Friday, December 08, 2006

Mini-Interview: The Hectors

This Sunday, LA's The Hectors will perform their brand of rad, echoey indie rock at Bar 107 with Mospeada. So, download the MP3 below and read the following interview with band members Corinne Dinner and Jim Saunders to see why you should drag your lazy ass downtown that night and join us all there.

Sorry to hear that you guys had to cancel your KXLU performance earlier in the week. What kind of sick did you have, Corrine?

Corinne: I caught a nasty head cold in the Bay Area, so we thought it best to postpone the KXLU thing - nobody wants to hear Yoda front a rock band. (Actually, what am I talking about? That would be awesome). They're letting us come in and play on December 18th instead.

So, your name comes from 17th century gang of London hooligans? Are you guys all, like, really tough or something?

Jim: Corinne is really, really tough. We once saw her take a swig of whiskey straight from the bottle…it was totally intense. The boys in the band, well, not so much. We weep a lot, have whining contests (Erik is the reigning champ), and sometimes we stop playing right in the middle of a show because the guitar strings pinch our fingers.

Your site says that "The Hectors have been called 'the shining culmination of 50 years of underground rock 'n 'roll' by one major music critic, although a second music critic called that 'the drunken ravings of a pure-bred asshole.'"

When the hell did all of this happen? And who said what?

Jim: Because of all the ongoing lawsuits and counter-lawsuits and acts of petty violence and aggravated slander that resulted from the incident, we're not at liberty to discuss the details. I'm sorry.

It’s great that you have one of Corrine’s elementary school papers on your band site.

Corrine, you said in it that you wanted to draw cartoons (“mostly disgusting ones”) or become a comedian (“wakka wakka wakka”) when you grew up, but didn’t list musician. When did that start?

Corinne: Yeah, well, when "wakka wakka wakka" is your "A" material, it's probably best you don't try to become a comedian. I took a few guitar lessons when I was twelve or thirteen, but it really turned me off because the music store would always set me up with this greasy ponytail guy who spent half the session showing off his sweet metal licks.

I think I learned the beginning of Master of Puppets and Sweet Child 'O' Mine, then called it quits. I kept my guitar though.

How about you, Jim? When did you start playing music?

Jim: I started learning bar chords in high school so that I could join a local punk band, and I'm pretending not to remember the band's name. The highlight was playing at Gilman Street in Berkeley twice, and in many an Orange County backyard.

Later I teamed up with some friends for a recording-only band called Pushcar. The highlight was having Pitchfork liken me to Satan.

Then I met Corinne and she convinced me that playing in front of actual people again might be fun.

How did the band come together?

Corinne and I were living together and started writing songs. I had played and recorded with Robert previously, and knew him to be a talented musician (if a bit of a dandy).

Robert was asked aboard and more songs were written. Erik was a friend's friend from art school, and since he looked a little like Ed Begley's drummer character from Spinal Tap, he was in. More songs were written, gigs were gigged, and beers were sipped. And then the groupies.

When did you put together your EP? Tell me about the process.

Our modus operandi, for both the EP and the full-length that we are in the middle of recording, seems to be to go into a studio to lay down the drums - who has that many microphones? - and then track the rest at home. We have a few decent amps and a couple of good mics and our trusty Pro Tools rig, so it makes more sense.

None of us really like to perform "on the clock" – it’s a lot more fun for us to experiment with different takes and sounds and instruments in the comfort of someone's apartment. If only the neighbors understood.

I bet there’s a good story behind the song I Drove All The Way From Bridgeport To Make It With You. (You don’t have to answer that. Just nod once for yes, twice for no.)

Corinne: You'd think so, but you'd be wrong. We were watching Stardust Memories, and it's a line that some girl uses on Woody. I thought it would be a good title for a song, so it kind of evolved from there.

So, the song Cold Star on your myspace page is a demo track off your album? How far along is that?

Corinne: All of the songs are written, a few songs are partially recorded, and a few are pretty much done. We're starting to get a bit more momentum going with recording now that we've taken a short break from playing live.

There's something to be said for cocooning yourself away for a bit to let all the dreamy subconscious stuff be able to find it's way into the recording process.

What are you trying to do with the album? (This is an extremely broad question. Feel free to explain the band's manifesto.)

We've pretty much got it all planned out. We'd like to find a small but loyal indie label who really understands what we're trying to do as artists, and work with them to find unique ways to distribute and market the album. We'll then want to tour and cultivate a strong fan base.

Hopefully, we'll create just enough buzz to attract the major labels, and a bidding war will ensue. We'll tell our indie label that we appreciate everything they did for us, but we need to do what's best for our career. You only go around once in this life, we'll say. For the highest bidder, we'll record a hastily written-and-recorded sophomore album that will do decent business, but not enough to make us one of the label's priorities.

Our experimental third album will be shelved when the label is bought by a Dutch food conglomerate. Then we'll turn to drugs.

What are your plans when it’s done?

And then the groupies.

Last question: Who are you listening to these days?

The Mae Shi, Cold War Kids and some Electrelane.

Jim: New Sonic Youth, old Ghostface Killah.

That's it. Thanks for your time, guys. See you on Sunday.

MP3 DOWNLOAD: I Drove All The Way From Bridgeport To Make It With You


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