentioned there that in the beginning you were with a big record label, at the time your fallout with Sony was a big thing, to put it simply, what happened?
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): What happened with Sony I think will have happened a million times with different acts it’s not like a big falling out it’s just that the main person who supported us at the label left the label and the label decided not to pursue our… careers.
AMBY: Would you say that was necessarily a bad thing? Since you’ve gone down this indie route you said that you’re learning to interact more with the people who, as you said, part ways with their cash – how has that affected the way in which you create the music and the thought that goes into it?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): In a way, it’s given us much more freedom, so as to how it’s affected it, it’s kinda taken the pressure off of, say, needing a top five hit single in order to stay in a job, and turned it into a situation where we just need to make our bosses happy, which, now, are the fans! – meaning that we can now make the music that we always wanted to and we think it’s more beneficial to do it this way, but business-wise, the pit has gotten a lot smaller, but now we have much bigger slices of it.
AMBY: Vinyl records have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride themselves, when you guys first hit the scene they were all but dead, but they’re started to make a comeback in a bag way – is there any plans to release The Secret Service on vinyl in October?
The Hoosiers (Alphonso) We love vinyl, our most recent (and first ever self-released album) The News From Nowhere had a vinyl release can still be bought in some places!
AMBY: If you had to headline a hypothetical ‘last festival on earth’ and you could pick 5 bands, alive of dead, to co-
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Alive, for sure.
AMBY and The Hoosiers: [laughs]
AMBY: –to come before you at this last ever festival, who would you pick?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Peter Rifkin and his Singing Tortoise, umm, James Sinclair, umm, these are local acts by the way, and they’re absolutely terrible, but the thought process is that we would blow them out water and we’d look amazing.
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Jimmy and The Crickets, Luke Warm and th- no seriously, very first on, we’d have Queen, but then in-between then and us we’d have four shoddy workmen bands
The Hoosiers (Irwin): And hopefully everyone missed Queen and would be really confused, but in terms of an actual dream festival, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s I think are a brilliant live band, they’re really exciting, not sure who else.
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Queens of the Stone Rage Against the Machine Head.
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Yea, they’re one hell of a supergroup, that’s just one vote there.
The Hoosiers (Sam) Scouting for Girls, Newton for Faulkner.
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Bowling for Soup.
AMBY: Earlier you talked about the pressure that a record label can sometimes put on an artist to sell records, what is your opinion on the recent skirmishes between streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music and artists like Taylor Swift for the way that artists are treated?
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Well, our music is on Spotify – unfortunately I just think that it’s the way that the industry couldn’t keep up with the times, and we’re still catching up, and it may be the case that all these services need a little bit of time to catch up to the times and figure out a new way to compensate artists but I think that it’s just natural for that to happen and before long it’ll even out, I wouldn’t complain too much – yet.
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Again, with Spotify in particular from what I understand it’s the labels who are still making the killing, from the huge deals that they’re signing with these companies, and I’ve heard that they’re actually yet to turn a profit in all the years that they’ve been in business – because it’s the major labels that get the most money per stream, and that again becomes a problem with distribution and, I’m not sure, it’s the internet, it’s… well it’s allowing us to still have a career of course because we can contact the people that still like our music and want to hear it, but there’s an oversaturation in the market, you should have to have a license or something to be a musician, forget this equality rubbish.
The Hoosiers (Sam): Does anybody want these? Do you?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Again for the benefit of the readers, Sam just offered the interviewer a crepe.
AMBY: You just mentioned distribution being a big aspect of how the internet has shaped the industry, but what’s your opinion on the flip-side of those benefits, with piracy now being a widespread issue among smaller and bigger artists – can you have too much distribution?
The Hoosiers (Irwin): It’s just the fact that anyone can access anything anywhere, which is great, that’s what people want, but there’s too much shit out there, just too much of it isn’t any… good? But it still takes up the same amount of space as the good stuff it’s just not n- no, we’re not having it.
AMBY: How do you feel about piracy with specific regard to The Hoosiers? Say, the new EP you just released, if that was up being pirated by some fans?
The Hoosiers (Alphonso): Get them and f-…. Just celebrate that they’re getting to hear our music!
The Hoosiers (Sam): It’s flattering, really, in a way.
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Well, we kind of want them to have it, in a way.
The Hoosiers (Sam): We’d rather that they have it, enjoy it and come to a live show, which you can’t pirate (well you can’t without jumping the fence!)
The Hoosiers (Irwin): Yea, and this is another reason why it’s advantageous to have it on Spotify so we can get as many people as we can to hear our music, which is the main goal.
Thank you The Hoosiers, for giving us your answers!