Gimme Your Answers (Beyond the Stage): An Interview w/ John Hamson Jr.

JHJEver wonder what happens beyond the stage? Well we do. These roadies, managers, guitar techs, lighting directors, A&R, and even positions you may not have known about make the music you love come alive! So, we spoke with the multi-talented John Hamson Jr. to see what tricks he pulls behind the scenes of our favourite bands!

AMBY: How did you first get into your industry?

JHJ: I guess I’ve been playing in bands since I was 13, and the fact I played drums was a pretty arbitrary decision. I just had 3 or so pals that wanted to try make music too and I think I just ended up with drums as no one else wanted it, but was encouraged to stick at it by my father. In this regard, I’ve always been into making music rather than just playing an instrument on my own and i suppose it was this that informed my development as a “musician” the most.

AMBY: Explain to people what you do.

JHJ: Play drums, percussion and bass in different bands, but can also pick up a guitar or bash some keys too. I’ve been recording music since I got my first 8 track when i was a teenager, and have learnt most of these things through doing, failing, doing again, repeat, foreverrr…

AMBY: Which bands are you currently working with and which have previously worked with?

JHJ: I finished a two year tour with Friendly Fires back in September. Previous bands I’ve worked with are Noah and The Whale, Sleeping States (live and recording), Pull Tiger Tail and Cocknbullkid. At the moment my main focus is a band I co founded called THUMPERS. We’ve made a record that I produced and co-wrote which will hopefully be out this summer

AMBY: What is the craziest thing to happen to you while touring?

JHJ: Australian festivals are day long line ups that stop off in 5 or 6 different places that spread over two weekends. on the week days between the weekends though, you have 200 bored musicians staying in the same hotel, waiting to get into trouble so they usually throw pretty decent parties every night. ANYWAY the festival i did with FF a year ago had New Order on the bill, and at one of these parties, Bernard fucking Sumner stopped me on the stairs in this club to tell me how much he’d been enjoying my bass playing……… (i need a meme now) i was all like

AMBY: What do you do for fun while on tour?

JHJ:I wonder around a lot, cycle, sightsee etc. I also take a load of photos and do a photo blog (i concluded a two year long one in September when FF finished but my latest one is ). In America we always get obsessed with Mario Kart which, like the traveling there, is never ending.

AMBY: What is the best and worst thing about your gig?

JHJ: Being away from home and being away from home.

AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?

JHJ: Impossible question, but today I think:
Weezer – Pinkerton, Radiohead – Ok Computer, Missy Elliott – Under Construction.

AMBY: Where is the best spot to eat on tour?

JHJ: On a day off in southern Texas near the Mexican boarder, we had the most insane Mexican I’ve ever had. just perfect. Don’t know the name though sorry.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about you that nobody knows yet?

JHJ: In 2004 I was asked to join Razorlight on drums but turned them down, so they gave it to Andy Burrows.. I’m pretty sure I could have written America too.


Thank you very much John, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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