Interview with Hellaphant
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music was always being played when i was growing up. Not generic stuff but everything from the Beatles, Tom Waits, Badfinger etc so I was always wanting to know how to do it. Needless to say that was it. I'm sure if my parents would've played generic pop all the time it wouldn't have been so exciting to me. If I wasn't doing music... I don't know. I was a trained carpenter but fell out of love with it. so who knows I kinda float
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I am not playing music, I screenprnt shirts and stuff for bands and shops etc. It is an artistic release for me and it allows me to be in my head more so than a public secotr job where I have no time to think about music and ideas that I can use. I'm self employed so some days I can be working and get an idea and I stop work and go grab a guitar and work it out. record the idea and then go back to work. Couldn't do that before LOL.
How long has your band been around?
The band has been around for approx 4+ yrs. the idea and name has been around for 20 yrs as an idea of what I wanted to do.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of London Ontario Canada. The area doesn't influence the music too much. I travel a bit so I grab more influence from my that and life I witness
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name was an obvious play on words . I grew up during heavy so/cal skate culture so "Hella" came from that and of course the elephant part was a perfect marriage. .. It gives me a great bit of creativity in the design ideas but at the end of the day it is a name.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Any place that supports original indie music that pays bands and treats them with respect is my fave. :) WE want to play in the UK so I put that on my list.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Hard to say but It would be a festival for sure. Rancid and NOFX, Dinosaur Jr, A Wilhelm Scream, Fiddlehead and so many more. We are huge fans of music and I think we each have a million bands we love
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Practice enough to love it but not so much that you kill it and have zero creativity because of the "rules".
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don't listen to opinions fo others. Keep doing what ,akes you happy. Opinions are like polka records. Just cause you have them doesn't mean I want to or need to hear them.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Shingles for me is an important one but to be honest I write all the songs/lyrics and they all come with a bit if honest emotion so they all mean someting to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Currently I love playing "Got the Mime" gets me stoked. A lot of people seem to enjoy the song Digits
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Creative prcess for us is a weird. I usually get an idea for a melofy or riff. I record it and then put it together with the guys. It's like an episode of Larry David. There is a beginning and an end as well as a direction and we need to get to that point. LOL I write it and the guys and I arrange it. it's the first time in a long time since I brought others in on the process as I normally just did it all.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Hope and we're all in this together. We all have the same experiences, we all struggle. Some people have a better coping system some don't but you're not alone.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
yeah. We do but we have mutual respect for each other so if things get ugly we're mature enough to understand that there could be more to the issue. We usually talk it out.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The new album just came out and we're already working on the next one. Hoping to be in the studio by the end of summer to do some more work . As for spotlight, we've got a bunch of local shows in ontario coming up and an eastern Canada tour in Nov. The plan is to get over seas but we'll see.