Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Interview mit Hoarsebox im "Limerick Leader"

So gut geschrieben, dass ich es einfach hier reinstellen musste..... und die Jungs sind wirklich so!! Naja, Hoarsebox halt, gell??

The Limerick Leader

Hoarsebox face key battles...

Gerard Fitzgibbon

IT'SWAR: Dubliners aim to reclaim the piano from pansy rockers everywhere. Hurrah! Hoarsebox are going to war. There are plenty of pianos out there, and ever since Chris Martin got his paws on them they've been nothing but tools for pansied angst. Keane, Thirteen Senses - they've all used it to piss and moan. No more. A new Dublin four piece are coming, armed to the teeth with gloopy, dance-hall funk. They want that piano back, and if Chris Martin needs to get his fingers broken, so be it.

"People shouldn't really try and learn to play piano the way I play it. I play like a child," says Johnny Holden, vocalist and pianoman. "I never got any proper lessons, so my fingers can look a bit mangled. But we love the sounds of the 70s - I'm not happy if I'm not playing some straight-up funk."

If all children played with the loose, bombastic rhythm of Holden, there'd be a lot of piano teachers on the breadline. Hoarsebox are swimming against the tide of lukewarm keyboard pop, and they're already making waves. They've toured the UK and Ireland with The Walls and Republic of Loose, they've just completed their debut EP, calling it 'Cuckooland', and are stepping out onto their first proper tour of the country, which drops anchor in Dolan's on Saturday May 31.

"We don't have to worry about money, because we're not making any," says Max Carpio, drummer and vocalist. "In a way that gives us the freedom to just go creative and enjoy our music. Our sound is very polyrhythmic - which isn't necessarily intentional. We're never short of ideas - the four of us tend to throw things out there. The problem is often knowing when to stop, realising when there's just too much going on."

Throw an ear at their debut single 'Rosey' and you can see where they're coming from. It's an up-tempo frolic, mixing Barbershop, Billy Joel and Bloc Party. The talents of Carpio, Holden, guitarist Philip Broadberry and bass player Kieran Walkin pull the track in four different directions. It shouldn't work, but it does. "We love making music people can dance to," says Carpio. "We try to make the music as upbeat and inclusive as we can. But if you're going to do that, you might as well do it in the biggest, craziest way you can."

The track has all the ingredients of a live gem - a call and response chorus over skipping percussion. It closes with a twangy guitar solo from Broadberry, which can afford to go looking for a Knopfleresque crescendo when it has Carpio and Walkin's tasty rhythm section holding the net.

'Do it to the letter' is a more pensive affair, propped up by churchorgan synth but not lacking in a driving, Matt Tongstyle drum beat. The release makes for refreshing listening, and despite the myriad rhythms lashing on, the production is bell-clear. "I think what it boils down to is that you have four incredibly annoying and bossy people trying to push their own styles," says Holden.

"I'd be more into bluegrass, whereas Max has more of a jazz background." Themusical detente that you get comes from Ger McDonnell, a former sound engineer with The Cure who has recently worked with Martha Wainwright, among others. "We were too close to our music. What we needed was someone to come in and say 'that's shit, that doesn't work, change this'. It's worked very well" says Holden.

Who are their influences? Take a number. Their sound is a furnace of styles, and you could hear traces of anything from The Police to Steely Dan and Toots and the Maytals if you stick your head in there. But it's still a bit mental.

"We were a bit worried up to a point there, we were thinking, 'we don't sound like anything, do we?' Hanging around the Republic of Loose lads changed that a bit. They're exceptional at being too many things all at once. We realised that we could make our own noise, however bizarre it might seem at first," says Carpio. Their current tour schedule has taken in the Button Factory, and will see them play Eddie Murphy's in Kilkenny and the Element Festival in Waterford. Then, it's off to New York. After that, who knows? The battle to turn the piano back into a weapon of funk has many fronts.

Hoarsebox play Dolan's on Saturday May 31. For tickets, call 061 314483. box

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