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Hurricane Kids Interview | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

Hurricane Kids Interview

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Catching them after the soundcheck for their first show at the King’s Arms Tavern on Wednesday 19th of December, the Hurricane Kids sit down and talk about how they all came together, their views on the NZ music industry, and their undying love for Taylor Swift.

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Hey guys! Before we start, could you go through your names and what you play in the band?

Olly: Hey, I'm Olly and I do vocals.

Cam: I'm Cam, I play bass.

Rich: My name's Rich, I play guitar.

Willy: I'm Willy and I do synths and keyboards.

Jared: I'm Jared, I play drums.

As I understand it, you all come from different musical backgrounds. Can you tell me about how you guys all came together in the end to be the Hurricane Kids?

Olly: Cam’s been on my ass for a couple of years to do something. Rich and I met at a bar and he wasn’t too big on his band at the time.

Rich: We just became friends and the band thing came later.

Olly: Yeah, he played on my Uni stuff. I did a music degree and so did Willy and Jared as well, so we all met at University. But I guess I just wanted to start up a fun loving pop band and do that because I don’t know if New Zealand is putting their best foot forward in that genre. No one’s really smashing it, so I thought it’d be a cool thing to do putting it together with some mates.

So you’re the mutual friend of everyone here?

Olly: Yeah (everyone laughs).

It’s been less than 6 months since you’ve released ‘Tonight’ and already you guys have just under 1000 fans on Facebook plus almost 30,000 views on your YouTube channel. How do you feel about everything happening so quickly?

Cam: It’s pretty good considering every other thing I’ve been in I’ve worked my ass off for to get to 1000 likes. It’s good to have support from the right people.

Rich: It’s good because people are really actually liking the music (everyone laughs).

Cam: That’s a requisite!

Rich: I just mean like it’s not like when you’re playing in bands growing up.

Olly: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Willy: What I’ve found personally is that a lot of people we’ve met over the years have really taken an interest. It’s just great meeting people that know their stuff and they’re wanting to help us out along the way because they want us to make the most out of this. It’s been quite handy.

Tell us about your debut single ‘Tonight’ and how that came about.

Olly: James Wong, a friend of ours, did the production and I recorded it with him. That was a while ago actually. That was before we all came together as a band.

Willy: That’s the track you advertised to us!

Olly: Exactly! I’m the kind of guy that likes to make everything bulletproof. So I’m not just going to message you and say “Dude want to be in my band?” and they’re like “What the hell...” you know? Like, “what kind of band?” They say “Whatever man”, but if you have a track then you can hear what we’re going for and if you’re into that: cool.

Did you guys all have the same opinion on the song?

Olly: (joking) All these guys hate it (everyone laughs).

Cam: I think I was still in Melbourne when you showed me this song. I turned around to you and I said something like, “You need to get yourself together.”

Olly: Yeah. Like I said, Cam’s always been on my ass. It’s because I’m always writing and creating but I’m never putting it out there. Cam’s always been there saying “When are you going to do something with this? When are you going to do something with your life?” (everyone laughs)

Rich: I remember when you first showed to us. I was like, “Yup, this is it.”

Willy: Oh thats right! First time you showed it to me we were sharing songs. I sent you my little dubstep song? And then you sent me ‘Tonight’ and I was like “What the hell!” I thought I had a boss as track and you destroyed me.

Olly: (laughing) I remember that. I guess I’ll just make the point that it started a bit more like that, as in we all came together down the track. But since we all came together we’ve all been writing together. Most of the band does production so they have their own thing going on. There’s a real kind of collaborative thing going on now.

Willy: We’ve come from different backgrounds too which has been helpful. Hardcore, pop, jazz, rock, and electronic music.

Cam: I think that’s impacted our attitudes more. The whole DIY thing really comes into it. That’s helped with providing a lot of drive I guess. Olly’s a pretty DIY sort of person. That’s my whole attitude.

Olly: I think in terms of playing styles, there’s ways that that’s helped the band. For example, Jared charts out the songs and brings them. I don’t know any other drummer that would do that (everyone laughs). It’s awesome, because he knows the songs as well as you can know them and I think that probably does come from that more academic jazz background. Is that a fair comment Jared?

Jared: Yeah, I’d say so.

Olly: It’s also about standards you know, we’re all set on working towards making something really strong.

Before we move on, there’s been a lot of confusion about all the Japanese comments showing up on your videos, with a common phrase “PDR”. Could you explain what that’s all about?

Olly: PDR is a Japanese Youtuber and he’s got 50,000 subscribers or something. His cousin PDS has got 200,000 and PDR’s girlfriend (she’s on 10,000 subscribers) is my older sister, who lives in Japan teaching English. Basically I write some of the background music for their channels, so the kickback is that they’ve been posting ‘Tonight’ up and sending it to their fans. Their videos are getting like 80,000 views each and it’s not bad getting 5,000 from that. So the Japanese following is building pretty strong. They’re a lot more willing to give than New Zealanders are.

Rich: Yeah, we actually have way more likes in New Zealand than we do in Japan. But we get way more responses from these guys.

Cam: I think New Zealand compared to Japan ­ Japan is quite outgoing. They find something they like and they latch onto it. Whereas in New Zealand it’s like, “That’s cool, I’ll latch on to it for now but we’ll wait until that next thing comes along.”

Olly: In New Zealand there’s a range of issues. Part of it, in a way, is tall poppy syndrome. The other part is like if we went to Australia or America and got signed up to a label, then came back here then everyone would be on that. Look at Kimbra, she completely failed in New Zealand. She couldn’t launch. She was never going be international. She went to Australia, rebranded, and now she’s huge. New Zealand just isn’t a fertile ground for a lot of those international musicians.

Cam: I think that’s the biggest disadvantage of living in a small country. You can only get so far and then it’s just like “Where do you go from that?”

You guys went and visited the Starship Children’s Hospital recently. Tell us about that.

Cam: I have a friend that was at Starship from when he was 2 until he was 11. He still goes back, he’s 15 now but he still goes back every couple months to get stuff done. I was speaking to his mum and they were saying that they have people go in and do stuff in there whether it’s play on their little radio station or play in the foyer. They do have people come in and play with the kids and the kids enjoy it. She gave me a contact and I emailed off saying “Would you like us to come in and play a few tracks?” They emailed back and they said they’d love it. I personally quite enjoy doing stuff like that, I get a lot of satisfaction out of it and I think the other guys are the same.

Who would you want to tour with in the near future?

Cam: For me, I really like The Wanted. I like a lot of different stuff. I’ve never really been channeled into listening to one genre. For example, when I was in Addison, all the guys were listening to Converge and Underoath and stuff like that while I’ll be in the van listening to Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff. I’ve always gone the opposite way, I think it’s nice to hear something refreshing. I was saying to Willy before, I really like Example’s new album. Those two predominantly this week have been what I’ve really been digging.

Olly: I’d probably say Taylor Swift.

Rich: If they came here I’d love to tour with one of those K­Pop bands like Girl’s Generation or Super Junior. But they’re more of a boy band... if we can get Girl’s Generation that’d be cool.

Just keen to hang out with them backstage?

Olly: Definitely man, I’d take out a couple of spas with them (everyone laughs).

Willy: Example would be one because I’m into that electro stuff. DJ’s don’t really have bands open for them though... Katy Perry? She’s mean man! Her songs are awesome.

Jared: I’d say Rudimental maybe. Little Monsters are really cool as well.

What are your plans for the future?

Rich: Always recording (everyone agrees).

Olly: We’re working pretty hard. I’m writing every spare minute I get basically. I think everyone else is churning out stuff as well. There’s songs coming out left, right and centre. I just got sent one from Rich today, I heard a new one from Willy yesterday, so there’s tons of material. But right now it’s about finding the right songs because we’re still getting there. We’ve got a bit of stuff but we’ll definitely do some kind of deluxe single thing with ‘Tonight’ and maybe ‘Tonight’ acoustic and another track of ours early next year. Follow that up with an EP a bit later and then an album. That’s the rough plan at the moment.

Willy: More shows!

Olly: Yeah and right now just working on material and really working out what is Hurricane Kids and our niche is in the pop market.

Do you have any new shows coming up?

Cam: We’ve got Rock Camp tomorrow which is like an exclusive little thing. We really want to look into doing something next year around late January or early February. I don’t know whether it’ll be a bunch of shows by ourselves or we go around schools and do acoustic stuff but I think it’s just about wanting to get out there and give it a crack.

I’d like to round this interview off with a game I call “Would You Rather...” It’ll be 3 quick questions and you can all answer individually. Then we can see who the Hurricane Kids really are.

Would you rather open for The Beatles or Led Zeppelin?


Olly, Rich, Willy & Jared: Beatles definitely.

Cam: I’m gonna go Led Zeppelin. Straight up. After watching that live DVD those dudes are gnarly! I’d be down.

Who would you rather date: Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen?

Cam, Willy & Rich: Taylor Swift. Olly, Jared: Carly Rae.

Rich: She’s like 28!

Olly: Yeah but she’s cuter.

Cam: I can justify Taylor Swift. Mainly because if I broke up with her I’d become famous in some shape or form based on doing nothing ­ but not even be famous ­ my name would just be on every website.

Rich: He’s always out for the name!

Cam: I’d probably get paid some stupid amount of money by AOL or one of those things to tell my love story of Taylor Swift. Then I’ll be wiped completely underwater and never be seen again.

Rich: You’ve really thought about this (everyone laughs).

Cam: Nah, but really I’d choose Taylor Swift because I think she’s a babe.

Would you rather have sex with a goat and have no one know or not have sex with a goat but everyone thinks you did?

Rich: You’ve got to have sex with the goat, you’ve got to do it.

Olly: I’m totally not having sex with the goat.

Willy: I’m not having sex with the goat!

Rich: But everyone’s going to say you had sex with the goat.

Willy: That’s all good! Your body’s pure! (everyone laughs)

Writer: Jay Kim
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