Interview – Hockey

It’s one thing to use the name of a sport Canadians idolize. It’s another to be raved about by music moguls and professionals. As bassist Jeremy Reynolds notes, their influences played an important part in creating their sound.


How was the Bonnaroo Festival for you guys?

Bonnaroo was a real blast for us. We saw a lot of famous people backstage and got to ride around in a golf cart and get all covered with mud and whatever else. I got caught in a huge rainstorm on the first night and was soaked to the skin. I somehow managed to talk my way onto a fancy tour bus, the insides of which I had only seen on television. I dried off and slept there like a homeless person. The show was great. People danced and before the last song I ate mushrooms in front of everyone,to fulfill a rock and roll dream of some kind.


Have you gotten used to the routine and setup of major festivals?

I suppose we have gotten used to the whole festival thing, which is strange because for most people its their weekend to go absolutely hog wild and lose their minds. Sometimes we join them, other times we hide in the catering tent and eat kiwis.


Your lineup this summer has looked outstanding; what shows are you guys looking forward to the most?

We leave for Lollapalooza very soon, which we’re really excited about since we’ve only had a few chances to play here in the U.S. all summer. We also look forward to Reading and Leeds in the UK later this month and hope the sun comes out over there.


How have you been able to land so many festivals in places like Norway and France?

I’m not sure really. I suppose they must have asked us to play. Which is weird, because very few people have heard of the “hockey band” in those places. We didn’t ask, we just figured they got us mixed up with Coldplay and thought we better not draw any attention to it.


Who do you like better: North American or European crowds?

They seem more similar than you might think. If people like you and know your music, they go crazy and dance. If not, they just stare at you. An exception might be Scotland, where if they like you, they take the giant beer they were drinking and hurl it fifty feet in the air when you get to the chorus.


Over the past few months the band has been talked about by almost every professional music publication out there. What do you guys think about all the attention?

All the attention is great. If people choose to write about us that means our music has made an impression of some kind. We think that’s really neat.


Did you ever see yourself blowing up this big and giving the sport of the same name a run for its title?

Giving the sport a run for its money would be really cool, but there are a ton of die-hard fans out there, and they’ve got the mullets and foam fingers to prove it. Crossing them could be a fatal error for us. I think we’d prefer to keep a respectful distance, except online, where all our MySpace friends are teenage hockey players from Michigan and New York that found us by accident.


Do you guys even play hockey?

No. Is that insane?


How did you settle on the name?

We wanted something that was obtuse to language and human concepts, a complete disassociation and something that had no passive element to it whatsoever. Plus when we came up with the name we had a lot of really weird friends, and its hard to make an impression on people that are already totally out of their minds, you know?


When and how did you guys first start out?

Ben and I started playing as a two piece while we were in school. We basically did a stripped down, heavily electronic, folky version of what we do now.


The media has compared you to The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem, but what were you guys listening to while writing songs?

We were listening to all kinds of music while writing the songs, everything from Curtis Mayfield and Wu Tang Clan to Lou Reed, David Bowie, The Virgins, Kraftwerk and Bob Dylan. It was a little nuts, really.


What artist do you think you resemble the most?

I think we’ve taken a hundred artists and smashed them all together. We may stand alone on this.


Who would guys love to play with on a tour once the dust settles a bit?

Passion Pit.


Since you’re named after our sport, any chance you’ll stop in Canada for a few shows?

I love Canada very much. I heard somewhere that we may get to Toronto and Montreal in October.


Describe what your upcoming debut, Mind Chaos, is going to sound like.

Mind Chaos is a concept record about the insanity of the future and the cannibalizing of culture from decades past. There will be something for everyone. its feel good, its pop music.


When it comes to album reviews, are you guys going to care about what Rolling Stone or Spin Magazine has to say?

Sure we will. But that’s all written into the universe now, the record is done and people will react in whatever way they are compelled to. That’s what mind chaos is, you can’t predict it.


As far the music scene goes, are you guys bringing something new to the table or are you just making an addition that will kick it up a notch?

I’m not sure really, since its difficult to evaluate us when I’m so wrapped up in it all the time. There’s something different to us, something unexpected perhaps.


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