sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Hitchcock: Matt Droog interview

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Those of you who attended Gatecrasher in 2008 may recall the strange sight of a menacing Clockwork Orange inspired ringleader galavanting about the stage in a maroon suit acting like a disgruntled mime who had spent the day shooting speedballs whilst being poked with a stick. Spitting avant garde riffs over ludicrously pulverising beats Hitchcock took the festival by storm despite many in the crowd having no clue who they were watching.

Fast forward 10 months and that same band are readying their debut single, ‘Smack Boom’, for release. Featuring frontman Matt Terry, whom will be familiar to many as the producer responsible for The Enemy’s trademark sound, and his co conspirator Andy Huckvale, Hitchcock look set to follow in the footsteps of those bands they have assisted in the past. They take the attitude of The Prodigy and fuse it to the heart of The Clash. As ‘Smack Boom’ drops ahead of album ‘Running From The Sane’, Matt and Andy takes time out to answer 10 questions about the world of Hitchcock.

1) Talk me through your image and live show. Obviously there are a lot of disparate elements pulled together into the whole. The Clockwork Orange connection, there’s bits of Mime and theatrics, and just some old fashioned attitude and rock. It’s quite a brave mix as without the music to back it up it could be dismissed as cabaret. How did it originate?
M- I think there is a cabaret element in there if I’m to be honest; we try to bring a degree of theatre to our shows to bring that extra dimension. Audiences require a high titillation factor these days and we enjoy the extension of creativity in trying to create that. As we have played live up and down the country the live show has evolved hugely and I think that has been down to confidence in our own songs. As the audiences have grown and the reaction has become greater, in turn, the show itself has grown. The first ever live show was headlining Dingwalls in Camden and it was just the two of us on stage, the visuals were there from day one but we were always very conscious of style over substance. We are told the songs are great (smile).

2) The name Hitchcock evokes a lot of powerful emotions within people associated with the Director. Is that something you encourage? How did the name come about?
A- To be honest, we only started making music as a social thing. We’d meet up, have a few whisky’s, write some tunes and then watch a Hitchcock film, so we christened the band with the name because of that.
Now the band has gained momentum, our passion for cinema comes through the music and the live show, so the name seems to make more sense as time goes on.

3) How do you guys work as a unit when it comes to writing songs? What’s the process that works for you?
A- Sometimes I’ll have a beat and a bassline that I know will get Matt interested and pass it on to him. He’ll usually come back with a basic melody and then we’ll flesh out all the parts and the arrangement from there. The initial spark can be from one person, but sometimes there’s a mutal idea for a song that we have, and then we’ll take it from there.

4) You’ve had a lot of attention even before your first single is out. Hitting the main stage at Gatecrasher for example. Do you like big gigs, do you have aspirations to play anywhere in particular? Or do you prefer to see the whites of the crowds eyes?
M- Gatecrasher was awesome, very windy, but awesome. I love every stage I stand on regardless of the size as long as the audience are having a good time. The advantage of getting to a level that warrants bigger stages is that we could really have fun with live production. ‘I would love to produce a show that could one day challenge Muse as the “must see, all out extravaganza live band”.

5) Smack Boom is an epic song; it seemingly attacks the excess of modern society. What subjects inspire you?
M-Our songs are just stories of things I see day to day and the people I meet, my inspiration comes from any form of extreme emotion whether it be happiness, sadness, anger or that “WOW” experience. If it rocks me I write about it.

6) The video looks cool. I think a lot of people can relate to the madness of seaside towns! How involved were you with the treatment. Would Hitchcock ever be interested in scoring a film?
A- We did the treatment ourselves. We’re both heavily into the visual aspect of the band and work on the music videos and the live visuals together, so we can make sure that our vision is expressed the way we want it.
We’d definitely be up for writing a film score, I’ve written for ads and a few film trailers and would like to do a full feature. There are quite a few avenues we could go with as well, we could approach it from a traditional film composer’s point of view, but we could also write as a band and use more song-based pieces in a score.

7) Do you find it hard to relinquish control as producers?
M- You would think we do but infact we embrace external input, for us its all about making the best sounding records as possible and so if someone else comes to the table with a good idea then we go for it.
8 ) If you could have anyone remix you, or collaborate with anyone, who would you pick?
A- We’d like to hear a remix that’s taken completely out of context, our favorite remixes are where the parts are completely deconstructed and looked at in a new way. As far as collaboration, we have quite a full sound so it would be great to work with a solo artist who could bring something interesting to the party. I’d love to get Bobby McFerrin in for an afternoon, get him to do his thing and make a song from the ground up with that.

9) How does working as a producer influence you, is it like an exchange of ideas with Hitchcock? Do you pick up ideas working with other artists and do you bring things from Hitchcock to other peoples sounds?
M- Creating music is an endless voyage of learning and I would definitely say I pick things up here and there when working with other bands as a producer. As for bringing the Hitchcock sound to other artists I guess The Enemy’s “No Time For Tears” was maybe flirting with that as we started that song with everything loop based and worked upwards which is not entirely different from the Hitch mentality.

10) Where next for Hitchcock?
M- Touring, another single release later in the summer, album in the autumn and more touring with some extra touring stuck on the end.

Hitchcock play 93Feet East on Friday 22nd May, for details check here.

With thanks to Eloise @ Tremor PR.

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Written by Jonathan

May 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm

One Response

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  1. Oje, das muss ich mir dann glaub ich noch mal etwas genauer anschauen.

    Sol Echternach

    January 22, 2010 at 4:09 am


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