Hi Hookworms, you have one of the most interesting band names around – how did it come about?
I nicked it from a piece on hookworms I saw on This Morning whilst eating beans on toast as a lazy student one day.
You opened for iconic band Slowdive at their London comeback show. It was a stunning performance by you – how did you find the experience?
It was great to play with Slowdive. We played with them earlier in the year in Paris as well. I got into them around the same time as My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth etc back when I was 15/16 and never expected to get to see them live, so to be invited to play with them a couple of times was pretty wild.
How was The Liverpool Psych fest and do you have any Festivals coming up in 2016?
For me personally, Liverpool Psych Fest was pretty stressful this year. I filled in on bass for Virginia Wing, then played a solo set which went terribly, and then the Hookworms set got cut really short and ended up being a bit of a nightmare. I didn’t feel like I got to see as many bands as usual, or hang out much. Lesson to be learnt: don’t agree to play three sets in a day.
We’re playing at La Route Du Rock in Saint-Malo, France this weekend, which should be nice.
I understand you received donations of support after the flooding of your Leeds studio over Christmas – is everything up and running there again now?
Nah, nowhere near, unfortunately. It’s maybe looking like Matt is going to have to move premises and isn’t likely to be up and running until after the summer. He’s working out of a few other studios at the moment and mixing at home for the time being. We can’t thank everyone enough for the donations though, wherever the studio ends up being it will only have happened because of the money that he received. The studio (and maybe even the band) would have probably floated away down the River Aire on Boxing Day without them.
Your expanded EP release is an exciting beast indeed – featuring all sorts of factions from your past repertoire and some rarities too I believe included. Tell us about it – why did you decide to do the EP release this way?
None of the songs on the release had ever been put out on CD before, so it’s made up of various vinyl and tape tracks, stuff from compilations that came out a while back that might be hard to track down nowadays. It just seemed like a nice idea to make those songs available for the people that missed out first time round or got into us later on. Not everyone buys and listens to vinyl like us either. The labels put the idea to us and we thought it sounded cool.
Your sound has been described as a huge mix of influences and live it is truly hard to pigeonhole. It seems to me to be entirely fresh and of itself. How would you describe it?
Loud? Repetitive? I don’t know really, genres are silly. The earlier stuff was easier to pigeonhole but I think we just sound like us now.
Are there any artists or filmmakers that you are collaborating with at the moment or would like to in the future? Your music seems to lend itself to really exciting formats of interpretation.
No, but I’d really love to work on a soundtrack, that’s always been at the back of my mind as something I want to do at some point in my life. I agree it would lend itself well to our band.
From your early days to now in 2016 as you look back what ways has Hookworms evolved its sound?
I think it’s become less about aping other bands that we like and more about just going with what comes naturally. I’ve think the song writing is probably more focused and streamlined, it doesn’t take long for something to sound like Hookworms now whereas when we first started out it was a bit all over the place.
What bands or artistes influence you or do you personally rate at the moment?
Very open question, I could go on forever. Here’s the last few records I listened to instead:
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Void Beats/Invocation Trex
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Köhn – Random Patterns
The Other People Place – Lifestyles of the Laptop Café
Golden Teacher – Divine/Rave Instigator
Hookworms have gone the distance – many bands struggle to go as long as you have and progress as well you have. Any advice to new bands Hookworms?
We’ve only been together about six years, and the first couple of those were reasonably inactive, so we’re probably not the best band to ask about longevity. I think people are finally starting to realise it, but I’d say the main thing is (sadly) to abandon any dreams that you have of making a decent living off music for the rest of your life. It’s not viable in the current industry and it hasn’t been for a while unless you’re selling hundreds of thousands of records. We treat the band as something fun to do in our spare time, and if anything more important comes up in our lives or we feel like the band is taking over then we take a break from it and come back a few months later when it feels fresh and exciting again. If you’re a “working” band stuck in the tour, album, tour cycle then I guess that’s pretty hard to do, especially if you’re relying on the band’s income to pay your rent.
Hookworms‘ reissue of their self-titled, debut EP is available to preorder from Gringo Records.