With the recent release of their contagious noise-rock record The Hum, A Music Blog, Yea? was delighted to give JN of Leeds group Hookworms a call to discuss all-time favourite rock and roll groups, their mystery identities, and constant drone. Below is what he had to say, enjoy!
AMBY: Hey JN, thanks for speaking with me today.
Hookworms: Of course. Sorry if I’m out of breath, I was just playing drums and am a bit dazed.
AMBY and Hookworms: [laughs]
AMBY: No worries! To kick things off here, congrats on the very recent release of your new album The Hum.
Hookworms: Thank you.
AMBY: What were some of the highlights the band had while creating the album?
Hookworms: Well, I’m new so this was the first record that I actually played on. I had as much time as I wanted to play the drums and it was all really relaxed. It was great to bring the tempos up and make the records more fun to a degree.
AMBY: When it comes to the title, what’s the significance behind calling the album The Hum?
Hookworms: It’s a reference to the phenomenon of the hum which is a semi-auditable frequency range… or something like that [laughs]. You’d have to look it up on Wikipedia for the exact details. It’s basically a reference to drone, constant drone.
AMBY: For The Hum’s release, you posted a playlist of songs that connect to The Hum which had artists like Fugazi, Can, and LCD Soundsystem. After listening to the record, the main thing I take away is how great you guys are at perfecting rock and roll. With that said, who are some of your all-time favourite rock and roll groups?
Hookworms: Collectively, I’d probably say The Velvet Underground. We all have our different tastes, really. I know that [says name], oops, I mean “MB” is a really big Rolling Stones fan. We’re all into rock and roll music at this point and it’s all there in the music.
AMBY: I notice that you’re using the band’s initials throughout the interview, and ever since the band began, the members have hid behind their initials. I’m not going to ask your names [laughs], but where did this mystery behind your identities stem from?
Hookworms: It’s an odd thing. I never think we expected to get to the point where we’d do a lot of interviews. Initially when the band started, it was just a way of keeping things simple. Let’s say you’re at work, we wouldn’t want people to put two and two together straight away and think “you’re in a band” or whatever. It’s kind of to keep the band separate from normal life. Also, it’s to not make a big deal about who we are because we’re a band — we’re a collective.
AMBY: That’s very humble of you all.
Hookworms: It’s a funny thing to keep hearing – the initials. It wasn’t intentional or anything and we weren’t trying to be super pretentious. It’s to keep things really simple.
AMBY: I like that a lot. You must want to scream names sometimes!
Hookworms: Yea, I just can’t remember the initials all of the time…
AMBY and Hookworms: [laughs]
AMBY: Don’t worry; the real names are safe with me.
AMBY: In support of the album’s release, you just played a slew of UK dates. What are some things the band likes to do for fun while touring?
Hookworms: Oh god, not much! On this tour there was no time to do anything.
Hookworms: Yea, it was mainly playing. There were eight dates and I think we played about seven of them because MJ’s voice just gave out on him and he couldn’t sing the last show. We didn’t really get to have much fun [laughs]. I guess the gig is the most fun part of the day. Other than that, I play lots of FIFA and listen to music.
AMBY: Over the past year, you’ve supported some great bands. Who would your dream tour be alongside or supporting?
Hookworms: Oh wow. That’s a good one. We’ve had some shows where we walk away from them and think “no way, I can’t believe we just played with this band”. We played a show with Slowdive in Paris and that was a dream gig for everyone. For me, I would love to play with The Ramones or Devo.
AMBY: You’d have to rock one of their hats though… the energy domes [laughs].
Hookworms: We actually get asked to play our dream gigs, which is really humbling (and nerve-racking).
AMBY: Congrats on that, that’s awesome to hear.
Hookworms: We’re really lucky.
AMBY: For the last question today, what would you say is the best part of being in Hookworms?
Hookworms: Playing. If we have time to just rehearse, play shows, and record – it’s great.
Hookworms 2014-2015 International Tour Dates
Dec 6 – Cluny 2 – Newcastle, UK – SOLD OUT
Dec 20 – The Forum [tickets] – London, UK #
Feb 28 – Stereo [tickets] – Glasgow, UK
Mar 1 – Sound Control [tickets] – Manchester, UK
Mar 21 – Oval Space [tickets] – London, UK
Mar 22 – Rescue Rooms [tickets] – Nottingham, UK
Apr 4 – Constellation Room [tickets] – Santa Ana, CA *
Apr 5 – The Echo [tickets] – Los Angeles, CA *
Apr 6 – Rickshaw Stop [tickets] – San Francisco, CA *
Apr 8 – Sunset Tavern [tickets] – Seattle, WA *
Apr 10 – Empty Bottle [tickets] – Chicago, IL
Apr 11 – UFO Factory [tickets] – Detroit, MI
Apr 12 – Silver Dollar [tickets] – Toronto, ON
Apr 13 – Casa del Popolo [tickets] – Montreal, QC
Apr 15 – Black Box at Underground Arts [tickets] – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 16 – DC9 [tickets] – Washington, DC
Apr 17 – Rough Trade [tickets] – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 18 – Palisades [tickets] – Brooklyn, NY
# with Slowdive
* with Disappears
Thank you Hookworms, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout