Pages - Menu

Saturday, 20 September 2014

interview : hooton tennis club

Hooton Tennis Club are fast becoming regulars to Liverpool's ever-growing music scene. Signing a deal with Heavenly, after almost a year of playing shows under that attention-grabbing moniker is no mean feat, so I wanted to find out just how they did it. 

Ryan (vocals, guitar), Callum (bass) and Harry (drums) kindly agreed to meet me for a chat on a sunny Saturday afternoon - amidst their hectic schedule of signing contracts and going to festivals. Alright for some eh?

photo: twitter

Callum: Hi, we're Hooton Tennis Club!
me: OK, that's a good place to start - tell me about the name.
Ryan: We were making music in Harry's bedroom, and we went to get some chips.. then we walked past the sign for Hooton Tennis Club. We thought "oh, that'd be a good song name!", but it stuck as a band name. And that's how interesting that story is!
Harry: Maybe we need to change it though, because no one ever gets it right. We've had Hootin, Hootun.. someone even did it with an A.

me: I'm not going to ask the typical 'who are your influences' question, so I'll ask you to describe your sound.
Callum: Describe our sound? ..rubbish.
Harry: People trying to play Pavement songs, but they're not quite good enough.
Callum: Sloppy?
Harry: Yeah, people always say 'slacker'.
me: Isn't that an insult?
Harry: A backhanded compliment..
Ryan: Someone called it 'melodic sloppiness'.. so we'll go with that as the tagline.

me: So you've just signed with Heavenly, and you're going to be recording with Bill Ryder-Jones.. is that right? Are you allowed to tell me when you'll be bringing out new stuff, or is that top secret?
Ryan: I have absolutely no idea.. January is when they're aiming for. But it's already been pushed  back twice. All I know is that it's going to be in 3D. With listening glasses.

me: What about gigs for the rest of the year? Or will you just be in the studio?
Callum: No, we're playing Dalston two weeks today, and then the Palm House in Sefton Park.
Ryan: We've got a Halloween show. 
Harry: Me and Ryan made this hidden EP when he got a synth, so we might learn some of those for then.
Ryan: It's like shouty garage, with ghostly overtones. Stories about ghosts and vampires and werewolves.
me: Are you going to dress up?
Ryan: I think we should. Get sheets and cut holes in them for eyes.

me: I've noticed that your song titles all involve names. Is that intentional?
Harry: Yeah, we get a random book and pick a random sentence. Sometimes we change the name though.
me: So they're not actually based on real people? Everyone just thinks you write about mysterious ex-girlfriends.
Harry: Well Jennifer was because we were obsessed with Supergrass when we were like 16, and their band before was called The Jennifers.
Ryan: Some of the girls were real! Camilla was one I met in Copenhagen.
Callum: And she actually drew 14 dots on her knee.
Ryan: *demonstrates the method* 'there were no windows in the little hospital'. 
me: So that's the next single?
Harry: Add a girls name in.
Ryan: Done.

me: Liverpool's music scene is really thriving at the moment - who are you rating?
Callum: Well obviously that's because of us.
Harry: ..or in spite of us. I like Strange Collective. *all agree* Really loud garagey psych. The OC's kind of thing.
Ryan: We listen to Stealing Sheep. *to Callum* I like that thing you say about Liverpool.
Callum: Well, I don't think there is a scene. There's not a sound. There's loads of good bands doing really different things. It's very varied in Liverpool. But at the same time, somehow, it's a scene.
Harry: Liverpool has always been a melting pot of things.
Ryan: I think it's because it's a port. We're lucky to have things like Sound City, Music Week.. that festival thing in Sefton Park. There's always something going on in Liverpool.
Callum: And there are loads of great people working in the music industry here. The press are good guys, and we've got some great promoters too.
me: I feel like Liverpool bands aren't weighed down by a certain 'thing'. Because the Beatles are so big, nobody's going to try and match that.
Callum: Yeah, and they're not just Liverpool's band, they're everybody's band. 

me: And finally, if you could only listen to one band for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Callum: Us.
me: You can't pick yourselves..
Ryan: I'm going to go with Animal Collective. They've got so much music and it's really varied. I'd never get bored.
Harry: I'm going to cheat and say Motown. Rather than one artist, like a 'Best of..' album.
Callum, (after much deliberation):  Beach Fossils.
Ryan: No! Where's the longevity in that?
Callum: Whenever I dont have anything to listen to, I always go back to that first album of theirs.
Ryan: Who would James pick? (the 4th member of Hooton Tennis Club)
Harry: Bullet for my Valentine. But don't put that one in. 

See below for a list of the band's upcoming shows:

No comments:

Post a Comment